Amazon managed to make a low key announcement in June with using its consumer data to deliver advertising on third-party sites across the web. This is no small deal, however, and might help companies reach consumers with targeted ads to reach certain websites.
“Amazon has more than a decade’s worth of sales and consumer shopping data, so it’s almost a surprise it took the company this long to capitalize on its data and enter the behavioral-targeting space. It’s a great idea that will help marketers find interested consumers, and other retailers are already trying to copy the model. Every online retailer is a media network, even if they don’t know it yet, and there’s plenty of opportunity for retailers of all sizes to copy Amazon’s model,” wrote Jay Habegger. “Merchants can function as both media properties and audience networks because they already posses a targeting criteria that actually matters: consumer behavior or brand-preference data that can power interest-based advertising across the web. Retailers know which brands consumers interact with on their sites, and that is indicative of consumer desire.”
This data allows Amazon to compete with other behavioral-targeting networks immediately. Amazon has built up years worth of insight into consumer shopping activity and brand preferences; it’s hard for other retailers to do so on the scale that Amazon is doing it, but not impossible.
“Retailers can gather data about what consumers are shopping for, and then make some estimates about the products they are in market for. By pooling this collected data with manufacturer partners, retailers can quickly gain the scale they need to effectively target in-market consumers, very similar to what Amazon is doing. The retailer makes money off its own data, advertisers reach interested consumers and consumers see more relevant ads as they search the web,” noted Habegger. “Amazon is going to profit heavily off of this win-win-win scenario. If you take this retailer/ad network model and combine manufacturer data, in a system where open data sharing is encouraged, you’re opening the door to unprecedented ad targeting, something all retailers could profit from.”