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Turn a page with Amazon

The etail giant now lets brands set up their own pages on its site - so they can target its vast audience.

In a move more commonly associated with social networking sites, etail giant Amazon has launched brand pages.

The pages on the site (at https://ams.amazon.com/products/pages) are free to set up and give brands a landing page to promote themselves in a number of ways. There are three different display templates to choose from when setting up the page. When a brand wants to set up a page, it sends a request to Amazon for authorisation and once this is received they can start building it. When the page is created a unique, customised URL is created that is specific to that brand.

A hero image can be added at the top of the page to represent the brand (including click-through links to product) in a similar way to a Facebook timeline layout.

Another social element to Amazon pages is that brands can post messages on their page which can either be used simultaneously across Amazon and Facebook or just on the Amazon site. Because one message can be posted to both sites at the same time, brands can save on resources. However, they will need to consider whether both platforms require the same message when users will be in quite different mind-sets. Posts can also be scheduled, which could be appealing to brands when thinking about Sales or promotions. In a nod to the other social networking giant, Twitter, posts can be up to 140 characters long, but unlike Facebook, Amazon page posts are not integrated with Twitter at present.

Individual pages also have social network buttons at the top which let users share their finds with their followers and friends on Facebook and Twitter. A ‘merchandising widget’ allows brands to link directly from an image on the brand page to buy an individual product.

Amazon also allows brands to see analytics from the page. These will enable them to collect data through the analytics system to see the type of potential customer it has on the site.

With a huge audience already on the Amazon site, these pages will allow brands to showcase their product in a shopping environment. The pages are a cross between a traditional shopping page and a social network, allowing brands to promote items as well as upload posts, encouraging interaction.

With the Amazon pages free to set up, it is a good platform to test this kind of environment and consider whether something similar should be set up on a brand’s own transactional site. For Amazon, it is a way of attracting brands that may otherwise not have considered selling on the site.

The pages also add to the debate as to whether social network environments can contribute to sales. By integrating the two elements on one page, Amazon is directly associating the two and it will be interesting to see the effect this new approach has on overall sales per brand. It is easy to see how this mix of shopping and social interaction could be something more retailers bring onto their own sites during the next 12 months.

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