Efficiency. Automation. Pricing. Amazon has used those three principles to enter and/or disrupt market after market, since it started selling books in 1997. Now, its hoping to do the same to the advertising industry. Despite competition from Facebook and Google, Amazon is ready to enter the programmatic space, aggressively expanding infrastructure and hoping brands will ultimately buy ad space on its websites and through its platform. How can e-commerce brands position themselves to navigate, purchase and scale within Amazon’s ad platform?
In this episode of The Marketing Remix, Heather Molina, VP of Paid and Earned Media, and Kevin Aron, Manager of Paid Search, discuss Amazon’s expansion into the ad buying space and what it means for marketers.
How is Amazon positioning itself to be competitive in the digital advertising space?
Amazon has recently become more self-service focused, making it much easier to navigate the platform. Brands and agencies that partner with e-commerce brands are now starting to have a say in how that platform starts to evolve and Amazon is being aggressive about going after those ad dollars that have historically been thrown at Google and Facebook.
Amazon is scaling and scaling quickly. Its had Amazon Marketing Services for a little while now and that has become much more automated to the point where you can tell Amazon what you’re selling, and they will pick the keywords and run with it. Now Amazon has the Amazon Advertising Platform, which is the display, video, and programmatic side of the platform. While Amazon doesn’t necessarily have the breadth of network other platforms do, they do have some unique offerings, such as IMBD.
How fast is it scaling? The majority of product searches begin on Amazon, so you need to think of it as a search engine in and of itself. Many larger brands are creating in house teams for the purpose of managing their e-commerce on Amazon and agencies are developing large scale programs to help brands get established on Amazon. While traditional SEO and paid media are similar on Amazon as on other networks, Amazon has the added benefit of knowing buyers are coming to their site first.
How has Amazon differentiated itself from Google and Facebook?
Real-time Optimization: When you’re optimizing a product page on Amazon, it’s happening in real time. With Google it might take some time for you to see improvements in your organic ranking and the pay off from any paid media efforts. Because of the instantaneous nature of Amazon, it’s also easier to test new things on the platform to see what’s working.
Dedicated Time: If you’re a brand with something to sell and you’re trying to figure out what resources and time you have to dedicate to advertising, Amazon is not something you can set and forget. You need to be paying attention to Amazon on an ongoing basis from a paid media perspective and from an organic perspective.
Direct: Advertising on Amazon is aIso more direct, with everything living within the Amazon ecosystem. Everything on Amazon leads somewhere else within Amazon so a potential buyer never leaves the network, which is a primary difference in how the advertising behaves.
Incentive: Google favors click through rate whereas Amazon is making money on what you sell, so they favor revenue more than clicks. When you’re looking into what’s performing best on what platform, it’s important to keep in mind the biases of each platform.
Customer Service: The customer satisfaction aspect is also huge with Amazon rankings, so reviews and number of stars has a large stake in how Amazon ranks listings.
when should brands start preparing their holiday-season game plan and executing on it within Amazon? And what do they need to be doing?
In regards to advertising, Amazon is still a bit of a wild wild west with where ads show and how ads show. The landscape isn’t overly saturated right now so brands should get in the game and do some research to see what space is available. If you’re a smaller brand, don’t let the competition get you down. Smaller brands still have the opportunity for significant ad visibility within Amazon.
As we head toward the holiday season, start tightening up your product page optimization plan. From a paid perspective, put plans into place for how you’re going to monitor the competition, what keywords you want to start bidding on, and what results pages look like currently. It’s also important to evaluate your overall digital presence keeping in mind your value, margin, and customer life cycle.
Like what you hear? Subscribe to the show and leave us a review on iTunes.