UK News

Holiday Sales Continue - eBay Expects $815 Million in Unwanted Gifts

Christmas may be over, but eBay’s holiday shopping season continues! That red sweater just isn’t Aunt Susie’s style, and Cousin Tyler already has an iPod. Now it’s time to figure out what to do with those well-intended but unsuitable gifts that were exchanged around the Christmas tree.

Help is on the way! Selling an item on eBay provides a great opportunity to give unwanted gifts a new home, and sellers can put that money toward something that didn’t get crossed off their Christmas list. eBay expects $815 million in resold gifts this post-holiday season, and whether it’s ugly sweaters or duplicate electronics, new owners are waiting to scoop up some post-Christmas loot.

For affiliate partners, the post-holiday season offers a great opportunity to link shoppers to eBay’s global online marketplace, while you benefit from the traffic you send this way. There are many ways affiliate partners can use this trend to appeal to your audience. For example, eBay Instant Sale provides the most convenient way for Cousin Tyler to get immediate cash for his unwanted iPod or other electronics, while he can reinvest that money in another hot gadget.

By reminding your audience that they’re not stuck with a sleigh full of unwanted gifts and showing them the options they have for reselling unwanted gifts and buying new items that they’ll love, you have a timely and relevant opportunity to increase your earnings potential.

 

Happy Holidays from eBay Partner Network

It’s crazy to think that in just a few days, 2012 will be coming to an end. It’s been an amazing year here at eBay Partner Network. For starters, we built relationships with tons of new publishers and got them up and running in our program. Internally, we built out an entire team in our new Seattle office and welcomed a lot of new blood to our affiliate channel. It’s been a really exciting time to be a part of ePN.

Before we close the book on 2012, we wanted to take a minute and send our very best wishes to our valued partners during the holidays. We value and appreciate your commitment to our program and we’re looking forward growing those relationships further in 2013.

On behalf of our entire ePN Team all over the world, we wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season and a prosperous new year! We can’t wait for an amazing 2013!

Christmas SALE Starting Early at eBay UK - Up to 50% off from Top Sellers

Ho ho ho Merry Christmas one and all! The big day is just around the corner and you’d have to be living under a giant humbug if you haven’t noticed that Christmas sales have started early here in the UK.

Not to be outdone, eBay’s Christmas elves have been very busy and just launched a HUGE sale on the eBay.co.uk site! With up to 50% off RRP from eBay’s Top Sellers, categories include men’s and women’s fashion, toys, electronics and home garden - all from brands such as French Connection, Timberland, Rockport, Nike, Samsung, Toshiba and many more.

You can find full details on the sale page/deeplink here.

Remember that eBay are offering publishers the chance to earn up to 30% bonus on EU campaigns in December. This sale represents a fantastic opportunity for another big push – a few extra conversions on these sale items could be the icing on the cake for your Christmas campaigns and push you onto the top tier.

To help you on your way, the eBay elves have provided the following top tip to generate a tracked deeplink to the sale page:

“Log into your ePN dashboard and navigate to Tools > Link Generator and select Custom URL from the options. Simply copy/paste the deeplink into the tool, assign your Program and Campaign, and hit Generate Link.

Merry Christmas!”

Wishing all of our publishers the very best of luck for their Christmas campaigns from all of us at eBay Partner Network.

 

How the Election Affects eBay and eCommerce

With the 2012 election over, many of us have turned our attention away from politics and back to the things that affect us most in our everyday lives. However, who we elect in Washington does have an effect on how eBay conducts business and what you can expect in the near future for eCommerce.

Our friends over at the eBay Ink Blog have identified four specific areas we should be aware of post-election:

Internet Sales Tax

As it stands today, momentum for the internet sales tax bill still remains. Will the House use this as a revenue generator for state and local government or will it become a chess piece in the showdown over the year-end tax fight?

Financial Services Regulation

With Republicans in charge of the House, the likelihood for new financial services legislation is low. However, the Obama Administration's financial service regulators remain active and will probably continue to be over the next four years. While most agree that the financial services and payment worlds are changing rapidly, there isn't broad consensus on the right path forward.

First Sale and IP Rights:

This issue hits fairly close to home for eBay as the benchmark case, Wiley vs. Kirtsaeng (a former eBay seller) on First Sale rights, sits with the Supreme Court. In the meantime, intellectual property rights industries continue to maintain a strong presence on Capital Hill even though there is no consensus on how to move forward on internet-enabled piracy.

Privacy and Cyber Security

The trajectory of this issue remains largely unchanged since the election. Romney's plan would have favored less regulation, while Obama's Administration appears to have a strong plan for moving forward.

Impact?

While some of these issues may not have any direct impact on your business, we believe it's important to keep our Partners up-to-date on our rapidly changing industry and how legislation may affect eBay. You can read the full article over at the eBay Ink Blog.

Do any of these things surprise you? We'd love to get your take in the comments below.

 

Publisher Stories: Pascal Wegner of wusoma GmbH

The ePN Team is always looking for effective ways to support the work of our partners. In order for us to gain deeper insight, we met with Pascal Wegner, Managing Director of wusoma GmbH, and asked him about his work with our program. In the interview he looks back at his early days in affiliate marketing and talks about what makes his offers unique. He also provides some useful tips on how to be successful in eBay Partner Network.

When did you get involved in affiliate marketing?

I started to do affiliate marketing at the age of 13 and at that time I wasn’t even aware that I was involved in affiliate marketing. In those days I was running Scherzbold.net, the biggest fun website in German. Apart from managing editorial content I also brokered picture text messages and “mobile phone logos” for phones such as the Nokia 5110.

How did you learn about the eBay Partner Network?

At first I was focused on other more “classic” partner programmes, i.e., affiliate programmes with affiliate networks. But then, at one event, my affili.net Account Manager persuaded me to join the eBay Partner Network in 2009. I happily agreed and it has turned into a success story for both sides.

Tell us something about your pages and what makes them special.

Despite some editorial content traffic, most of our traffic is generated using the shopping comparison business model. Our largest pages manage billions of products and offers, making them available to millions of interested visitors each week. We put in a lot of effort to provide a superior shopping experience to our users and to offer them exactly what they are looking for. We gather products from a number of data sources – such as eBay – and consolidate them using automatic systems. Our system automatically learns from the searches of our users and tries to offer even better results to the next user searching for the same or a similar product.

What do you do to increase traffic sent to eBay?

We are constantly working on our search engine ranking and we are expanding our business to all countries where the eBay Partner Network is available. At the moment, we are focussing on serving the mobile market. That’s an area where the eBay Partner Network is a pioneer in the industry.

Which ePN tools do you use? Are there any obstacles to overcome when using these tools?

Obviously, the primary tool we use is the API. But for editorial content we may also make use of the Link Generator or Custom Banners. I find all these tools to be very efficient and intuitive to use.

For Publishers that are new to promoting eBay, what are the advantages of the tools you use?

The API is incredibly versatile and flexible, which is very important for us. Obviously, you have to work a bit to become familiar with it. The other tools offer the advantage that they can get you started even if you have little knowledge.

Do you have tips for other eBay Partner Network Publishers?

I often get questions about our EPC. For me, the EPC system is a real success story. You can greatly influence your EPC – but only by influencing your own traffic. The EPC is really no more and no less than a success indicator of your traffic. So, all you need to do is to direct valuable visitors to eBay – and the EPC will confirm your success. I’d also recommend to take a close look at your website or blog and to find ways to generate value for users by incorporating eBay items.

Looking at the eBay Partner Network, what do you like most?

eBay is one of the most important shopping platforms on the Internet. The eBay Partner Network gives us a chance to increase our success – and to join in. There is a tool for virtually any website operator which helps them to successfully promote eBay.

In addition to Germany, where else do you do business?

We started in Germany and then moved on to Austria and Switzerland. In the meantime we’ve also successfully launched our business in the UK, the US, France, Spain and Italy. Later this year we are going to start in a handful of other countries – and we are hoping to be able to serve all ePN countries by the first half of next year.

Working internationally, what do you think are the biggest differences between the countries in which you are active?

There are huge differences in the purchasing behaviours from country to country – in all aspects. It starts with the browsing behaviour. Traffic peak times in Germany are fundamentally different from the ones in France or the UK and so are the clicking, buying and bidding behaviours.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Fellow publishers who have questions can contact me. I’m happy to assist beginners and I don’t regard them as competitors. We are all fellows in an exciting industry – and I am looking forward to having a beer or two with you.

We thank Pascal for sharing his thoughts with you and us. We hope that you find some of the information and tips in the interview useful for your own business. As always, please feel free to leave your questions or comments below.

Reflecting on Another Successful A4U Expo

As you may have seen, we were in London at the A4U Expo last week. There were lots of interesting issues being discussed and some fascinating knowledge being shared. Sessions ranged from tips on how to use social media to maximise your traffic, to the legalities of running a website. There was even insight into how weather affects sales - providing something for everyone.

One strong theme from this year’s conference was the role of technology and its influence in digital marketing - especially where affiliates are concerned. There was debate as to whether or not the market is flooded with too much technology, and to what extent data capture/manipulation generates better user experiences to drive traffic.

Members of the European Team gather at the A4U Expo

It was really helpful to meet with publishers to get their take on performance marketing and hear their experiences working with eBay Partner Network. It was great to hear how eBay’s breadth of inventory helps publishers monetise their sites - even to the smallest or most niche vertical sites. We also met with some publishers who manage discount and offers sites whose communities are very engaged online. There’s lots of interesting activity going on in this space and it’s definitely something we’re paying attention to at eBay.

We’d like to extend a big thank you to Affiliates4u for putting on such a good show and we look forward to another exciting event next year.

Exciting Changes at the New eBay!

Over the last few weeks, you may have heard some buzz about the changes happening at eBay. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be rolling out a more contemporary look and feel for the site, a more convenient way to browse and buy, and a more personal way for eBay users to curate their shopping experience. If you’d like to take a deeper dive into the new features and enhancements, you can read the full overview over at eBay.com/new.

Many of you have already been asking us how the new logo and branding will rollout into ePN and how you can update your websites. While we’re pleased to see your enthusiasm and excitement about implementing the new look, we’d like to request that you refrain from making any updates to reflect the new look at this time. Work is being done at HQ to make the transition happen in a seamless, efficient way for our publishers, and we’ll be providing instructions about the rollout in the coming weeks here and via email.

This is an exciting time to be part of ePN and we’re thrilled that our partners are along for the ride. We also understand that you may have questions about the process, so feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to get you an answer.

Earn a Holiday Bonus of up to 30% on European Campaigns

Now that we’re squarely entrenched in the middle of October, it won’t be long until Holiday season will be in full swing. For many that means festive family gatherings and the inevitable buzz around holiday shopping. Here at eBay Partner Network we’re getting in the spirit by offering you the chance to earn a bonus from your European campaigns this November and December with the introduction of a new Holiday promotion.

How does the promotion work?

If you increase your QCP earnings by at least 20% (compared to your earnings in August 2012) during November and December, you’ll be eligible for a bonus on your total earnings for that month.

These bonuses will be tiered as follows:

Bonus earned based on QCP earnings increase Earnings increase in November – December 2012 (compared to August 2012)
10% bonus 20% – 34.99% earnings increase
15% bonus 35% – 49.99% earnings increase
30% bonus Greater than 50% earnings increase

 

How will bonuses be calculated?

Bonuses will be calculated per programme and per account, separately for both November and December, before being paid together with the rest of your earnings for that month.

See an example of this calculation below:

Programme

 

August Earnings

November Earnings

Percentage Increase

Bonus Percentage

November Payment

Germany

€2,000

€2,500

25%

10%

€2,750

France

€1,000

€1,500

50%

30%

€1,950

For example, if your November 2012 earnings are 25% higher than your August earnings, you’ll earn a 10% bonus on your November earnings. If your December earnings are then less than 20% higher than your August earnings, you won’t receive a bonus for December 2012.

Which regions will be eligible for the promotion?

The promotion is available to all publishers participating in a European programme on a Quality Click Pricing payment model. Regions eligible for the promotion include:

  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Belgium
  • Switzerland
  • Austria
  • Ireland
  • The Netherlands

This promotion is just one of the ways we’re helping you during peak shopping season. Keep your eyes on the blog in the coming weeks for news about our US Holiday promotion!

Questions? Feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Fall Category Changes – Starting September 10th

If you’ve been with eBay Partner Network for a period of time, you know that sometimes eBay updates categories as part of the seasonal Seller Releases. On Monday, September 10th the latest changes will go into effect. These changes will affect those publishers that put Category IDs in Custom Banner, RSS feeds, Link Generator or any widget that contains Category IDs as an option.

Updated categories include:

  • Art
  • Business & Industrial
  • Cameras & Photo
  • Clothing, Shoes & Accessories
  • Coins & Paper Money
  • Computers/Tablets & Networking
  • Consumer Electronics
  • DVDs & Movies
  • eBay Motors
  • Health & Beauty
  • Home & Garden
  • Jewelry & Watches
  • Music
  • Musical Instruments & Gear
  • Specialty Services
  • Toys & Hobbies
  • Everything Else

You can see the detailed changes HERE.

These changes affect many eBay sites around the world including: US, CA, UK, AU, AT, FR, DE, Motors, IT, BENL, NL, ES, CH, IN, IE and CAFR. In all between 30 and 50 millions items may be moved as part of this update. You can check out the complete 2012 Fall Seller Update for more information.

Questions about any of these changes? Feel free to leave your comments below.

Paid vs. Organic Search – Who Wins?

The debate over paid vs. organic search has raged for years in SEO circles. We’ve long known that natural search results held an advantage over PPC, but by how much? Recently, Econsultancy published an article showing that paid search only accounts for 6% of all clicks on Google and Bing versus 94% for natural search clicks in the UK. The research was conducted by GroupM UK in partnership with Nielsen.

The study also found that women were more prone to clicking on paid search results than men, and as individuals got older they tended to click on paid search results more than their younger counterparts.

This infographic by MEC breaks down the research in more detail:

There are some interesting takeaways here for me. Mainly, it would stand to reason, based on this study, that having an audience that skews female may mean that PPC is a better value than if your site appeals to men. For example, if you run a women’s shoe blog you may find more value in paid search than, say, an auto racing website.

Do these results surprise you at all? How much spend do you dedicate to PPC? Do you feel like the return is worth it? How well do you rank for key terms in natural search? We’d love to get your thoughts in the comments below.