The research was previewed at an event held exclusively for senior client-side marketers in New York last week. For those not at this session, ClickZ will also be running an Age of Amazon webinar on the research findings on October 5, shortly before publication of the full 40-page report.
The research, which is based on surveys of more than 250 marketers and 1,600 consumers, is focused on the North American market, drawing on interviews with a range of well-known consumer brands and agency practitioners with deep knowledge of Amazon’s nascent marketing solutions.
The need for an Amazon strategy
The huge reach of Amazon makes it an attractive platform for advertisers, with the paid search products that comprise Amazon Marketing Services gaining traction with brands and agencies who are benefiting from impressive return on ad spend (ROAS).
At last week’s launch event, Chris Humber, Head of Search for GroupM/Catalyst, explained the relative merits of Headline Search Ads, Sponsored Products and Product Display Ads.
According to the new ClickZ research, the sheer size, influence and reach of Amazon means that every sizeable B2C company needs to have an Amazon media and marketing strategy, even if a decision is made not to engage with this platform.
However, the research found that only 17% of B2C marketers have a clearly defined strategy for Amazon Marketing Services, and that many companies are unaware of the marketing solutions offered by Amazon.
According to Catalyst’s Chris Humber, Amazon’s media and marketing products will go from strength to strength because of the power of its data.
“Amazon has transactional data; it knows who you are and what you are purchasing. It’s the Holy Grail, and what Google would like to have, the missing piece that allows Amazon to move from predictive to prescriptive search, so they can recommend proactively.”
Research by BMO Capital Markets estimates that Amazon will generate an estimated $3.5 billion in ad revenue in 2017, growing 63% to $5.7 billion in 2018. While these sales are still relatively modest compared to the likes of Google and Facebook, Amazon’s fast growth as a media player is making its competitors sit up and take notice, according to the report.
WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell has famously described the company as the one thing that keeps him awake at night.
Amazon now accounts for an estimated 43% of online retail sales, according to Business Insider. But while Amazon’s retail power is well documented, the potential of its media and marketing services is less widely reported.
A BloomReach study, published in 2016, revealed that 55% of U.S. consumers went directly to Amazon to search for products (an increase from 44% in 2015), compared to 28% who used established search engines such as Google and Bing (down from 34% in 2015).
The influence of ecommerce
ClickZ’s own consumer research shows the significant influence that ecommerce sites — including Amazon — are exerting on buying decisions, with consumer data for a range of consumer product categories including groceries, baby care, home electronics, clothing and pet care.
Kerry Curran, Managing Partner, Marketing Integration, at Catalyst, described to the audience how Amazon was playing an increasingly important role in the customer journey. The new Age of Amazon report explores the evolution of the customer journey and role of ecommerce sites such as Amazon for driving both online and physical sales.
Content produced in association with Catalyst . Click here  to read our collaborative content guidelines. Views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of ClickZ.
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