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A Brief Primer to Advertising on Amazon, eBay, and Walmart

This is a guest post from Skubana. Skubana is an all-in-one solution that unifies operations for online merchants after the checkout. Skubana automates everything from order management, order fulfillment, inventory management and purchase order management.

As an established 3rd party seller, you’re already well-versed with the ins and outs of pushing your wares on Amazon, eBay, and even Walmart’s burgeoning marketplace.

But though your products may perform very well, and with robust sales, you continue seeking that extra edge to maintain revenues or increase your client base.

One such way is to tap into the advertising power of the sites you’re already engaging with. Not only are they powerful platforms for sales, but the advertising capabilities of Amazon, eBay and Walmart are impressive in their own right.

Let’s take a look at the advertising mechanisms for each and see if they prove the right fit for your marketing efforts.

Amazon Advertising

Few retailers can match the breadth and scope of Amazon’s online presence. As you might expect from the leading US online retailer, their advertising platform is as stout as the rest of the site.

Amazon Advertising works in a manner akin to Google search. When a user types a product or relevant keyword into the Amazon search box, the returns will include sponsored ads within the first few results. Amazon refers to these as sponsored product ads.

To increase product presence within the Amazon SERPS, you can bid on keywords and then get charged by the click.

If this all sounds a bit similar to AdWords, it’s because it is. So if you’re familiar with that service, the learning curve on Amazon won’t be so steep.

The Amazon ads will also pop up within product pages, either in the far right-hand column or within the sponsored products horizontal scroll further down the page.

There are a few other ad types offered on the platform in addition to the primary sponsored ads.

First, there is the offshoot of the sponsored product – the sponsored brand. These appear as a headline or banner atop a page of certain search results. These ads are pay-per-click and have the option to promote up to three products as well as retaining space for a company logo or brand.

This ad can direct to either a company or product page.

Next up is Amazon’s display ads. These offer a lot more freedom of design and placement. Depending on your spend, the display option extends well beyond Amazon’s website. The ads can also show up on Amazon devices and external Amazon-owned websites (like IMDB, Audible, Zappos, or Goodreads).

Beyond that, you can also purchase and create video or custom ads, which can add a little flavor to what are mainly static displays.

Of course, you have the option to go ahead and create a full-fledged store (at zero cost to you) to centralize your brand, but you do need to be a brand owner with Amazon in order to do this.

If you are a seller in the Amazon marketplace, advertising makes sense to extend your brand and product lines across the entire Amazon platform.

eBay Priority Listings

Perhaps the small potato in comparison to the other two retailers in this article when it comes to name recognition, eBay is still an important retail site that ranks second in eCommerce sales share.

Once upon a time, the company was nothing more than the wild west of online retail. In recent years though, eBay had made the push into greater respectability as it aims to cut into Amazon’s massive market share.

Nowhere is this effort more evident than their relatively new, but well-polished Promoted Listings platform. With the promise of increasing the visibility of your products by upwards of 30%, eBay is putting a lot of confidence behind the ad piece.

Working in the same vein as AdWords, the eBay program improves your listings within the eBay search results pages (they can hold the first, fourth and fifth spots). The ads may also show up in premium spots on the search results page or the view item page.

What’s interesting about promoted listings is their cost and what eBay recommends you use the listings for.

With payment structure, the rate is a percentage of the final sales price, which you can set yourself based on your own marketing goals or automatically through eBay’s trending rates function. In either case, the higher the rate you apply, the more likely it is your ad will display.

As far as the payment itself, you are charged a fee only after a sale occurs within 30 days of the click. If no sale within that time frame, then no fee.

In the case of when to utilize the promoted listing, eBay recommends only doing so for products that already sell well. So to maximize your ad dollars, it makes sense to build your ad campaigns around items that possess a favorable conversion rate. Using it for anything less than an item that is a swift seller is a waste.

More so than other online retailers, it’s easy to get lost on eBay as sellers abound everywhere. Promoted listings may help you cut through a lot of the noise.


Somewhat surprisingly, Walmart’s online presence was slow to emerge as a major player. However, when you’re the largest physical retailer in the country, it doesn’t require much to get up to speed.

Unlike Amazon, whose physical store growth is still in its infancy and mainly consists of Whole Foods locations, the advantage to Walmart is the brick and mortar / online hybrid. This means more data from two highly viable sources, and as a result, better decision making as it relates to marketing and advertising.

Regarding the actual advertising, Walmart ads include three primary types – catapults, native banners, and site search – and all operate off the pay-per-click model.

Catapults tend to focus on a specific product with their position at the top of secondary category pages. Native banners as the name suggests are headline banners that show up on the primary category pages.

The site search feature leads to a landing page within the website, which is most often a sellers branding page.

Walmart is still relatively new in the advertising game, and it shows on their website and through the tight controls they hold over the entire enterprise. Regardless, once the transition is complete, expect to them to establish a dominant presence online – which is good for sellers and advertisers alike.

After all, arguably the most significant benefit to advertising with Walmart is that its Walmart. It’s one of the few brands that rival Amazon in name recognition, and still has plenty of growth opportunities ahead of it, including their extension into online-based ads.

Final Thoughts

Growing your business means making smart decisions with your advertising. Regardless of where you sell, understanding how you can expand your brand’s reach across that platform is paramount to getting more views, more clicks, and ultimately more sales.

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