56% of US, UK, German and French shoppers use Amazon as a starting point for shopping and 22% say that they ‘won’t look anywhere else if they see a product that looks suitable on Amazon’. With an already highly qualified audience, it’s unsurprising that Amazon has been evolving to make its advertising offering unignorable, making the $806+ billion dollar company even more profitable.  While AMS is far from a new platform, the last 12 months have seen a 60% growth in ad revenue.  As such there have been a plethora of commentators vocalising their predictions about how the platform will continue to perform and what it means for the future of digital advertising. But what do we know now about the platform as it has evolved?
Benefits for advertisers
Aside from a welcome alternative to the existing duopoly of Facebook and Google, there are a range of reasons why agencies and brands are finding budget for AMS activity
There are 3 main ad formats which Amazon offer to promote individual or groups of products. Used in conjunction with each other, these can provide a strong digital presence on the platform
1.Sponsored products: create campaigns with a number of products (Amazon recommend 3-10) and use keywords you want to target these keywords with (you can also select to let Amazon auto target customers based on product information). Amazon will match the product it deems most relevant with the search query and ads can appear in the top 3 positions of the page, or the last 3. These ads flow naturally into organic listings and there are multiple spaces available. They are the easiest to set up and are usually approved within an hour.
2.Headline search ad: these cover the top strip of the search results page. Users can add in their brand logo, a headline and show 3 products. You can also use these to click through to a separate page with more products on or a brand page (can be a good solution if a brand page isn’t yet created).
3. Product display: these ads are product or interest targeted and appear on relevant product pages. These can be an effective way to target specific competitor products when users are one click away from a conversion. In the below example two different products are advertised, one across the horizontally across the bottom of the screenshot,and the other in the bottom right corner.
While we have seen some excellent results for our clients currently running on AMS, advertisers do need to be aware there are some limitations to the platform at present. Fundamentally Amazon is playing catch up with more established platforms and their functionality.
Amazon in the wider digital landscape
Whenever discussing the ins and outs of AMS, we must also recognise that this is just a small part of Amazon’s advertising capabilities and overall marketing functionality. From user (app) acquisition, off-site media buys via their 1st party data, VOD or even their somewhat-maligned foray into social with Spark, Amazon is sitting on huge potential in the ad space. They own and control all the requisite aspects of their digital supply chain: the user base; the ad inventory and – hugely important since GDPR – their own high-quality 1st party data.
The digital retail space is developing rapidly (especially considering last year’s events between Google and the European Commission  plus Facebook’s continuing development of its retail proposition) and with advertisers being forced to diversify their channel mix, Amazon is a platform which can’t be ignored. Whilst there are a few downfalls and limitations with the platform, as we’ve seen with others, it will develop and grow. With half of online shoppers starting their search on Amazon, any agency with retail clients will need to, if not already, start assessing their Amazon position. As the retail arena continues to grow digitally, Amazon will be a key player in media strategy.
It was bitterly cold. The type of cold that made brave men want to weep and brave women layer up. The wind whipped across pitch 17 as if it had something to prove. But there was only one thing in Regents Park that had something to prove last night. The ROAST softball team. Were they as good at softball as we had all been led to believe? We were about to find out.
Long story short, yes, we were. I never thought I’d feel safe seeing Haider with a baseball bat in his hands. Anyone that was at the ROAST dodgeball tournament will agree. But in fact I felt very comfortable, safe in the knowledge he’d be smashing the ball miles. Enthusiasm is infectious, so take your vitamins and carry a box of tissues when you’re around Jess Hollingbery at a softball game because you just might catch a massive dose of ENERGY and POSITIVITY. And Ollie Pollard may have looked like a roadie from a 90s Oasis tour in those shorts, but you don’t win a game with fashion, you win it with solid outfield work and tidy batting. And that’s why Oasis are shit these days. They never understood that.
Then there’s Matt Payne. A softball obviously did something bad to him once, because every time someone threw one at him he’d smash it as far away from him as he could. 4 home runs in 4 innings was a tidy return, but he’s let himself down by posting a video of himself hitting a home run on his Instagram. Shameless.
Shout out to Zooey’s shins for taking a battering, Holly for progressively wearing more and more clothes as the game wore on (if it had gone seven innings I’m not sure she’d have been able to move), Steff for tanning a whole bottle of wine after the game before a 4am start today (the after-game is still the game), Marina for only having one ball to field in the entire game (the game on the next pitch hit it near her), Bish for taking the catch of the game (there was me thinking jeans and shirt would hinder his flexibility) and Annie for scoring the whole game and silently wishing she was a part of such a slick (Matt’s chest), well-oiled (Matt’s hair) softball machine.
We won and I think the score was either 17-12 or 19-12. One of the two. A winning start. Long may it continue.
Another week, another six nuggets of our favourite articles, campaigns and news from the industry. Read on for pieces on marbles, Manchester and Moderat. Enjoy.
As the domestic football season draws to a close, the last year may be looked on as a disappointing year for the blue half of Manchester. In danger of no Champions League next season, Pellegrini on his way out and a squad overhaul imminent…these are interesting times for Manchester City fans. But one thing they seem to be leading the way in is VR, as we learned from this piece in The Drum. Initial reports suggesting virtual Yaya Toure puts in more of a shift than the real one are as yet unconfirmed.
Marketing Week with this piece talking about the ‘retail theatre’ that is becoming more and more popular with big ‘bricks and mortar’ brands. Topshop on Oxford St recently launched their collaboration with Beyoncé, Ivy Park, with a huge banner on the front of their store – smart use of unmissable and iconic real estate.
We don’t know who built this, and whether it was for any other reason than ‘wouldn’t that be cool’, but check it out. Hypnotic, creative and presumably hugely inexpensive.
Krispy Kreme launched an ATM that dispenses with the usual cash-filling this week. High Holborn in London is now the proud owner (for the next week or so) of a Nutella / Krispy Kreme collaboration, and for £2, you can be the proud owner of something highly delicious. As if that’s not enough of an incentive, all proceeds are going to the Teenage Cancer Trust. Helping others never tasted so good.
Sex sells. A quick google doesn’t tell me who coined this famous phrase, but if they were in fact lucky enough to be remunerated every time it has been uttered over the years, we’re betting they’ll be somewhere near the top of the Forbes billionaire list. This piece in Campaign asks whether advertising and pornography will ever turn their dazzling love affair into a full blown relationship with a long and prosperous future?
We love a long read at ROAST. It helps the morning coffee go down and keeps us up to date with the very best of online editorial, both branded or otherwise. This piece in Freunde von Freunden on Moderat, a Berlin electronic ‘supergroup of sorts’ is an interesting read.