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The rise of Amazon Ads & their domination of Amazon’s search results

September 26, 2019 / Reading Time: 5 minutes /
Rich Martin

Everyone knows Amazon, now the 5th most popular website in the UK, the online retailer is used by over 90% of all UK online shoppers. 

70% of Amazon users say that Amazon is their first port of call when they look to buy online. Such is the power and level of trust that the site inspires.  

Many brands wish to tap into this sizeable audience and so Amazon has previously had a number of advertising schemes; from Amazon Marketing Services & The Amazon Ad Platform to the now simplified ‘Amazon Advertising’. Amazon has an enormous amount of user shopping/behavioural data that is invaluable to advertisers.

What does Amazon Advertising offer for businesses/marketers?

Amazon’s user base makes frequent purchases for almost any products, from one-off high-value products to regular essentials. Like other digital advertising platforms, Amazon Ads allows advertisers to tap into the wide range of data Amazon holds on their users. Advertisers can use a range of targeting criteria to capture the attention of an increasingly detailed audience at key times in their buying journey.

Criteria like demographics and interest targeting are fairly standard with most other ad services, along with slightly more advanced targeting methods like lookalike audiences and customer data.  The interesting targeting options unique to the Amazon audience are Lifestyle targeting (people who have bought or shown interest in a product recently) as well as Contextual targeting (where someone has searched for a specific product recently but hasn’t purchased) allowing advertisers to target not just the right audience but at a key time where they show significant intent to make a purchase.

The unique opportunity of Amazon Ads

Being able to target audiences at a key point in the buying process opens up a lot of opportunities for brands. If your product is innovative enough or is a significant improvement on the competition, then by your ad appearing just as someone is looking to make a purchase there’s an opportunity to disrupt the process and highlight your product to people with a high likelihood to buy.

Even if you’re not selling on Amazon, you can still promote your products or service on the platform. Despite your ad taking the user off Amazon and onto your website. You’re able to target people with a high interest in related products/lifestyle groups, providing a more direct route to getting your ad seen by more relevant & engaged audiences.

Amazon requires a level of vetting and authorisation for brands to advertise on their site, the level of trust consumers have with a respected brand like Amazon trickles down for your ads too. Amazon users are very loyal and place significant trust in the site and those products they see on there, making the quality of traffic from Amazon Ads more likely to convert.

Which Ad types does Amazon Advertising offer?

There are broadly 3 types of advertising that Amazon offers: Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands & Stores

Sponsored Products 

These are featuring more and more within search results in Amazon, but they also appear elsewhere such as suggested alternatives on product listings themselves.  They’re a key way for advertisers to get their competing (or complementary) products seen by people actively searching for particular products. 

Sponsored Brands

Moving up in size the Sponsored Brands affords a lot more space with the top row of product search results, featuring not just the product you’re promoting but some space for the brand logo and a custom headline, giving enough space to get USPs across, potentially flagging competitor’s failings. These work particularly well if you’re targeting top-level categories or search terms as it can help catch attention and build brand familiarity very effectively.


Ideal for those looking to promote a range of products, whether they be new or existing ranges needing a push, are Stores. This option provides almost your own landing page within Amazon, with the familiar product inventory and a shopping experience that Amazon users will be familiar with.  These ads are incredibly good for brands selling a range of products, allowing you much more space and opportunity to cross-sell other complementary products and other variations within your own little eco-system on Amazon.

How often is Amazon showing these ads?

The answer is more and more often. If you search for almost any popular item such as TV’s, Smartphones or almost anything else you can think of, you will notice the first view of the Amazon search results is almost entirely Sponsored content (Ads & Brands).

A recent study from Vox shows that around 8% of product page views came from sponsored ads and this is rising rapidly. The graph shows this trend over the past 12 months. This trend is rising as Amazon starts to benefit from the additional revenue this is creating.

How do you optimise Amazon Advertising ads?

Like many other paid advertising platforms such as Google Ads & Facebook. Your campaign’s success is only as good as your targeting you use to get in front of the right people.  Knowing your target audience and making sure to set up ages, genders & interests will be key to finding the right people on Amazon.  

Amazon offers a number of other targeting features specific to their platform. It’s imperative that you use and continually optimise to catch people when they are in a buying mindset, look at what terms people search for on Amazon – is it category related or is it product based? Maybe even feature or specification related?

Are you already carrying out other advertising such as PPC and SEO? Take any learnings from these channels as to what search terms people use when they are on the cusp of purchasing versus earlier in the buying process. The people who are searching on Amazon are typically much further along the buying process so every click counts!

Why should business owners be on Amazon Advertising?

Business owners with products to sell should be very interested in Amazon at the moment. The platform has been growing in influence & opportunities in recent months as the retailer has worked on their offering for advertisers.  It’s now at a stage where those selling on Amazon will struggle to gain prominence in the Amazon listings, similar to how website owners experienced similar issues with the advent of PPC ads within search results.

Similarly, brands may feel they need to be ‘everywhere’ online now, and adding Amazon Ads to their marketing mix may be a significant investment.  However, hopefully with what we’ve covered about the targeting ability and the unique “purchasing mindset” that Amazon’s visitors are in when they arrive on the site then it proves to be a positive opportunity for most eCommerce brands.

Talk to us

Here at Clicky we are setting up a dedicated Amazon Advertising team to help get the most from this powerful new platform and deliver some great results for our clients.

If you are an eCommerce brand and have either questions or wish to investigate Amazon Advertising and the opportunities out there for your business then speak to us at Clicky today.

Either phone or complete the equiry form to discuss how we can help grow your business with Amazon Ads.

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