A couple of Amazon Holiday observations

November 24, 2012

ChannelAdvisor ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

For complete Amazon SSS coverage, check out our sister site, eBay Strategies where we are closely tracking Amazon, eBay and other channels’ performance for the holidays.

I did receive a flurry of questions about Amazon from sellers that I wanted to address here:

  • Is it true that Amazon is not participating in Google Shopping?
  • Is Zappos now selling on Amazon?!

Is Amazon participating in Google Shopping?

To really determine this, you would have to do a comprehensive look at every Amazon SKU to definitively say yes or no.  That being said, we have checked 20-30 top selling Amazon products (like this Samsung TV pictured below), and it does appear that Amazon is not advertising on Google via Google Shopping.  Amazon is very active in the sponsored links however (adwords): (click to enlarge)


Amazon is not active here as you can see, but they are the third sponsored listing on the left.  The logical next question is why? Only Amazon can tell you that, but the most common reason that retailers choose not to be in Google Shopping are:

  • It is hard to manage – Google Shopping is this unusual marriage of paid-search concepts and CSE/datafeed concepts.
  • It is not meeting ROI goals
  • Competitive concerns.  Amazon my strategically not want Google shoppers to have a ‘great experience’ because that would potentially keep them from coming to Amazon as their first choice.

It’s important to note that many of the Amazon owned companies like Zappos and Quidsi (Diapers.com,

Is Zappos now selling on Amazon?

Sellers in the apparel catalogueueue are reporting that they are now seeing Zappos selling on Amazon.  Since the July 2009 acquistion of Zappos by Amazon, everyone in the industry has been a bit surprised there wasn’t more integration between the two companies.  For example, why would Zappos inventory not be used to ‘fill out’ the Amazon shoe category?  Why isn’t Amazon inventory used to at least surface products in Zappos search that have null results?

Well, it appears there is finally some integration going on.  Here is a listing for a popular Michael Kors handbag on Amazon:


Here you can see that Zappos is now making some of its inventory available on Amazon, but not through the third-party marketplace (what Amazon calls Selling on Amazon), but through Amazon ProductAds.  ProductAds is where any retailer can effectively advertise on Amazon using a CPC economics and drive traffic to your site like a CSE.

It will be interesting to watch this to see how long it lasts and perhaps if Zappos sees great results, they will essentially take the plunge and sell via 3P on Amazon.

This post written by Scot Wingo, CEO, ChannelAdvisor. I am long Amazon and Google. eBay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor.