While much of the paid search community is focused on Amazon’s recent push into Google Shopping ads, it did not slip past our radar that the retail giant recently expanded its efforts in the already established text ad portion of their ppc program.
Amazon Ramps Up Mobile Impression Share on Google Text Ads
Across the Merkle client set, there was a significant increase in Amazon’s Google text ad Impression Share beginning on July 8 of this year, heading into the weekend before their annual Amazon Prime Day event (July 11). This change is most notable on mobile, where impression share topped out at 36% for the median advertiser on Prime Day compared to a daily average of 25% in June. Desktop and tablet impression shares also increased modestly, and on Prime Day both were five percentage points higher than their June average.
Increased efforts on mobile for text ads reflect a change in device strategy for the retailer, one that more closely aligns with their mobile focus on Google Shopping ads.
Mobile Helps Drive New Customers
From the company’s press release following this year’s performance it was noted that, “More new customers joined Prime on July 11  than on any single day in Amazon history.”
As such, it seems new customer acquisition was a central focus for Prime Day, which would make sense given Amazon’s particularly strong push on mobile. Merkle data indicates that many advertisers see a higher percentage of new customers come in on mobile ads than from other device types.
Amazon Sustains Increased Impression Share Following Prime Day
While pushing text ads more on mobile may have been a short-term promotional strategy in the lead up to Prime Day, Amazon has maintained an increased presence on the SERP following the success of this year’s event.
With the media coverage around this sale growing every year, it is difficult to estimate the impact that paid search had on the overall company’s success compared to other channels. However, if the positive side-effects that Merkle clients saw on Prime Day in mobile non-brand CR increases are any indication, paid search may have played a significant role in Amazon’s new customer acquisition achievements, leading the eCommerce giant to continue its expanded paid search efforts.
Combat Increased Competition by Measuring the Full Value of Paid Search
Cross-device conversions and in-store measurements have helped many advertisers make the case for investing more into paid search, particularly for mobile traffic which is traditionally more likely to drive cross-device and in-store transactions. Advertisers which limit ROI measurements to single-device, direct response interactions may fail to properly invest in paid search given the full impact of ads.
For advertisers looking to combat lost impression share as Amazon gets more aggressive, we recommend ensuring that you are fully valuing new customer acquisition and lifetime value driven by paid search marketing dollars. Doing so may help justify increased investment in the space for particular product categories, ad formats, and/or device types that drive a higher percentage of new customers or a larger lifetime value than paid search on the whole.