Amazon Advertising now dominates search result pages

No primary category set

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.

3 Responses

  1. There are so many false SNAD claims that the odds of me being unfairly punished by ebays return metric penalty charge is very high for me. I was disgusted in June and July to be told my returns were very high by eBay via email. Like a lot of sellers on eBay I am not prepared to work for nothing, if ebay added the 4% to my fees that is what I would be doing. Ebay already make more in fees than I do in profit on my sales, I am not prepared to give them more money.

    Cases should be appealable. It is also on return requests so a closed case, or a case that resulted in no return is counted.

    Sellers cannot influence the outcome of these returns, you can make sure your listings are detailed, package an item well and deliver it on time, but if a buyer wants a free return they just select not as described and the seller is powerless to the outcome.

    This whole metrics system is not fit for purpose, unless you are a greedy market place like eBay that don’t care about anything but how much extra in fees you can get from business sellers.

  2. I thought I would look on ebay.com at what documentation they had on this new system.
    Wow what a “cock up”
    I went into help and looked at methods to pay on ebay.
    “Paying for items”.
    The article only mentions Paypal and then towards the bottom of the article it changes to German.
    No wonder customers have no trust in ebay they can’t even get a simple help page to work.
    Trust is the biggest thing that ebay have got to get over, people do not trust ebay.
    I can see the older generation who make up a proportion of my customer base and have got used to using on line buying and they have some trust in Paypal taking one look at giving ebay bank details and stopping the purchase straight away.

  3. What a load of old tosh that survey is, like all survey’s it is manipulated.

    An item costs £10 with £3.50 postage, so they pay £13.50 with free postage and they are happy.

    Many times a buyer will buy two of the same item so

    2x £10.00
    1x £3.50

    Did the survey ask the buyer if they would rather pay:

    1. £27.00 with FREE postage
    2. £23.50 With Paid postage

    My survey thinks not! My survey also thinks this is good extra £££’s for eBay and me.

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