Amazon Business growth, ads on Fire, ad stuffing and Christmas Trees

Amazon Business growth

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After less than four years, Amazon's business marketplace is on pace to pass $10 billion a year. This is faster than the early growth in its consumer retail and cloud-based business units. Some analysts believe that it could become bigger than the consumer marketplace. Their aim is to make ordering supplies as easy and price-transparent as ordering nappies or toothpaste.

Amazon Business uses the same interface as consumer retail with some special features and layout modifications. Earlier this year, Amazon launched a 'Pay by invoice' feature which allowed corporate buyers to pay suppliers on a longer timeframe.

This announcement is a reminder of the growing opportunity of Amazon as a platform to reach B2B buyers,  and the need to consider the business audience in how we prepare, target and promote brands

Ads on Fire

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You can now be enticed to buy more stuff with Amazon direct from your Fire TV remote. Sponsored Ads are now available on Fire TV's in the US. The sponsored banner placement appears underneath a product video ad. If you click on the ad, you can place an order via Amazon Prime. 

The next step for Amazon will be to include sponsored ads within TV show's or films, so if you like a shirt a character is wearing, you can buy it there and then or if you like the song in the background of the show, you can instantly download to Amazon Music. Watch this space!

Ad stuffing

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A study by Decode has shown how Amazon is stuffing product categories with sponsored ads. In some cases, a third of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is taken up with ads. This follows the development of Google and Bing's search offering, who have gradually extended page space to advertising, to make more revenue. Clearly,  Amazon has trialed this approach on SERP pages and decided that adding more sponsored placements does not (yet) effect engagement rates. This is good news for the big brands with big ad budgets but makes it tougher for the smaller merchants to compete.

Full-size Christmas Trees for sale

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In the US this Christmas, Amazon will sell live, seven-foot Christmas Trees. You'll even be able to place your order via Alexa. They will go on sale in November, letting buyers pick from Douglas Firs, Norfolk Island Pines and other options. Each tree will be sent out within 10 days of being cut down. Some of the trees will qualify for free shipping with Prime membership. 

Amazon sold trees shorter than 3 feet last year, and some other merchants sold bigger ones using its platform. Amazon reported this week, that because this offering proved so popular, they decided to extend the assortment.