Amazon is slowly rolling out a beta program called the “Extended Ad Network” for Sponsored Products–and it could have a big impact on your sales.
Here’s how Amazon describes it:
“Sponsored Products will now allow you to use the extended ad network to reach more customers visiting websites other than Amazon with Sponsored Products ads, enabling discovery of your products across the internet.”
Here’s what we know.
How the Extended Ad Network Works
The extended ad network gives advertisers the ability to promote (Auto) Sponsored Products campaigns on external sites on mobile, desktop, and apps–which means fresh shoppers could end up directly on your product detail page.
It’s a super powerful way to extend your reach, and you can gives ads more oomph by targeting:
- Based on the context of a page
- Customers who have viewed similar products previously
What the Impact Will Be
Overall, this is a big deal and will be an exciting development for sellers looking to drive more off-Amazon traffic directly to their products.
“Depending on the percentage of their [extended] ad network they roll this out to, this could provide a significant boost to [traffic] volume,” says Jeff Coleman, VP of Marketplace Channels at CPC Strategy.
Low CPCs (At Least in the Beginning)
This one’s a little bit of a pro and potential con.
You’re paying for clicks (not impressions), and Amazon claims they will never exceed your max default bid.
However, as Jordan Gisch, Marketplace Channel Analyst at CPC Strategy pointed out, the extended ad network feature only applies to Automated Campaigns, which gives you less control and could result in a higher ACoS.
We’re too early in the game to say that’s the case. However, as Coleman also points out, there’s a potential for low competition in the early stages.
“If those ads participate in their own auction based on who elects to participate, competition and cost-per-click rates will be really low for those with beta access,” says Coleman. “And those costs could remain low depending on how quickly adoption ramps up.”
Several of our team members noticed the beta launch of this program a few months ago, and it was rather quickly shut down.
According to Nick Sandberg Marketplace Channel Analyst at CPC Strategy, this is likely the official do-over.
“I tested the program at that time and I believe it was our conclusion that the targeting and reporting didn’t work properly,” says Nick Sandberg. “This may be the revamped version.
In addition to better reporting, there are a couple different developments we could all benefit from in the future.
More Control Over Site Exclusions
We’re not sure what websites are involved in Amazon’s Extended Ad Network, and Amazon states in the email that they do not “currently support a site exclusion list with the extended ad network”.
Basically, that means you have no direct control over where your ads really appear (or don’t). This may be risky or unprofitable if you’re relying on automatic contextual page targeting.
However, this is just a beta, and Amazon did say “currently”–they will likely provide that functionality in the future.
The Ability to Opt In Manual Campaigns
As we mentioned before, there’s not much control when you’re opting Auto campaigns into the extended ad network. This could cause some pain for those testing the feature, and Amazon may eventually allow manual campaigns in.
It’s a Long Shot, but…
As an agency that’s very focused on core performance advertising channels (Facebook, AdWords, Amazon), our thoughts went immediately to Google.
“If Amazon gives advertisers some element of control over what Amazon product ads appear on Google Shopping, this could be colossal,” says Coleman.
How You Get Into the Extended Ad Network
If you got the email, simply provide consent to Amazon via the link they provided, and they will automatically enroll all of your existing auto-targeted campaigns starting 12/06/2017 into the extended ad network.
Important: If you find that the extended ad network is unprofitable for some or all of your auto-targeted listings, you can toggle this off in Campaign Manager > Campaign Settings.
If you didn’t get the email, keep an eye out–then test and let us know what you think in the comments!