Are you ready for Amazon advertising?

by Debra Wang, 25 Oct 2018

On Thursday, September 6, Amazon opened its doors to agency partners once more to host an all-day conference in Seattle. Amazon has always held smaller gatherings on its campus, but this year, the invite-only guest list expanded internationally and was attended by hundreds, filling up the auditorium of McCaw Hall.

This conference came the day after Amazon announced that they were unifying the previously fractured Amazon Media Group (AMG), Amazon Marketing Services (AMS), and Amazon Advertising Platform (AAP) under one umbrella: Amazon Advertising.

With these two coordinated events, Amazon appeared to announce (albeit subtly) that it was ready to think further and grow larger than its current place as the third-largest digital ad platform.

There are also other numbers that make advertisers pause:

  • In July 2018, eMarketer estimated that Amazon commanded a staggering 1% market share of the US e-commerce market.
  • Forbes republished the Internet Retailers Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) estimate that 64% of US households have a Prime account.
  • On Prime Day 2018, major retailers like Target, eBay, Kohls and Macy’s attempted to steal back market share by launching their own online deals ahead of Prime Day, but Amazon reportedly still sold 100 million products in 24 hours.

So, what’s an advertiser to do? And when do you know you’re ready to join forces with Amazon? Here are some things to consider:

Retailers Only — For the most part (and in the foreseeable near future), Amazon is still a world for retailers only. That means you need a tangible product that can be shipped. This isn’t to say that service providers can’t look to join the Amazon universe; in fact, their local and business services are looking more robust and built out than ever  You just won’t be able to promote them with Amazon Advertising..

One Tag to Rule Them All — No surprise here: it’s Amazon’s tag only. If you’re looking to add on another third-party tracker onto Amazon’s site, it won’t happen on their watch.

It’s All About the Benjamins — Amazon doesn’t pretend to be anything except a pure revenue driver and recommends evaluating campaign success based on ROAS. This should sound like music to an advertiser’s ears, but so often are we asked to optimize or factor in secondary metrics that Amazon may not even have built out. That leads to…

Reporting LITE — Probably the most jarring to any well-seasoned PPC professional or brand, what you’re used to in other platforms is not the same here. But while you may not find metrics you’re used to seeing, you’ll also find others that aren’t as Amazon continues to think outside the box of what defines success in their ecosystem.

Reviews, Reviews, Reviews — For the most part, Amazon has been clear that they do NOT recommend advertisers who don’t have at least 25 reviews with an average of 3.5+ star rating. That means if you’re looking to advertise, you should already be listed as either a vendor or third-party seller. 

To Feed the Beast or Not — That is the question. A lot of POV requests we receive aren’t even about whether or not to advertise on Amazon, but whether or not to partner with Amazon as a reseller. That’s why advertisers need to take a serious look at their short- and long-term goals.

It’s easy to understand the excitement (and hesitation) behind Amazon, but as long as the company continues to dominate the eCommerce world and evolve their advertising offerings, each brand will need to watch them closely.





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