INFOGRAPHIC: eBay's Annual "Top Shopped" for 2011

Just before many of us disconnected for a few days around the holidays, eBay announced its "Top Shopped" list for 2011. While this list is editorial in nature and focuses on pop culture crazes across multiple categories, we think it serves as a pretty compelling reminder for publishers highlighting what's hot on the eBay Marketplace.

You can take a deeper dive on this list by looking at the full "Top Shopped 2011" report. Anything on this list surprising to you? Personally, #7 threw me for a bit of a loop, but everything else seemed fairly straightforward. You?

Happy Holidays from eBay Partner Network

As December winds down your thoughts are probably focused on family gatherings and celebrations with friends. Before 2011 slips away from us, the entire global ePN Team wanted to take a moment and wish you all a Happy Holiday Season! It’s been an amazing and eventful year here at ePN and we’re excited that you were around to share it with us. Our publisher relationships mean the world to us and we feel incredibly lucky to work with such an amazing roster of affiliates.

A portion of U.S Team gathers outside eBay in San Jose, CA for a photo op!

The European Team showing off their smiles from our Zurich Switzerland office!

So, from our extended teams around the world we wish you good cheer! We'll be back on the blog in full swing in 2012!

ePN TV: Publisher Stories: Jack Anthony

If you’ve been following our blog over the last few months you may have stumbled across our new series called “Publisher Stories.” These profiles are meant to highlight some of the amazing publishers that we get to work with here at eBay Partner Network. To date, all of our features have been blog posts written by publishers in their own words. Today we’re trying out the first video in the series with Jack Anthony.

I first met Jack in Los Angeles last month at BlogWorld. During that trip I got a chance to hang out with him and got to know a little bit about what makes him tick.

After spending time with Jack, I can tell you firsthand how passionate he is about music. Affiliate marketing has given him a unique opportunity to make a comfortable living with sites like Netbook Cave while still having lots of time to focus on his career as a musician. After spending the last hour listening to snippets from his new album, “Cue the Clouds,” I can’t say enough about Jack's talent. And that’s the amazing thing about so many of our publishers – being an online marketer has a allowed many of you to provide for yourselves and your families, while still having enough time to nurture your others passions.

If you’re attending Affiliate Summit West in January, I hope you’ll take the time to seek out Jack. I also hope you’ll check out his new record – I’m predicting it will spend lots of time in heavy rotation on my iPod during my holiday travels. Thanks to Jack for taking time to be part of our Publisher Stories series and share his enthusiasm about affiliate marketing and music with us!

Buy and Rent Textbooks at Half.com at Low Prices

For most of us the next few weeks will be filled with holiday shopping, festivities and time spent with family and friends as we celebrate a very merry time of year. However, if you’re a student, you may already be thinking about next semester and the books you’re going to need to purchase for your classes. What better time to launch our latest Half.com promotion?

You may remember that we announced several product improvements and a corresponding Back to School promotion this past Fall. Here are the details for our Spring semester promotion, running December 15th through February 15th:

ALL Shoppers

  • 10% off books on Half.com. Minimum order of $50. Maximum discount of $20. Limited time offer.
  • Coupon Code: BTS10E

NEW Shoppers Only

  • 12% off books on Half.com. Minimum order of $50. Maximum discount of $20. Limited time offer.
  • Coupon Code: BTS12N

Note: Please enter the relevant coupon code into your Custom ID field when building your textlink to Half.com within the Publisher Portal Link Generator. This will help us track this campaign in more detail so that we are able to offer more like this in the future!

This also applies to textbook rentals, which is a great way to save on student expenses.  Also, remind your non-student users that this is a great opportunity for them to grab a few new reads in the event they didn’t get that eReader they asked for this holiday season.

If you’d like more information on Half.com, it may be helpful to check out this video we did with Vikram Singh, General Manager at Half.com, about their offerings. Keep in mind this video was produced last fall and contains some information about our Fall promotion rather than the details of our current event.

We’re excited about this opportunity to promote Half.com and hope that you’ll take advantage of these great coupon codes. Feel free to leave any questions or comments below and we’ll do our best to get you an answer.

UK-Based Content Coming to the Blog

We are constantly assessing and reassessing the way we do things here at ePN. From a communications perspective it’s important that we’re reaching our publishers throughout the world in an effective and meaningful way.

Today we’re announcing the addition of a new category to our English blog called “UK eBay Partner Network News.” The title is pretty self-explanatory and probably doesn’t require much discussion. Simply put, we’ll be using that category on our English blog to update our friends in the UK about things that are important and/or useful to them.

I will continue to be the voice behind most US-related content appearing here and elsewhere, but our stellar team in the EU will take the lead on creating these new posts under our UK category. Our hope is to better round out our communications to make our friends across the pond feel more included on this blog.

If there are topics you’d like to see our team cover as part of this new category, please leave a comment below with your suggestion and we’ll pass it along!

Calling All Publishers Attending Affiliate Summit West

In January the eBay Partner Network Team will be heading to Las Vegas to attend Affiliate Summit West at Caesar’s Palace. This is a big event for the affiliate industry and we know that many of you make a point to attend each year. We’d like the opportunity to sit down with a few of you and shoot some video of your experiences at ePN and with affiliate marketing in general.

You may have seen our Publisher Stories series that we launched a few months back. To date, they’ve been written by publishers as blog posts in their own words. Over the coming months we’d like to try some out as video pieces. While we were at BlogWorld Los Angeles we filmed a couple of publishers to get a sense of how this might work and we were pleased with the results. In fact, look for our first Publisher Story video next week featuring Jack Anthony.

If you’re a current ePN Publisher attending Affiliate Summit West and have interest in being featured, please leave a comment below with your name and a brief reply. And while it won’t be publicly displayed, we ask that you use a valid email address (preferably the one we’d have on file for you as a publisher) so that we can contact you. The interviews should only take 5-10 minutes and be pretty painless.

The team at ePN is really excited about capturing more of your stories. We hope you’ll reach out and connect with us at Affiliate Summit!

eBay Partner Network and R.O.EYE Nominated for Econsultancy Innovation Award

We were honored to learn of our shortlisted status alongside our partner agency, R.O.EYE, for the 2012 “Innovation in Affiliate Marketing” Award for Econsultancy UK.

From the Econsultancy Blog:

“Econsultancy’s annual Innovation Awards shines a light on the finest creative thinking across the digital industry. This year more than 450 companies entered the awards, so we’ve been rather busy this past month or so. After some intense reading we have shortlisted around 150 companies, across 19 categories.”

The complete shortlist of nominees for this award is as follows:

Innovation in Affiliate Marketing

  • Commission Junction
  • Debenhams, Affiliate Window, Affilinet
  • Performance Horizon Group Ltd
  • R.O.EYE and eBay Partner Network
  • Ve Interactive Ltd

You can see the complete list of categories and nominees on Econsultancy’s UK Blog. We’re excited to have been considered and we’ll look forward to the awards show in London at the Park Lane Hotel on February 23, 2012.

Woo hoo!

ePN TV: Julia Barrett Talks Goats and ePN Mobile

We try to keep things interesting when brainstorming concepts for ePN TV. This week would certainly fall into that category. Would you believe that our own Julia Barrett managed to tie her search for the perfect stuffed goat head to the continuous expansion of ePN’s mobile program? Believe it.

“Just as I normally do in any kind of antiques store, I immediately thought ‘I can probably find this goat head, if not a better goat head, on eBay and I bet you it will be half the price’.” Barrett continues, “My challenge to you, the developer community, is to help buyers like me connect with sellers – sellers of goat heads. Help me as a buyer find that goat head and help grandma list that goat head that’s in her garage.”

We understand that ePN Mobile was announced several months back, but we wanted to keep the subject fresh in your mind as you ponder your killer app. Julia’s goat head recommendation engine is only one idea in a sea of thousands that could add real value to the eBay shopping experience.

What will you dream up?

Publisher Stories: Lance Schafer of LemonFree

In continuing our Publisher Stories series this month we're excited to welcome LemonFree to the blog. We want to thank Lance Schafer and his team for sharing their story with us.

I love cars, but my real passion lies in the car-buying experience. Before I started LemonFree.com, I was constantly hearing stories about terrible buying experiences. I knew that I could do something to change this process for the better.

Even today, my motivation lies in trying to find ways to make the consumer car experience more positive.  We do this by taking a look at all the possible variables that go into the transaction, and then analyzing and looking for trends.  From there, our goal is to be able to predict and guide the auto consumer into a transaction that would have the best possible outcome. Changing the story is what drives me.

Back in 2006, we were a bunch of Internet Marketers for hire.  We had a dream that we could use all the advice that we’d given to others to create our own web site that we could heap all of our focus and energy on.  We decided on the auto market because, to us, it was an area that was about to radically transform, and we wanted to be there to help shape that transformation. When we started LemonFree.com, we could only spend a little bit of time on it as it didn't make nearly enough money to pay the bills.  Over time, with the help of eBay Partner Network, we were able to transform it from a part time gig to a full-blown organization with a dozen committed team members!

LemonFree.com has opened more doors than I thought imaginable.  It has given our company a unified sense of purpose and allowed us to grow and expand in so many ways.  Outside of our team, I have met and partnered with so many amazing companies and people. In fact, our business was recently recognized by Ernst and Young as a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year.

When we started our business back in 2006, no one was interested in working with some small-time players from Winnipeg – except for eBay Partner Network. ePN was the first partner that was willing to give us a chance. That belief in our business provided the initial boost we needed to get the ball rolling (and boy did it roll!).  Now, five years later, we are one of the top automotive marketplaces on the internet.  Almost 50 million car shoppers have used our site to find a car.  And even today, ePN remains one of our most important partners. I wonder sometimes, if LemonFree.com could have made it if it wasn't for our early efforts with eBay Partner Network and the opportunity it provided to help keep going in those first couple of lean years.

-Lance Schafer

Cyber Monday Mobile Shopping Data

Now that the holiday shopping frenzy is at full-throttle, we thought it might be helpful to provide some data on what some of the hottest trends and sale items on eBay were for Cyber Monday. Our friend Richard Brewer-Hay over at eBay Ink shared some of the highlights in a post yesterday. Some things that stuck out to me included:

eBay Mobile

  • Shoppers in the U.S. spent two and a half times more via eBay Mobile this Cyber Monday than last year

The five most popular categories shopped via eBay Mobile, excluding vehicles (by GMV)

1. Clothing, Shoes & Accessories 2. Computers & Networking 3. Jewelry & Watches 4. Collectibles 5. Sporting Goods

The five most popular categories shopped via eBay Mobile, excluding vehicles (by sold items)

1. Clothing, Shoes & Accessories 2. Collectibles 3. Jewelry & Watches 4. Cell Phones & PDAs 5. Toys & Hobbies

The top items purchased via eBay Mobile in specific categories were:

Fashion:

1. Toms Classic Shoes 2. UGG Australia Classic Short Shoes 3. Converse All Star Chuck Taylor Shoes

Electronics:

1. iPhone Accessories 2. NetGear WNDR3300 270 Wireless N Router 3. Apple iPhone 4 – 16GB

Toys & Hobbies:

1. Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow Kit 2. Black Wolf Twin Propeller 2-Channel Remote Control Helicopter 3. Mattel Cruncher Prehistoric Pets Interactive Dinosaur

You can get more data and insight by visiting http://www.eBayInc.com/holidaymedia

We hope that you're seeing a nice uptick in revenue as the holiday season continue to pick up the pace. Understanding what consumers are shopping for and how they're completing those transactions can help you to make small tweaks to what you're promoting and how you promote it. We hope you find this helpful.

If you've noticed any particular trends or have insight you'd like to share, please leave us a comment below.