Amazon Ranked as Net Ad Champ

With over 500 million ad impressions running on Web sites each week since October, Amazon is the most advertised company on the Internet, according to a report released Wednesday by AdRelevance, a Jupiter Media Metrix company.

Amazon has claimed the top online advertising spot for eight out of the past nine weeks, according to the New York City-based Internet advertising tracking firm, leading to speculationthat the troubled e-tailer is poised for a rebound.

“If their recent online ad campaigns pay off, Amazon will be well on its way to achieving single-company e-tail dominance — and their current strategies will serve as the standard for how to win big in the online world,” said Charles Buchwalter, vice president of media research for AdRelevance.

Numbers Game

AdRelevance said that at the beginning of September, Amazon began shifting away from a brand recognition advertising campaign to one that includes more direct marketing advertisements.

During the week of September 11th, there were 275.3 million Amazon ad impressions. Of those, 270 million of them were branding impressions and 5.3 million were direct marketing impressions.

However, the Seattle, Washington-based e-tailer shifted gears for the holiday season and began running more direct marketing impressions. During the last week of November, the company ran 320 million branding impressions and 212.8 million direct marketing impressions.

Additionally, 7 of Amazon’s top 10 holiday ads are direct marketing spots offering free shipping. Each of the direct marketing ads is also getting more airtime with 4 million impressions each, compared to only 750,000 impressions for each branding ad.

Smart Move

Amazon’s shift in strategy is a wise one, according to AdRelevance director of media research Marc Ryan. Ryan told the E-Commerce Times that the holiday shopping season is when companies want their ads to bring immediate results, and Amazon’s ads appear to be doing just that.

Numbers released late last month by Nielsen//NetRatings show that Amazon saw nearly 54 million visitors between October 30th and November 26th, up 39 percent from the start of the season and more than five times as many visitors as No. 2 finisher Dell Computer.

Additionally, a report released last week by PC Data Online found that 3 million buyers passed through Amazon’s virtual doors during November. By comparison, Amazon had 1.5 million buyers in October 2000 and 1.8 million buyers in November 1999.

Amazon’s own “Holiday Delight-O-Meter” shows that customers have purchased over 25 million items from the online retailer since November 2nd.

Leader of the Pack

Although Amazon advertises on over 100 Web sites, it appears to be “making a concerted strategic effort to dominate on a carefully selected site list.”

Evidence of Amazon’s pickiness is that its adscomprise 20 percent of the total onthe top five sites it advertises on — MSN, AOL, Netscape, Juno, and Excite. In contrast, its average last year was 5 percent on its top five sites, which were Go, Altavista, MSN, Yahoo! and AOL.com.

Amazon is currently the No. 1 advertiser on all of its top five advertising channels except for Excite, where it is third behind the Home Shopping Network and First USA.

Amazon’s revenues in fourth quarter 1999 were US$650 million, and AdRelevance believes that “climbing traffic and order numbers bode well” for the company meeting this year’s fourth-quarter revenue projections of around $1 billion.

Growing Intensity

Last holiday season Amazon placed more ad impressions than any other e-tailer, but curtailed ad spending in the middle of November to concentrate on fulfilling last minute orders in a timely manner. However, this year the e-tail giant’s advertising spending shows no signs of abating.

“The 2000 Amazon campaign reached its highest point of the season during recent weeks and continues to grow, suggesting a desire on their part to parlay their marketing intensity closer to the 25th,” research analyst David Martin said in the report.

Ryan said that Amazon was beaten out by Barnesandnoble.com during one week early in the holiday shopping season.

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