amazonaAmazon has just launched a trial of a new advertising program known as Product Ads. Basically an outside retailer lets Amazon know what products they would like to sell, Amazon then showcases these products in advertisements on relevant pages throughout Amazon.com.

While Amazon has long shown other retailer’s products on their pages, these were always still hosted on the Amazon site. The difference here is that any user clicking on these ads will be redirected to that retailer’s site instead.

The key, as ComparisonEngines points out, is that this could very well be the first step towards Amazon creating a full-fledged shopping-based search engine of sorts. Right now Google Product Search and eBay’s Shopping.com are the leaders in this arena, but neither has as much clout in terms of online retail sales as Amazon.

This program is cost-per-click (CPC), so advertisers only pay when a user actually clicks on the advertisement and is diverted to their site.

Just as Google has built AdSense off of providing relevant ads to users, these Product Ads will be extremely relevant to Amazon’s users, as you know anyone browsing Amazon for a product is very likely at least thinking about purchasing it. If ad relevancy is a determining factor of click-through rates, these ads are going to be getting a ton of clicks.