RIP, Amazon Text Ads

October 2, 2015

Digital Marketing ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

For Amazon advertisers, this Halloween just got spookier. As of October 31, Amazon’s recently launched Text Ads program will be RIP-status.

Yesterday afternoon, Amazon notified its advertisers via email that the Amazon Text Ads (ATA) program will be discontinued on October 31 — ironically, the same day that Amazon Product Ads also get the boot.

Let’s back up.

ATA ExampleThroughout the past year, you may have noticed text-based ads within Amazon search results and product listings. The Amazon Text Ads program delivered content based on keywords used in Amazon shoppers’ browser searches.

This past August, Amazon used the sunset announcement of its popular Product Ads advertising format to introduce Text Ads as a possible alternative. The program has been in beta since Q4 2014 but will never see a public debut.  

It’s important to note that Amazon’s Text Ads and Product Ads take shoppers off Amazon and to the advertiser’s website.

Is Amazon discontinuing these programs in an attempt to keep shoppers within the Amazon ecosystem? What does this mean for its remaining advertising program, Sponsored Products (with auction-based, keyword-driven ads promoting your Amazon listings when you have the Buy Box)? No one can say for sure. However, we recently caught sight of Sponsored Products in a new location on the Amazon webpage, which makes us think that Amazon is possibly working to improve this channel to help sellers promote their products on the marketplace.   

As captured in the screenshot below, an Amazon search for a GoPro resulted in Sponsored Product ads showing up across the top of the page — instead of their usual right-hand gutter alignment.


What Should Retailers Do Next?

As the clock strikes Q4, what’s an Amazon advertiser to do with the budget set aside for ATAs and Product Ads? How do you recapture that holiday traffic and revenue? One word: reallocation.

Reallocating your ATA budget to different channels is a great up-front strategy to ensure your digital marketing ROI doesn’t plummet this holiday season. Luckily, you have many channel options to harvest your ad spend dollars — such as Yahoo Gemini, Facebook dynamic product ads, Google Shopping campaigns and Bing ads. Though ATAs will no longer be visible by the end of the month, you can still access your performance reports through February 29, 2016.

Out with the old, in with the new — and then back out with the new. Pretty much sums up Amazon’s advertising endeavors, huh? The booming online marketplace is evolving at a pace that’s almost impossible to keep up with. But stay tuned as we keep tabs on retailers’ reactions and how this change could affect Amazon’s quarterly results.


Blog post by Jordan Nowlin, social media and blog manager, ChannelAdvisor

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