When it comes to digital advertisement giants, almost everyone thinks of either Facebook or Google, both behemoths in their own rights, and no one else.
The massive, but missing, marketing maven that doesn’t ring as many bells but is growing at a rate that’s alarming to the aforementioned giants, is Amazon. First, it’s self-driving cars, then it’s self-checking shops, now it’s self-perpetuating advertising? Say it isn’t so!
Amazon Knows More About Shopping Than Anyone
According to reporting in the Wall Street Journal, Amazon earned an estimated $2.8 billion in 2017 ad revenue. That’s nothing compared to Google’s ad revenue in the same period: a whopping $73 billion. The base numbers aren’t what are so alarming, it’s the growth rate. By 2019, Amazon is expected to more than double that revenue figure, with earnings around $6.6 billion from ad revenue alone.
Both Google and Facebook’s ads are blatantly obvious. Users know when they’re being sold to, but where is Amazon hiding those billions of dollars in advertisements? Since more than half of all product searches start on Amazon, and most of those end there, Amazon has taken to hiding them in plain sight: right inside the search results.
Unlike Facebook and Google, Amazon has an audience that is already in buy mode, actively looking for a product. Showing a suggested item that’s also an advertisement was always the next logical step. Facebook may know about human interactions, but Amazon knows how and why they buy.
The Amazon Advantage for Sellers
When it comes to companies big and small that sell using the Amazon Marketplace, Amazon search advertising can offer several very large advantages over social media advertising or paid search. Because those users who are searching Amazon are already considering a purchase, there’s no need to push them any further. They know they want a product, they’re just trying to figure out which one is the best deal.
Product promotions on other sites are shown to users when they could be doing anything else, up to and including product research. But if one user searches, “How long do ferrets live?” on Google or asks their friends the question on Facebook, they’re just as likely to be served with advertisements for pet stores as when they were actively looking to buy a ferret.
It’s no wonder that Amazon is becoming not only the biggest retailer on Earth, but growing at a rate fast enough to shake up the most dominating digital advertising outlets as well.