You may have seen Amazon’s recent announcement regarding the consolidating and rebranding of their advertising services into one group called Amazon Advertising. Their various platforms and teams are being combined into one group with some platforms and ad types being renamed.

You may have also noticed an uptick recently in news articles talking about Amazon’s ad services. Most recently, a report by eMarketer predicting that this year Amazon.com, Inc. (“Amazon”) will become the third largest ad platform, moving ahead of Microsoft (MSN, Bing and LinkedIn) and AOL/Yahoo. Another article by the New York Times discusses Amazon’s rapid expansion into digital advertising, and there are many more.

All of this activity has made it very clear that Amazon is aiming to disrupt yet another industry and intends to continue to take market share from Google and Facebook. But what does this mean for brands and sellers? There are a few things to think about.

Consider Your SERP Results

If you are an Amazon Seller or Vendor and aren’t already advertising on the Amazon marketplace it is time to take a hard look at starting. Amazon’s search engine results page (SERP) is becoming increasingly populated with paid advertisements, pushing organic (non-paid) search results down, in many cases below the fold.

Below is an example of what a typical SERP on Amazon now looks like, with advertisements highlighted. On a typical desktop monitor, only the top two rows are above the fold and all are advertisements.

SP Ad Placement

Optimize Your Amazon Channel

If you are operating multiple sales channels and Amazon has not been a priority, if your Amazon listings are not optimized for search, if advertising is also not optimized or even running, it’s time to take a look at allocating some resources to optimizing your Amazon channel. As Amazon chips away at Google’s market share, more and more buyers will be coming to Amazon to research and buy products. A recent report states that Amazon has now surpassed Google for product searches. You will need to make sure your product can be found and stands out from the competition.

Optimize Your Ad Campaigns

If you are advertising on Amazon, be aware that as Amazon continues to grow their ad business, and more and more brands begin advertising, it will be even more critical to optimize your ad campaigns and review and revise your strategy on a regular basis. Already in some categories there are keywords that have a $10-$20 first page bid and we are seeing bids increase each year. As competition and cost increases sellers and brands will need to become smarter in order to stay profitable.

Advertising Off-Amazon

While Amazon is aggressively growing its ad business, Google and Facebook still have the majority of the ad space and should not be ignored. If you are finding on-Amazon advertising becoming more and more competitive and not quite enough to give your product that extra visibility, consider testing Google Ads and Facebook Ads. With Amazon Storefront you can create a tracking code to use for external advertising and track the effectiveness of these external ad campaigns.

Plan Ahead

It’s clear that Amazon ads are here to stay and are continuing to play a vital part of any Amazon strategy. As Amazon Advertising continues to evolve both as a platform and with new competition, sellers need to also evolve to keep their competitive edge and maintain visibility on the marketplace. Start today by reviewing your Amazon advertising strategy for Q4 so that you can make the most of Amazon’s busiest shopping season.

Liz Adamson

Liz Adamson is the owner and lead consultant at Egility. In addition to extensive experience selling on the Amazon marketplace, she brings over a decade of experience in producing, marketing, and selling consumer goods as well as an MBA emphasizing in marketing and brand management. Her author profile can be found here.

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This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.