The media network’s reach spans eBay owned-and-operated properties like the PayPal app, barcode-scanning app RedLaser, which eBay acquired in 2010, the Milo shopping app and desktop reach across Marketplaces, Shopping.com and third-party merchant sites.
“The ability to tie identity across multiple channels is still a big problem no one has fully solved and that’s a general vision for where we’re headed,” Chang said. “In order to pull that off, you need data. You need reach. You need merchants to sign on board and technology partners in the ecosystem to play nicely with you.”
Chang said one area of focus for PayPal Media Network this year is enabling merchant partners to drive commerce on their own properties. He referenced a product that has yet to launch, but “if you think about the typical consumer experience, there is the time you spend on third-party sites like Pandora, Facebook or Accuweather.com, the time spent on an eBay owned-and-operated property and then the time spent on a specific merchant’s site, apps or emails, which is still relatively untouched inventory.”
Developing metrics will evolve to discover the ideal reach frequency and media mix such that marketers can determine sales revenue and better attribute by channel, said Ben Kneen, head of product strategy for PayPal Media Network. But there’s still a problem around unifying solutions from different vendors: “If I’m a marketer and I look at how I touch my consumers, I’m probably using a variety of partners and a lot of different systems that in no way speak to each other,” Kneen said.
Factoring in-store or mobile into the online equation is also altering the way publishers price and model their inventory.
“I think you’re starting to see people sell not only on an impression basis,” Kneen said. “I think Facebook’s really sort of led that in a lot of ways, where they sell their news feed on an engagement basis [or a vendor like] PlaceIQ … which has sort of a qualitative metric of connecting a digital experience with an in-store experience.”