With a market share of 4.2%, Amazon is now the fifth largest retailer in the UK, accounting for £4 in every £100 spent.
According to market research company Mintel, a staggering 86% of UK shoppers use Amazon, with under a fifth stating they use it weekly. Amazon Prime, meanwhile, has surpassed 15 million subscribers in the UK, equivalent to over a quarter of the country’s adult population.
The etail giant is fast transforming into a fully-fledged ecosystem. To support its ambition of becoming seamlessly integrated into consumers’ lives, Amazon recently restructured its advertising ecosystem, spanning media, data and content. From aiding in the discovery process with Sponsored Ads to reaching audiences programmatically with Amazon DSP, and even offering fully branded experiences through Amazon Stores, Amazon is now equipped to reach shoppers throughout the entire journey.
But the path to Amazon Advertising success is a tough one to tread. Both established and fledgling brands compete to occupy the same advertising space. The sophistication of tools involved, combined with the high level of shopper expectation for a seamless shopping experience means navigating the platform’s ad offering can be complex and requires a diverse range of specialist capabilities, as well as significant ongoing buy-in from the brand.
The always-on nature of Amazon means advertising strategy and planning are of utmost importance. At smp, we operate at the intersection of shopper, retailer and brand to place brands in shoppers’ baskets and have cultivated a five-step process to reach shoppers and convert traffic:
- Establish objectives to shape the vision, role and strategy for Amazon Advertising within the broader marketing mix
- Create a holistic activation plan by defining the role of media and content in delivering the Amazon Advertising strategy and metrics
- Align the plan with the brand’s Amazon commercial trading strategy
- Provide clear direction on investment priorities
- Create a measurement plan to monitor ongoing effectiveness
With 47% of product searches beginning on Amazon, a key differentiator for the etail giant stems from the fact that consumers on the platform know what they want and are after information on which they can base their purchasing decisions. Coupled with Amazon’s wealth of data and its media and content offering, the platform offers great insights for continuous testing and refinement of strategy by tracking performance.
Consistency is key. Each touchpoint across the shopper journey plays a pivotal role in the overall strategy, so planning the content to activate these with is crucial. Always return to the shopper and look at the data available to better understand the purchase journey, any barriers that may impact shoppers’ purchasing decisions and how to overcome them. Content should be similarly developed with the shopper in mind, remaining unified across the journey.
Even more necessary, however, is the capacity to continuously optimise and measure performance. Mapping out the customer journey, after all, is only half the battle; carrying out testing programmes and deep diving into insights to gain a better understanding of what has worked and what hasn’t is what separates the best from the rest.
Chris Cooper is head of planning at London-based marketing agency smp.