... advertising is a relatively small, low-key element in Amazon's core business.
But Baird & Company's senior research analyst Colin Sebastian estimates that (in 2011) selling third party ads on Amazon's own websites attracted around $500 million of Amazon’s $48 billion revenues.
Since last year, the world's largest online retailer has been packaging information on what it knows about consumers, enabling approved marketers to use that information to make split-second decisions about where to buy ads online and how much to pay for them.
This automated process occurs on real-time ad exchanges that sell ad impressions as a person loads a web page.
Says Jeff Green, ceo of The Trade Desk, which helps guide spending decisions by ad agencies: "Today, if you’re browsing the web, you might see an Amazon advertisement based on Amazon’s data.
Tomorrow, you may see an ad from Coca-Cola based on Amazon data, and it’ll run through the Amazon [trading] platform."
Green points out that while Google might have more overall data about consumers, Amazon’s data could be more valuable for advertisers.
Amazon has “a pretty clear understanding of the things I buy. They’ve learned a lot about me. Every time I’m convinced I have another medical ailment, I go to Google. But Amazon, what they have is really about my purchase intent.”
Kip Voytek, digital innovation director at MDC Partners is of like mind: "For years, Amazon has put algorithms to work in order to recommend products to people who are on its sites.
"Now other companies are eager to find out exactly how Amazon’s knowledge about consumers can help them find the best audiences for their ads."
Read the original unabridged Mashable article.