eBay plans to place targeted ads, using data its tracked from shoppers, in its mobile apps, the e-commerce site announced Thursday.
This means the company will sell ad spaces based on a consumers' shopping activity. Which ads users see are determined by what they've bought or browsed in the past. eBay said it tracks over 290 million hours of shopping each month and its apps get about 4.6 million daily visitors.
"Our ability to map real people throughout their entire shopping journey is invaluable," the company boasted on its new advertising page aimed at marketers. These ads, expected to launch toward the end of this year, won't be banner ads. Instead they will show up within a user's product feed.
This isn't the first time the San Jose, Calif.-based company has tried advertising on its mobile apps. eBay started tested a service in 2012 but decided the ads didn't make that much money and users didn't like how ads interfered with shopping. The company's competitor, Amazon, already runs an ad network. It will make less than $100 million on mobile ads this year, eMarketer estimates. eBay mainly makes money from sellers' transactions on its marketplace and through its payment service PayPal.
Companies are increasingly spending their advertising dollars on mobile ads. Worldwide, that spending will reach $32.71 billion this year, a 87 percent increase from 2013, according to eMarketer. This mirrors growth in the US, where marketers will spend an estimated $17.73 this year. For retailers, it's valuable to do advertising in channels where people are doing their shopping, like eBay.