Amazon announced its mid-July Prime Day event just last week, with this year’s iteration happening July 15 and 16. The event promises to be a big one for both Amazon and its sellers, many of which are now advertisers that have some important ducks to get in a row over the next couple of weeks, as our Amazon expert Sean wrote about last week.
However, one trend already taking hold for advertisers is happening outside of the Amazon ecosystem. In Google Shopping, Amazon impression share has been soaring since mid-June, and may be tied to more than just the impending Prime Day ‘holiday.’
Amazon Clearly Outpacing Other Competitors in Google Shopping Recently
Looking at advertisers focused on the home goods category, Amazon’s average impression share against these brands has risen from around 50% during the first couple of months of Q2 all the way up to 70% for the back half of June.
Home goods is the product category Amazon first entered when testing out Google Shopping at the very end of 2016 and has been the category where its presence has been most consistent. However, Amazon is also competing in Google Shopping in categories like electronics and novelty gifts, and we’ve also observed its impression share going up in these categories as well. The advertisers competing against Amazon in these auctions have seen their impression share hold steady over the same time frame.
Looking over at text ads, Amazon impression share has stayed roughly the same throughout Q2 and it doesn’t appear to be getting more aggressive in these auctions. Text ads account for only a small fraction of non-brand clicks for retailers now, though.
What’s Amazon Up To?
With Prime Day coming in hot it might be logical to attribute this increase in Google Shopping presence to Amazon ramping up its efforts to make this year’s event even bigger than the last. That may well be all there is to the story, and getting more aggressive about a month before the event would make sense. However, it might also be tied to a recent Google change aimed at including a greater range of domains in its organic results.
In the first week of June, Google announced that it had updated its search results to limit the number of listings from a single domain to two in most circumstances, while also giving itself the flexibility to show more than two if the specific query searched for warrants it. Given Amazon’s dominance in eCommerce, many searches have historically returned several of its pages as results. While it’s impossible to assess the potential impact of this update on Amazon specifically (unless you’re an SEO for Amazon), certainly seems reasonable that a dip in performance from this update might spur a more aggressive ad strategy.
Amazon could also very well just be expanding its presence without a specific impetus. Sometimes I eat two ice cream sandwiches at night because I can. Amazon can eat whatever it wants.
Regardless, Amazon is clearly making moves in Google Shopping, and competitors will likely take some form of performance hit as a result. The likely victims will come in the form of inflated CPCs or less click volume, but such shifts are difficult to definitively quantify with many moving parts at play.
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