Associate Director, Amazon

Through A Looking Glass: The Differences Between Amazon Sponsored Ads and Google Ads

Marketers beware; Amazon is not a traditional Search channel like Google Ads. While on the surface it may look like business as usual, as you dive deeper, you’ll find Amazon is a different beast entirely.
In this blog, we’ll talk about some of the core differences between Amazon Sponsored Ads and Google Ads.

Impression Share
For PPC marketers, using this metric can help determine missed opportunity, recommended budgets for scaling, and identify quick optimizations to drive even more revenue. Most marketers don’t even realize how valuable this data is—that is, until they don’t have it.
That’s why it’s a surprise to many that Amazon has shied away from releasing any data around an advertiser’s impression share. Not having this metric limits an Amazon marketer’s ability to determine scale and opportunity in the short term. The best way to test into scale and volume opportunities is to incrementally add budgets and increase bids until diminishing returns are found.
There are ways to use technology to help estimate impression share data directionally with Amazon so that brands can still use it to inform their strategy. There are also test and learn strategies to determine impressions available which help identify how bids can impact the total amount of impressions generated and calculate diminishing returns on accelerated bids and spend. While not a perfect solution, these methodologies can give you a snapshot into the available scale in the Amazon marketplace for any given tactic.

Competitive Insights
Savvy PPC marketers are aware that Auction Insights is a great tool for identifying who else is competing with you, their changes in impression share, and how those changes are impacting your performance. Amazon does not have the ability to generate these insights for marketers, so it can be very tough to pinpoint exactly how much the competitive landscape has changed from one period to another.
Again, like impression share, there are tools that can help marketers find directional changes in the competitive landscape; however, you don’t necessarily need expensive tools to combat a new competitor. By using ASIN-level targeting, brands have the ability to target heavy advertisers’ traffic and steal a portion of their page visitors for themselves. By having some understanding of these insights, marketers are able to adjust their strategy to make sure they’re not losing out to competitors.

Eligibility & Profitability
Now here’s a whammy of an issue. Since Amazon is a marketplace, they play by a different set of rules than Google. To make this more clear, Google doesn’t care if the product you’re selling is profitable for Google. Amazon does.
Because of this, advertising on Amazon is a balancing act between pricing, warehousing, shipping costs, and purchase orders. If Amazon identifies that they are not making money off a certain product, Amazon will prohibit you from advertising that product which can impact your bottom line very quickly.  
That said, there are tactics that can be employed to help unprofitable products become eligible for advertising. We can either bundle the same product together (ex: making a 2-pack), create unique kits (ex: ‘Kitchen Tool Starter Set’) or potentially work with Amazon to white list a given product if we meet a set of criteria.

First-Party Data
Search and Amazon marketers aren’t lacking in the data department. On both platforms, they’re able to see metrics like clicks, click through rate, cost per click, cost per conversion, and the list goes on. Oftentimes, it’s not the amount of data that hinders brands, it’s what to do with all of the data and being able to get granular enough to make impactful decisions quickly.
What sets Amazon apart from engines like Google is the focus of their first party data: shoppers. With over 100 million US Amazon Prime users, access to these individual devices and cookie-IDs cannot be rivaled due to the high intent and purchase data available to target. However, unlike Google, there’s a much-limited range of tactics you can employ to take advantage of this data. For example, in Google, you can use site/page visitors to alter and augment your search campaign strategies via remarketing lists for search ad (RLSA) features. While Amazon does have its own retargeting capabilities, these features are only available via Amazon’s DSP solution.
Contact us today to learn more about how Rise can help grow your Amazon or Search business.

04/23/2019 at 05:45