Amazon’s Search Retargeting Sounds Like a Big ‘Ol Data Party

As Amazon continues its massive assault on the Duopoly—first by moving to number three in digital ad spend to taking away hundreds of millions of dollars from Google’s search business— recent news surfaces that could potentially bang the nail in the coffin and be a boon to both publishers’ and advertisers’ businesses.

A recent tip, picked up by AdExchanger, reveals that the retail giant is stealthily enabling advertisers test search-based retargeting outside its walled-garden marketplace and across the web—through its DSP, which is larger than Google’s. Also, according to the tip, advertisers would be able to self-serve ads which would provide more control and transparency.

This isn’t the first time Amazon is allowing advertisers to retarget its customers. The retailer has also stepped into Google and Criteo’s businesses, selling display advertising to marketers on publishers websites and apps allowing them to retarget customer’s who have browsed for or made purchases on Amazon’s site.

Retargeting has some challenges though. For one, customers get a little freaked out by ads following them from site-to-site, not to mention the impact of GDPR, cookie blocking and brand safety.

Amazon’s Advantage Over the Duopoly

Amazon owns purchase intent hands down and is increasingly becoming the number one search engine — over Google — people use when shopping for products. With over 183 million unique US visitors and 5 billion items shipped solely to Prime members last year, we’re talking about an intimate look into a lot of really rich first-party consumer purchase data here.

The more products, services and offerings Amazon provides to consumers, the more data it will be able to provide. Further, Amazon has the ability to deliver direct access to audiences across channels and devices which provides more opportunities for advertisers to buy and publishers to monetize.

It definitely seems that Amazon is here for the long haul and opportunities abound for publishers (Amazon provides header bidding tools to publishers) and advertisers. There will be more ad inventory and more access to relevant first-party data outside of a walled garden and the duopoly.