Amazon is turning Indian website into an outdoor billboard

The digital ad spend in India will reach USD 3.5 billion in 2021 from the current USD 1.5 billion.

Source: Unsplash

In a move that will put Amazon directly in competition with the likes of Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn, the e-commerce giant has for the first time opened its digital real-estate for brands, even if they don’t sell on its platform, to place ads on its India website and mobile app.

Earlier, it only allowed its own sellers and merchants that it works with to advertise on its premises to promote their brand or sales campaigns.

Web analytics platform SimilarWeb ranks Amazon’s Indian website at fifth spot in its ranking of the most visited websites in the country, after the likes of Google, Facebook, and YouTube.

According to local newspaper Economic Times, Amazon has piloted a few campaigns with brands such as private bank Citibank and auto manufacturer Maruti Suzuki. Amazon is banking on the upcoming festive season in India when traditionally brands open up their advertisement purse strings to promote new product launches and discounts.

A report by Dentsu Aegis network said ad spend on digital media is estimated to increase at a compounded annual growth rate of 32% by 2021. Currently, digital advertisement spend contributes 17% to the total expenditure of India’s ad industry.

Digital advertising experts and media planners told ET that Amazon has been promoting its ‘click-out’ campaign since June. Amazon’s click-out campaign is reportedly costlier than Google and Facebook in terms of cost-per-click benchmarks. Amazon’s mobile app has been showing the option of displaying advertisements for external brands for about six months.

Amazon India’s website and app would be one of the prime spots for local brands to target consumers based on their purchasing behavior on Amazon. Among its 150 million registered users in India, Amazon claims around 100 million have transacted on one of its platforms at least once.

In a similar move, Flipkart has partnered with video streaming platform Hotstar to target consumers according to their interests and digital activity. Flipkart is at the ninth spot on Web Ranks list of most visited Indian website.