← Return to Blog

eBay’s new programmatic targeting system ahead of cookie changes

eBay’s advertising has taken a leap in preparing for a digital media landscape without third-party cookies with the launch of ‘eBay Advanced Audience Technology’; an audience-targeting product based on its own shopper data and user profiles. The online marketplace will continue to sell ads programmatically in the conventional way, in which demand-side platforms and supply-side platforms auction inventory to advertisers, which may either run their campaigns directly or via media agencies.

All Response Media viewpoint

Google announced in January that it would phase out the use of third-party cookies on its Chrome browser by 2022. Chrome has a global market share of about 65%; Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox have already made similar plans, so, it is time for other media owners and suppliers to adapt to this pivotal change in the digital advertising space.

eBay seems to be paving the way in finding alternative solutions which are more focused around first-party data with a lot of unknowns around third-party cookies, it does seem that the likes of eBay are prioritising their own self-serve platforms.

Advertisers have used third-party tracking cookies for the last 25 years to track consumer behaviour. But for our clients, what other options do they have once these changes come into effect?

  • An option to consider for some advertisers is keyword contextual-based We have moved further away from keyword targeting in recent years, but some advertisers may have to revert to this in the short term.
  • People-based targeting, which relies on a unique identifier that is related to the user, not the device. People being logged in facilitates this, therefore the likes of eBay have this data at scale. Data is gathered by logged in users, but they can only be targeting across that ecosystem and cannot be shared externally due to GDPR. On another note, the Google Display Network has the advantage here as the user is most likely logged in and this has high reach, a possible explanation as to why Google is keen to see third party cookies gone.
  • Also, first-party data will be key in the absence of third-party cookies. Tech giants such as Google, Facebook, and now eBay have an advantage here as they have the volumes of rich customer data and the ability to scale which could provide an advertiser with an opportunity to prospect using first part data.

It is interesting to hear the alternative strategies from tech giants as it’s going to be all about exploring new technologies, innovation, and striking a balance between profit and privacy choices to avoid consumer backlash.

For more information on the digital services we offer click here.