Amazon dropped a bomb yesterday when they announced that Amazon Product Ads (their CPC product advertising program) would be listed alongside its Marketplace listings.

This is where Amazon will start to roll out their Amazon Product Ad (APA) listings:

amazon-product-ads-new-placement

For context, this is where Product Ads show up now (note how far down the scroll bar is):

amazon-product-ads-placement

What we see is a major improvement in visibility.

But what does this roll-out mean for Amazon Product Ads as a whole?

Our technology director and in-house genius Tien Nguyen weighs in:

amazon-product-ads-listings-tien-nguyen“While Amazon remains king and emperor of the ecommerce world, Google’s growth in the area has them ever so slowly approaching the moat. With a product line in the range of a few hundred million, Amazon’s total inventory actually pales in comparison to Google Shopping, who likes to boast that they have over a billion listings.

This is in large part due to Google’s more “open-door” policy of letting nearly anyone with an online store list on their Shopping platform, while Amazon, who only allows very high quality and reliable merchants to sell on its marketplace platform, is going to be more limited by nature.

One way that they try to close the gap is through their Product Ads program, which acts more like Google Shopping, as it’s an ad that takes a customer to the seller’s site rather than keeping them on Amazon to make the purchase there. And even though the program has certain restrictions, it is much easier to list on there as a retailer than it is on the marketplace.

Currently these ads are generally listed near the bottom of product pages, nearly hidden from view of most customers who have access to the “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now” buttons right at the top. However, with this change Amazon is giving users much more access to these product ads (and therefore non-marketplace merchants should have much more exposure) by displaying them with nearly as much prominence, if not the same amount, as marketplace retailers.

It’s almost the equivalent of Google displaying their paid text ads right alongside the organic results, and it will only contribute to the further blurring between what constitutes an “ad” and what doesn’t.

Ultimately, this move should stand to benefit both the consumer, who will have easier access to purchasing options, and especially the retailer who will gain more exposure on the web’s premiere online shopping mall.”

Check out the difference between Amazon Product Ads and Amazon Marketplace listings here.

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