Advertising on Amazon: How it Can Help Your Business
Amazon.com, Inc. is undeniably one of the giants of e-commerce. The Best Retail Brands Report 2012 last year placed Amazon as the top riser in terms of brand value. The trend continued in 2013, seeing Amazon move from 9th place to 4th in the US. Meanwhile, in the UK the company reports more than 20 million active customers.
Good news for Amazon, but how about the rest of us? It's easy to feel overshadowed, however the company's all-powerful presence on the web doesn't have to spell doom. Instead, consider harnessing this power by adding Amazon to your advertising portfolio.
After all, nobody is better placed than Amazon to collect customer data. The company knows its customers and their buying habits inside out. From the books they read and the music they listen to, to knowing when customers are most likely to make a purchase, Amazon has a handle on it.
If your marketing campaign could benefit from this kind of targeted advertising, it's time to look at how you can turn Amazon's customers into your customers. Today we'll examine three of the most popular options.
Described by Amazon as “highly targeted placements”, product ads are displayed when Amazon customers search for a similar product, both on the search results page and on actual product pages.
You might already have come across these ads during your own browsing on Amazon. An image is shown in a similar format to Amazon's own product listings, but with the text “Available at external website”. The text link that follows takes the customer to the product page on your own website.
To get started, you will need to upload your product catalogue to Amazon. If you're already using Google Base or Yahoo! Store formats for your inventory, Amazon allows you to upload these files rather than entering products manually. If your product isn't one that's already in Amazon's own catalogue, a new page will be created for it.
As the payment model is cost-per-click, you also decide how much to bid for each relevant category. The higher the amount of your bid, the better your chances of getting the ad placements you want. If your budget is large enough, this could significantly increase your both your exposure and conversion rate. Another benefit is that you stay in control of the buying experience by making the sale via your own site.
Currently, Product Ads can be created for the UK and US sites, even if your business is not based in one of those countries. You'll need to be able to ship to customers in the US and display your prices in dollars to participate in the US service. Similarly, businesses advertising via the UK site are required to ship to any UK address and to use GBP for product listings.
If you prefer to run targeted campaigns for your home region, attracting new face-to-face customers, Amazon Local could be ideal. A fairly new initiative, it involves working with a marketing team at Amazon. They will help you to promote deals directly to customers, either in specific regions or throughout the country.
Alongside the Amazon Local landing page, an email is sent each day to subscribed customers in your target area. You'll benefit from the trust that the Amazon brand inspires, especially as customers are able to buy via their existing accounts. When an offer is redeemed, you will receive payment from Amazon minus their own fee for the service. There is no fee for the promotion itself.
Amazon Local is available to UK-based businesses via Amazon.co.uk. Companies in the US can likewise take part in the Amazon Local daily deals hosted on Amazon.com.
Amazon Display Advertising
Amazon is looking to lead the way when it comes to online display advertising, and has the global platform to make this possible. The considerable customer data it collects means it can offer personalised advertising to reach the people most likely to be interested in your product or service.
Add to this the coverage made possible by operating under Amazon's umbrella, and you have the potential to reach a global market. Amazon's sites include e-commerce company Quidsi with its highly-targeted brands, plus niche consumer sites such as DPReview. Kindle screensavers, mobile ad options on Kindle Fire, Android and iOS devices, plus e-commerce solutions such as coupons and customer review ads all allow you to optimise your campaign for your market.
You'll design your own ad, but need to work within Amazon's creative and technical guidelines. Note that some advertising options, such as mobile, are currently limited to the US. However, others can be displayed on the UK site and other international Amazon-operated sites.
Bear in mind that this kind of exposure doesn't come cheap. You'll need a minimum budget of $10,000. However, there's no denying that Amazon is a powerful ally for any business to have and this could be an investment that reaps rewards.