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Amazon Advertising now dominates search result pages

By Chris Dawson September 27, 2018 - 6:20 am

Are you using Amazon Advertising? Because if not then you could be losing out on sales. Amazon is increasingly turning over the real estate on search results pages to brand promotion, sponsored ads, Amazon own brand products and Amazon Choice and if your products aren’t included in any of these advertising slots then you’re way down the first page of search results at best and demoted to the second or lower page of search results at worst.

This might not impact you if you sell a unique product on Amazon that has high enough demand that users will search for it by name, but if you’re selling a more generic product then it’s likely you could do better by using Amazon Advertising solutions, albeit at a cost.

How many ads are on Amazon search result pages?

As some examples, we did a couple of generic searches on Amazon to see just how much of the search result pages are taken up with advertising. We’ve colour coded the ad types into:

Brands – Pink
Sponsored Ads – Beige
Amazon own brands – Green
Amazon Choice – Purple

The solid red line indicates what’s above the fold (what you can see without scrolling) on a standard widescreen laptop.

Amazon Advertising on search results page for mouse

When searching for a computer mouse on Amazon, everything above the fold is either advertising for a brand (HP in this case), or Amazon Sponsored Product Ads – basically placement paid for by a merchant.

Below the first tranche of adverts are another set for an Amazon own brand mouse followed by the ‘Amazon Choice’ which is the product you’ll get offered if you’re shopping via voice on Amazon Echo with Amazon Alexa. Generally Amazon Choice will be a product fulfilled by Amazon.
Amazon Advertising on search results page for mouse

Amazon Advertising on search results page for shirt

A search for a shirt in Clothing : Men : Tops, T-Shirts & Shirts on Amazon shows a similar pattern. Sponsored brands above the fold followed by Amazon Sponsored Product Ads immediately below the fold. There isn’t an ‘Amazon Choice’ but it should be noted that Amazon’s own brand – Find – is advertised both in the ‘Popular Brands’ slot as well as below the Amazon Sponsored Product Ads.
Amazon Advertising on search results page for shirt

Amazon Advertising on search results page for Laundry detergent

A search for laundry detergent on Amazon holds a similar amount of real estate given over to advertising. In this case Persil is not only the brand advertised but also takes the Amazon Sponsored Product Ad slots. There’s no Amazon own brand but Ecover grabs the slot reserved for ‘Amazon Choice’.
Amazon Advertising on search results page for laundry detergent

Can you afford not to advertise on Amazon?

We know that Amazon are growing their advertising business at a phenomenal rate that shows every sign of growing exponentially over the course of the next year. Part of this advertising and perhaps the biggest revenue growth area will be for adverts on non-Amazon sites driving traffic back to Amazon. Currently however, the lions share of Amazon’s two billion per quarter advertising revenues is coming from adverts on the marketplace.

It’s tempting to say that Amazon take a high enough percentage of your revenues in fees already and there simply isn’t the margin in your products to spend even more to further promote your offers on the site and that’s perfectly understandable. What may make sense is to strategically consider the use of Amazon Advertising for new products, items for which you have deep inventory, and items which you’re running promotions on.

Black Friday which is fast approaching could also be a time to consider using Amazon Advertising. You can ignore Black Friday entirely, participate in Amazon Black Friday deals which will involve offering deep discounts, or pay for exposure on Black Friday with Amazon Advertising to grab market share while Amazon drive heavier than normal traffic to the marketplace.

Amazon Advertising won’t be for everyone, but it is something that every merchant should be aware of and keeping an eye on what your competition is doing. The above three search result pages are by no means unique – just about every search result page on the Amazon marketplace is similarly flooded with paid advertising pushing your products lower down and less likely to be purchased.

  • Kevin Moore
    3 years ago

    Amazon advertising is a real money spinner for Amazon with very little costs involved and a high profit margin possibly higher than %70. Any company that lists products on Amazon they have to get those high ratings and good reviews for their products to list higher on search results. The only way to get those good reviews and ratings is for the product to be seen and then bought. That means the product has to be seen by listing higher on search results. The only way to achieve that as a new product is to advertise the product with Amazon. Where through advertising the products lists higher on search results and is more likely to be seen and bought which then enables customers to write reviews and give star ratings where with that a product will then naturally rank higher.

    There for for any company to list products with Amazon it becomes essential to advertise those products with Amazon for large corporations or small, medium enterprises.

    The advertising revenue that Amazon generates will enable international expansion at a faster pace.

  • Dave P
    3 years ago

    I am sure they are testing for this but Amazon need to be careful not to ruin the shopping experience on Amazon. I personally tend to skip through the sponsored ads because I want what the algorithm has determined to be the best products for my search.
    Voice search will have an interesting impact on this revenue stream for Amazon as well, if the assumption is that people don’t really browse through voice search then the “Amazon Choice” will be the product always selected, with no oppurtunity for sponsored products

  • 3 years ago

    It’s like “Speedy Boarding” if everybody does it the only people to gain are the sellers of the service.

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