Don’t Leave Money On The Table: Focus on Mobile


It’s no surprise that smartphone use has been rapidly climbing over the past few years, with about a quarter of the global population now owning at least one mobile device (source). And mobile ecommerce is following the same trajectory, with 22 percent of web traffic and 18 percent of ecommerce sales now delivered through mobile devices (source).

So how can affiliate marketers tap into this growing market? By developing a mobile strategy that enables you to deliver a seamless experience across any device, you’ll be more likely to increase reach and conversions, thus increasing your affiliate earnings. Here are a few top ways to appeal to on-the-go shoppers.

Partner with a leader in mobile commerce

With more than $22 billion in mobile commerce volume in 2013, eBay delivers great experiences anywhere, anytime. In fact, users accessed listings via mobile devices in 40 percent of gross merchandise volume in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Many of our partners understand the value of mobile – in fact, 22 percent of respondents to our recent survey indicated that mobile was the single most important factor in their 2014 growth strategy. Many of our publishers have sites that appeal to Fashion, Tech, Collectibles or Motors enthusiasts, which is good news for mobile initiatives: these eBay categories have been proven to perform the best via mobile.  If you’re not yet looking into capturing additional revenue from mobile users, there’s no better time to start than now.

Deliver a mobile web experience

Mobile devices continue to see increased click-through rates, so once your audience arrives at your destination, make sure you’re offering them a welcoming experience. The good news is that according to our mobile survey, 57 percent of ePN publishers have already taken steps toward capturing mobile affiliate sales by creating a mobile-optimized site, and 29 percent of those without a mobile site plan to implement a solution within the next six months.

Determine which solution will work best for you and your visitors by weighing the options: a dedicated mobile site or a responsive overall site design. A dedicated mobile site is essentially a copy of your website, which delivers an optimized page and navigation that’s fit for mobile devices. This option creates a unique experience for mobile users, and can be more cost effective and easier to implement. On the other hand, responsive design is more flexible and adaptive, automatically adjusting displays based on mobile specs. It also doesn’t require you to introduce an additional domain.

Implement ePN tools

There are several ways you can capture additional revenue by directing your mobile visitors to eBay, with the help of ePN tools. Based on our survey, text links are the most commonly used, with more than half (51%) of mobile strategies deploying this tool. Other popular methods include using the product feed (33%), HTML custom banners (27%) or the API (23%) – or all of these tools (15%) for a comprehensive mix.

Analyze your results

By using the information in the Transaction Download Report, you can see how your efforts are paying off as you focus on driving more mobile traffic to eBay. You can filter the Transaction Download Report to show your level of mobile traffic, enabling you to evaluate which campaigns are driving the most mobile revenue. This data can help you further refine and optimize your ePN campaigns.

As technology, mobile ecommerce and the affiliate marketing industry continue to evolve, tuned-in marketers taking advantage of mobile capabilities will be able to find even more opportunities to drive traffic and increase earnings. Stay tuned for more info on ePN mobile opportunities, and let us know what you’re doing to capture this additional revenue stream in the comments below.

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  • Jules Standen

    Below you can see how your new system is working for me from October 1st. The income has detached itself from mirroring clicks and has fallen. This is only happening on mobile. I have a fully mobile responsive site. Can you explain this? I also experimented with sending clicks to your “hybrid landing page’ but its not mobile responsive. I have several questions in with my account manager about EPN mobile that still remain unanswered by your tech team. So this begs the question is EPN itself ready for mobile? Additionally, apart from suggesting we stare at spread sheets, the assistance we were promised to help maximise earnings (how to attract new buyers) under the new system hasn’t materialised.

  • Jules Standen

    I am told the decrease in income from mobile displayed above is down to the one day cookie implimentaion, What a shame for mobile optimisation to be encouraged by EPN but when implemented, for it to suffer badly from the new pay out rules.

    Further regarding mobile traffic:

    How can EPN publishers get fairly credited for items that are discovered for sale on EPN publisher’s mobile pages and but are then subsequently purchased via another device?

    EPN should at the very least be capable of associating “first click” events made via mobile EPN partner’s sites by auto logged in eBay members who return to purchase on another device and then fairly rewarding the EPN publisher that ‘first click’ if the item is subsequently purchased.

    For publishers, mobile EPN can be akin to running a store that has no cash register for half the day. Goods are looked at, many are purchased later but not purchased via mobile. eBay benefits from the promo and first click but EPN publishers that first alerted the purchaser to the items, don’t.

    It’s a given that for high price ticket items buyers may prefer to conclude a transaction on a large screen, desktop device rather than juggle credit cards on their lap and enter info via a mobile handsets small screen in a public or less private environment. How is this phenomenon taken into consideration by EPN?

    What steps forward can eBay make to recognise this cross-device income loss and reward EPN affiliates fairly for this very important ‘first click’ phase of the customers journey?


  • D Jones

    What is the current plan to enable EPN affiliates the ability to promote eBay through mobile apps? As your data suggest, today’s buyers are most definitely going mobile….. And heavily through apps, not just the browser.

    The site says it’s in closed beta and I would assume is “touchy” similar to downloadable software is.

    We’re approved for downloadable and want to build out an extension for our existing app as well as some new ideas.

    1) Can we request to be included in the closed beta?
    2) What is the latest status on creating mobile apps for EPN?



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