Amazon is giving Google a run for its money

What’s going on here

For most consumers Amazon has become the default starting point for online product search. In fact, a survey done by PowerReviews found that more consumers start their product search with Amazon than Google, the search giant. To monetize that traffic, Amazon will launch a paid search ad product in the coming months according to reporting by AdExchanger.

What does this mean

Amazon is yet to detail exactly how this will work, but you can expect that it will likely be similar to other search ad products like google, where ads are shown above organic search results. Amazon already offers a number of ad solutions to marketers including display ads and sponsored products. According to AdExchanger, “Amazon also has plans to monetize branded queries — even for products it doesn’t sell on its platform.”

The key opportunity here is for brands who don’t currently list their products on amazon. Possibly because what they sell doesn’t fit with Amazon’s catalogue of products. But still want to leverage Amazon’s audience. “There’s an expectation from people who visit Amazon [that] they’re going to find anything they want,” said Seth Dallaire, VP of global ad sales at Amazon Media Group at an industry event by Adexchanger.

Why should I care?

For the industry

There are many marketing channels through which businesses can place ads and drive traffic back to their website or app. Because they have the biggest audiences, It’s easy for marketers to fall into the trap of thinking that Google and Facebook should be their primary focus when it comes to online advertising. But really, the marketing channel you choose should depend on where your customers are.

Facebook might have 1.8 billion users, but if your customers don’t engage with Facebook on a frequent basis, then your advertising dollars will go to waste. This is why creating buyer personas are super important (A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers — Hubspot).

For your career

‘At its core, e-commerce refers to the purchase and sale of goods and/or services via electronic channels such as the Internet’ — Businessnewsdaily. If you want to work for a company that sells physical products online, chances are you’re likely to become an e-commerce marketer. If this is you, pay close attention to relevant news about Amazon, they are the largest e-commerce marketplace by a long shot and anything they do can affect the industry as a whole.

The marketing techniques used in e-commerce are largely similar to those used in other marketing professions. However, e-commerce marketers are expected to be highly skilled in Search engine optimisation, affiliate marketing and Referral marketing. In addition to having a good understanding of e-commerce metrics.

The bigger picture

The growing popularity of Amazon Echo, as well as other third party devices powered by Alexa (Amazon’s AI-powered personal assistant), may be one of the reasons it wants to get into the paid search game. With the emergence and mainstream use of Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and other personal digital assistants, search has extended beyond the web browser and into voice activation.

As of late 2016 Amazon Echo sales had reached 5M. “Marketers are already looking for ways to leverage those audiences, and Amazon is positioned to offer an easy route to accomplish that through a familiar marketing tactic in paid search”, according to MarketingDive. In the near future, as AI and personal digital assistants become more powerful, voice-activated search will become the new normal and the very nature of paid search advertising may be flipped on its head.

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