November 21st, 2012 by Judith Aquino

In case retailers didn’t have enough to do during the busiest shopping season of the year, Amazon has unveiled a new platform for online retailers to play with, Amazon Pages.

Amazon Pages lets merchants set up their own visually enhanced brand pages on Amazon.com, along with customized URLs and large photos and social media links. It is also offering Amazon Posts for companies to market themselves across Amazon and Facebook, and Amazon Analytics to measure their efforts.

TechCrunch, which reported on the new brand pages first, noted Pages “gives Amazon a significant leg up in its positioning brands and smaller businesses that might potentially look to Amazon as a way of running their full online operation, in place of their own standalone websites.”

Facebook and Pinterest have already been experimenting with e-commerce friendly pages so it is unsurprising that Amazon would want to eliminate the middle man by offering its own brand pages.

Similar to Facebook’s Timeline layout, the top of an Amazon Page lets users display a large image. Brands can also choose from three templates: All Products, Posts With Merchandising and Posts Only.

The first two templates include a merchandising widget that let brands display either product images with an “Add to Cart” button or links to products; featured products and links seem limited to items available on Amazon. Underneath the merchandising widget, brands have the option to display a shoppable product gallery or a posts feed. The posts are limited to 140 characters and can be published on a brand’s Facebook page, but not its Twitter feed.

So far only a handful of companies appear to have set up Pages on the behemoth online marketplace, but it probably won’t be long before brands urge consumers to visit their Amazon Page.

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