Marketing imperatives

  • Don’t rely solely on Amazon – competition here will only get more intense
  • Make sure you have a clear understanding of your current ‘media’ investment with each retailer, from both marketing and commercial arrangements, and the value you receive
  • Consider co-op search campaigns during key category moments
  • Develop testing scenarios to measure incremental sales from joint initiatives


Amazon is rapidly developing its advertising services, forcing brands to reconsider how they budget for e-commerce. It offers several ways for brands to promote themselves on its platform, such as display ads and sponsored products in search results. Since 86% of visits to product pages come from search, sponsored products are currently the best way to attract the attention of Amazon shoppers. According to Jumpshot, only 7% of clicks were on sponsored products in May 2018, but that was up from 5% in January, and the number of clicks on sponsored products increased by 17% over this period. Brands are rapidly increasing their spend as competition for the most prominent positions heats up: 20% of all clicks come from the top row of results.

These Amazon services are typically more transparent and appealing than the media deals typically included in agreements between brands and retailers. Amazon is forcing retailers to up their media game, by improving their transparency, reporting and innovation. For retailers, forging stronger partnerships with brands offers the opportunity to accelerate their e-commerce businesses. For brands, it offers new ways to reach customers while they are in the process of purchase and drive new sales. To make the most of these partnerships, brands need to align their marketing and sales teams to clarify their data requirements, integrate marketing campaigns in commercial agreements, and track activity through to sale on retailer platforms.

Here are a few examples of how brands and retailers can work together to drive growth.


Use retailer CRM

Most retailers have robust customer databases that can be used to personalise messaging to customers. When retailers offer to include a brand in an email, for example, you could make sure that email is sent to loyal customers of that brand, or those with a propensity to buy that category.


Integrate with retailer advertising

Retailers spend a lot of money on their own advertising, especially during key shopping periods such as Christmas or Valentine’s Day. Instead of competing with them, make use of their elevated visibility by incorporating your products in their creative, and ensure you have high visibility on their category pages. Experiment – you could jointly invest in shoppable ads and test their performance together, for example.


Amplify paid search through co-operative investment

Retailers dominate paid search. Make your paid search investment work harder by conducting joint search campaigns with retailers, to ensure your product has high visibility, drive category growth and boost your presence within shopping results.


Begin traffic-driving initiatives

Add Buy Now or Where to Buy functionality to your brand website and your paid media activity. Direct customers to your product pages they are most likely to buy from, and consider this when negotiating your commercial agreement. For example, agree to direct a proportion of your own traffic to a retailer in return for data. The higher the traffic to your product, the more likely you are to be included in their retargeting initiatives.

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