4 retail media takeaways from eBay Ads’ holiday guide

Retail media ads are an important way to boost marketplace spend, but how brands go about advertising requires strategy. When setting up your retail media approach this holiday season, consider which products sell when, what kinds of ads drive conversions, and the importance of discovery in retail media.

1. Marketplaces will be a major player this holiday season

The data: 71% of US consumers begin their holiday shopping on online marketplaces, according to eBay Ads.

  • We project overall US marketplace ecommerce sales will grow by 10.2% this year, for a total of $384.57 billion.
  • Marketplaces will account for 33.5% of total US retail ecommerce sales this year, and we forecast that share to grow.
  • The biggest marketplace in terms of sales is Amazon (by a longshot), but eBay, Etsy, and Walmart are also important to the landscape.

The takeaway: Marketplaces are important for both discovery and conversion during the holiday season. That means well-placed ads on Amazon, eBay, and other marketplaces could help drive sales.

2. Apparel and decor start selling earlier than consumer electronics

The data: Increased searches for sweatshirts and blankets start in the first week of October and stop around the end of December, according to eBay Ads.

  • Remote-controlled toys searches tick up around November 13, followed by headphones around November 20, and video games around December 4.
  • Apparel and accessories will make up 21.5% of US holiday retail ecommerce sales share this year, while computer and consumer electronics will make up 18.2%, according to our forecast. Both stats are more or less in line with last year’s shares.

The takeaway: When strategizing holiday ads and deals, keep in mind when people are buying different products to maximize return.

3. Retail media ads drive discovery

The data: 81% of eBay consumers are likely to click on promoted listings to learn more, and 39% said ads can sway their purchasing decisions, according to eBay ads.

The takeaway: Retail media ads don’t just drive bottom-of-funnel conversions—they’re important for product discovery as well.

4. Deals drive conversions

The data: According to eBay ads, 46% of late-in-season shoppers are hoping for last-minute deals.

  • More than half (53%) of shoppers said value is a priority when shopping for gifts.
  • Consumers are more likely to purchase from ads featuring sales than other retail media ads, according to Integral Ad Science.

The takeaway: Be thoughtful with retail media ad types. Sales ads will encourage people to buy, especially as the season wears on.


This was originally featured in the Retail Daily newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.

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