Internet auction giant eBay (EBAY) recently announced plans to begin sharing the browsing habits of its customers with third-party advertisers. The move follows similar strategies of other online companies such as Google (GOOG), Amazon (AMZN) and Facebook (FB). EBay traditionally used its proprietary user data to help grow its eBay Marketplaces business and promote products from various merchants to users who had shown interest in similar items on its website.
“We’re now commercializing that capability for the benefit of other marketers who want to reach shoppers,” said eBay’s head of digital display in North America, Stephen Howard-Sarin, at the Programmatic I/O conference, according to AdWeek. “That’s something new this year.”
Marketers won’t have full control of your data, but eBay itself will sell the targeted advertisements to companies interested in reaching a specific audience.
“If you’re an agency and it complicates your life because we’ve got a unique pool of data that you don’t have, tough. It would be shortsighted of us to give [that data] away,” Howard-Sarin said, adding that eBay’s user data won’t be pooled together with other media-buying platforms such as the ones operated by Google and Amazon.
“My team does the buying on behalf of eBay as well as on behalf of all third-party marketers,” he concluded. “We don’t bid against each other.”