Last week, we posted about the growing importance of Google and Facebook in the online advertising space. Today, let us consider another giant of the new economy that – though many might not think of them in this way – has a chance to eat into the market share dominance of the other two.

Amazon as Advertising Platform

When we think of Amazon, we probably don’t think of them in terms of digital advertising. We think of them as an ecommerce store where one can buy everything from books to clothes to furniture. We think of them as a technology company – responsible for a line of smart devices (Echos, Fires, TV). Businesses might even think of them as a provider of cheap cloud services.

But the truth is, Amazon has the potential to be an important player in online advertising. The reason why is because they have the three big things that any great platform needs to have:

  1. A large, engaged community
  2. Loads of consumer behavior data
  3. A place to display ads

Recently, Amazon has been courting advertisers for several new advertising programs run by the Amazon Media Group, the department responsible for turning Amazon into an advertising powerhouse.

Brands can display product ads in category searches, on product pages, across Amazon’s network of third-party sites, on Amazon’s shopping app, and more. Shoppers are targeted based on their prior purchases and browsing habits – all of which Amazon has been collecting and storing for years to offer better product recommendations and offers.

With so many people now turning to Amazon for their shopping, it is no wonder they are looking to capitalize not just through sales of their own goods. Advertising has the potential to turn into a serious new revenue source for the company that long ago launched as an online bookstore.

While it may be difficult to imagine any company taking market share away from Google and Facebook when it comes to online advertising, Amazon has the right combination of factors going for it to do just that. Could the big two become the big three?