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15Oct
2014

How to seriously compete with Amazon this holiday season

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There’s a huge opportunity to compete with Amazon this holiday season – and it’s not going to cost you much.

Traditionally, Amazon has been one of the largest paid search advertisers on Google but that was before Google launched Product Listing Ads (recently renamed Google Shopping).

As of right now, and since Product Listing Ads (PLAs) launched in 2012 – Amazon.com has not purchased one. Some of their subsidiaries buy product listing ads, as do their merchants but Amazon itself has not bought one. It’s speculated that Amazon does not want to pay Google for something that is essentially attracting customers away from their site. They’re choosing not to compete this way.

How does this help YOUR business get more sales?

If you use PLAs for your products, Amazon’s products will not show up in the side by side comparison that PLAs create. Amazon still buys ads – but they buy the text ads. For example, if you search for “wall clock” on Google, you can see that five separate retailers show up while Amazon simply has a text ad below – which does get traffic but not nearly as much.

Searchers are 34% more likely to click on a PLA than a text ad.[1]

So, let’s say you’re one of the retailers that sells clocks in the example above. Anyone searching for a wall clock on Google, would be much more likely to click on your ad, over Amazon’s. Even taking Amazon out of the equation, you’re still ahead of a lot of competition simply by having your products show up in this format in the first place. No matter how your website ranks in search, these paid ads always appear at the top of the page.

89% of consumers use search engines to find information on products or services prior to making a purchase.[2]

The fact is, your customers are using the internet to comparison shop. It’s easier than ever to compare prices or designs in an instant – they can and do simply look up whatever they want with Google. If you use PLAs, your products will appear right at the top of their search screen. Amazon might have ads too – but they’ll show up BELOW yours as text ads.

For every $1 spent, you can expect about $9 in returns.[3]

You do have to pay Google for PLAs but research shows that they’re very profitable. Unlike text ads, they actually show customers an image of your product right in the search screen. This is the perfect way to reach customers who have never heard of your store. Remember, these are searches for products. If your store sells what someone is looking for and it shows up at the top of their search – you stand a great chance of making that sale.If you decide to invest in PLAs, now is the best time to do it. The busiest shopping season of the year is rapidly approaching and analysts believe the 2014 holiday season is going to be the largest online shopping season to date. Even outside of the holiday season, PLAs are a great way to get more sales and exposure online.

[1] According to research by Adobe Systems Inc.
[2] According to research by Fleishman Hillard
[3] According to research by Kenshoo

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