February 21, 2008, 12:00 AM

Amazon Product Ads let shoppers compare offers within search results

Still in beta testing, Amazon will roll out the new advertising feature through this year to new product categories beyond the initial categories of toys, baby furniture and consumer electronics.

Amazon Product Ads, an advertising format on Amazon.com, offers one more way for online shoppers to compare products, and it gives retailers one more way to position their offerings against those of competitors. The offering, launched last year, is still in the beta testing stage as Amazon continues to roll it out to new product categories beyond the initial categories of toys, baby furniture and consumer electronics.

Amazon Product Ads allow retailers to display items in product ads on Amazon.com search pages. Product Ads are comparison shopping ads containing item-specific offers matched against current Amazon.com retail and Amazon merchant listings, according to an Amazon spokeswoman.

If shoppers click on one of the Product Ads, they will be taken off Amazon.com – a new browser window opens to a product page on the Product Ad sponsor’s own web site, where they can continue shopping. Shoppers also can choose to purchase from the offer put up by Amazon.com or merchants on Amazon instead of clicking on the Product Ad listing: all three opportunities for product purchase, where they exist, are displayed together on search results pages. Advertisers who have paid no other set-up fees pay a cost per click; Amazon merchants pay only for traffic generated by their ads.

“We will continue to launch in other categories throughout the year and will remove ‘beta’ when it’s ready for our customers,” the spokeswoman adds.

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