- Amazon is reportedly testing a program allowing advertisers to use search queries to retarget ads across the web, according to sources cited in an AdExchanger report. The capability is available via Amazon’s demand side platform (DSP) and marks the first time Amazon search data would be used off of the platform.
- Amazon already allows advertisers to retarget shoppers who have viewed product pages or made purchases, but the new search-based retargeting lets advertisers focus on intent. While Google’s search data can influence targeting on YouTube, Gmail and its display ad partners, Amazon’s search-based retargeting is limited because of campaign restrictions.
- Advertisers could have more search data flexibility to self-serve ads within the DSP, sources told AdExchanger.
Using Amazon search data for retargeting could help marketers reach a wider array of potential new customers by giving them a way to engage with consumers who are thinking about a purchase but haven't made a decision yet. A growing number of consumers are starting their search for purchases on Amazon, where they can read reviews and look at phots, making retargeting base don search data a potentially significant new marketing service from Amazon.
Amazon’s testing of new retargeting products comes as the company is working to grow its ad business and become a a bigger competitor to Google and Facebook. Amazon has also reportedly been testing another retargeting offering to allow sellers in its online marketplace to purchase spots that follow shoppers through their online sessions across the web to try to bring them back to Amazon to purchase. The new tool would let sellers bid on ads that would appear on other sites and apps, and would only pay Amazon when the ads are clicked on.
As marketers continue to invest in digital campaigns, measuring campaign performance continues to be a struggle, and marketers have questioned the effectiveness of retargeting. Three-quarters of retail marketers say they don’t have a way to measure whether sales attributed to retargeting would have happened organically, and 55% say murky measurement as their biggest challenge, according to a Nanigans study. Most marketers, or 83%, think retargeted ads have been given credit for sales that would have happened without them, and 57% of consumers said the ads didn’t influence their purchasing decisions.
Amazon’s U.S. ad revenue is projected to reach $4.61 billion in 2018, higher than previous forecasts of $2.89 billion, according to an eMarketer analysis. Amazon has a 4.15% share of the U.S. digital ad market, ranking No. 3 among digital ad platforms, ahead of Oath and Microsoft. Google and Facebook are expected to control 57.7% of U.S. digital ad revenue this year, down from 59.1% last year.