Aquacadabra is a specialist retailer of high-quality aquatic and pond goods specialising in tropical, coldwater and marines.
The Dartford-based seller has been an eBay member since 2003 and has an impressive 99.8% positive eBay feedback score.
Although a top-rated business seller, Aquacadabra trades in a category that operates on modest profit margins and, as such, had not previously used eBay’s advertising tools to drive sales velocity. Instead, Aquacadabra has relied on fast and free postage, multibuy offers and optimising the quality of each listing to build its business on eBay.
Encouraged by the simple proposition of eBay’s most popular advertising product, Promoted Listings Standard (where a seller only pays a fee if a buyer clicks on their ad and goes on to buy the promoted product), Aquacadabra was keen to test advertising on eBay to determine if it could drive sales velocity.
Following a successful trial of Promoted Listings Standard, Aquacadabra was keen to target the top slot in search and have greater control over their keywords, prompting the seller to include Promoted Listings AdvancedBETA in their campaign mix.
Aquacadabra had two aims for this campaign:
- Use Promoted Listings Standard to increase exposure and sell-through across a broad range of its top-selling items.
- Use Promoted Listings AdvancedBETA to secure the top search position for best-selling products, as well as seasonal items that had a defined shopping window.
Keywords were strategically chosen to match buyer shopping trends and frequently revised to capture real-time consumer behaviours.
Both campaign types (Promoted Listings Standard and Promoted Listings AdvancedBETA) were run concurrently for a two month period.
The seller continued to monitor the performance of both the Promoted Listings Standard and the Promoted Listings AdvancedBETA campaigns, adjusting the ad rate to optimise sales velocities and adding new products to the campaigns where relevant.
Benchmarks for the study were conducted using the two-month period immediately before the combination of Promoted Listings Standard and Promoted Listings AdvancedBETA were applied. During the benchmark period, Aquacadabra was running only Promoted Listings Standard campaigns.
The addition of Promoted Listings AdvancedBETA led to a trebling of impressions (up 208%), mirrored by a threefold increase in sales velocity (up 194%). Clicks on the seller’s promoted listings grew by 137%.1
increase in impressions
increase in sales velocity
increase in clicks on promoted listings
Conscious that sales may have also been influenced by seasonality (as pond and aquarium shoppers, in particular, stepped up their shopping behaviours as we entered spring), Aquacadabra extended their dual Promoted Listings Standard and Promoted Listings AdvancedBETA campaigns for a further two months and witnessed a further doubling of impressions and clicks compared to the initial campaign period, and a 154% increase in sales velocity.1
“As a business, we have to be so careful with any form of marketing which erodes our modest margins. For this reason, I was always reticent to use paid-for advertising to promote our product lines.
However, the unique solution of Promoted Listings Standard was appealing, but I understood that the best investment I could make was not the budget but time – in order to fully understand the advertising products and how I could best make them work for my business.
I would advise other eBay sellers keen to grow their business to try these ad products but be prepared to test and learn over a period of time – working out what ad product works best for each item.”
– Peter Amos, founder of Aquacadabra
- Source: 1. eBay data; May 2022; For the comparison of impressions, clicks and sales velocity (GMB), the pre-Promoted Listings AdvancedBETA campaign period is defined as 01 Jan 2022 – 01 Mar 2022 and the post-Promoted Listings AdvancedBETA period is from 02 Mar 2022 to 02 May 2022.