This week, Amazon Associates started running a brand new test of their program in preparation for the 2006 shopping season. It is clear Amazon would like to figure out how to maximize sales which affects their revenues and your commissions. Good for them. Let's take a look at what they are doing.
In the past, when you have put a link on your site to a particular product, when clicked, it took your visitors to a page that Amazon calls "Similarities Explorer Page". Similarities Explorer Page is a page where just a small portion at the top is devoted to the product your visitor clicked on. The remainder of the page presented images of various other products that are in some way similar to the original product selected by the viewer. Take a look at the following example of a typical ad and a resulting Similarities Explorer page:
|Amazon Product Ad||click-through||Amazon Similarities Explorer Page|
A test that Amazon ran a number of years ago has shown that this page is more likely to generate a sale than the product detail page (see below). The reason for this was that if the potential consumer clicks on a product and it is not exactly what he is looking for, then he may find a different product that is similar to the first one he clicked on that is more to his liking.
|Amazon Product Ad||click-through||Amazon Product Detail Page|
However, a number of improvements have been made over the years to the product detail page. Today, the Amazon Product Detail page has significantly more information about the product than the Similarities Explorer page, namely:
- More buying options, better pricing, image, special offer, and delivery information.
- Better Together section: bundles that can save you even more money.
- What do customers ultimately buy after viewing this item.
- Product technical details.
- Miscellaneous product details, such as dimensions, weight, sales rank.
- Link to a product manual.
- Product Description.
- Accessories and service.
- Customers who bought this item also bought...
- Help others find this item.
- Tag this product.
- Rate this item.
- Spotlight reviews.
- Customer reviews.
- Customer discussions.
- ProductWiki: Product Information from Our Customers.
- News and Reviews About This Product.
- So You'd Like to... guides.
- Look for related items by keyword.
- Look for similar items by category.
Whew! Amazon has certainly packed a lot of information on their product detail pages. It is certainly reasonable to assume that all this information may give a customer better incentive to purchase the product.
So, staring September 25, Amazon Associates is starting a test in which clicks on Amazon product ads will be randomly directed to either a Similarities Explorer Page or to a Product Detail Page. Amazon will then tabulate all results to see which page is resulting in better sales. They will then cause all of the clicks to go to that page. This test will run through October 24, 2006.
I have tried building links to Amazon products and took a look at what happens when I clicked on them. It seems like the very first time you click on an ad, Amazon flips a virtual coin to see to which page (product detail or similarities explorer) the click will take you. After that, all clicks on Amazon ads will lead you to go to the same type of a page. I tried this on Firefox first and all of my clicks led me to the Similarities Explorer page. I then tried this in Internet Explorer and all of my Amazon clicks went to the Product Detail page. So now we wait and see what the results will show.
Having described this test, I'll be bold and make a prediction. I think that the Associates team will learn that the Similarities Explorer page will continue to generate better results than the Product Detail page. I think that if you click on an ad, having an opportunity to see a number of product choices will give you a better ability to make a decision to purchase one of them. We should all find out the results on October 24.
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