Amazon is increasing the number of advertisements in its search results, with companies paying top dollar to feature at the top.
Previously, you might find two or three sponsored search results on the ecommerce platform, however now you’re more likely to find around six.
When searching for toothpaste, the top search results will include products from popular brands including Colgate and Sensodyne, however all the results have a “sponsored” label next to them.
Customers searching for deodorant will have see similar results, only from brands such as Dove, Secret and Native.
“There’s fewer organic search results on the page, so that increasingly means the only way to get on the page is to buy your way on there,” advertising firm Publicis chief commerce strategy officer Jason Goldberg said.
If consumers are seeking a toothpaste product that is not being endorsed at the top of the list, they will have to swipe up fully twice on the mobile app.
According to Amazon, the number of ads that appear in searches differs from device to device and depends on the exact search term.
The ecommerce company does not publicly state how much revenue it makes from its advertising arm, as it comes under the companies “other” sales, the category was the fastest-growing part of the company’s overall business in Q2.
The arm’s revenue soared 87 per cent year-on-year to over $7.9 billion.
Amazon overtook Microsoft in 2018 to become the third-largest ad platform in the US behind Google and Facebook.
According to Juozas Kaziukenas, who runs ecommerce research firm Marketplace Pulse, Amazon founder and previous chief executive Jeff Bezos completely U-turned on advertising after previously being against it.
It’s become such a lucrative business that ads “have replaced most of the functionality on the site,” Kaziukenas told CNBC.
Amazon has refuted the claims and a spokesperson said that there are no dedicated ad slots at the top of search results.
The spokesperson said that a user may see one ad, multiple or none at all.