- Amazon is beta testing mobile video ad placements in product search results, according to a blog post from the e-commerce giant. Procter & Gamble, Gillette and Lamps Plus are among the brands that are piloting the video ad format, per Digiday, while Amazon's blog also shows ad examples from Neutrogena, littleBits and Sonos.
- Amazon said its "video in search" format is a premium ad product that requires a marketing budget of $35,000 or more to get started. The ads are shown below the fold in the search results for keywords selected by the advertiser. Customers can then click on the ad to see the product's details page or to see another landing page such as a merchant's storefront on Amazon.
- The ads must be 90 seconds or less and contain audio. They're currently only available on iOS devices and aren't available for off-site placement.
Amazon's test of mobile video ads is another sign that the e-commerce giant is serious about expanding its advertising business among major brands that want to raise awareness and drive transactions on the commerce platform. Smartphone users generate a significant amount of traffic to Amazon, with many shoppers using their mobile devices to research products before making a final purchase, often on a desktop computer, Jack Shillito, head of digital at e-commerce agency Precious Media, told Digiday. Still, about 20% of Amazon's U.S. ad revenue is from mobile-only buys, according to Standard Media Index, indicating greater room for future growth.
The retail giant isn't alone among retailers that are selling more media-rich ad space to major consumer goods companies like Procter & Gamble and Kraft Heinz. Target, Walmart and Tesco are working aggressively to attract big advertisers to their websites in a bid to drive sales as competition heats up. Retailers are offering marketing options such as banner ads, pop-ups and discount deals, while suppliers can buy keywords to get their products listed at the top of searches, increasing the chance of discoverability. Online retailers have an advantage over social media sites in knowing the purchase history of their shoppers, which can be used to target key audience groups with ads.
Amazon is expected to give mobile marketers another choice in the $88 billion digital ad market dominated by Google and Facebook. While their combined market share likely will hold steady at about 56% to 57% over the next few years, companies like Amazon and Snap continue to capture more of the digital ad market, according to researcher eMarketer.
Amazon's ad sales are forecast to grow 46% to $6.6 billion in 2019 from about $4.5 billion this year, according to JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth. Amazon has three kinds of ad formats with varying growth rates. Spending on its sponsored product ads that appear alongside search results surged 165% in Q2 2018 from a year earlier, according to a Merkle estimate. Headline search ads, which appear at the top of Amazon pages, saw 162% growth. Product display ads fell 55%, but the format is only available to vendors on its e-commerce platform.