Amazon began inviting millions of merchants that are already selling on the marketplace to join a test program in which the online retailer serves short instructional product videos with the written description of their products for sale on their page.
The plan seemed to displace search engines like Bing and Google by allowing people to view an instructional video on its marketplace and then buy the product without clicking away.
For example, the Paderno World Cuisine Spiral Slicer offers still images and a video approximately 2 minutes in length on its Amazon marketplace page that describes how the kitchen tool works.
Google made a business from how-to and instructional videos on YouTube. People typically search on YouTube to learn how to use a generator or match a shirt with shoes and handbag, and the video then leads consumers to the internet or a retail website to search for nearby stores where they can purchase the product.
Then in 2009, YouTube announced an ecommerce platform where those visiting the platform could click to buy products such as songs and movies that were related to the content they viewed on the site.
Product videos have become an important element of advertising and marketing for consumers. Amazon now offers merchants a discounted cost for 30-second video ads to encourage participation in what the company calls its Enhanced Brand Content program, according to one report. The company recently added video to this service.
eMarketer estimates that Amazon’s ad revenue will reach $1.65 billion this year -- far below Google or Facebook, but above brands such as Twitter and Snapchat. By 2019, Amazon will earn $3.19 billion in net U.S. digital ad revenue, taking 3.0% of digital ad spend.
About a quarter of Amazon’s U.S. digital ad revenue will come from search advertisements this year, according to eMarketer. The analyst firm estimates Amazon will earn 1.1% of U.S. search ad spending, enough to put it in fifth place after Google, Microsoft, Oath and Yelp.