LONDON: eBay has successfully changed UK consumers’ opinion that the online auction site is simply a place to sell second-hand goods, with increased investment in radio advertising and partnerships.

Around 80% of everything bought on the site is new, according to Gareth Jones, UK marketing director at eBay.

“What we’ve got to do is a job of busting some of those legacy myths that eBay is the destination for just your second-hand stuff, the stuff you might want to declutter from your garage or loft,” he told the recent Radiocentre Tuning In conference.

One of ways it has done that is with a radical redistribution of its spending. (For more, read WARC’s report: Why eBay invests in radio.)

“A couple of years ago, 90% of what we spent in the UK would have been digital, transactional, direct response type of investment,” Jones explained.

“We’re pretty good at that: today maybe a quarter of a billion products will be surfaced through Google PLAs (product listing ads) in the UK auction, 50 million impressions will have been surfaced through Facebook retargeting – we do our own PLM (product lifecycle management) algorithmic recommendation engines which present relevant inventory in news feeds; and this week [we’ll have sent] 200 million emails, 140 million of those individually unique.”

But all that investment is about driving short-term quarterly performance. “Intuitively, we knew we had to invest in traditional channels to build brand saliency and get people thinking differently about eBay.”

So over two years that 90% figure has dropped to 65%, as the brand has shifted the dial towards radio – a 600% increase – as a result of a research programme that delivered the evidence to justify scaling spend there.

A synthetic control test revealed that not only was radio a strong amplifier of the TV message – “it had a very significant multiplier impact on ROI” – it also inspired confidence among would-be buyers.

“Just being on radio had a very significant impact in terms of people’s view of eBay as a trusted place to shop,” Jones reported. “They were more reassured in terms of pressing the ‘buy’ button. And that was nothing to do with the creative.”

eBay is now among the top ten advertisers on radio in the UK.

Sourced from WARC