Amazon Product Ads begins rollout

February 7, 2008

Back in July, I mentioned a job posting over at Amazon about Product Ads, a previously-unknown program having something to do with “a new cost-per-click advertising channel.”  Now it looks like this program has rolled out based upon email marketing performed by Amazon, as well as some early examples in Consumer Electronics, Home & Garden, Tools Toys and Kids & Babies categories.

Here’s how the flow works:

  • Merchant uploads product catalog
  • Customers perform searches on Amazon.com, where the merchant’s products appear in search results next to Amazon products (also known as “the product ad”)
  • Customers may click on the product ad, which takes the user to Amazon’s product page presentation, which links directly to the merchant’s OWN product page
  • The merchant is charged on a CPC basis
  • The merchant keeps all transaction revenue from the referral, minus CPC costs

Check out an example search here. Notice the “Available at external website” footer label on each “product ad.”

So, what does this accomplish? It brings visibility to third-party merchants up one layer into the search results themselves.  Previously, as we all know, merchants could only be seen once a user clicked onto a product page. Now, third-party merchants can compete directly within Amazon’s search results, depending on the product and category.

This will probably benefit merchants who sell more unique items, but the data will always tell the truth.

Anyone out there enrolled as a beta in the program?  Talk to me! scott.hurff at channeladvisor dot com

Thanks to Max & Brian for some information.