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How Retailers Can Survive Amazon’s Stronghold in Google Search

Steve Costanza

Retail marketers can’t out-Amazon on the paid Google SERP, but they can find white space.

Among the metrics that can help is impression share. It’s in the Google Auction Insights report for shopping and paid search campaigns.

Impression share is the percentage of impressions your ads received divided by the estimated number of impressions the ads were eligible to receive. Google determines eligibility based on a number of factors, including targeting settings, approval statuses and quality.

Amazon’s impression share shouldn’t directly drive strategy, but rather provide context around competition in your market.

On the surface, impression share can help you understand whether your ads might reach more shoppers if you increase your bids or budget.

But a smarter way to use impression share is for gaining context into how your advertising environment is shifting. Evaluate it alongside other performance and competitive metrics. From there, use those insights to identify how to adapt your campaigns and bidding strategy to the changing competitive pressure.

Let’s take a look at the latest data from Sidecar’s 2019 Benchmarks Report: Google Ads in Retail, and examples for how to go about it.

Amazon’s Impression Share in Google Shopping

We analyzed Google Auction Insights reports for a leading retailer in five verticals. These retailers all see Amazon as a regular competitor in Google Shopping and Google paid search.

The following chart shows the share of impressions Amazon has garnered over the last two years for Google Shopping auctions in which both the retailer and Amazon were eligible to serve an ad.

Amazon's Impression Share in Google Shopping 2017-2018

From this chart we can make a few observations …