The eCommerce Brands Guide to eBay Promotions Manager

Even for the biggest eCommerce businesses keeping track of your entire eBay inventory can be a challenge. Tracking the individual promotions you're running on various products complicates things even further. Thankfully eBay Promotions Manager is here to smooth everything out for you.

What is eBay Promotions Manager?

eBay Promotions Manager lets brands set up edit and manage special offers from one interface. As part of a bigger business' eBay marketing strategy it's an incredibly handy tool for keeping track of large inventories running multiple offers at the same time.

It's also very popular. eBay estimates that 44% of listed transactions use at least one of the tools that make up Promotions Manager. In a hypercompetitive eCommerce marketplace a well-placed discount can make a world of difference.

Bear in mind that eBay Promotions Manager and My eBay Promoted Listings are very different things. Promoted Listings get bumped ahead in search. Promotions Manager is for applying discounts deals and special offers to any product listings not only promoted ones.

What are the benefits of eBay promotions?

Why use eBay Promotions Manager at all? Well there are a number of reasons why it's held in such high regard by eCommerce brands around the world. Promotions Manager is:

  • User-friendly; thousands of discounted products can be managed from one place
  • Free to set up and use it costs you nothing to start offering deals
  • Data-driven; you can clearly see which promotions are working best
  • Integrated with eBay and constantly updated with no third-party requirements
  • A proven sales driver; customers love feeling like they're getting a good deal

How do I set up eBay promotions?

You can find the most recently updated instructions for setting up and using Promotions Manager on the eBay site itself. Features are periodically updated or changed to help you improve the kind of service you're able to offer customers.

eBay Promotions Manager can be found in the marketing section of Seller Hub or the account section of My eBay if you don't use Seller Hub for whatever reason.

Items have to be listed in fixed-price format and have Buy It Now pricing in order to be eligible for promotions. Discounts are applied in the customer's basket not on the listing itself.

What types of eBay promotions are there?

Using eBay promotions manager you'll most often find yourself choosing from among five of the most common types of deals:

  • Order discounts
  • Codeless coupons
  • Shipping discounts
  • Sales events
  • Accessory discounts

Order discounts

Order discounts are much-loved by eBay sellers for their flexibility and simplicity. You're simply offering money off when people buy from you. That might take the form of a percentage off the price of any order a buy-one-get-one-free deal or discounts on orders over a certain value. Nice and straightforward.

To succeed with order discounts think about the psychology of your customer. Most will prefer a percentage off their order rather than a flat value. If not make sure you're not accidentally giving items away for free by being too generous.

Codeless coupons

eBay Promotions Manager lets you send customers links which when visited give them custom discounts that you create. Only people who have the link can take advantage of the offer so it's a good strategy to weave into your social media and email marketing.

With codeless coupons you can control the length of an offer and how many customers get access to the coupon. Think about how you're going to balance the size of the deal with the number of people able to enjoy it.

Shipping discounts

Shipping costs can be a sore point for some ecommerce customers. eBay Promotions Manager lets you put their minds at ease by offering reduced or even free shipping. Usually this promotion gets applied on orders above a certain quantity or cash amount. Of course you could simply offer free shipping on all orders for a short period to drum up business fast.

A good tactic is to set the threshold for reduced shipping slightly above your business' average order value. That incentivizes customers to throw one or two extra items in their baskets to qualify for the deal. Of course free shipping is what most customers want to see but make sure you can comfortably absorb the cost by selling more items in the long run.

Sales events

If you're looking for the old markdown manager from previous versions of eBay Promotions Manager you'll find it here now. Sales events let you set and advertise discounts on categories of products. Inclusion and exclusion rules let you pick the items you want to push or you can be extra careful and select individual products one at a time.

It's useful to remember that this filter in Promotions Manager won't exclude items within a category that you decide not to discount. Customers might potentially click '25% off selected books' and end up seeing a bunch of books that aren't actually discounted. To avoid disappointing them make sure at least 15% of items in the chosen category are eligible for money off.

Accessory discounts

Some products simply go better together. Using eBay Promotions Manager you can offer great deals on products related to what your customer is buying. For example: buy a laptop get money off headphones and a case if you purchase them all together.

Bear in mind items you offer to accompany the core sale need to have free shipping. They're intended to be bought as a bundle. Some related items might cost more to ship than the main item. To avoid this offer a selection of two or three related items and check they won't put you out of pocket in shipping costs.

3 tips to boost your eBay sales

Of course there's more to selling more on eBay than promotions alone. They're a powerful tool but they become even more potent when the rest of your business is operating efficiently. As with any digital marketplace strategy there are some tricks you can pull to gain an advantage.

Optimize your listings

Getting to the top of eBay's search results is the holy grail for eCommerce sellers. The platform rewards those who proactively play by the rules so do your homework. Find out how and why eBay listings are different from other platforms then plan a strategy specific to this marketplace.

Give customers more than a good deal

Driving more sales on eBay is impossible without loyal vocally happy customers. Give them the experience they crave which often goes beyond simply getting money off. A good customer service experience distinctive branding and easy returns are essential. Go out of your way to solicit feedback and see how you can improve what you do.

Trust the data

If the deals you're offering aren't getting the result you expect you need to know why. Start capturing as much data as you can manage now that way you'll have established baselines for later analysis. Something like our Digital Shelf tool can give you the right level of actionable insight.

Final thoughts

Making eBay Promotions Manager part of your day-to-day inventory management can ease a lot of headaches. For larger brands juggling hundreds or thousands of SKUs it lets you strike the balance between a comprehensive offering and the ability to give customers a great deal.

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