strategic shift, eBay India, one of the leading e-commerce sites in India, has opened up its website to graphical ads from advertisers. The online auction and shopping site is based on a commission model for products sold on the site, but attracts 2.5 million unique visitors and 30 million page views per month. Through display advertising and sponsorships, eBay India is opening up a whole new revenue stream.
Rathin Lahiri, chief marketing officer, eBay India, says, "An important trend on the Internet is that people are adopting online shopping and also doing online search for product information. Thus, we are offering brands an opportunity to reach out to customers who are actively looking for such information."
In addition, eBay is launching online coupons that can redeemed on the site. "This is not just a communication platform, but a trial generation platform," says Lahiri. He adds that advertisers can also use coupons to see how their product is received by analysing the response rates.
The company is working with digital agencies Interactive Avenues and Quasar for online sales, as well as their own sales team. Internationally, eBay has a partnership with Yahoo! to sell its display ads. In India, there is no such exclusive deal as yet.
Lahiri says, "We are examining our options. By the end of the year, we will have worked this out, but we would like a partner who has the same core competency." He adds that there is no deal with Yahoo! India as of now.
As 70 per cent of eBay India's transactions are from fixed price sales instead of auctions, the company is placed in the highly competitive market of online shopping stores - not leaving much room for the auction based revenue model on which it has built its international success. The introduction of advertising on the site opens up an additional revenue stream for the company.