eBay are to change the way that eBay Promoted Listing work. The fixed positions in search (1st, 4th and 5th) will go as will the annoying duplication of an Organic search result appearing just below a Promoted result for the same listing.
Removal of duplicated promoted and organic listings in search
Having or creating a duplicate listing is against eBay policy. As announced in Autumn 2018, eBay have been actively removing duplicate listings from the site and reducing visibility for sellers with duplicate listings. Later this year, they will do the same with duplicate promoted and organic (non-promoted) listings in search results so that only one listing will display.
Previously, a promoted listing would appear in the same set of search results as the same organic version of the listing. Because buyers will no longer see both your promoted and organic listings in the same set of search results, eBay say that they will have cleaner, more relevant search experiences.
Search results will be based on factors such as relevance, listing quality and item price, and either your promoted or organic listing may be selected to appear. Regardless of which listing is selected to appear in search results, your organic and promoted listings are still eligible to appear across available placements on eBay UK and other eBay sites. If you choose to stop promoting a listing, the organic version of your listing will remain eligible to appear in search results.
The question to which the answer is not immediately clear is which version of your listing is more likely to appear in search results – the Organic listing or the Promoted Listing. We would hope that if previously your Promoted Listing was in the 1st search results position and your Organic listing was in 2nd place that it is your Organic listing which will win out. However this will be hard to measure as in addition to hiding duplicated Organic and Promoted listings, eBay are also to change the display order.
Increased visibility for Promoted Listings in search results
In what eBay describe as an ongoing effort to optimise visibility of eBay Promoted Listings, they are shifting to dynamic ranking at the top of buyers’ search results. Later this year, a mixture of organic and promoted listings will be eligible to appear in the top search rankings.
This is designed to increase the exposure of promoted listings and help balance visibility for both promoted and organic, non-promoted listings, depending on their relevance to a buyer’s search and quality of a seller’s listing. We will select which listing to display, based on factors such as relevance, listing quality and item price. The algorithms powering Best Match continue to evolve so that they show potential buyers the listing which truly is a “best match” for their search and is most likely to sell.
Translating this “increased the exposure” can be taken to mean “more promoted listings will be displayed” and a consequence of this is likely to be “if you don’t pay for promotion other listings may take your place”.
eBay Promoted Listings tools
eBay are providing enhancements for Promote your listings on the Active Listings tab of Seller Hub. There are clearer options for you to filter to see which of your listings are being promoted, or are eligible for you to promote. There is also a column on the Active Listings tab for Promote your listings, which can help you manage your Promote your listings activity at a glance.
eBay are also tweaking the relist flow and the Bulk Edit feature and the experience when you relist items. When you make edits in bulk, including relisting, editing active listings or selling similar items, your Promote your listings status is clearer, plus you can filter your bulk relisted items by this status.
What we’d like to see in addition are more robust reporting tools detailing which promoted listings are converting best, how a promoted listing is appearing in search results in comparison to organic search results and when a best offer is received whether the listing clicked upon was a promoted listing or an organic listing.
eBay have expressed a desire to turn eBay Promoted Listings into a $1 billion revenue stream, roughly 1% of GMV. For sellers to be willing to commit to this spend they deserve robust reporting in order to decide which of their listings to promote and at what percentage. It’s not enough to be told recommended bid amounts based on competitors – serious businesses will want to know the effect of increasing or decreasing their bid percentage to maximise on the opportunity.