Why it could make sense for Amazon to send users away with ads

Read/writeweb has an interesting observation. Apparently Amazon has started to place ads on their site that lead to products in shops on completely different sites. Some ads are contextual, others are not. And Alex asks, why on earth Amazon would do something like that, i.e. sending people out of their shop to go somewhere else?

Here are a few thoughts why it might make sense:

  1. People might remember that they found what they were looking for when visiting the amazon site. Sort of like Google whose tools are all more or less designed to send people away. AFTER they found what they were looking for.
  2. Amazon should know the parts of the site where they are loosing the most users anyway, simply because of natural drop out rates that always occur on sites. This way, they can at least earn some money with people who would never have purchased anything in the first place, too. Question is: would they also integrate the banners on pages with well-selling products?
  3. Learning about the click behaviour for products that amazon doesn’t list, is really clever (and paid for) market research into the gaps of their product offering.
  4. Who says, that margins of products sold are always better than advertising revenue. Most of the web 2.0 sites base their business model on advertising revenue rather than actual products. Amazon can probably offer a good, if not the best, targeting based on their recommendation engine. Does anyone know what they charge per click or per CPM? I bet it’s dearer than most sites you can put your ads on. (And it should well be worth the money!)

These are just four thoughts that immediately came into my mind, why it could possibly make sense for amazon to start placing ads on their site. Any other ideas, anyone?

New Trendbriefing: The tyranny of transparency (But I don’t feel sorry)

The new trendbriefing is all about the tyranny of transparency:

„Old economy fog is clearing: no longer can incompetence, below-par performance, ignored global standards, anti-social & anti-eco behavior, or opaque pricing be obscured. In its place has come a transparent, fully informed marketplace, where producers have no excuse left to underperform. TRANSPARENCY TYRANNY for some, TRANSPARENCY TRIUMPH for others.“

Opinion portals, blogs, review sites, forums, video sites, etc. etc. The modern consumer has every means to publish his or her opinion about everything – and every consumer can also find opinions on everything. And it’s only going to get worse over time, says that report. The amount might, as they write, outnumber the fake reviews written by the brands themselves leading to greater „honesty“ and „trust“.

But it also means that users will need ever better and more intelligent filters to find anything useful – especially something useful for THEM. Since the reviews might be written by users with a completely different taste for things. Other fields of danger are company internal things being spread, of course.
Yet, I don’t feel sorry for these companies. If they have things to hide, then it’s a threat for them.

At the same time, it is a huge chance for companies. Of course, people will also spread good news, so there will be a lot more word of mouth going around.

But the main factor is in the fields of market research: It has become so easy and inexpensive to find out, what consumers are really thinking about products and services! The more diverse the landscape of reviews, videos, soundbites or photos, the better results of an „online conversation research“ can get. I recommend to everyone to go „egosurfing“ – either for your own name, or for your company, your brand.

So don’t try to solve the problem of transparency, grab the opportunity of endless free consumer insights!