SEATTLE: Amazon is reported to be rationalising its sometimes labyrinthine ad business to make it easier for advertisers to buy and manage their campaigns on the e-commerce giant.

“Reps from Amazon have told me a consolidated version of its ad platform is on the way,” according to one media executive who spoke to Digiday on condition of anonymity.

“Amazon’s business is manageable once you know how the platform works” he said, “but there are more brands who sit on both sides now, which makes having such a disparate offering harder for them to manage.”

Currently, these “hybrid” sellers, who sell products directly to Amazon and through Amazon directly to consumers, may have to negotiate their way across Amazon Media Group, Amazon Marketing Services and Amazon Advertising Products.

It’s also possible, added Digiday citing media buyers, that if they are running paid search programs on both sides of Amazon’s marketplaces they could find the two platforms competing to artificially increase bids.

“Ultimately, an advertiser wants a complete and consistent view of how campaigns drive new business, and a consolidated platform helps deliver that,” said Kevin Packler, director of Amazon Services at advertising agency Tombras.

“As Amazon’s ad business grows, I expect we’ll see more options come online as the platform evolves and expanding in a consistent way will only enhance Amazon’s value proposition.”

A WARC Trend Snapshot from last autumn noted that Amazon’s advertising business, while only a fraction of that of Google and Facebook, is expected to grow significantly over the coming three years – with some industry experts arguing it can carve out a 20% share of the global digital ad market.

That assessment is based on Amazon’s growing importance to customers’ online purchase journey, with studies showing that over 50% of US shoppers now begin their product searches on Amazon, cutting out Google altogether.

“This means Amazon has greater influence higher up the funnel, as well as lower down at the point of purchase,” the Snapshot said.

Stefan Bardega, UK and Ireland chief executive of digital performance marketing agency iProspect, argued that “Amazon is unique because it has worked out how to collapse the purchase funnel.

“With single-click, you can go from being aware of a product, to consideration and then to purchase within 10 seconds. That really changes the game,” he said.

Sourced from Digiday; additional content by WARC staff