EBay notified merchants and publishers Tuesday that it will be closing down its third-party ad network, the eBay Commerce Network (ECN), as of May 1.
Why you should care
After five years, ECN will shut down as eBay says it is turning attention to advertising solutions for the core marketplace. “As a result, we are focusing on business that complements our core marketplace and discontinuing eBay Commerce Network effective May 1st, 2019,” the company said in a statement.
“For the health of the core marketplace, eBay is making a concerted effort to shift its reliance from third-party advertising to first-party advertising,” it added.
In lieu of ECN ads, merchants on eBay are encouraged to consider promoted listings, ads that appear at the top of search and product pages, and other premium ad formats on the eBay marketplace. An alternative for publishers is the the eBay Partner Network, an affiliate proposition in which content creators share links to eBay listings and get paid when they generate sales.
More on the news
- Ads will stop serving May 1. Publishers should remove ECN tags from their sites, and merchants should pay any outstanding invoices and turn off their feeds after May 1.
- Publisher and merchant accounts will be accessible until June 28. Be sure to download any reporting before that date.
- The company reported nearly 150% revenue growth in promoted listings, with 600 thousand active sellers promoting 200 million listings in Q4 2018.
- ECN came out of eBay’s acquisition of comparison shopping site Shopping.com in 2005. The company rebranded and re-posititioned Shopping.com to ECN in 2013 as a commerce ad network. Shopping.com continued as a site within the network of publishers. Merchants could advertise across ECN with a product feed in the U.S. and international markets. ECN launched with several hundred publishers with a goal of scaling the network. It remained relatively small with some 1,000 merchants and advertisers each currently using it. It’s not clear what eBay will now do with the Shopping.com domain.