From the heart: Connecting with eBay’s values-conscious shoppers

Millions of consumers shop online to find items that match their personal interests and beliefs. As brands increasingly make bold social and political statements, consumers are responding passionately with encouragement and long-lasting connections.

Nike is still measuring the effectiveness of choosing former NFL quarterback and social activist Colin Kaepernick as the face of its Just Do It campaign’s 30th anniversary. On eBay, the impact already shows—for example, in the first nine days of the campaign, average daily purchases of Kaepernick-related items soared nearly 600%.

These shoppers represent just a fraction of eBay’s values-conscious buyers. From environmentally sustainable products to secondhand furniture, these shoppers browse eBay for thousands of listings of socially-conscious items. Our tools can teach advertisers about the issues close to audiences’ hearts—and how these buyers might be more accessible to marketers than they think.

Values-Conscious Shoppers on eBay

Values-conscious shoppers, or shoppers who purchase from brands that support their personal values, are highly active across several product categories. For example, lifestyle audience segments like “Willing to Buy Secondhand,” make up as many as 70% of all purchases within categories like Music, Sports Memorabilia and Collectibles.

These shoppers heavily overlap with some brand loyalist segments, who buy more than once from a singular brand and are highly likely to repurchase. And values-conscious shoppers also intersect with eBay’s steadfast seller community, who make up to 20% more purchases on the site each year than the average buyer. In just the “Secondhand” shoppers segment alone, users are more than 500% likely than an average buyer to have their own online storefront.

Other values-oriented shoppers also congregate on eBay for Charity—  a portal that guides charitable shoppers to brand fundraising campaigns and donation pages that promote anything from small, local charities to high-profile celebrity auctions. On average, values-conscious buyers who visit the hub will browse it nearly 150 times in a year and spend up to $3,000 on purchases supporting brands and organizations they believe in. Just in 2017, the eBay community raised more than $80 million for more than 50,000 charities on the platform.

Use eBay Advertising Solutions to Reach Passionate Shoppers

It’s no surprise values-conscious shoppers are one of eBay’s most engaged communities. eBay’s Hariss Yousuf, head of the Client Insights & Analytics team, knows this firsthand. Yousuf keeps his ear to the ground for new and enduring consumer trends so he can help advertisers deliver effective messages to their audiences.

According to Yousuf, values-conscious buyers are easy to find among marketplace trends. Their behavior often explains sudden dips or surges in a brand’s sales, like those experienced by Nike.

“Once, an outdoor lifestyle brand decided to cut ties with a controversial group,” he recalls. “There was a group of people who valued that decision, and these people voted with their pocketbooks. On eBay, keyword searches for the brand’s items increased exponentially for a three-month period.”

Trending keyword searches cue Yousuf’s team to examine users’ shopping behavior. Using eBay’s proprietary first-party audience data, he and his team can determine who among the trending audience matches brand targets, and then work with advertisers to develop a campaign.

To increase accuracy, Yousuf tracks a shopper’s path to purchase to determine if items were bought through a brand’s own storefront or by browsing item pages. This allows brands to visualize a shopper’s exact journey and make a connection at the right moment. “We want to personalize the experience for brands and have them follow the shopping experience as a consumer would,” Yousuf says.

Trending behaviors are just one way Yousuf and the CIA team recognize the platform’s values-conscious shoppers. These shoppers also live within eBay’s Essential Audiences, hundreds of evergreen audience segments that help inform the CIA team what kinds of messages appeal most to buyers. From there, Yousuf develops custom segments.

“Because these shoppers tend to spend more time searching for items that support their values, we have more informed data to help us represent buyer needs to brands,” he explains. “Thus, brands will have more opportunities to strategically reach and influence values conscious shoppers within their purchase journey.”

Shoppers are increasingly using their purchases to personalize their experience and express themselves in alignment with their values. Whether buyers are new to a cause or have stood by their beliefs throughout their online shopping career, they know they can rely on eBay for support. Brands, too, can depend on eBay for help jumping in on these passions—and making genuine connections along the way.

Want to join the cause with your shoppers? Check out eBay’s Audience Buying Guide and contact our ad sales team today.