You heard it here first, but this guy believes Amazon Product Ads is set to edge away from the large shadow of its Marketplace sibling in the coming year.
Why? There a couple signs from its Past, Present, and Future that might point there.
First off, by “blow up” I don’t mean blow up like Google Shopping did when it made the big switch. I mean that the program will see significant traffic increases, which, when combined with its already high conversion rate, will cement Amazon Product Ads as the 2nd best retail search channel for retailers and advertisers (see: The Comparison Shopping Report).
Flashback to 2011 and 2012’s key shopping period, Q4. In these pre Google Shopping-dominated times, Amazon Product Ads proved to be a valuable asset for internet retailers (via The Comparison Shopping Report).
- Q4 2011: 1st in Traffic, 2nd in Cost of Sale
- Q4 2012: 3rd in Revenue, 1st in Conversion Rate, 2nd in Cost of Sale
The APA program is no fluke, but it also hasn’t established itself as a clear, no-brainer investment after Google Product Listing Ads (then Google “Product Search”).
But this past Q4 2013, Amazon made major strides in cementing itself as a reliable product advertising channel, posting the highest conversion rate (among paid CSEs) with a 3.48%, the 2nd lowest cost of sale (behind Google) with a 16.06%, and an overall finish of 2nd place (behind Google).
Arguably, what APA needs to focus on now is driving more clicks through increased exposure of its listings. In mid January of 2014, Amazon made huge steps toward doing just that with its announcement that its Product Ad listings would now be featured alongside Marketplace listings.
Even more surprising is the precedent Product Ad placements take over Marketplace listings in some instances (seen below for ShoppersChoice):
It will be interesting to see just how much of a traffic boost Product Ad placements will receive from the increased exposure.
It’s no secret that Amazon and Google have been duking it out for the last couple years for ecommerce domination. Every improvement or tweak to their respective ad programs can be construed as a play against the other, and this ebb and flow will no doubt continue for the foreseeable future.
2014 will certainly be an exciting year for both Google Shopping and Amazon, especially with Q4 Reports coming out now to push the issue. If Amazon continues to make tweaks to optimize the performance of their Product Ads program, despite any detrimental effects it may have on its Marketplace program, the ecommerce giant will no doubt see more merchants sign up for the CPC program, and their current merchant base may even start allocating more of their budget towards clicks and less towards the infamous CPA.
Who knows, I could be wrong. I’m still young and optimistic. But if you take anything away from this, it’s that Amazon Product Ads is worth a serious evaluation as an addition to your Retail Search tool set.