eBay Keeps Its Affiliates In Context
Affiliates with online marketplace eBay feed the site visitors, and the people they pass along who register and buy on eBay add up to profits for the website and for the affiliates too.
It isn’t a secret why the top affiliates do well in the eBay Affiliate program. Lily Shen, senior manager for the program, said the ones who fare best are the ones who work hard.
Those who do a lot of testing, optimizing, and targeting of their efforts have been successful. The hard work keeps them ahead of others and allows them to capitalize on trends.
This holiday season, the biggest trend involves console gaming. Both Sony and Nintendo released their next-generation gaming machines in November, and the nimblest affiliates worked to keep their sites in front of potential visitors.
Through the year, Shen said she has observed that affiliates with a focus on fashion have done really well, particularly on the revenue side. Affiliates earn commissions on revenue from sales originating from their sites and ads, and from new active user referrals.
There is an area where affiliates may find more room for profit. I asked which area of eBay might be underutilized by affiliates, and Shen told me eBay Motors. Parts and accessories offer an opportunity that may be overlooked.
The success eBay has enjoyed has not kept them from looking for ways to improve it. A beta text of contextual listing delivery to websites, called eBay AdContext.
This test has been available by invitation to some eBay affiliates. It differs from the conventional affiliate program in that it automates the process that places listings on a webmaster’s site. Current affiliates use an editor’s kit to manually select the type of ads to be displayed; AdContext automates this.
Shen said the AdContext service should be generally available sometime in the first half of 2007.
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.