Amazon becomes a $1 Trillion Dollar business
So after all the build-up and speculation, it is finally official. Amazon is now valued at $1 Trillion dollars, a matter of weeks after Apple reached the milestone first. Crossing the $1 Trillion threshold marks the latest chapter in an astonishing story of growth for the company, founded in 1994. Bezos has become the world's richest man in the process. And many others will have become rich if they had invested in Amazon when it went public in 1997 at $18 a share - on Tuesday these shares were worth $2,050. But with growth comes public profile and Amazon's next chapter could be more challenging as they face criticism over workers rights, attitudes to tax and anti-competitive behaviours.
Amazon experimenting with new video ad format
Amazon is experimenting with a new video ad format that appears alongside otherwise static product listings. It has been spotted on the coupons and deals page in the Prime Pantry section (US only). The new ad format is being trialled with Kellogg's, on their chocolate frosted flakes cereal. The video starts automatically, does not include sound (until clicked) and runs for approx 15 seconds. By clicking on the video the shopper is taken to the product detail page.
Over the course of 2018, Amazon has steadily increased their use of video, allowing richer video formats in product listings and introducing video ads in search results across desktop and mobile.
The new attribution pixel
Amazon is testing a new attribution pixel, which lets advertisers compare whether ads on and off its platform are more effective than its rivals. Only those advertisers that sell on Amazon are invited to the trial. For the first time brands can measure the impact of display, search and video ads based on how consumers discover, browse and buy their products on Amazon. Advertisers using the pixel will get back data on page views, purchase rate and sales attributed to different advertising formats and placements. As well as prove the value of their ad business versus their rivals, this move will encourage brands to drive more sales to Amazon, as they will see how much better their product detail page converts compared to their own site. Thus, encouraging brands to carefully consider the value of their own e-commerce websites.
There are other benefits of this new technology for Amazon. They will now be able to get insight into ad performance outside of their site and as a result, get insights into millions of Google searches. Google has long had an advantage over Amazon, as most advertisers use Google attribution tools to not only measure their Google campaigns but also their Amazon performance, providing Google with valuable insight into Amazon's scale and reach. Now, with the launch of this new pixel, Amazon gets to mark its own homework without the bias of third-party tech.
Amazon Ad products rebrand
As of Wednesday, Amazon has rebranded its ad products under one banner - Amazon Advertising. The move does not change how the products function or how the business is organised, but we will no longer get confused between Amazon Advertising Platform(AAP), Amazon Media Group(AMG) and Amazon Marketing Services(AMS). The simplification of its ad product suite signifies a maturing of Amazon's advertising business. In 2018, Amazon has stepped up development of advertising services, with new technology, new tools and new formats. Advertising, once a side benefit of their business, is becoming more central. In the Q2 earnings, Amazon revealed that the 'other' category - a large proportion of which is advertising- brought in $2.2 billion, more than double the previous year.