Sarah BerryWeb Marketing Consultant
- 16 minute read
- Sarah Berry is a Google Analytics-certified Web Marketing Consultant at WebFX. She’s written over 400 articles on digital marketing, covering topics like SEO, CRO, and Amazon. When she isn’t polishing her Time Magazine Person of the Year Award, she’s spending time with her flock of ducks.
More than 90 percent of U.S. shoppers have bought something from Amazon, the world’s largest ecommerce platform. For many consumers, Amazon is a one-stop shop, which is why the company continues to add helpful features to its search results, including product ads and recommendations.
What do Amazon’s new-and-improved search results look like, though? Find out in our exclusive Amazon infographic: The Anatomy of an Amazon Search Result!
Why is Amazon a big deal, anyway?
Curious why Amazon matters to not only consumers but also businesses?
Since its start in 1994, Amazon has grown into a powerhouse brand. As an ecommerce platform, Amazon offers everything a consumer needs, from groceries to clothing to electronics. It even provides home services, like landscaping, cleaning, plumbing and more.
That’s why 54 percent of product searches start on Amazon, versus Google, Bing, or Yahoo! Consumers today depend on Amazon, as demonstrated by the 44 percent of people that buy something from Amazon at least once a month. Even more convincing is the fact that almost 95 percent of consumers purchase something at least once a year from Amazon.
While Amazon hasn’t revealed an exact figure for its total number of shoppers, the company has stated that Amazon.com features more than 300 million active customer accounts and more than 200 million Amazon Prime subscribers. With its popularity among consumers, it’s no wonder businesses use Amazon to sell their products. More than one million small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) sell products on Amazon.
Many have success on the platform too. That’s why third-party sellers sell more than 50 percent of everything purchased on Amazon. To put that in perspective, during the holiday season alone, SMBs sell more than one billion items.
That’s why Amazon is a big deal for businesses and consumers.
The different looks of Amazon search results
When it comes to Amazon search results, every search offers a different experience. While a search for “socks” may provide an everyday list of products, a search for “athletic socks” may generate a few product ads, product recommendations, and more. The look of an Amazon search result depends on two factors:
- Search algorithm
- Advertising strategies
For example, searches with a high volume tend to feature additional elements, like product recommendations, because Amazon’s search engine algorithm recognizes the search volume and product demand. Amazon achieves its goal as an ecommerce platform by including elements that help shoppers pick a product. For Amazon, it’s essential to help consumers find and purchase a top-notch product, whether from them or a third-party seller, because it encourages shoppers to come back to Amazon.
In comparison, a company’s advertising strategy influences the appearance of Amazon search results by targeting specific keywords or searches. Additional targeting options can even focus on shopper interests and behaviors. That’s why an ad may appear for the search “athletic socks,” but won’t show for the search, “socks,” because it doesn’t target that keyword or search.
It focuses on a specific type of sock to reach shoppers that already know what kind of sock they want to purchase.
7 parts to an Amazon search result
Due to the impact of advertising and algorithms on Amazon search results, this Amazon infographic includes features you may have never seen before, like Expert Recommendations or Top Rated From Our Brands. Experiment with some searches on Amazon, and you’ll likely come across these helpful additions. Amazon search results consist of seven elements:
- Sponsored Brands
- Sponsored Product Ads
- Expert Recommendations
- Top Rated From Our Brands
- Amazon’s Choice
- Organic Search Results
- End of Page
Ready to learn about each part of an Amazon search result? Keep reading!
1. Sponsored brands
Appearing at the top of search results, Sponsored Brands are a type of Amazon ad. They promote up to three products, as well as feature the company’s brand name. Below, you can see an actual example of a Sponsored Brands advertisement.
You can find Sponsored Brands in three places on Amazon:
- Above search results
- Alongside search results
- Within search results
While 70 percent of searches on Amazon focus on generic terms like, “white sneakers” versus “nike sneakers,” more than 80 percent of clicks on the first page of search results go to brands. That’s why established and rising businesses on Amazon use Sponsored Brands. It doesn’t hurt that these ads also have a conversion rate that is three times higher than Google Shopping ads.
This fact demonstrates the growing trend of consumers heading to Amazon, rather than Google, for their shopping needs. Want to learn more about Sponsored Brands? Browse our guide on Amazon ads!
2. Sponsored product ads
When shopping on Amazon, people rarely recognize Sponsored Product Ads as advertisements. These ads, which promote a single product related to a user’s search, appear directly above organic search results. You can spot Sponsored Product Ads by their “Sponsored” tag.
Below, you can see an example of an actual Sponsored Product Ad, located above an organic result. Like Sponsored Brands, you can find Sponsored Product Ads in four locations on Amazon:
- Top of search results
- Alongside search results
- Within search results
- On product detail pages
Wondering how Sponsored Product Ads look on product detail pages? Check out this example: While Sponsored Brands perform well for businesses, Sponsored Product Ads perform even better. Compared to other Amazon ads, like Sponsored Brands and Product Display Ads, Sponsored Product Ads are number one when it comes to purchases.
That means, when users click on Sponsored Product Ads, they’re more likely to purchase that product than if they clicked on Sponsored Brands or Product Display Ads. Sponsored Product Ads often perform so well because they promote one relevant product to users while they’re searching for that item. Sponsored Product Ads also do well because of their location.
They appear below Sponsored Brands, which users can recognize as an ad, and above organic search results. With their format, Sponsored Product Ads easily blend with organic search results. As 35 percent of shoppers click on the first product in search results, it’s easy for Sponsored Product Ads to earn clicks from interested users.
If the product delivers on consumer expectations, nothing is stopping that user from adding the product to their cart and checking out. Want to learn more about Sponsored Product Ads? Browse our guide on Sponsored Product Ads!
3. Expert recommendations
For common searches on Amazon, like for computer monitors, televisions, or stereos, Amazon offers recommendations from product experts. This feature of Amazon search results appears as a carousel that highlights three products related to your search. Amazon divides these three products into three separate categories, which include:
- Best of the Best: Highlights the best and the priciest product available.
- Best Value: Offers a go-to product choice for quality and price.
- Also Consider: Provides an option for cost-conscious and flexible shoppers.
You can see an actual example of Expert Recommendations in search results, below. Expert Recommendations do more than highlight three top-performing products. They also provide an in-depth review article, which shoppers can read.
In the example below, the review article discusses the pros and cons of the top three TV mounts. The article also includes some additional information:
- Types of TV mounts
- How to choose a TV mount
- What to look for in a TV mount
- How to install a TV mount
- Common TV mount questions
While Amazon doesn’t produce these reviews, it approves the companies that do. Every publisher that features in Expert Recommendations on Amazon is an Amazon Verified Expert. Amazon does not, however, reveal its standards for Amazon Verified Experts.
Below, you can see an example of this endorsement in the Expert Recommendations section. It’s worth mentioning that categories for Expert Recommendations can vary. While most have a best, better, and good format — like Best of the Best, Best Value, and Also Consider — some Amazon Verified Experts take a different approach to their reviews.
For example, in the Expert Recommendations example below, the Amazon Verified Expert uses “Best overall smartwatch,” “Best simple smartwatch,” and “Best smartwatch for fitness” to categorize their picks for the best smartwatches. Either way, Expert Recommendations provide a personalized and helpful shopping experience.
4. Top-rated from our brands
Amazon owns more than 100 exclusive brands, from AmazonBasics to AmazonEssentials to AmazonFresh. In total, these brands generate $7.5 billion in sales each year, in part due to the Top Rated From Our Brands element in Amazon search results. Top Rated From Our Brands offers shoppers a roundup of products from Amazon’s exclusive brands.
All the products that get featured in Top Rated From Our Brands relate to a shopper’s search. In the search example above, for TV mounts, Amazon recommends its TV mounts, as well as TV covers. It also highlights the specific brand, in this case, AmazonBasics.
Spoiler: AmazonBasics generates 85 percent of sales for Amazon-branded products.
5. Amazon’s choice
Amazon’s Choice is a common feature in search results. It highlights products with a:
- Competitive price
- High rating
- Low return rate
- High purchase rate
If a product qualifies for Amazon’s Choice, it’s also eligible for Amazon Prime and ready to ship. In search results, Amazon’s Choice can appear two ways:
- Badge: In most cases, Amazon’s Choice displays as a badge above a single product listing. It’s distinct, which makes it easy for shoppers to spot an Amazon’s Choice product. This trust signal can encourage many users to purchase that item.
- Carousel: Amazon’s Choice can also appear as a carousel, highlighting three to four products. Each product occupies a different price range, helping shoppers narrow their choices and make their purchase.
Below, you can see how Amazon’s Choice appears as a product badge in search results. You can also get a peek at what an Amazon’s Choice carousel looks like in search results. When consumers shop on Amazon, they often see Amazon’s Choice for popular or common searches.
A few examples of searches that feature this badge include:
- “athletic socks”
- “work boots for men”
- “tv for kitchen”
- “bluetooth speakers”
It’s worth mentioning that a product doesn’t carry the Amazon’s Choice badge across searches. Meaning, a product with the Amazon’s Choice badge for the search “bluetooth speakers” won’t necessarily have that badge for a similar search like “wireless speakers.” As Amazon becomes more invested in its voice assistant, Amazon Alexa, and voice-activated speaker line, Amazon Echo, the company continues to expand Amazon’s Choice. Now, you can find the badge on searches for niche products, like “camel soap.” What do Amazon Echo and Amazon Alexa have to do with Amazon’s Choice, though?
As Amazon Alexa is available on more than 100 million devices, it’s becoming easier for shoppers to make purchases via voice search devices. Since Alexa only recommends Amazon’s Choice products, it streamlines the process for voice shoppers. For example, if a user says, “Alexa, add garbage bags to my cart,” then Amazon Alexa adds Amazon’s Choice garbage bags to the shopper’s cart.
In this scenario, the garbage bags would come from an Amazon brand, Solimo. That’s why Amazon’s Choice is not only important for shoppers but also businesses on Amazon. If you’re a company on Amazon, it’s possible to earn the Amazon’s Choice badge.
Getting the Amazon’s Choice badge, however, requires your product to have competitive pricing, immediate availability, and excellent reviews. Products also need to ship via Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). Your product also needs to be a top purchase choice for shoppers, which is why product optimization or search engine optimization (SEO) is essential.
If you want to have the Amazon’s Choice badge for the search “bluetooth speakers,” for example, you need to optimize your product for that keyword. Across Amazon, you can see examples of third-party sellers that have successfully earned the badge. For instance, the search “bluetooth speakers” features Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Product Ads for the Amazon Echo, but the Amazon Echo doesn’t have the Amazon’s Choice badge.
Instead, the badge goes to a product by Cambridge Soundworks. This search is an excellent example of how Amazon’s Choice isn’t exclusive to products sold by Amazon.
6. Organic search results
On Amazon, your organic search results consist of products relevant to a user’s search. Over the years, Amazon’s become exceptional at providing shoppers with relevant search results, thanks to the company’s advanced search engine algorithm. This algorithm looks at every aspect of a product listing, including:
- And more
Amazon also analyzes the performance of sellers to determine the ranking of products in organic search results. Since almost 65 percent of clicks go to the first three organic listings in search results, businesses need to use SEO if they want to rank number one in search results. When it comes to the search results themselves, Amazon showcases 10 product details, including:
- Product ratings
- Shipping times
- Buying choices
- Amazon Prime eligibility
- Product Price
- And more
All these product details help a shopper determine which product to view, as well as purchase.
7. End of page
While 70 percent of Amazon shoppers stick to the first page of search results, 30 percent move onto the next page of search results. With Amazon, as well as sellers, offering millions of products to users, it’s easy for searches to generate dozens of pages of results. This shopper behavior isn’t too typical, however.
That’s because two-thirds of product clicks happen on the first page of search results, demonstrating the power and accuracy of Amazon’s search algorithm. It can determine what people want, based on their search, plus provide access to reputable, trusted sellers. For businesses and shoppers, that’s another reason why Amazon is a big deal.
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Sarah Berry is a Google Analytics-certified Web Marketing Consultant at WebFX. She’s written over 400 articles on digital marketing, covering topics like SEO, CRO, and Amazon. When she isn’t polishing her Time Magazine Person of the Year Award, she’s spending time with her flock of ducks.
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