In the ever-evolving landscape of ecommerce, Amazon remains a juggernaut, constantly seeking ways to improve the shopping experience for both customers and third-party marketplace sellers.
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One of the cornerstones of this effort has been its Sponsored Products program, a marketing strategy that bridges the gap between customers and the products they desire.
With a legacy spanning over a decade, Sponsored Products has undergone numerous refinements, each aimed at enhancing discoverability and simplifying the shopping process.
Continuous Improvement for Customer Relevance
Amazon is committed to improving the Sponsored Products experience through their use of machine learning algorithms which enhance the relevance of advertisements, ensuring that customers are presented with items that resonate with them.
Over time, the company has expanded the parameters of campaign targeting, moving beyond traditional keyword targeting to encompass product attributes. This empowers advertisers to better align their products with potential customers’ specific needs.
Extending Discoverability Across the Amazon Platform
The effectiveness of Sponsored Products has encouraged Amazon to broaden its reach beyond search results, extending to other sections of its shopping platform, such as product pages.
Recognizing that customers discover products through various avenues, the company intends to facilitate inspiration and comparison shopping, thereby providing a comprehensive and seamless shopping journey.
A New Horizon: Premium Apps and Websites
Amazon is now venturing into a new phase of its Sponsored Products journey by introducing campaigns to premium apps and websites such as Pinterest, BuzzFeed, Hearst Newspapers, Raptive, and Ziff Davis properties like Lifehacker and Mashable.
The primary objective of Amazon’s program is to enrich customer experiences, making discovery and shopping more enjoyable and gratifying. While this initiative begins on a modest scale, the company envisions future growth based on meaningful opportunities that align with its core objectives.
At first glance, this ad product expansion may seem similar to programs offered by eBay and Etsy. However, those ad products typically target search and selling channels (i.e., Google Shopping), not major premium online brands. Still, it’s a little ironic that Amazon has been trailing other major marketplaces by not offering such an ad product until now.
Seamless Integration for Sellers
One of the most compelling aspects of Amazon’s Sponsored Products program is its seamless integration for third-party marketplace sellers.
Advertisers who utilize Sponsored Products do not need to take any additional actions to have their ads appear on partner sites and apps.
Through analysis of relevant page context, campaign parameters, and cost-per-click considerations, Amazon’s algorithm will ensure that Sponsored Products ads appear when customers are most likely to engage.
Empowering Informed Decisions
A critical element of Sponsored Products ads is customer empowerment. Ads are presented only for in-stock items, featuring Amazon shopping attributes like Prime delivery, ratings, and accurate pricing information.
This approach not only streamlines the browsing and buying process but also allows customers to make well-informed decisions without clicking on the ad first.
Amazon’s Vision for a Connected Shopping Experience
Colleen Aubrey, senior vice president of Amazon Ads Products and Technology, stresses the underlying philosophy of Sponsored Products.
She highlights that the program “has always been about helping customers discover products they may love.”
“We’ve been building and evolving Sponsored Products in our store for more than 10 years, leveraging advanced machine learning algorithms to show advertising that’s highly relevant for customers, and therefore highly effective for the advertisers that choose to use it.
Elevating Digital Advertising Strategies
Guy Cohen, chief product officer at Skai, an enterprise-level advertising intelligence agency, echoes the sentiment that Amazon’s innovation in Sponsored Products is pivotal.
“Customers today are exploring products across a range of apps and websites, and we’re seeing advertisers successfully plan and execute digital advertising strategies by shifting their focus and success metrics to the customer,” he said.
“Amazon’s latest innovation of its Sponsored Products ads enables our clients to achieve exactly that. The ability for advertisers to efficiently scale their reach with highly relevant advertising, while enabling them to track their performance holistically, and ultimately drive business impact through Amazon’s store, is what most excites us about this [expansion].”
Amazon’s Sponsored Products represent the company’s dedication to refining the online shopping experience. As the program expands into premium apps and websites, Amazon will continue to pursue meaningful shopping experiences that help third-party marketplace sellers succeed on its platform.
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