eBay, the leading online marketplace, has launched 'eBay Local Services Ads,' a new product designed to help local service organisations reach new customers and extend their businesses. It marks the first time eBay offer such tool for local service firms.

The tool allows business such as designers, seamstresses, hairdressers and more the opportunity to use the platform to feature their own ads and offer their services to relevant eBay customers in their area. In addition, the new product offers access to one of the world's largest shopping audiences, helping local businesses effectively target potential customers by leveraging eBay's data and insights on customer search and purchase behaviour.

Local businesses will also be able to engage with shoppers earlier in the shopper journey, advertising their services to people who may not be currently searching for their services, but could be interested in the near future. The new product complements eBay's existing offerings by showing users ads for services relevant to the products they are viewing.

"eBay wants to become a marketplace for services as well as products – and we think that this is a great place to start," said Bert Bassett at eBay, who has headed up the project in a statement. "Our Local Services Ads will particularly help small service-based businesses to use our inventory to target local, relevant customers. And crucially, we’re helping them reach users when they’re already in a buying mood, and when we know they’re in the market for a particular service, to deliver maximum ROI."

Local businesses will be able to use eBay Local Services Ads by signing up for an account on ebaylocalservices.com and be able to upload their own ads or use a standard format supplied by eBay. They will also be able to choose who they want to target, dividing their audience by product category and searched keywords on eBay.

eBay Local Services will initially by piloted in the UK as trials are slated to begin in Germany later this month.