About Heat & Plumb

From humble beginnings in a disused tractor shed in Wadebridge, in the heart of Cornwall, the Heat and Plumb team has rapidly expanded in the last decade and now has headquarters in Middlesex.

Having sold over 100,000 items on eBay since they became a member in 2010, Heat and Plumb are a market leader in bathrooms, heating and plumbing for homeowners and tradespeople. The seller has an impressive 100% positive eBay
feedback score and offer over 13,0002 high quality products featuring some of the biggest brands in the category at competitive prices.

The bathroom and heating category is highly competitive with retailers offering similar product ranges and customer services meaning that price is frequently the defining factor for the buyer. This prompts sellers to offer competitive pricing and free shipping to remain competitive. As a result, the vast majority of players in the category operate on small margins, relying on high volumes of sales to drive their business.

In that respect Heat and Plumb face similar challenges to many other sellers in their category, but they have responded through listing optimisation (for example having detailed product descriptions, using high quality images and completing all product listing fields), by taking the time to test and learn based on post campaign analysis and by leveraging the various advertising tools available to sellers on eBay, such as Promoted Listings with a general campaign strategy.

General strategy is eBay’s entry-level and most popular advertising product. Sellers simply decide which items they wish to gain additional exposure
for, set the ad rate they are willing to pay and launch their campaign. Being a cost per action tool, sellers only pay when a buyer clicks on their ad and buys the promoted
item within 30 days.

Campaign objectives

Heat and Plumb were keen to determine if promoting their listings with the general campaign strategy could be used to increase visibility of their items in a highly competitive market with the primary aim of driving sales velocity across their entire product catalogue.

Campaign strategy

Using the guidance available to all businesses on the eBay Seller Centre, Heat and Plumb determined benchmarks across key metrics including impressions, clicks, sales conversions, sales GMV and ad rate.

The retailer applied the general strategy for a four month period across 87% of its eBay product listings (with the exception of listings with low margins).

A flat fee was applied to boost inventory from the start of the campaign, and data generated by the activity was used to determine optimisations made not just to the their general campaigns, but also across all marketing tools, including multibuy, seller offers and seller coupons).

Campaign results

After promoting their listings with a general campaign strategy, total impressions for the seller’s account increased by 205% which resulted in total clicks increasing by 166% and sales velocity increasing by 244%.

During this four month period of using the general strategy, Heat and Plumb recorded a 21.9% increase in overall GMV, of which 41.6% was directly attributed to promoting their listings.

We operate in a highly competitive market that has largely moved online. As a result, it is increasingly difficult to stand out from the competition and compete with the well-known national brands.

eBay has proved to be an effective sales channel for us over the past 12 years, and the time felt right to invest in advertising to grow our business. Because margins are low in our category any advertising we carried out had to be accountable and of course deliver sales.

Our first pilot with Promoted Listings gave us the confidence to continue using it and the fact that we were able to more than double our sales whilst actually reducing the ad rate we paid was a very positive outcome and we now plan to run Promoted Listings campaigns against the majority of our eBay listings.

Ant Langston, Marketplace Trading Manager, Heat and Plumb

For more information, please contact your sales rep or email [email protected]

Sources: 1. eBay Q3 Fast Facts, Sep 2022. 2. 13,000 products as of 05 July 2022. 3. For the comparison of impressions, clicks and sales velocity (GMB), the pre-Promoted Listings with a general campaign period is defined as 01 Feb 2022 to 31 May 2022 compared against the previous four-month period of 01 Oct 2021 to 31 Jan 2022

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