IRCE: A Deep Dive Into The Amazon Data River

amazonAmazon has an ever-growing deluge of data that it’s putting toward a trio of ad units and new consumer-facing projects.

In addition to Sponsored Products, Product Ads and Sponsored Links, which underpin its nearly $1 billon advertising business, Amazon is testing numerous consumer features designed to strengthen its ecommerce data set with search activity.

“Amazon knows more about its customers than even Facebook and Google with regard to how people are spending,” said Colin Sebastian, a senior equity research analyst at R.W. Baird, speaking at the Internet Retailer Conference in Chicago on Tuesday.

These shopping insights are further fueled by Amazon’s push into “couch commerce.” The ecommerce giant revealed on Tuesday that it has added more than 600 channels, games and partner apps in the last three months to the Amazon Fire TV platform, claiming it surpassed both Roku and Apple TV’s figures in the same time frame.

“Their technology and content is extending into the mobile world with this wave of connected devices,” said Sebastian. “Amazon invested $1.3 billion in Prime content last year, and we’ll see a big opportunity for advertising to be pumped into television through the Internet, not just through traditional networks or cable companies.”

Gina DeFrank, who works at ChannelAdvisor, a company that helps 3,000 retailers sell and market to shoppers on Amazon’s marketplace, said the ecommerce giant’s new pet projects (Amazon “Stream,” a Pinterest-like discovery page, and Dash, a buy-button for frequent household purchases) underscore its efforts to automate data collection and quality across its properties. 

Amazon knows the demographics of buyers, which items they’re adding to their Wish Lists and what people are searching for, thus developing back-end recommendations for merchants around additional products to sell or which product listings need optimization.

DeFrank said Amazon’s pitch is not dissimilar from Facebook’s, where brands, no longer blessed with boundless organic reach, have to pay in order to be seen.

“Some new clients say, ‘We’re nowhere to be found,’ but they find once they hit certain sales volumes with paid [media] in terms of discoverability and sales, they generate higher page ranks, in which then the natural search would kick in,” she said.

Corey Frons, CEO of ecommerce specialty lighting business BulbAmerica, said his – business uses both Google Shopping Ads and Amazon Product Ads, although Amazon’s format is his #1 driver of referral traffic.

“The click is very close to a Google Shopping click,” said Frons. Ironically, BulbAmerica uses Google Analytics to measure both Google’s and Amazon’s product listings streams. “We find that for every person who comes into our site [from Amazon] and makes a purchase, they come back another eight to nine times, so it’s worth our investment to collect that customer data.”

Frons isn’t worried about Amazon cannibalizing his own traffic, as Amazon’s Product Ads link shoppers back to BulbAmerica’s own site and represent only a fraction of BulbAmerica’s total conversions in the Amazon marketplace.

Additionally, Amazon is testing ways to make Sponsored Products – highly qualified keyword-targeted ads that merchants often use to promote new or unique products within the Amazon environment – more personalized based on the device they’re using, “where if I’m looking at a product page on one screen, and someone else is looking from another screen, we’ll see different ads,” said DeFrank.

 

 

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