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Amazon Live vs Amazon PPC: Pro’s Con’s & Synergies

by Brendon Fields Oct. 19, 2023

While Amazon frequently adds new features to existing on-platform marketing programs, it’s only about twice a decade that they release a new marketing system altogether. Amazon started testing their Sponsored Products program in 2014, which then became widely available in 2015. In 2019 Amazon Unboxing, a video service began beta testing, later rebranded as Amazon Live in 2020.

Sponsored Products: Then & Now

Sponsored Products is a well known and heavily utilized advertising program, billed on a cost per click system. When it was released as a feature on all seller accounts in 2015 clicks were cheap. If you’ve recently started selling on Amazon you may be wondering how cheap? It of course varied by the keyword, but think pennies. Average CPC was in the $0.03 to $0.08 range.

In fact clicks were so cheap that PPC optimization was effectively irrelevant. Brands could simply put all their products in a single auto-targeted campaign and let it run. ACoS on these non-optimized campaigns typically ran in the single digit percentages, and was easy revenue to capture.

Of course these days are long gone. In 2023 brands commonly see ACoS run well above 50%, turning margins red for all but the highest margin products. Amazon Ads are now viewed by many brands as a launch method, with the hope that ad generated sales will boost organic rank substantially enough to capture higher margin organic based orders. More on that later.


Amazon Live

Amazon Live in 2023 could be compared to Sponsored Products in 2016-2017. Not a brand new program, but new enough that much of the same positive value is still up for grabs to brands eager to adopt new and lesser known marketing opportunities.

For those that are not familiar, Amazon Live is Amazon’s shoppable video program where influencer share products in a live event format. Products being featured are displayed in carousel format beneath the influencer video frame. This is similar to televised shopping networks like QVC or HSN, but with far less friction for consumers.

Shoppers viewing Amazon Live can expect to see some familiar faces, with Amazon heavily recruiting celebrities to the platform. Creators on Amazon are not just paid by the brands but also earn commission from Amazon for sales generated from their video viewers. This is significant, more on this later.


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