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Amazon streamlines its ad products

Amazon announced in August this year that they were bringing their advertising products under one single platform: Amazon Advertising. This has come shortly after Google unified their products, AdWords and DoubleClick, under the Google Marketing Platform.

They have announced that their main three strands – Amazon Media Group, Amazon Marketing Services and Amazon Advertising Platform (AAP) – are therefore retiring in the hope that users will welcome the simplification of moving to a combined platform. This move partly comes after some criticism that the platform product offerings were not clear or easy to navigate.

The operational side will remain the same for now, and the new brand will be phased in over the rest of this year and into 2019. Some changes in product names include Headline Ads into Sponsored Brands and, AAP will become the Amazon DSP, aligning more with other programmatic platforms.

Over the last few years, Amazon has evolved its advertising services, trying to catch up with the advertising duopoly of Google and Facebook. It has helped Amazon to grow this service to both big and small brands. Whilst this growth is great for them, it’s clear that change needed to happen to allow them to produce a platform that is simple and intuitive for the thousands of advertisers that now use their products. Whilst the number of advertisers is still small compared to the duopoly, it shows just how quickly Amazon has grown.

Amazon is also testing an attribution solution, to give advertisers a more holistic view of how their ads perform compared to other channels.

All Response Media viewpoint

As an agency Amazon Champion, I have experienced first-hand the struggle that is working on Amazon’s platforms. It’s true that the different platforms were confusing previously, and it was hard to push forward a multi-format approach to Amazon Advertising. The reporting capabilities were also extremely limited. Agencies will certainly welcome the move to something more intuitive.

Compared to other platforms, Amazon is also a black box when it comes to measurement and attribution. The new attribution solution test provides a whole other layer to their offering, especially in the world of performance marketing. It should, in theory, give insight into what’s driving your Amazon sales and in turn help advertisers to optimise their accounts more effectively.  However, this only looks at Amazon sales in a silo. There is still the big question of “what if I sell through other domains outside of Amazon?” and in this case “how do I know what is driving the best results for my business?”. These questions will likely go unanswered for a while yet, but you should still be asking them before you consider selling your products on Amazon.