Amazon “abruptly” shuttered its Google Shopping campaigns after competing in the auction for more than a year and a half, according to Merkle, a performance marketing agency owned by Dentsu Aegis Network.
The campaigns took a strong position in the home goods product category, but also appeared in categories such as furniture, office supplies and novelty gifts. The campaigns “vanished” from Merkle’s Auction Insights reports on April 28, across all device types and haven’t been seen since, wrote Andy Taylor, associate director of research at Merkle, in a blog post.
Amazon’s Google Shopping impression share against Home Goods advertisers declined in the later part of the first quarter in 2018. Taylor attributed a “likely shift in either bidding strategy or the product selection Amazon features in Shopping campaigns.”
Amazon also wants to launch more advertising options within its marketplace, so it’s not difficult to imagine the company testing Shopping Campaigns in preparation of launching a similar platform that ties together data from Whole Foods and other online and offline properties.
In Merkle’s first-quarter 2018 advertising report, analysts wrote that Amazon’s share of Google Shopping impressions fell pretty consistently throughout the second half of the first quarter in 2018. The office supplies category was the only category analyzed where Amazon’s share of impressions during that time was higher than it was to start the second half of 2017.
Amazon’s advertising options are doing quite well, according to Merkle's report. In fact, marketers spend 96% more on its Sponsored Products and 90% more on Headline Search Ads offerings in the first quarter of 2018, compared with a year ago.
Pricing also increased for both formats, and Headline Search Ads cost per click (CPC) more than doubled YoY.
“While Headline Search Ads have a much higher click-through rate (CTR) than Sponsored Products, Sponsored Products accounted for 86% of all Amazon Marketing Services spend in Q1 while Headline Search Ads accounted for 10%,” per the report. “The remaining 4% of spend came from Product Display Ads.”
The report notes that in the quarter, Headline Search Ads had a CTR of more than three and a half times that of Sponsored Products.
It also makes note of the decline, but not that bidding completely stopped.