PPC’s New Frontier – Retail eComm Search (Why Amazon SHOULD Matter to You)
I had an illuminating conversation about Amazon Ads and PPC with an industry colleague recently, not long after we announced Optmyzr’s new Amazon Ads functionality. Our discussion shined a spotlight on a potential emerging threat for PPC pros – channel complacency.
Understandably, a lot of people in our space are deeply rooted in Google and Bing. It makes sense. Agencies have achieved greatness by making it possible for clients to dominate in the highly lucrative paid search engine results. Google and Bing are, without question, the primary search engines – and we are search marketers by trade. By a wide margin, standard Internet searches happen on these two platforms, with Google still the runaway leader – and its SERPs providing highly valuable paid (and organic) information.
Product Search – PPC’s Hottest Battleground
While Google maintains its overall Internet search dominance, actual product search has seen a quiet revolution in the background. Somewhere between 2015 and 2018, Amazon swiped the top spot for product searches, according to a study done by Jumpshot.
What? Did we hear that correctly? Amazon is the search king? But they’re eCommerce, not search!
Yes. For product-specific searches, Amazon seems to have hip-checked Google off the mountaintop. At the time of the Jumpshot study, Amazon held 54% of that type of search activity, compared to 46% for Google. Those figures were inverted just three years earlier. In the months since the study, Amazon has invested massively to deepen and further refine its search capabilities.
Google has fought back, of course, significantly enhancing its pay-for-play product search results, while deepening the experiences with Shopping Ads and Showcase Shopping Ads. Expect the battle to wage intensely for market dominance in product search.
Why? As we all know from years gauging searcher intent, product-specific search is a strong indicator that someone is stampeding down the funnel toward conversion. After all, a person typically doesn’t search [brand] [product] [size] [color] if they are trying to get general ideas for fashion trends for the upcoming season. Many of those searchers are seeking best price, convenience, and shipping options to purchase NOW.
So, PPC pros who dismiss Amazon search as not being “search marketing” are likely missing a huge opportunity not considering queries on Amazon as “search.”
Millions upon millions of searches are happening in the Amazon search box each day. Semantics and intent may be different than how many searches happen in the Google box, but make no mistake about it – Amazon is a search platform and there’s gold in them thar’ searches.
It’s been interesting observing reactions after we launched Amazon Ads functionality as part of the Optmyzr PPC Management Suite. PPC rockstars were all over it. They received the news with an almost “about time!” mindset, expanding their capabilities virtually overnight. Visionary PPC pros are looking beyond Google and Bing in their expanding definition of “search.”
Many other very talented pros in our space, however, are still connecting the dots of how search is morphing and seeing the broader landscape beyond the king (Google) and the queen (Bing) of search. The emergence of Amazon (and Facebook) as actual search platforms creates a big new opportunity for PPC pros looking to own a bigger piece of the overall digital marketing mix.
And since most agencies get paid based on how much spend they manage, any opportunity to significantly move the needle on spend under management should be seen as a tremendous opportunity, especially when the new platform isn’t all that difficult to manage with the right tools like Optmyzr.
Expanding the PPC Universe – Simplified
Here’s the great news: It’s not difficult to expand PPC programs beyond Google and Bing. Again, the intent and behaviors in the various search boxes may be different, but the underlying mechanics are remarkably similar.
Think about it…Search > Algorithms > SERPs. Just as with Google and Bing, the Amazon machine churns out results against searches while allowing retailers and brands alike to buy their way to dominance for the keywords they want.
Optmyzr Rule Engine is the core of our Amazon offering. You can read more in our blog post announcing the Amazon capability, but here it is in a nutshell: Optmyzr makes it really easy for PPC pros to manage paid search across Google, Bing, and Amazon from a single interface. Manage critical aspects of paid search in Amazon, including the ability to set bids for a range or to meet a target ACOS goal. We allow the PPC pro to include negative keywords to reduce poor performing search terms and identify the positive keywords that convert in the Amazon universe.
Holiday shopping is ramping up as we speak. Hundreds of millions of searches for specific products will happen in the Amazon search box. You really don’t want to miss out on that lucrative search traffic. Your clients REALLY don’t want to miss out on it either!