Google, Facebook, and Amazon have all commercialized the data they possess on customers' purchasing habits. The information, which is hugely valuable to advertisers looking to target specific demographics with digital ads, is sold to said advertisers at high premiums.
Amazon's top ecommerce competitor, eBay, announced today that it would be doing the same thing. eBay head of digital display Stephen Howard-Sarin even said that user data will exist "for the benefit of other marketers who want to reach shoppers."
He continued, "It would be shortsighted of us to give [that data] away."
Howard-Sarin was at AdExchanger's Programmatic I/O conference in San Francisco when he made the announcement.
"If you're an agency and it complicates your life because we've got a unique pool of data that you don't have, tough."
This is a bold statement to marketers that are frustrated at the prospect of ecommerce platforms as arbiters of their media purchases. But it is a wise move by eBay if they wish to remain competitive with Amazon — and it is becoming increasingly clear that this is their motive.
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