Daily Insights

Ahead of the Game on Amazon

By: Susruthi Vasudevan | Sep 20, 2019

76% of brands tracked in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Food US have adopted an extended product description on Amazon, a move that only 31% have on Walmart.

Similarly, brands are also leaning more heavily on Amazon for paid investments in the form of both Sponsored Product ads and display ads. In addition to the display ads served by brands independently, enterprises also invest in display ads that feature multiple brands from their portfolio—62% of multibrand display ads observed published on Amazon, compared to 6% on Walmart’s site during January to July 2019. Of that share, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lays alone owns 25%. Frito-Lay’s top ads use a custom landing page with a discount offer, showcasing its variety of brands and flavors while also prominently featuring its Simply products among its Best Sellers. Simply launched its organic snacks made without artificial ingredients in late 2017. On Amazon, the brand gained only 8% organic visibility against tortilla chips nonbranded terms during June 2018. But, as Google search trends reassure, revealing a 22% year-over-year growth in ingredient and nutrition keywords in the Chips & Crisps category (e.g., “carbs in popcorn,” “healthy chips,” “low carb chips”), Frito-Lays continues pushing forward on its healthy snacks agenda with Simply. It has now achieved 33% organic visibility against tortilla chips, while also conquesting branded terms for Doritos, Cheetos and Lay’s, gaining 100%, 70% and 64% Sponsored Product visibility, respectively, during July 2019.


Frito-Lays also takes advantage of Amazon’s Display Ads with E-Commerce Creative to dynamically serve creatives with different call-to-action buttons depending on the targeted consumer. Examples include Shop Now for passive shoppers, Add to Cart for impulse shoppers, Shop Now with coupons for price-sensitive shoppers and ads with reviews for shoppers conducting research. Simply’s holistic efforts on the platform pay off with its overall average rank on Amazon’s Best Sellers for Chips & Crisps at 43 in July 2019—up from 74 last year.

On the other hand, the average rank of the specific variety pack featured in the ad rose from 81 to 31 in the same period. Brands in categories like snack foods and confectionery—which are highly characterized by product variety and impulse buys—should supplement search visibility on Amazon with display ads driving consumers to portfolio landing pages. They should also consider dynamic creative tactics to help trigger consumers, quickly moving them to the cart, unlike the traditional path to purchase.