Sponsored Brands Ad Format Grabbing More of Amazon Ad Spending

February 18, 2022

Sponsored Brands continues to expand its share of total ad spend on Amazon, rising to more than one-quarter (26%) of total ad spend on the platform in Q4 2021. This is per the latest Digital Marketing Report [download page] from Merkle, which analyzed advertising spending among its clients on the platform.

Although Sponsored Products still accounts for the majority share (68%) of ad spend on Amazon, and has done so consistently since 2017, it has steadily been losing share of spend to Sponsored Brands. And, while both Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands have seen total spending grow considerable between Q4 2017 and Q4 2021, the report notes that “’Sponsored Brands’ growth has slightly outpaced that of Sponsored Products, likely because it hasn’t been widely available for as long.”

As such, the Sponsored Brands share of total spend on Amazon has more than doubled from what it was in 2017 (11%). This increase in share of spend is likely supported, in part, by the pandemic and the boosted popularity of Sponsored Brand video in 2020 as marketers touted its success

Other Report Highlights

Digital marketing has experienced many changes over the past decade. Here’s what Merkle found: 

  • In the 10 years from Q4 2012 through Q4 2021, SEM spending among Merkle clients has seen cumulative growth of 379% across Google and Microsoft.
  • Mobile phones dominate the share of total SEM clicks across devices, at 67%. This was not the case back in 2012, when desktop accounted for the vast majority (more than 80%) of SEM clicks. It now only accounts for 30% of clicks, with tablets representing the remaining 3%. 
  • Even though US consumers turn to Amazon over search engines for product research, Google Shopping’s share of SEM clicks has grown 47 percentage points since Q4 2012. In 2021, Google Shopping accounted for more than half (58%) of SEM clicks. 
  • Despite marketers finding success with SEO, organic visits have seen both peaks and valleys over the past decade. The largest dip came in Q4 2019, while the fastest growth was seen in Q4 2020 due to an increase in online activity. 
  • From Q4 2017 through Q4 2021, cumulative spend on Instagram grew by 1104% — outpacing Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, which saw cumulative spend growth of 531% between Q4 2013 and Q4 2021.

Read the full report here.

About the Data: Findings are based on Q4 data among Merkle clients. 

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