Sellers who pay extra for visibility through Sponsored Products ads on Amazon may now have their ads appear off-Amazon as well. Amazon announced Wednesday it was expanding Sponsored Products ads to other apps and websites. All such ads will link back to the Amazon product page.
“We will start small, learn, and expand as we see meaningful opportunities to enable delightful discovery and shopping experiences,” Amazon said. Early partners include “premium apps and websites” that include Pinterest, BuzzFeed, Hearst Newspapers, Raptive, and Ziff Davis brands like Lifehacker and Mashable.
Amazon Sponsored Products are cost-per-click ads, which Amazon explains on this page of its website.
Amazon said sellers don’t need to take any action – “Your Sponsored Products ads will automatically show up when we think a customer is likely to be interested in your product, based on relevant page context, the campaign, and cost-per-click parameters that you have already established.”
But what about sellers who already run ads on other sites and may fear they’ll be competing with themselves? For example, a seller who advertises on Pinterest to drive traffic to a product listing on their own website could conceivably end up paying for an Amazon Sponsored Product ad that also runs on Pinterest and drives traffic to their listing on Amazon. Even if a shopper only clicks on one ad, it’s conceivable that the cost of that click could be higher due to the greater competition for ad space on the page.
Amazon told us that advertisers can choose to not have their ads served on specific apps and websites – but merchants may prefer to be able to simply turn off the feature altogether, particularly those who advertise using a network where they don’t get to specify where their ads appear.
Amazon said that at launch, campaign reporting will be available in the Sponsored Products placement report, which can be downloaded in the report center.
Sponsored Products only appear when advertised items are in-stock and include Amazon shopping attributes such as Prime delivery promise, ratings, and pricing information – “helping customers make informed browsing and buying decisions even before they choose to click on an ad,” Amazon said.
JungleScout noted in a guide last year, “Since Sponsored Products ads integrate so well with Amazon’s organic search results, customers often don’t even realize they’re looking at an ad.” It will be interesting to see how sellers react to Sponsored Products appearing on sites other than Amazon.
Meanwhile, Etsy requires all but the smallest sellers to participate in an offsite ads program, and eBay launched an optional offsite ad program in 2021. Some might say it’s the marketplaces’ responsibility to get traffic to their website and then show sellers’ items in search results, and that these offsite ads switch the cost from the marketplace to the seller.
Wednesday’s announcement is published to the About Amazon blog.