Advertising on Amazon is strategically more important than ever before for brands, sellers and agencies, especially since the pandemic thrust online shopping into the spotlight.
With the holidays approaching, polls are showing that nearly half of Americans plan to do all their holiday shopping online with the majority citing safety concerns as their primary reason.
According to new data from IBM’s U.S. Retail Index, the pandemic has accelerated the shift away from physical stores to digital shopping by roughly five years. The report also indicates that department stores are expected to decline by over 60% for the full year. Meanwhile, ecommerce is projected to grow by nearly 20% in 2020.
As Amazon becomes increasingly competitive and complex, knowing how to leverage its advertising opportunities for this year’s peak season is critical to out-compete and drive growth.
Preparing in advance by addressing all aspects of Amazon presence is critical to success.
Below are the most effective strategies to make the most of your advertising spend on Amazon this holiday season:
Ensure content on core products is up-to-date and of top quality. Keep an eye on the holiday calendar and submit your deals on time. Avoid running into inventory issues during peak sales days. Also, if inventory is low, avoid spending advertising dollars behind those products.
Amazon’s portfolio of campaigns types and the levers within have been expanding. Deploying all available campaign types gives you the maximum exposure. Current search marketing campaign types include Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Display.
Each of these campaigns have their own unique placements and levers. Under-leveraging any one of them would be a missed opportunity.
As you run campaigns, it is easy to end up in a place where there are gaps in keywords and product targets across campaign types. Ensure parity of keywords and product target across all campaigns.
If you are optimizing campaigns, you are moving things around throughout the year. It is common to have a few ASINs (Amazon’s unique product identifier numbers) missing from your campaigns, and you may not be aware.
Run a brief comparison of overall sales and advertising sales at the ASIN level for the last 30 days and ensure that all the ASINs are in play in your campaigns.
Do a comparison of last November’s and this November’s performance at the keyword level and ensure that there are no apparent gaps. When you choose your keywords targets to bid upon, it’s important to get in the minds of your customers.
Put on your holiday cap and think about what customers might be searching for this time of year. Consider the various aspects and features of your products to come up with keywords targets that skew towards this time of the year.
On key sales days, raise campaign budgets by two to three times regular days. Keep track of campaign budgets throughout the day and raise them if they are running out of budgets. Running out of budget means competitors can come in at cheaper CPCs and grab sales.
Deal-of-the-day products in auto campaigns tend to consume a lot of spend, which in turn can negatively impact advertising cost of sale (ACOS). Pause these ASINs in auto campaigns when the deal is on, to avoid such a scenario. When the deal is done, be sure to un-pause the ASIN.
If there are keywords that you’d like to own in terms of position, we recommend raising bids on them going into the holidays by 1.5 to 2 times. Leverage automation to keep track of who is winning top positions and bid up if you are not, on important keywords
Competitors will bid on your brand terms on peak sales days. Track your brand terms and defend against these competitors by bidding up, but only to the extent that you can support the spend. You may be competing with advertisers who are willing to pay really high CPCs to capture your brand. You could burn through a lot of ad spend in such a scenario.
Using automation is critical to competing effectively in Amazon advertising today. Automation can be applied to bid management, targeting optimization, day parting, competitive tracking and more. It is almost impossible to accomplish these things effectively without some degree of automation.
This year’s peak season may feel daunting, but these strategies should help you make the most of your advertising spend on Amazon. Preparing in advance, thinking seasonally, setting yourself up with the right basics and taking advantage of all aspects of Amazon’s advertising platform will lead to better business outcomes.
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