Looking for Christmas lights on Amazon, look at what I see below the fold, on the left-hand side of the page?
If you click on word "Advertisement", you'll get to answer a brief survey - you'll get to tell Amazon if the ad is relevant or not.
You can learn about interest-based ads on Amazon by clicking here.
The ads, of course, take you to various landing pages on Amazon's site - which suggests that the brands on the site are paying for the ads, to steer the customer to their landing pages - a version of co-op funding, I suppose.
I know, I know, co-op dollars are evil - they're clearly not a best practice, are they?
I share this, of course, because I'm asking you to think. We've homogenized ourselves into a series of a dozen best practices designed to guarantee success. And yet, we grow at the same, miserable, tepid rate we've grown at for a decade (well, not all of us, but many of us). So at some point you just ask yourself, "what good are all these best practices"?
Amazon is double-dipping ... getting vendors to pay, getting you to pay.
You're losing business to Amazon.
Take a few minutes, and think about this. I'm not saying you should take vendor-based ads on your site. I'm saying you should think about various business models. Especially if you're a cataloger looking to offset future postage increases.