EPN TV

EPN's John Toskey to Share Mobile Success Tips at Affiliate Summit

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Affiliate Summit West 2016 kicks off this weekend, and our team is looking forward to attending this annual gathering for affiliates, advertisers and networks. We’ll spend several days speaking with publishers, attending events and taking in conference sessions, hosted at Paris in Las Vegas. EPN global director John Toskey is speaking during one of the sessions, which takes place on Monday, Jan. 11, at 2pm in Champagne Ballroom 4. His presentation, Affiliate Adventures in Mobile Commerce, focuses on the latest trends driving mobile ecommerce growth, and provides insight into how affiliates can capitalize on these opportunities.

For just a fraction of what you can expect during John’s presentation, check out the following episode of EPN TV:

In this episode, John provides success tips corresponding to three basic mobile principles: Deliver a cohesive online experience, don’t forget about apps, and dig into your data to uncover your site’s unique traffic trends.

If you’re attending Affiliate Summit West, we hope you’ll stop by to listen to John’s session. We look forward to seeing you soon!

ePN TV: John Toskey on Wishing Bigger with eBay Over the Holidays

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In this episode of ePN TV, John Toskey talks about all the ways you can increase your earnings by promoting eBay this holiday season. The Holiday Hub is our go-to destination of the season, with top deals across all categories. This is where your visitors can find gift guides, curated collections, events and trending deals to help spark holiday gifting ideas.

Our ad scans highlight items topping holiday wish lists at up to 70% off. During Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, new deals will be introduced each hour. You can also find a selection of creatives for each day here.

After the Thanksgiving weekend shopping frenzy, John says eBay’s biggest sales day in December historically happens on the second Monday of the month. Dubbed Green Monday, this year it falls on December 14 (Editor's note: not December 7 as John states in the video), and eBay will feature deals across categories such as Home, Tech, Fashion and Toys.

Stay tuned here for additional information on holiday sales and events, and make sure you’ve opted in to receive promotional messages from ePN. You can also follow us on Twitter for timely deals throughout the season.

Thanks for watching and happy holidays!

EPN TV: Updates to the New Mobile Experience for iOS 9 Users

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Last month, we introduced an enhanced mobile visitor experience to help you boost mobile conversions. Today, we’re happy to announce that we’ve expanded this mobile experience to include homepage and search results pages, in addition to view item pages, for visitors using iOS 9. Now, mobile visitors using iOS 9 who click through to the eBay homepage, search results page or a view item listing page and already have the eBay app installed will automatically be directed to view that page in the app.

Visitors using other mobile operating systems will receive this experience for item listing pages only, with plans to add this functionality for Android users coming in the future. Visitors who don’t have the app installed will receive the mobile web experience, with no prompt to download the app.

Remember that you can view clicks, transactions, and conversion rates for desktop, mobile app and mobile web traffic in the Mobile Landing Page Report, accessible from the Reports tab under “Mobile” in the Publisher Portal.

Due to iOS limitations, the opt out instructions previously provided will not work for visitors using iOS 9. However, we’ve seen an increase in conversion rates with this new mobile flow, and hope that you are excited about providing this improved experience.

If you have any questions or feedback on this new mobile visitor experience, let us know in the comments below.

Introducing an Improved Mobile Experience

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We are excited to let you know that on Wednesday, September 9, we will begin rolling out an enhanced mobile experience to help you boost conversion rates for your mobile visitors. With this improved experience, your mobile visitors who click through to an item listing page and already have the eBay app installed will be automatically directed to view the listing in the app.

This experience will launch for partners sending traffic to the Australian program on September 9, with all countries following shortly thereafter. All app traffic will be tracked and compensated for, and detailed mobile app traffic reports will be introduced soon.

Watch this video from global director John Toskey to learn more:

At this time, the new mobile path only applies to view item pages, and visitors who don’t have the app installed will receive the same mobile experience that they have today, with no prompt to download the app.

ePN partners don’t need to do anything to enable this service. If for some reason you’d like to opt out, you can do this by following the instructions below. You can complete this opt out activity now, before we roll this out for the programs in which you participate.

As John mentioned, we strongly recommend that you do not choose to opt out! Our beta testing results have shown improved conversion rates, which will help you earn more money with eBay Partner Network.

To opt out:

Add the parameter &ul_noapp=true to the View Item URL, or MPRE, but not the rover link. The sequence in which the parameter is added does not matter; it should just be added and encoded as part of the View Item URL.

For example:

A sample View Item URL is:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-XPS-13-Infinity-Display-Quad-HD-Touch-Ultrabook-i7-5500U-8GB-256GB-SSD/371407265256?hash=item5679991de8

A sample rover link pointing to this item would look like:

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?ff3=4&pub=1234567890&toolid=10001&campid=1234567890&customid=&mpre= http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-XPS-13-Infinity-Display-Quad-HD-Touch-Ultrabook-i7-5500U-8GB-256GB-SSD/371407265256?hash=item5679991de8

You’ll append the &ul_noapp=true opt-out parameter to the View Item URL, so it will look like this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-XPS-13-Infinity-Display-Quad-HD-Touch-Ultrabook-i7-5500U-8GB-256GB-SSD/371407265256?hash=item5679991de8&ul_noapp=true

The encoded roverized version of this link will look like:

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?ff3=4&pub=1234567890&toolid=10001&campid=1234567890&customid=&mpre= http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fitm%2FDell-XPS-13-Infinity-Display-Quad-HD-Touch-Ultrabook-i7-5500U-8GB-256GB-SSD%2F371407265256%3Fhash%3Ditem5679991de8%26ul_noapp%3Dtrue

Please let us know of any questions you have in the comments below. We’re excited to help you provide a better mobile user experience!

ePN TV: John Toskey Talks Future of eBay Partner Network

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In this episode of ePN TV, John Toskey follows up his most recent video by addressing publisher feedback, and chats about what’s coming down the pipeline for the program. John first speaks about eBay’s practice of testing website elements and pages, which has been discussed in our forum. John confirms that like most successful ecommerce businesses, eBay does have an ongoing practice of strategic testing and optimization. This process is important and will continue because it allows eBay to improve conversions, turning visitors into buyers – benefitting ePN and our publishers.

Next, John addresses a question in the forum about the strength and viability of ePN. He says that as the largest paid marketing channel within eBay, the traffic our publishers send to the site is valued, and we will continue to reward partners for doing so. He also says that year over year, we are paying more publishers more money, and we will continue to grow and invest in our publishers.

As far as upcoming projects go, John mentions our continued investment in the platform. This includes improved stability and new functionality around reporting. In addition, we are also testing a few new initiatives, including different kinds of ad units and an improved mobile app tracking process.

Finally, John thought it would be helpful for partners to have access to the latest data about our Marketplaces business. For example, did you know that 81% of eBay items are listed at a fixed price? You can see tons of great stats like this via 'Fast Facts At-A-Glance.'

We’re excited for what’s ahead and hope you are, too. If you have any feedback for John and the rest of the team, please share it in the comments below.

ePN TV: John Toskey Talks Program Highlights

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John Toskey, Director, eBay Partner Network, recently sat down to share insights into what our team has been working on lately. In this video, he speaks about the latest program introductions and improvements.

Many partners are already using the Promotions and Sales Portal, which launched last winter, to find the best promotions, events and deals across eBay. Over the last few months, we’ve added more deals and events, with support for more categories, countries and languages. If your visitors are interested in Deals, Home and Garden, Fashion, Electronics, Collectibles or Sporting Goods, you’ll definitely want to check out this resource.

We’re also pleased to announce the very recent release of our new optimized and filtered Data Feeds. These feeds include millions of detailed eBay listings, and are best used to power high-volume applications or alongside API calls for more customizable solutions. We’ll host a webinar to provide more details on how and why to use feeds; stay tuned here for more details.

John closes the conversation with his commitment to the stability and performance of the technology powering our publisher platform. We’ve made recent improvements to enhance tracking and reporting, and this will remain a high priority for our entire team.

Thanks for watching, and stay tuned for our next check in with John, as he addresses upcoming program initiatives.

ePN TV: John Toskey Talks Recent Highlights and Priorities for 2015

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In this episode of ePN TV, John Toskey talks with host Tien Huang about recent initiatives to help improve partner successes, as well as what the team will be focusing on in upcoming months. John first mentions that partners have been using Twitter and Facebook to drive affiliate traffic, discovering that social media is a great way to attract a younger demographic. He says reaching this first-time buyer audience has helped partners increase earnings as they attain the new and reactivated buyer bonus.

Another way ePN has been helping partners drive traffic is by sending emails with information on targeted, niche eBay sales events to publishers who tend to drive traffic in these specific categories. To take this one step further, we recently launched the Promotions and Sales Portal to help partners easily find and share the most relevant eBay deals and events.

John says ePN will continue to improve our tools and products, with a focus on creating ways for publishers to find the right products and events within eBay. Another major priority is investing in our platform to make sure we’re providing world-class tracking, reporting and API access. Along with this, we’ll continue to look at how we can help improve conversions, including testing landing pages to find the best path for buyers.

In the end, Tien couldn’t help but ask about John’s new facial addition, as he is currently sporting a ‘stache in support of Movember, the movement to raise funds and awareness for men’s health. John also wanted us to note that this segment was filmed in early November and that his facial has filled in nicely since then!

We’re excited about all that we have going on as we continue to grow and improve the program, and welcome any feedback and questions in the comments section below. Thanks for your partnership, and thanks for watching ePN TV.

ePN TV: Liz Morris Talks Holiday Preparation at eBay

ePN-Liz In the latest episode of ePN TV, host Tien Huang welcomes back Liz Morris from the Program Optimization team. Liz (literally) raps about top opportunities for partners as we head into the holiday season.

Many eBay resources are already in full swing for the holidays, including the Holiday Gifting Hub. This one-stop source for everything holiday includes gifting ideas for everyone on the season’s shopping list, as well as top deals and sales to help drive shopping traffic.

Liz mentions that the Deals Page is another place where partners can direct shoppers who are searching for the best holiday prices on the web, especially for gifts on the hottest electronics of the season, top fashion picks and items to get your home Holiday ready.

As another way to help propel seasonal traffic, this year we’ll also be publishing three holiday ad scans. Much like the printed advertisements provided by brick-and-mortar retailers, these PDF files will showcase the very best deals on specific items that can be purchased on eBay during Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

As Liz mentions, make sure you’ve opted in to receive promotional emails from ePN and subscribe to receive our blog updates. This is the best way to access the ad scans, along with the latest holiday promotions and deals.

Thanks for watching, and happy holidays!

Publisher Stories: Offers.com

offers565 From time to time, we like to take a deeper look into what our publishers are up to, going behind the scenes to share how they’re working with eBay Partner Network to build their businesses. We recently sat down with Howard Schaffer, Vice President of Partner Development for Offers.com, a coupon and deals website.

Offers.com launched in 2009 to serve consumers who were looking for ways to save time and money while shopping online. In the site’s quest to access a wider selection of product deals, they began working with ePN over a year ago. Howard says the team likes working with ePN because of the variety of products and brands available, in addition to the technologies available to access deals.

Howard also talks a bit about the goals Offers.com has for the rest of 2014, which include growing to be a top deals site, working closely with ePN to source quality deals, and improved seasonal and holiday planning – anything they can do to give consumers timely access to the best deals online. They’re also focusing on mobile, going after consumers who browse and buy from their phones.

As far as tips for new publishers, Howard’s advice is just to jump in and get started. From there, publishers can explore all the different ways to find deals on eBay, which include ePN communications such as emails and blog posts to tools such as product feeds and the API.

We’d like to thank Howard and his team at Offers.com for letting us peak behind the curtain of their day-to-day business.

ePN TV: Olivier Ropars and Brian Marcus Discuss Mobile Opportunity at eBay

Olivier565 In our latest installment of ePN TV, Brian Marcus, Director of eBay Partner Network, delves into mobile with Olivier Ropars, Senior Director of Global Internet Marketing at eBay.

Olivier has an extensive background in mobile at eBay, and he discusses how the company has really focused on mobile innovations over the past six years, propelling eBay to become a leader in mobile commerce. In fact, in 2013, eBay generated $20 billion in mobile transactions.

Olivier says mobile is so important because it has completely changed the way people shop online, providing more opportunities for the ecommerce industry, including affiliate marketers. He stresses the importance of embracing mobile technology and mobile users in order to reach all relevant customers.

As far as where our partners are now when it comes to mobile, Olivier says that he has observed a gap from those who are just getting started to those who are far ahead of the curve, similar to what is seen in the retail industry.

Lastly, Olivier provides two pieces of advice for ePN publishers who want to dive into mobile. He says that a mobile optimized website is a must, and 57 percent of publishers responding to our recent mobile survey said they do have a mobile focused site. The second piece of advice Olivier imparts is to remember mobile-optimized emails and landing pages as part of a comprehensive marketing plan.

What are you doing to further your mobile efforts? We welcome any feedback and questions you have for Olivier in the comments below. Thanks for watching!