Ebay is a creative online platform that allows users from around the world to search, bid, buy and sell almost anything they register. Available in over 20 countries including Australia, India and Germany, it generates widespread use from millions of users, communicating and sharing information from any side of the globe. eBay was established in 1995 and from the very beginning it was intented to be an online market place for the sale of goods and services. This was around the same time the World Wide Web was commercialised, as most public traded companies realised that a public web presence was no longer sustainable ( 2009).

For many companies advertising on eBay is extremely successful. The opportunity for companies to reach millions of viewers with one click of the mouse, while specifically targeting the right consumers, can significantly minimise campaign wastage and generate a growing audience for their specific brand or product. More than 6 million Australians use eBay to purchase products, with the majority sold at fixed price rather than auction pricing (MediaCentre News Nov, 2011.)

As eBay is a form of social media, users must register their personal details with the site, including email, phone number, age, sex, name, home address and social status. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and eBay are growing rapidly and represent an enourmous potential market for advertising. Interactive widgets and media including quizzes, photos, videos and links to other pages allows for advertsing content to be a highly influencing and stimulating advertising experience that is proven to yield a higher ROI (return on invesment) propensity (Infinitytechnologies, 2011). This is supported and articulated in the video embedded below.

Elements that generate advertisments on eBay include Word of Mouth, user generated content and advocacy. Allowing users to participate, comment and share content passes on specific topics and marketing. Advertising companies purchase from eBay and other social media sites registered user information which they then use to target specific markets and customers, therefore generating a wider audience.

The growing number of Australians using the Internet for online shopping has grown signifigantly within the past 5 – 8 years with IBISWorld expecting this to continue in 2012, forecasting a growth of 10.2% to reach revenue of $10.4 billion – representing about 5% of the total retail sector (Mike, March 5, 2012). Australian consumers have become more comfortable with online shopping as more retailers and reliable brands launch an online store.

eBay has become such a huge part of the retail sector that many companies are selling themselves on eBay. For example, Beanie Babes, Pez Dispensers and other troubled Web based companies listed their companies for sale on eBay (Kessler, M 2007). Businesses are usually sold by investment bankers, yet eBay’s fast and simple mechansims, combined with cheap deals are an easy way for companies who aren’t making money to sell it reasonably quickly and make a profit, with minimal complications. eBay offers not just advertising companies, but users to become the advertiser, reaching an audience of millions while only paying a few dollars in fees. Creating an eBay account which remembers previous online shopping and bidding encounters allows users to rate a seller with stars and a percentage. This can also interest new buyers as their online selling credentials are recorded. Usually the higher the rating the more popular the seller, therefore advertising companies can easily target new visitors to the sellers page, therefore generating a wider audience for the seller, almost for free.

Melbourne has recently been adorned with an eBay office to support its growing online display advertising business, attracting more than 80 new Melbourne based advertisers in the past twelve months. The businesses have seen the popularity in online shopping and are taking advantage of the “very targeted advertsing opportunities for companies looking to display ads infront of the right people” (Odgers. D, June 2012). For example Nike might advertise on a catorgory page for running shoes, or Canon the photographic company on a camera page. The online data eBay stores is an advantage many advertising companies leverage when focusing on a particular target market and/or niche.

Society at a large has become accustomed with technology as part of their day to day life. Smartphones, laptops and tablets are increasingly used for purposes and daily activities such as shopping, reading, note taking, communicating, even cooking and driving. Consumers can now shop online anywhere and any time and purchasing goods can be as simple as clicking a few buttons. This instantaneous and relatively simple action has created an online e-commerce world which is benefiting users and companies which rely on Internet based advertising.


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