At first blush, Amazon.com may not seem like an obvious choice for automotive marketers to spend their advertising dollars on. Afterall, you can’t buy cars through Amazon’s online marketplace — so why bother?
Because Amazon possesses a robust community of car shoppers, enthusiasts and experts sharing their experiences and opinions on Amazon’s growing Vehicles community. First introduced in 2016, Amazon Vehicles is quickly becoming the research destination-of-choice for many car shoppers. Flush with specs, customer reviews, pictures, suggested retail price and more, car shoppers can research various car models on pages that mimic Amazon’s traditional product pages.
These pages also give users the option to add vehicles to their Amazon “Garage” — a feature that allows car owners to find and purchase compatible car parts and accessories sold through Amazon or interact with fellow owners. Some Amazon Vehicles pages also come equipped with a call to action that take users off of Amazon and onto the automaker’s owned web property to advance prospective customers along their customer journey (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. Amazon Vehicles Page For The 2021 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X
Given that the majority of online product searches begin on Amazon.com (source), and with the deprecation of third-party cookies pushing more advertisers within the confines of walled gardens, Amazon Vehicles represents a unique marketing opportunity for automotive brands seeking to drive brand awareness. For example, automakers such as Ford, Toyota and Volkswagen have all placed a series of static display ads on Amazon’s Vehicles community (see Figure 2).
Figure 2. Amazon Vehicles Display Ads from Automakers
While many Amazon Vehicles display ads bring users to the advertised vehicles’ respective Amazon Vehicles page, some brands take it a step further. For instance, Ford’s 2021 Mustang Mach-E Amazon Vehicles display ad takes users away from Amazon Vehicles and onto a special Amazon.com landing page for the car model. Featuring a unique layout, this landing page provides shoppers with a series of branded video content with more information on the unique features of the all-electric vehicle. The page also contains calls to action that direct users off of Amazon and onto Ford’s owned web properties (see Figure 3).
Figure 3. Amazon Landing Page for Ford’s 2021 Mustang Mach-E
As automakers pivot their advertising efforts away from sales and discounts amidst supply chain disruptions, Amazon will continue to serve as a unique outlet to drive brand awareness and consideration for automakers.
At the very least, automakers should maintain a pulse on moves Amazon is making. As the world’s largest online retailer propels its digital commerce dominance to new heights, it continues to explore brick-and-mortar opportunities. For example, Amazon has recently — and without much fanfare — unleashed a national grocery store chain (“Amazon Fresh”) amidst the height of the pandemic. There are also some speculations that the retail giant plans to open several large department store-esque locations across the U.S. as many retailers are still buckling under the weight of the global pandemic (source).
Learn how automotive brands are recalibrating their marketing efforts against a backdrop of microchip shortages, logistics nightmares and more, be sure to check out Gartner’s upcoming Digital IQ Index: Auto, 2021. And don’t forget to register for the live Webinar on September 22.