Shopping.com has rebranded itself from a shopping comparison engine to an eCommerce advertising platform that will be known as the eBay Commerce Network (ECN). Advertisers with eCommerce websites will be able to create product listing ads, similar to what Google released last year with Product Listing Ads via Google Shopping.
The eBay Commerce Network says that merchants who advertise on their network can have their product listing ads available to hundreds of sites within the ECN network with one feed. ECN partners include Bing, CNET, TheFind, eBags, eBay and Shopping.com and other comparison shopping engines.
We recently reported new product listing ad formats on the Bing.com search engine results page, which may be attributed to this announcement of the eBay Commerce Network.
There are no set up fees charged by ECN to participate and marketers will be charged in a cost-per-click (CPC) model. In addition, advertisers will have an online dashboard to monitor product listing ads as well as retail pricing.
The new eBay advertising platform is expected to be a strong competitor against Amazon and Google Shopping.
Bing Ads is currently Beta testing product ads on its advertising network. With product ads, advertisers can promote their product inventory through product datafeeds for freshness, automation and scale. These ad formats typically include a square image of the product, the product’s name, price and a link to directly take searchers to the product page.
Product ads allow searchers to see the actual product before clicking through an advertiser’s website and also facilitate price comparison shopping since the product price is included within the paid search ad format.
Late last year Google introduced its version of product ads via Google Shopping and product listing ads. Advertisers who have implemented product listing ads have seen great results with this ad format.
Bing representatives say that product ads will be available to all advertisers this summer.
Below is a screen shot of some product ads on Bing.com.
In mid-October, Google transitioned its free, organic links of Google Merchant to a paid model called Google Shopping via Product Listing Ads. Google has just announced that it plans to release the same commercial model internationally to the following countries: the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, Australia and Switzerland.
The search engine says that it will be a gradual transition in order for merchants to optimize their campaigns and the first major change will be on February 3, 2013. At this time, Google will release cleaner results for shopping queries in addition to some of the new commercial formats on Google.com that appear like square units. These new results will replace current search results and will be labeled as “Sponsored” and appear in the space that is currently paid search ads. Google expects the international transition to be complete by the end of the second quarter in 2013.
Google’s ultimate goal for the Shopping transition is to create a better shopping experience so that users will find products in one place and are able to compare features and pricing and read merchant reviews easily. Google believes that a paid model for merchants allows better, more relevant product data which will lead to a better experience for shoppers.