If recent reports are anything to go by, it seems Amazon is now testing Product Listing Ads on AdWords. It’s a move that comes four years after Google first introduced the online shopping experience, which Amazon has chosen to ignore until now.

The timing of Amazon’s decision is key though. Product Listing Ads are overtaking regular text ads for the majority of online retailers and this has a direct effect on Amazon, which already spends more on AdWords ads than any other brand.


The rise of non-branded search

So why has Amazon chosen now to start dipping its toes in Product Listing Ads (PLAs)? Well, we can’t offer any official explanation of course but there are a few reasons that come to mind right away.

First of all, there’s the fact non-branded searches are becoming the norm as the mobile web matures. The whole point of Product Listing Ads is that users can browse for products, not brands (unless they specifically choose to).

So instead of hunting for the best prices on Amazon, people can search for the best prices across the entire web – Amazon included. Or at least, they will be able to soon, assuming Amazon takes its venture into PLAs the full distance.

Perhaps more importantly, 2016 was the year PLAs really took off on mobile. Until recently, there had been a stubborn reluctance from mobile users to complete the purchase of products on mobile – however this is changing.

Source: Search Engine Land

And take a look at those CPCs in relation to ad spend and clicks on PLA growth from 2015. Pretty incredible stuff and you can see why Amazon wants to get in on the action?


What about the rest of us?

Of course, the bad news in all this is Amazon could be about to muscle in on PLAs, which has (until now) been a relatively open space for smaller retailers. If Amazon really wants to, it could absolutely dominate Product Listing Ads – both in terms of budget and coverage. So this is certainly one to keep an eye on.