North American marketers are more likely to be increasing their marketing budgets for Amazon than they are for Google, Bing, Facebook or Twitter, according to new research from digital marketing resource ClickZ.
The report, produced in partnership with Catalyst, found that 63 percent of companies advertising on Amazon are planning to increase this budget over the next 12 months, compared to 54 percent for Google, 53 percent for Facebook, 27 percent for Bing and 23 percent for Twitter.
The Age of Amazon: Maximizing the B2C Marketing Opportunity also found that only 15 percent of marketers agree they are using Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) to its full potential, while only 17 percent say they have a fully defined AMS strategy.
The report is based on a survey of more than 250 North America-based business-to-consumer marketers carried out in July 2017, and in-depth interviews with those actively using Amazon as a marketing and sales platform for their own brands or on behalf of their clients.
Marketers were asked: What’s the most significant digital trend impacting how companies market their products?
According to the study, the huge reach of Amazon makes it an increasingly attractive platform for advertisers, with AMS paid search products gaining traction with brands and agencies who are benefiting from impressive return on advertising spend.
As part of the research, ClickZ also carried out an online survey of 1,600 U.S. consumers, looking at usage of Amazon, and comparing research and buying behavior for eight categories of retail including grocery, clothing, home electronics and pet care.
The consumer survey, which was carried out in August 2017, found that 66 percent of consumers surveyed had bought clothing from Amazon in the previous 12 months, compared to 64 percent for personal care products and 63 percent for furniture or home décor.
Consumers were asked: do you typically buy products online or from a physical store?
Only 43 percent of consumers had bought grocery products through Amazon in the last 12 months though, according to the research, this figure is set to grow as Amazon scales up both AmazonFresh and Amazon Prime Pantry programs following its acquisition of Whole Foods.
“Today, it’s not enough to simply spend more with Amazon. With multi-factored opportunities for product promotion, brand investment needs to be expertly managed for maximum return,” said Kerry Curran, managing partner of marketing integration at Catalyst, in a news release. “In this Age of Amazon, brands must be strategic, savvy, and internally integrated to maximize sales.”
Chris Humber, head of search at Catalyst/GroupM, explained why Amazon was well positioned to increase its market share for paid search advertising: “Amazon has transactional data, it knows who you are and what you are purchasing. It’s the Holy Grail, and what Google would like to have, the missing piece that allows Amazon to move from predictive to prescriptive search, so they can recommend proactively.”
The research also explores the use of Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service by consumers, and the extent to which brands are planning for the growth of voice search.
According to the consumer survey, 14 percent of consumers own an Amazon Echo, and a further 32 percent are considering it. The marketer survey found that only 15 percent of businesses have developed Skills on Alexa, with a further 23 percent of companies planning to do so later this year.