Ebay signs up Commission Junction for affiliate drive

Ebay, the world’s largest online auction company, is hoping to accelerate its international growth with the signing this week of a major affiliate marketing deal.

Ebay has teamed up with Commission Junction (e-volve March 22), which claims to be the leading player in online affiliate marketing. The deal means Ebay will be able to attract new users through commission-based partnerships with CJ’s network of websites.

Ebay signed a deal with US-based CJ last week, but has signed a separate non-US deal this week. The move is particularly significant for the UK, since this has quickly become CJ’s biggest market outside the US, well ahead of the rest of Europe.

Nicky Lapino, general manager of CJ UK & Ireland, says: “This will allow Ebay to increase its reach very quickly in the UK in a very controlled, low-cost and manageable way.”

The move is in keeping with Ebay’s low-profile marketing strategy. It has shown a preference for targeting communities as opposed to using big-budget offline advertising campaigns, although it has been an active user of banner ads.

The company’s decision to step up its affiliate marketing activity will be a big boost to those who claim this form of marketing is more appropriate in the online world than is straight advertising.

Ebay has just reported a sparkling set of results, showing net revenues of $154m (&£107m) in the first three months of this year and net profits of $21m (&£14.5m). It attracted more than 7 million new users.

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