Amazon Retargeting to Challenge Google

Amazon retargeting may happen soon, taking on Google for market share. Amazon is testing the product with “select merchants” this month, Bloomberg reports.

“ Inc. is taking its most assertive step yet into the digital advertising market by testing a new display ad offering that threatens multibillion-dollar revenue streams at Google and firms like Criteo SA,” reads the May 14 article by Spencer Soper and Mark Bergen.

The offering, though, doesn’t appear aimed at taking Facebook’s share of what the IAB reports on May 10 is the overall $88 billion digital ad revenue flowing in in 2017, mostly due to the duopoly of Facebook and Google. Total digital ad revenue is up 21% in 2017, says the IAB report. (Opens as a PDF) And even before the retargeting product test, Amazon saw a 60% increase in ad revenue in 2017 — to $1.7 billion, reports Marketing Land’s Greg Sterling.

Sterling reported on the day of Bloomberg’s scoop that Amazon will sell its retargeting option as a PPC-auction product. He says:

“Recently, Amazon stopped buying product listing ads (PLAs) on Google.

“What’s not clear is whether Amazon-based remarketing will run on third-party sites and/or whether Amazon will effectively sell PLAs to merchants at auction rather than placing them ‘for free.’

Though Akansha Mihir Mota probably interviewed Siddharth Dabhade, General Manager, Criteo India, far before the Bloomberg article, her piece on May 16 in Best Media Info seems almost as though it’s a response to Amazon’s retargeting product announcement. She asks and Dabhade answers:

Mota: “How different or superior is Criteo than several other players including the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter as a retargeting and programmatic advertising services provider? Who do you see largely as your competitor?”

Dabhade: “We have very different technology and in fact we partner with Google and Facebook. The differentiator that we have is the amount of shopper behavior which we are able to see. We look at 1.2 billion active monthly shoppers, 4 billion-plus product interactions every month and $550 billion commerce data. We have a scale of commerce bigger than what Amazon does. The other differentiator we have is recommendations where we recommend consumers about certain products on the website. The other differentiator is the way we show the ad communication. The way we personalize the ad communication is very different from the rest.”

Despite Dabhade’s confidence, market watchers seem to think Amazon will really be going after Google’s market share.

On May 10, Ginny Marvin writes for Marketing Land that IAB doesn’t name the top 10 companies that gobbled up 74% of 2017’s digital ad revenue, but her source Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research thinks he knows:

“It seems clear they are taking share. [Google and Facebook] probably accounted for 90 percent of the growth. The rest probably accounted for 10 percent or so.” Weiser pegs the duopoly’s share of U.S. ad revenues at above 70 percent.

Time will tell if Amazon’s retargeting option chips away at that share and gives marketers greater advertising choices.

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Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.
Publish date: May 24, 2018 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT