Almost everything you see on Amazon is an ad

12 September 2022
Eileen Bosman
Content Specialist
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The average person sees between 6,000 to 10,000 ads every single day. From print ads at bus stops to sponsored LinkedIn posts, ads are everywhere. And this includes Amazon.

The company is a trailblazer regarding recommendations driven by personal preferences. Their researchers pride themselves on using a unique algorithm to display personalized content. And it now uses that same data to focus on advertising via suggestions such as ‘items often bought together’ and ‘others also viewed’. As a seller, you can take advantage of this.

Amazon’s sponsored call to actions

For sellers on Amazon, the algorithms are hugely beneficial if you want to achieve organic reach in addition to advertising. For example, good reviews and beautiful and relevant content will stimulate organic visibility. However, if advertisements mainly push the overall suggestions, this organic visibility will slowly but surely disappear.

What you now see happening is that calls to action like ‘sponsored products related to this item’, ‘four stars and above’, and ‘brands matching this category on Amazon’ are completely replacing organic calls to action like ‘customers also bought’ and ‘customers also viewed’. The only sponsor-free recommendation left standing is the ‘often bought together’. It seems that it is only a matter of time before that, too, is replaced by a sponsored variant.

As Amazon steps away from the algorithm that previously helped customers make choices based on reviews and similar products, ads are leading the customer journey. Not just on Amazon, other retailers are following suit. Visibility is something you buy; it’s not something you earn.

Amazon’s revenue vs. the customer

Amazon is reaping the benefits of this change in focus. In 2020, the marketplace giant earned more than 20 billion dollars from advertising. It demonstrates how Amazon has strayed from its customer-centric philosophy because shoppers now see ads everywhere they look on Amazon. From product detail pages to product search results, the best match for one’s query is no longer the priority.

This also means that customer journey innovation – in which Amazon was once such a forerunner – diminishes. The priority is no longer on the optimal experience but optimal revenue. For companies selling on Amazon, a smart advertising strategy is necessary, if not vital, for their success. Organic reach and sponsored content used to go hand in hand, but now the emphasis lies on ads. That’s where most of your traffic will come from.

How to proceed as a seller on Amazon?

How do you move forward? For those of you thinking of leaving the platform altogether, we’d advise against that. Amazon Sponsored Ads are still extremely relevant, are a great way of generating sales, and offer other advantages such as:

  • When launching a new product, ads are indispensable to generate traction, create a lot of visibility for your new product and boost conversion rates.
  • A larger international reach. With the proper targeting, you ensure your items are seen by the right people at the right time anywhere in the world.
  • Access to a lot of data. This enables you to learn more about your customers and sell in a more targeted way.
  • The usage of Amazon’s Demand Side Platform (DSP) to purchase display and video ads automatically.
  • You can quickly create ads that lead shoppers directly to an Amazon listing. In addition, sellers can use DSP to place their ads on Amazon and third-party websites.

Ads give you more control over your reach

On the one hand, it is a shame that the little bit of organic visibility on Amazon has to make way for ads. But, on the other hand, without a solid ad strategy, you already didn’t get very far on Amazon. So look at your current ads, are they optimized and increasing your sales?

If you’re unsure, call our advertising specialists at VNDR. we’d be happy to help.

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