Amazon (PPC) Products Ads

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Amazon has formally launched its Product Ads service and it's got many wondering if it's such a good idea.

You might remember that several years ago, Amazon actually launched a PPC advertising service they dubbed ClickRiver without much success. My experience in the past with Amazon programs has been that it may not be the best option for merchants, advertisers or consumers today, but the future will be a completely different story - as is the case I believe here.

Product Ads is a PPC (pay-per-click) advertising program designed to provide Amazon.com customers with access to products available on external or third-party websites. As you might imagine, some merchants are none too pleased that Amazon is providing consumers with a way to leave the listing they are currently on and directing them to another site entirely.

As a seller, advertisers simply upload their catalog and set the cost-per-click bids and daily budget. Amazon will then display ads to Amazon.com customers when they shop for your product or related products. Customers who are interested in buying your product can click through to your website and purchase the product directly from the advertiser.

There are no monthly fees and no minimum spend. Advertisers are charged only when an Amazon customer clicks on your ad and is taken to your website. You control not only the maximum price you are willing to pay for that click, but also your daily budget. This allows you to measure the return on your advertising investment and optimize your budget accordingly.

Product Ads by Amazon provides a new, highly targeted advertising channel. Amazon's world-class shopping experience and product pages ensure you only pay for qualified customers. You don't pay for customers to read about and view your products on Amazon. You only pay when they click on your ad to go to your website.

If you have products that are not currently available on Amazon, they use the product details you provide to create a new product page. These products will be available in search, browse and on related product pages. If your products are the same or similar to existing products on Amazon, they display your ads on existing product pages targeting customers who are looking for products like yours.

In an effort to drive the best results for their customers and sellers, Amazon is continually testing and optimizing Product Ads placements. As such, these placements will vary and evolve over time with the objective of getting your products in front of customers "in the most customer-centric way," says Amazon.

In what categories can I advertise my products?
Advertisers can sign up immediately for the program to list products in the Baby, Computer, Electronics, Health and Personal Care, Home and Garden, Office Products, Sports and Outdoors, Tools and Home Improvement and Toys categories. According to Amazon, advertising in Apparel, Shoes, Jewelry, Beauty and Watches categories is available but is restricted.

The information you need to provide to create Product Ads includes the category, the product title, the SKU, the URL, the product price and shipping price, the UPC and the product description.

If you're wondering how Amazon could manage to squeeze in one more section into its site's product pages, you're not alone. See the image below for how it looks currently, but expect over time for the placement to move about in order to secure the greatest number of end-user clicks.

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3 comments

ConnorS 03-08-2009 11:20 PM

It kind of sounds like Facebook's program which I love so can't wait to try it

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RayH 03-13-2009 4:39 PM

This article states, "As you might imagine, some merchants are none too pleased that Amazon is providing consumers with a way to leave the listing they are currently on and directing them to another site entirely."

Is this any different than what Adsense has been doing since its inception?

I've never understood why small to medium traffic site owners are so happy to take a few pennies and say bye-bye to their visitors and send them on their way to a competitors site.

Peter A. Prestipino 03-16-2009 10:07 AM

Despite the fact that many Web publishers have made a good living from programs of this nature, you're absolutely right RayH, this is not different at all from Adwords/Adsense - except for the fact it only appears on Amazon (not a content network like Google).

The real issue as I see it is that the merchants whose listing consumers are visiting don't have a say (or a revenue share) on clicks that end up going away from their listing.

Ultimately I think you'll see these ads move to other Amazon properties. I can only assime (and hope) that is merely a test-bed for a larger project.

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