Unpacking the Amazon Ads Opportunity for Fashion

With hundreds of millions of active Amazon customer accounts worldwide, Amazon Ads provides fashion brands with the scale and reach to help drive engagement with their brand both within the Amazon store and direct-to-brand. Some 66 percent of US fashion consumers surveyed by Amazon and data analytics company Kantar in 2020 reported visiting the Amazon store once a week or more, while 51 percent of fashion shoppers said Amazon was the “place to go” to find the newest fashion items from popular brands.

According to the Kantar survey, one in three in-store buyers explore products online while in a physical store, with 48 percent of those surveyed use Amazon to look up product information and/or learn more about products.

Amazon Ads provides brands with products, services and insights to help drive a more effective marketing strategy. This includes helping fashion brands reach new audiences, which might be on Amazon and its products or services, such as Twitch, Amazon Freevee and the ad-supported tier of Amazon Music — indeed, another Kantar survey this year of over 1,000 respondents found 88 percent of apparel shoppers reported that they engage with at least one Amazon service or device at least once a week. But also off Amazon, such as through third-party publishers and exchanges, and even direct to brand websites.

Portrait of Tanner Elton, VP of US Advertising Sales at Amazon Ads.

The company offers insights and support to help brands in categories including luxury fashion, beauty and entertainment to help them grow their businesses. This includes helping brands create relevant ad experiences that appear to customers across their path to purchase, and to deliver meaningful results in driving awareness and engagement.

Now, BoF sits down with Tanner Elton, VP of US Advertising Sales, to better understand how Amazon Ads can help brands build their businesses, including the kind of analysis, expertise and audience reach from which advertisers could benefit.

What are some common misconceptions around Amazon Ads?

When most people think about advertising with Amazon Ads, they think of the Amazon retail store. It’s natural for brands to think they should have a specific Amazon strategy around how they are going to reach Amazon customers and grow their presence on Amazon.com. But we think holistically about how we can help drive growth for a brand, wherever they sell their products — a brand’s physical stores, their owned websites, or in an Amazon store.

Similarly, brands often think that customers come to Amazon ready to buy, but the truth is that customers use Amazon to discover and explore products — for example, to learn more about product details, or hear from other customers through ratings and reviews.

According to a survey we did with Kantar, 62 percent of apparel shoppers who reported visiting the Amazon store during their path to purchase discovered a new brand or product. And to help customers with this discovery process, we have built a dynamic end-to-end suite of ad solutions to help brands connect in meaningful ways with customers across the full shopping journey — from consideration to purchase.

How can Amazon Ads solutions help support a brand’s wider marketing strategy?

Customers engage with Amazon products and services in a variety of ways — from watching Freevee and streaming on Twitch, to listening to Amazon Music and shopping within the Amazon store. Amazon is a part of customers’ lives across a variety of unique touchpoints and we work hard to create experiences that help customers engage with Amazon in more relevant and meaningful ways, whether via our Sponsored Display placements on Amazon, video product placements across streaming content or audio ads on the ad-supported tier of Amazon Music.

We’re able to generate shopping and streaming insights based on billions of signals across these touchpoints — insights that help marketers better understand their audiences and how they are engaging. We then work together to provide customers with relevant experiences that not only help them with product and brand discovery, but to take meaningful actions around it if they choose to do so.

Understanding how audiences engage with our sites allows us to provide richer experiences with better relevancy, which in turn benefits both shoppers and the brand.

We also provide measurement solutions for both a brand’s on- and off-Amazon marketing activities. For example, brands can use Amazon Attribution to measure the impact of their non-Amazon ad campaigns — such as search and social ads — on Amazon shopping activities. We also provide media planning tools to help brands forecast reach on Amazon Streaming TV ads, and more. Our measurement solutions help marketers understand the impact of their ads across their entire media buy, which can improve ad relevancy, engagement and inform future strategies.

What kind of insights do you share with advertisers?

We provide brands with insights that help them better optimise their advertising spends and deliver more relevant messaging for customers.

For example, our survey with Kantar found that 83 percent of apparel shoppers reported engaging with streaming TV in the last seven days in 2022. These insights are significant when we think about what that journey looks like for apparel shoppers, and how we can help apparel brands optimise their spends to more effectively get in front of customers with the right message, at the right time, through the channels in which they are engaging.

Understanding how audiences engage with our products and services allows us to provide richer experiences with better relevancy, which in turn benefits both shoppers and the brand. We also want to help brands be smarter and more efficient with their advertising investments, and to provide them with actionable insights to help them optimise their strategies with Amazon Ads.

How do you work with your advertising customers?

We work in lockstep with our advertising customers to help them achieve their goals, including brand building, reaching new audiences and driving conversions in and outside of the Amazon store. We work hard to help brands reach the right audiences at scale, differentiate their brands from peers, validate their media investments and get the balance right between branding and performance advertising.

We want to ensure that we are developing a high level of industry-specific expertise and are able to deliver relevant insights […] based on the industry in which [brands] operate.

We also understand that there are nuances specific to each industry and have teams dedicated to supporting individual verticals, including fashion or grocery, for example. We do this intentionally because we want to ensure that we are developing a high level of industry-specific expertise and are able to deliver relevant insights and recommendations to our advertising customers based on the industry in which they operate.

What differentiates the value of Amazon Ads in a competitive industry?

We are customer-obsessed. The ways in which we engage our customers, and introduce advertising experiences across our products and services, is always with that lens of customer obsession.

For example, when Amazon introduced customer reviews, we welcomed both positive and negative product reviews because we believed it would yield a better experience for our customers — and quite frankly, it has. By putting customers first and providing them with a comprehensive set of reviews to make informed purchase decisions, it resulted in a better overall shopping experience.

With our advertising customers, it is the exact same idea. We want to support brands in finding more effective and meaningful ways to engage with customers, and deliver exceptional brand experiences. This includes understanding what works, and just as importantly, what doesn’t work, and optimising for those experiences.