Amazon Testing Product Listing Ads in Walmart-Dominated Toy Category

A few weeks back AdGooroo examined Amazon’s recent foray into product listing ads on U.S. Google and found the online retailer appeared to be conducting a limited test of PLAs, which started on December 25 and was focused on home goods products. We’re returning to this subject today as we have found Amazon also competing on PLAs in the toy category.

In analyzing U.S. Google desktop product listing ad activity on 892 popular toy keywords from December 25, 2016 through January 26, 2017, we found Amazon cracked the top 20 most clicked PLA advertisers based on its sponsorship of 299 toy keywords.

Amazon PLA top toys Dec. 25, 2016-Jan 26, 2017

As we found with our earlier research on the home goods category, Amazon’s modest click share (0.71%) and relatively low spend suggest a test of product listing ads in the toy category. Amazon’s efforts, in fact, were behind that of its specialty store for baby products,, which had a 1.69% click share on the keyword group during the period. (Like Amazon-owned Zappos, does not appear to have followed its parent company’s previous avoidance of product listing ads; according to AdGooroo data sponsored PLAs on the toy keyword group throughout 2016.)

Walmart Captures a Third of All Clicks

Were Amazon to launch a full-scale PLA initiative in the toy category, it would encounter sizeable competition from Walmart. As we also previously saw with the home goods category, as well as our concurrent examination of 2500 top retail product keywords, Walmart is by far the top PLA player on the toy keyword group. The company’s main site,, generated a 22.75% click share on 793 of the 892 toy keywords in the study, while its recently acquired experienced a 7.05% click share and its added another 1.35% in click share, bringing Walmart’s total share of clicks on the toy keyword group to 31%.

Toys “R” Us was the only other advertiser to achieve double digit click share, capturing 15.8% of total clicks on the keyword group during the period. Target (7.39% click share), eBay (5.04%) and Kmart (2.87%) were also among the most clicked advertisers.

Top Toy Keywords

The most clicked toy keywords on U.S. Google product listing ads during the period studied, December 25, 2016-January 26, 2017, included ‘nerf guns’, ‘baby alive’, ‘xbox one’, ‘swingset’, ‘legos star wars’ and ‘trampoline’.

Top 20 Most Clicked Toy Keywords out of 892 in PLAs, Dec 25, 2016-Jan 26, 2017_AdGooroo

Toys PLA nerf guns

toys PLA baby alive

Note: The findings of this study are limited to U.S. Google desktop product listing ad activity on the 892 toy keywords cited above from December 25, 2016 through January 26, 2017. Advertisers may have sponsored additional keywords during this period that, if measured, would alter the findings of this study.