Who's Best for Ads? Google or Amazon?

Google Ads (formerly Adwords) has been one of the longest standing digital media buying platforms with the ability of targeting consumers based on search and display targeting. The platform has the ability to target keyword, audience, contextual and more reaching Google Search, GDN and Alphabet owned properties such as YouTube. Recently, Search Engine Land released an article suggesting that Amazon Ads is better for Ecommerce than Google Ads which we would also like to add our view on.

One key benefit for Amazon Ads is the seamless nature of the user journey. Consumers can search on Amazon and find advertised products or a store which will keep them within Amazon as expected whilst Google utilises Text Ads or Google Shopping Ads to divert consumers to a category or product page on to a brands website. There are a lot of examples of great UX on brand websites but the disruption of going to the website and maybe not finding exactly what you want and then having to set up an account with billing often ruins the user experience. Through Amazon, a large portion of people have prime membership or have used Amazon before so from finding the product to making the purchase can be done much faster which massively improves the user experience.

From a targeting perspective, Google Ads is very sophisticated. Amazon Ads has come a long way with upgrading from legacy features such as having no ability to view data for a specific time frame which is quite unbelievable since Google had this functionality for years prior. Amazon addressed this as well as some other features but we recognise they are far from complete in terms of innovative potential. Amazon Ads has the ability to select keyword targeting with the ability of adding bid modifiers based on whether a consumer is likely to purchase and whether an advertiser is more likely to win top of Search which can work great. However, comparing this to Google Ads' ability to add bid modifiers based on audiences so our campaigns can be much better targeted e.g. retargeting or in market users within your category to bid more for users who are more likely to purchase.

Despite this, Amazon DSP is very sophisticated with many customisable options for targeting, implementing brand safety measures and granular reporting, just to name a few. Due to the amount of time Google Ads has been around, there are some features that are better than Amazon Ads but Amazon does offer a different unique data set and opportunity.

The third point we can make is the search behaviour. Due to the nature of our first point on seamless user experience of Amazon and due to great product selection. Over time, we have seen more product focused searches carried out on Amazon vs Google making Amazon a more Ecommerce focused search engine with the ability of serving more relevant products based on product searches. This can be seen in our study of Google vs Amazon, where across multiple categories, Amazon has greater searches on product specific and generic queries when compared to Google.

Source: The UK retail search battle: Amazon vs Google - January 2023

Tambo's view

Based on the above and other features we feel that Google Ads has more advanced targeting ability in some instances of their ad platform. Despite this Amazon Ads is much better suited to Ecommerce. We believe that brands that sell on Amazon and are only buying media on Google should reconsider their approach and potentially reprioritise their budget based on sales opportunity.

If your brand needs support getting up and running on Amazon, get in touch with us today.

Joe Farley, Associate Director & Head of Consultancy

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