How to Use Viral Launch’s Kinetic Tool to Do Amazon PPC

Amazon’s PPC process can seem mysterious at first. The process can be time-consuming and complicated, so many sellers — both old and new — look to outsource their PPC management to marketing agencies rather than handling it themselves. But the right Amazon PPC automation tool can make PPC easy, allowing sellers of any level to grow their brand and improve sales.

At Viral Launch, we’ve received plenty of demand for how to do Amazon PPC with a simple and effective management tool. We took that feedback from sellers and scouted the marketplace to see what other tools were lacking. We created our Amazon PPC automation tool, Kinetic, to provide better education and convenience to simplify the complicated aspects of Amazon PPC.

With our tool, sellers can stop outsourcing their Amazon PPC automation efforts and demystify the platform to gain a better understanding of how to effectively capitalize on the massive opportunity that is paid search.

Easy Integration With Viral Launch’s Suite of Software

One of the most compelling aspects of Kinetic is its ability to seamlessly integrate with our other Amazon optimization tools, including Keyword ResearchListing Analyzer, and Keyword Manager. By providing this level of sophistication and cross-platform support, Kinetic allows sellers to pull valuable insights and data from multiple sources to increase the effectiveness of their PPC strategy.

Viral Launch Kinetic Best Practices for Amazon PPC Success

After you’ve gone through the process of linking your Kinetic account to your Amazon Seller Central page and have familiarized yourself with Kinetic’s dashboard, layout, and features, you’re ready to begin creating and executing your PPC campaigns.

Here are some best practices to keep in mind when setting up your first few PPC campaigns:

1. Figure out a plan that works best for you.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all guide to PPC strategy. While this may seem like a negative, we like to look at it as an opportunity. Finding the strategy that makes the most sense for your resources and goals is crucial to your PPC success. 

While there aren’t many hard-and-fast rules when it comes to how to do PPC on Amazon, we’d like to take this opportunity to highlight what not to do in any campaign: We recommend not putting all keywords into one campaign. This is because it’s simply not scalable to allocate all of your advertising funds to any one particular campaign. 

By strategically separating your keywords across different campaigns, you’ll be able to shift your budget from low- to high-performing campaigns and scale your results much easier than if they’re all lumped together.

2. Check out your existing campaigns.

If you already have a few PPC campaigns running, we recommend going over these existing campaigns to check their status and see how they’re performing using Kinetic. This can be a great way to get a firm grasp on how Kinetic works because you’ll be able to experiment with campaigns you’ve already set up. Kinetic allows for a deeper understanding of campaign performance, so there’s likely information to be gleaned from your existing campaigns.

3. Set up some of our recommended campaign types.

If you’re having difficulty determining how to start setting up Amazon PPC campaigns, we’ve got you covered with several predetermined models. In this video, we walk you through six helpful campaigns for beginners. Each campaign covered has a specific intention and goal in mind that can help you quickly get up to speed on how to utilize the platform. From there, you can either implement our recommended campaign types or adapt them to best suit your own particular needs.

Using these strategies within Kinetic, sellers can gain a better understanding of how to do Amazon PPC with the ultimate goal of improving visibility on their products and driving more sales.

What Is Amazon PPC?

When people begin looking for a new product to buy, about 66% of them start their searches on Amazon, according to a report from Feedvisor. And when they begin their searches with one specific product already in mind, 74% go straight to Amazon.

Most sales on Amazon come via the search function, but the results are mainly based on past sales. That can make it difficult for sellers outside of page one to make their products more visible using only organic SEO methods. To increase visibility for their products, sellers can use different types of Amazon PPC ads to bid on exposure for their listings.

Amazon PPC is an advertising and marketing platform that allows you to buy and optimize different types of Amazon ads. Through the platform, you can bid on keywords and competitor listings, create advertising strategies, and run a variety of PPC campaign styles. Bids and ad performance are specific to your Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN), so you can figure out which campaigns benefit you the most.

Since it was introduced in 2012, sellers have optimized and automated Amazon PPC to achieve several highly specific goals. You may want to make your sales cycle more efficient, for example, or maximize the rank of a specific brand or product. PPC optimization is all about figuring out your goals and accomplishing them with the available resources.

Setting Up Different Types of Amazon PPC Ads

At its core, an optimized PPC strategy helps you avoid inefficient ad spend while accomplishing your goals. You can boost short-term profits by running efficient PPC campaigns or spend more to build long-term strategies in order to increase rank so your listing can see more organic sales down the road. Because Amazon PPC is still relatively new, many sellers aren’t familiar with it, and you have an excellent opportunity to enhance your competitive edge. 

To begin, go to your Seller Central account and hover over the Advertising tab; then, select Campaign Manager. From there, you’ll be asked to set up the budget and duration of your advertising campaign. The entire process is built into your Seller Central account, so you won’t need to download anything to create and track your campaigns.

The next step is to choose what types of Amazon ads you want to utilize. It’s possible to sponsor products or brands specifically and to choose manual or automated targeting. Automated Amazon PPC ads determine what keywords and products you’re associated with and then run ads based on that information. Manual targeting allows you to choose what, specifically, to dial in on.

Optimizing Manual and Automated Amazon PPC

Both manual and automated Amazon PPC can be highly useful. PPC automation can show you what Amazon recognizes your product for and, over time, conversion rates for each keyword or product you’re advertising. You can then use this information to manually optimize campaigns further and spend more efficiently on long-term campaigns.

By combining Amazon PPC automation with manual targeting, you can build a more hands-on type of campaign in which you retain total control of your ad spend in the context of your goals. Pinpoint the keywords and products that Amazon finds most relevant and successful, then target them specifically to maximize your ROI.

For a few examples of how we recommend properly structuring these automatic and manual targeting campaigns in Kinetic and why we recommend setting them up that way, check out this handy video!

Strategizing a manual and automated Amazon PPC campaign can seem overwhelming, especially if you don’t have a background in marketing. Viral Launch’s Kinetic platform helps simplify it for you by presenting extremely detailed data taken directly from Amazon in a user-friendly and easily understandable format.

Save time tracking your PPC spend by seeing all of your data within a few tabs instead of having to dig through a multitude of Microsoft Excel tabs. Within Kinetic, you can create rules to automate Amazon ad campaigns based on past performance and access tips on how to optimize them. With Kinetic’s preset advertisement types, you can better understand different types of Amazon ads and PPC strategies and how to implement them.

What Is Amazon PPC, and How Can You Make the Most of It?

If you want to be a successful Amazon seller, you have to get your products in front of the right buyers. That’s a fundamental truth. But when you consider that more and more product views are coming from sponsored listings, it makes that goal a little more complicated. 

 

Not to worry. Consider this your go-to guide for Amazon PPC — one of the most effective ways to get potential customers to view your listings.

 

For starters, what is Amazon PPC? Let’s cover the Amazon PPC basics. It is a pay-per-click advertising platform that helps sellers make it easier to get eyes on their products. The seller pays a fee each time a customer clicks the ad and views the seller’s product page.

Types of Ads on Amazon

 

 

There are three different types of Amazon PPC ads that sellers can use. In order to have the most effective Amazon PPC strategy, you need to choose the one that’s right for your products. Here are the different PPC campaigns and when you should use them:

 

  • Sponsored product ads promote a specific product to shoppers who search using specific keywords or view similar products. These are best for targeting a single item within your catalog.
  • Sponsored brand ads promote a collection of products to customers using keywords. These are best when you want to promote a group of products that fall under the same brand.
  • Sponsored display ads promote a product on sites other than Amazon. These are best for targeting customers who have shopped for similar items.

 

How to Do Amazon PPC

 

 

When you’re setting up your PPC ad campaign, Amazon will walk you through the process step by step. First, you’ll have to choose from the list above to sponsor a product, a brand, or a display. Then, you can choose which product or products you want to promote and set the budget and time limit for your ad campaign.

 

 

These choices seem simple, but choosing wisely will help you optimize your Amazon PPC strategy for the greatest return on your investment. When launching a product, it’s unlikely that your PPC will be profitable at first, so you should view it as an investment in future growth. Balance the budget according to a reasonable advertising cost that you’re financially comfortable with.

 

How Much Does Amazon PPC Cost?

 

Amazon recommends a daily budget of $10 for PPC ads. It’s also a good idea to leave your end date open. Combined with automatic keyword targeting, this will give your product the greatest chance of being seen by potential customers whenever they shop. If you’re sponsoring a brand, you can also add a logo and a custom headline.

 

For larger PPC campaigns, you can choose to build an Amazon store. A wide range of prebuilt templates, tiles, and widgets make customizing your store easy, even if you don’t have any previous experience building websites. Once you’ve created your campaign, shoppers will start seeing and clicking on your ads.

 

Amazon PPC Tips and Tricks

 

If you’re sponsoring a single product, your ads will launch as soon as you finalize the campaign’s setup. Sponsored brands and stores will launch after a short moderation review period. In any case, there are several factors that impact how soon you’ll begin seeing a return on investment from the campaign.

 

The ultimate goal is to be as price and review competitive as the page-one performers. The more data you collect through your PPC campaign, the more precisely you can tailor future efforts to build more profitable campaigns. For each one, remember to follow these tips to ensure you’re getting the most out of your efforts:

1. Focus your keyword strategy. Data from your PPC ads will show you which keywords are bringing in the most conversions. But keyword performance can be erratic sometimes, so make sure you’re tracking that data regularly. Shift your focus if a keyword becomes less profitable, and focus on targeting the ones with high conversion rates more aggressively.

 

2. Position your ads strategically. The data your campaign generates can also show you where your ads consistently deliver the best conversion rates. With this information, you can position your ads for the most strategic value.

 

3. Budget for enough time. Amazon PPC campaigns are not meant to be overnight successes, which is why you should never set an end date during the setup. It takes time for Amazon to figure out the best way to deliver your campaign. Be patient, and as the campaign’s performance improves, so will the data you collect.

 

4. Measure more than one metric. PPC involves many different metrics, so you shouldn’t judge performance on a single one. One bad metric doesn’t mean the entire campaign is ineffective. Instead, make decisions based on the overall performance of the campaign.


What makes any ad campaign work is understanding how to reach potential customers most efficiently, which means understanding how they shop on Amazon. Amazon PPC ads give you access to the infrastructure and data you’ll need to gain that understanding faster. Now that we’ve covered the Amazon PPC basics, it’s time to learn more. Enroll in the FREE Amazon PPC course today.

The Amazon PPC Ad Types: What They Offer and How to Manage Them

Creating a successful Amazon PPC campaign isn’t just a matter of spending money on some keywords and then hoping to build sales. The strategy, research, and structure of a campaign are what determines its success. And even if you’ve done some thorough preparation, not keeping an eye on how well it’s doing will be a recipe for failure. 

 Every business has a specific vision of what an effective PPC campaign is. It could increase organic rank, drive sales of a seasonal product, or be consistently profitable. However you define PPC success, knowing the full scope of what’s possible within each of Amazon’s advertising channels will help you devise the ideal campaign for your brand. The keywords you target, the spending thresholds you set, and the performance metrics you use are all crucial to building a strong campaign. 

 As you juggle these different tasks, Viral Launch’s PPC tool, Kinetic, can make managing your campaigns easier and help you achieve your Amazon advertising goals. The data it provides on your ads’ performance can ensure your PPC campaign is structured effectively, targeting the right keywords, and spending efficiently. 

 Kinetic also offers automated features that will help you save time by taking bidding adjustments off your to-do list. It doesn’t force predefined rules on your campaign automation or only provide limited data. Similar to Viral Launch’s other software tools, Kinetic gives you the customization, flexibility, and data to make your ideal Amazon PPC ad strategy a working reality.

Here we’ll cover the various Amazon advertising channels—Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Product Display ads—and how Kinetic can provide benefits to each kind of PPC campaign. 

Breaking Down the Amazon PPC Ads: Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands & Product Display Ads

 

The goal of an Amazon ad is pretty simple: convince a consumer to purchase your product. Yet making that happen is both complicated and expensive, and Amazon provides sellers with three different advertising channels for increasing brand awareness and gaining sales opportunities. Whether you choose to use one or a combination of them, each one provides different avenues for reaching consumers and specific advantages.

Sponsored Products Ads 

The first thing you’ll likely see on a search results page is a Sponsored Products ad. They appear at the top of results, as well as alongside them and at the bottom of the page. They provide an excellent means of generating visibility and enticing people to check out your product. As the name implies, these are product-focused ads meant to increase sales. 

 

Sponsored Products ads feature your product’s photo, your title (or part of it), the average reviews, and your price. These components alone are enough to draw a consumer’s attention and give her enough information to know if the offering is worth pursuing. When it appears next to competitors with weaker reviews or higher prices, the ad can really stand out and steal some sales from those other brands. These ads primarily target consumers who are weighing different options and are ready to make a purchase. Brand awareness can be generated here as a bonus, but the primary objective is to drive sales. 

 

Where a Sponsored Products ad shows up relies on a variety of different factors. It isn’t just your keywords and your bids (although you still need to target the right keywords and offer a competitive bid). The impressions and clicks it earns also play a factor. The better your ad performs and the more sales your earn, the higher your ad placements will be.

 

Also, an increase in sales will also help boost your organic rank. Having greater visibility in organic search results will lead to receiving more impressions, views, and conversions. Our CEO Casey Gauss has often spoken about how sales and rank create a flywheel effect in which sales help increase organic rank, which helps boost sales, and the self-perpetuating pattern builds from there. 

Sponsored Brands Ads 

 

Being a recognizable brand means a great deal. Promoting your products is essential, but promoting your brand can help create a personal connection with consumers that paves the way to brand loyalty. 

 

While Sponsored Products ads will help with product promotion, Sponsored Brands advertisements will allow you to show the personality behind your brand. Previously known as Headline ads, these ads appear as a banner ad on a search results page (at the top, middle, or bottom). They include your logo, a headline, and three featured product ads, each of which link to their product pages. By clicking the ad, a consumer will be taken to your brand’s Sales page or a customized landing page that showcases your three products and some information about your business. 

 

Because of their size the information they convey, Sponsored Brands is an effective way to gain attention and establish your business as a market leader. This kind of presentation conveys the legitimacy of your brand and gives people a way of learning something about your brand. By telling a little about the story behind your business, you can motivate consumers to support your brand. These ads can also be used for seasonal campaigns. If your brand’s products go through sales spikes at certain times of year, running Sponsored Brands ads can start generating some attention to help ramp up your usual sales increases.

 

The target audience for these ads would be top-of-funnel consumers who are learning about the possible choices within a market. The goal is to plant a seed of awareness about your business and make a strong impression that can eventually lead to a sale when a consumer is ready to make a choice. 

Product Display Ads 

 

If you’re looking for some widespread exposure across a number of different placements, Product Display ads can make that happen. These ads appear not only on search results pages, but on product pages, the customer reviews page, and in Amazon’s follow-up emails to customers. So they cover a lot of ground and reach people at different stages of the sales process. 

 

Product Display ads are essentially a combination of Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands ads. They’re used to promote a specific product, similar to Sponsored Products, but they’re similar in size and appearance to a Sponsored Brands ad. A Product Display ad will showcase one item, along with a headline, the product photo, your review count, and price. Similar to a Sponsored Products as, the aim is to gain some visibility and drive some sales. 

 

Unlike either of these ad types, Product Display ads don’t target keywords. Instead, they target products and consumer interests. When targeting products, you focus on competitors’ products or related products within your main category. Interests refer to the categories and subcategories a consumer has searched within. The more specific your target is, the better. Rather than just targeting “Pet Supplies” for a dog leash, you could specifically target the subcategory of “Standard dog leash” or “Retractable dog leash.” By focusing on one of these detailed subcategories, you’ll have a better chance at connecting with your ideal customers.

How Kinetic Can Help

 

Each of these ad choices offers effective ways of getting your products in front of consumers, but they each have various challenges, which Kinetic can help you solve. By providing you with a complete overview of all your PPC campaigns, you’ll be able to verify what’s working and discover what isn’t so you can build on your successes and make improvements where necessary. 

Keyword Targeting

Knowing the right keywords to target is vital to your ads’ visibility and performance. Otherwise, you’re wasting your budget on keywords you can’t compete for or that aren’t relevant to your product. Using Kinetic, you’ll be able to accomplish the following:

  • Find which keywords are performing the best for you and capitalize on their results. 
  • Discover new keyword opportunities that previously missed and expand your campaign’s visibility. 
  • Create automated tasks around your new targets. These customized keyword-related rules can raise or lower your bids based on your ACoS, orders, and clicks. The control is in your hands.

Controlling Spending

Once you have the right keywords targeted, you’ll need to ensure you’re spending efficiently. You might have an ad that’s getting some good exposure, but if it’s eating up your budget, you’ll be reducing your profit margin. Kinetic can help you avoid those problems in the following ways:

 

Monitoring Performance

One of the big PPC misconceptions today is that once a seller has an Amazon ad campaign underway, the hard work is over and all that’s left to do is watch the sales roll in. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple and this kind of approach will only lead to wasted spending and little to no success. Kinetic gives you the ability to view your campaigns at a broad overview perspective as well as at a deeper detailed level:

 

 
 
 
 
 
 Click here learn more about how Kinetic can energize your PPC campaigns and connect with your ideal consumers. Not interested in managing things yourself, let us do it for you with Kinetic Assist.

The Importance of Amazon Ad Placement Data and How to Benefit from It

Good Amazon PPC decisions can’t happen without good data. Any opportunity to gather valuable data about your ad campaign is an opportunity to grow your business. 

 

So if you’re struggling to build a profitable PPC campaign, analyzing the right data will help you develop some effective solutions. Or if you’re hitting your PPC goals, your data will be a crucial resource in keeping that success going. You may even find that your ads are missing some growth potential you weren’t aware of. 

 

Each ad placement—top of search, rest of search, or product pages—will deliver different amounts of traffic and could require different amounts of spending. The traffic you get on page 1 will be much different than on page 5. Understanding how your ad’s placement is paying off (literally) will help you know how well your campaigns are increasing your visibility. 

 

Whether you’re keeping a close eye on your ad placement or unsure of how to start, Viral Launch’s software tool Kinetic will give you the data you need to monitor your performance. It provides a simplified and agile means of managing your ad campaigns, allowing you to make improvements or adjustments quickly. Whatever your PPC goals, Kinetic will help you pinpoint the most effective placements for your ads and create sales-driving campaigns for your brand.

Why Amazon Ad Placement Data Matters 

When you’ve got a good ACoS, you might consider your PPC campaign a success and want to leave everything exactly as it is. Why fix what isn’t broken? All you need is some automation so you can set it and forget it.

 

The trouble is that what’s successful on Amazon now won’t deliver the same results a month, a week, or even a day from now. Taking a hands-off approach will inevitably lead to a loss in visibility and be a gift to your competitors. Monitoring, analyzing, and adjusting are all necessary tasks in a successful PPC campaign, and you’ll need to know which placements are giving you the best outcome and which keywords or ASINs are your best targets. 

Know Which Placement Leads to the Best Results 

After some effort, your ad is now finally appearing at the top of page one. You’ve taken a step up from the middle of search and expect to see a boost in visibility. As it turns out, you unexpectedly find that the middle of the page was better for your campaign, as it consumed less of your budget and led to a greater number of impressions. 

 

Your ideal ad placement will be dictated by your budget and PPC goals, as well as the data you collect. You’ll need to examine your ACoS and click-through rates, and determine which placement will deliver the best performance. An ad at the top of search will increase your product’s visibility, but the cost per click (CPC) will be more expensive. With lower placements, you’ll drive a lesser amount of traffic, but the clicks will be less expensive. Without knowing what each ad placement can deliver, you’ll be missing opportunities to connect with customers and narrow down your best placement spot.

Know the Keywords or ASINs That Deliver the Best Performance

Keywords aren’t just important to your products’ organic ranking. They’re also vital to getting your ads in front of your target audience. Your ad placement data can convey which search terms you’re competing the best for. You can then focus on those that will deliver the best return while pausing those that might not be very effective. 

 

Let’s say your ad is targeting three different search terms: 

 

  • Garlic press 

  • Garlic press stainless steel 

  • Garlic press and slicer in one 

 

For “garlic press,” your Sponsored Products as is showing up on the middle of page 5 and not getting many impressions. “Garlic press stainless steel” is giving you some visibility the middle of page 3, and “Garlic press and slicer in one” is the best of all on page 1. By knowing what’s getting the best performance, you can focus on maintaining that success and start creating plans to make improvements for campaigns that are struggling. 

 

In addition to ad placement data, other performance metrics will be crucial to growing the success of your campaigns, and Viral Launch’s Kinetic provides all of those metrics in an easily accessible format. This PPC software tool will allow you to gain insights into your campaigns to help you continue to meet your goals and pinpoint where any adjustments should be made. 

 

Kinetic: Simplified and Efficient PPC Campaign Management 

Your ad’s placement will tell you a lot about your campaign, but it’s up to you to unpack the data behind it. Our PPC tool, Kinetic, provides an efficient and in-depth way to evaluate your keywords, budget, structure and overall performance. By providing a full range of data no other tool provides, Kinetic will give you better control over your campaigns and strengthen their performance.

Sales, Spending & Placement Data

Knowing your best opportunities for growth should be an underlying goal for all your PPC campaigns. By telling you exactly where your ads are showing up, Kinetic can determine which placements are giving you the best performance. 

 

You can also learn whether product pages or search results are giving you the most visibility. If product pages are best, you can devise a strategy for targeting competitors’ products with a more expensive price than yours. With your ad running next to them, you could potentially steal sales from those brands. By using Kinetic in combination with Viral Launch’s Competitor Intelligence, you can research your competitors’ products and locate some untapped opportunities for growth. 

Kinetic also provides organic sales data, so you’ll be able to determine how your ads are helping boost your organic search rankings. The greater visibility your ads provide, the greater your sales will be, and an increase in sales will help improve your organic rank. Making improvements to your PPC campaigns will help increase your products’ visibility, and monitoring your ad placement data will be important to knowing where and how to make adjustments.

Manage and Maximize Your Bids and Budget

You can’t have a discussion about PPC management without talking about bids and budget. Keeping your spending as efficient as possible is an ongoing challenge, and Kinetic can help you tackle your budget challenges. 

 Kinetic’s customized automated rules will enable you to create thresholds for each campaign based around ACoS, clicks, orders, and ad rank. This customization isn’t limited to a few predefined functions. The flexibility it provides is unique to PPC software and puts all the control in your hands.

You can set your bids to increase or decrease based on specified conditions, such as if your ACoS is less than your breakeven ACoS and the click rate is larger than a certain amount. Or you can pause keywords that aren’t performing over a certain target. You can also add bid modifiers to target top or bottom of search and make adjustments to improve or maintain your PPC campaigns. 

 All of these automation features will help you reach your PPC goal, whether that’s a profitable campaign, a lower ACoS, increased organic rank, or all of the above. Kinetic gives you an endless amount of possibilities in the automation you can create to use your budget more efficiently and strengthen your ROI.

Monitor the Performance of Your Keywords

Targeting the right keywords is absolutely essential for your ad campaigns. Keyword research is an indispensable task and one that shouldn’t be thought of as something you only use at the beginning of a product launch. Making sure you’re targeting the right keywords for your products and ads should be an ongoing process. 

 The data Kinetic provides will tell you how well your ads’ keywords are performing and their profitability. You’ll be able to make decisions on which keywords should be paused, set as negatives, or broken out into their own campaigns. Any keywords driving a large amount of sales or consuming the majority of your budget are good candidates for having their own campaigns. By breaking them out, you can then increase your visibility and conversions, and Kinetic can help you manage those new campaigns. 

Kinetic also offers search term reports you can view, so you don’t have to rely completely on Seller Central. Unlike Seller Central, you can easily compare and flip between different date ranges within the tool, instead of having to download one report at a time. Whenever you need to compare your seasonal data to previous months or years, Kinetic is an ideal solution. The tool also enables you to more easily aggregate your campaign’s performance by search term, which is more complicated in Seller Central.

Improving and Refining Your Amazon PPC Campaigns 

Making the right decisions about your PPC ads depends on your ability to evaluate your keywords, budget, and performance. It’s vital to know how many impressions, views, or conversions your ad receives at different placements, whether top of search, rest of search, or product pages. By analyzing your spending data, click-through rates, and impressions, you can have a clear idea of how well your ads are performing.

 Whatever challenges you may be facing with your PPC campaigns, Kinetic will help you develop customized and effective solutions. In addition to ad placement data, the tool provides quality data on keywords, campaign performance, spending, and Sponsored ad rank. Designed to make your PPC management more efficient, it will help you find weaknesses, develop improvements, and put them in action.

The team here at Viral Launch is committed to providing Amazon sellers of all sizes with the resources for attaining long-term success. Our expertise has been built on tens of thousands of product launches, and Kinetic’s sophisticated but easy-to-use capabilities will help your brand achieve their PPC goals and simplify the challenges of advertising on Amazon.

 

 

Improve Your Amazon PPC Bidding Strategy and Energize Your Campaign

Landing an Amazon PPC ad at the top of page one of organic search results is no small accomplishment, and it’s the result of a series of smaller accomplishments. Targeting the right keyword, knowing the best placement, having a strong sales history, and making a winning bid are all essential to creating a successful campaign. 

 

And even after making those accomplishments, your work isn’t over. When it comes to bidding for Sponsored Products ads, you have to continually monitor your bids to ensure you’re not missing good opportunities or overspending for the conversions you’re getting. 

 

Avoiding the PPC pitfalls that will drain your budget and lead to a weak performance depends on following the right bidding strategy. Navigating Amazon’s PPC ecosystem is both complicated and expensive, so It’s important to have a complete understanding of the bidding capabilities Amazon provides and how you can take advantage of them. 

Amazon’s Dynamic Bidding Strategies 

Earlier this year, Amazon made news when it released three new ad bidding features that enable Amazon sellers to place bids on their Sponsored Products ad placements. These “dynamic” bidding capabilities take place in real time and will raise or lower your bids for you, based on a variety of factors, including your sales history and review count. These features help sellers compete in auctions where they’re likely to win or avoid spending budget where they’re not competitive. 

 

The three options are as follows:

 

  • Dynamic bids – down only: Your bids will be decreased when Amazon determines your bid won’t likely win the auction. This is based on historical campaign data.
  • Dynamic bids – up and down: Amazon will raise or lower your bid, depending on the competitors’ bids and whether you have the likelihood of winning.
  • Fixed bids: Here your bid remains static without changing. 

 

Making the best choice depends on your PPC goals. What you plan to achieve will guide your choice, such as if you’re looking to boost your sales or to run a profitable campaign.

 

Amazon also provides the Adjust Bids by Placement settings, which allow you to increase your bids even further depending on the placement. Top of search on page one and Product pages are the two offered settings, so you can enter a percentage, depending on how much you want to spend. When aiming for these specific placements, these adjustments can make your bids more competitive. 

 

Once you’ve got a strategy in place, Viral Launch’s new PPC management tool Kinetic can help you gather more data than any other software can provide and strengthen your campaigns. Being successful on Amazon requires more than just offering a great product at a competitive price. PPC ads are essential to having a profitable business in the Amazon marketplace, and Kinetic will help simplify the complexities of this challenging but vital task.

How Kinetic Can Help Your PPC Bidding Challenges

Monitoring and adjusting your PPC bids can be the most time-consuming part of your entire campaign. As an in-depth PPC management solution, Kinetic can simplify your monitoring activities, locate weaknesses, and help you make improvements. The tool provides an overview of how all your campaigns are performing and gives you an efficient means of controlling your PPC spending through its customized automation, saving you both time and budget.

Working with Amazon’s Bidding Strategies

Choosing the best strategy depends on your PPC goals and which stage your campaign is in. You also need to anticipate how competitive you’ll be in the auctions you’re bidding in. Doing some research will be a necessary step, and Kinetic will provide accurate, helpful data for structuring your ads. As your campaign grows and build some history, you’ll likely move from one Amazon bidding strategy to another.

Fixed 

We recommend starting a new campaign with Fixed since you don’t have any ad history built yet. Fixed bids are a good way to prevent spending money in auctions that you won’t likely win. This strategy will keep all your bids at the same amount. 

 

Amazon recommends using this strategy as a way of increasing product awareness, rather than conversions. The goal here would be getting your brand and products in front of as many consumers as possible in order to start earning sales later on. 

Down Only

Once you’ve begun developing some ad history, the Down Only option will help you start becoming more competitive. As the name implies, Amazon will only lower your bids in auctions where you aren’t likely to win. This is a good way to prevent spending money in auctions where you’re not competitive. 

 

As your ads begin generating some performance data, Kinetic can tell you which keywords are delivering the best performance so you can start devoting more of your budget to them in order to build on those gains. 

Up and Down

Once you’ve got some keywords driving a lot of conversions, this two-dimensional strategy is the best option. An Up and Down strategy should only be used if you’ve been in the market for at least a week and have built some ad history. If you use this for a new campaign, Amazon won’t have any basis for knowing if you’re able to convert for a particular keyword.

 

By letting Amazon increase or decrease your bids depending on the auction, you’ll be giving the keywords a greater chance to deliver. With this kind of strategy, you’ll need to plan to increase your spending, so you’ll come closer to, or actually reach, your spending threshold. 

 

If Up and Down is working well, you can create an automated rule in Kinetic to increase your budget to maintain the success. You may find that your cost per click (CPC) will vary, with some clicks being more expensive than others. You’ll be getting slightly fewer clicks, but for high-converting keywords, and spending more than you were at earlier stages of your campaign, but gaining more sales. 

Turning Non-delivering Keywords into Delivering Ones 

Running an efficient campaign requires adding any non-delivering keywords as negatives. You don’t want to devote any time or budget to anything that isn’t working. Although adding under-performing keywords as negatives is a necessary task, Kinetic can help with determining what isn’t working and if the fault is in your spending, not the keyword itself.

 

If you verify that you’re targeting a keyword that’s relevant to your product, any problems are likely due to your bid or budget being too low. As an example, if you have a 50-keyword set with a $20 per day budget, that means you’re spending less than a dollar for each of those keywords. By increasing your budget, you can start seeing some delivery on those keywords and use your budget more efficiently.

 

Also keep in mind that how much you bid determines which auction Amazon will put you in. 

Using Kinetic’s automation, if the impressions or clicks your ad is getting are less than a certain amount, you can increase your bids and participate in a more valuable auction. When that occurs, you’ll likely see some improved performance. Sometimes just increasing your bid, while staying within a certain range, can help an ad’s performance for a keyword or when trying to attain a certain placement.

Eliminating Overspending and Lowering Your ACoS

Increasing your spending isn’t always the right solution, and you might discover that you’re spending way too much for the impressions or views that your ad is getting.

 

Kinetic’s automated functions can help you control and improve any inefficient spending, such as any keyword that’s spending but not converting. If you’re working with a 50-keyword set, you may find that only 12 are converting. Based on Kinetic’s data, you can automate Kinetic to pause the other 38 keywords that aren’t converting and then determine whether they’re relevant to your product or if you need to adjust your price.

 

Controlling your ACoS is a typical challenge and if it’s too high, you’re paying too much per click or your conversion rate is too low. Let’s say you were targeting the first Sponsored Products ad position and seeing a low conversion rate there. The best solution would be to lower your bid to attain a lower ad position where you can pay less per click. Once you can achieve a relatively constant conversion rate, your ACoS will decrease, but the trade-off is that you’ll get less traffic at that position. This same kind of strategy can help when trying to create a profitable PPC campaign. The result will be a lower ad position, but one at a more profitable level that still drives enough traffic to earn a strong amount of conversions.

 

As another example, if bidding on a keyword is getting you to the first row of ads but with a high ACoS, you can set a rule to improve your spending. In Kinetic, you would create a rule that would decrease your keyword bid by 30 or 40% whenever your ACoS is greater than your breakeven ACoS and your click rate is greater than 20. Once this rule is in place, you can begin gathering data on its performance to see how well it’s working. When your ACoS drops, you can create a rule for maintaining that level of spend. 

Reducing Your Monitoring Frequency

Although Kinetic isn’t a “set it and forget it” kind of tool, it can free you up from checking your campaign’s spending, keyword performance, and placement throughout the day. Its automated rules can adjust or pause your spending based on the conditions you create, so you won’t be making manual adjustments in Seller Central. 

 

If you usually monitor your campaigns on a weekly basis to see how certain adjustments have performed, Kinetic can provide all the data you need and enable you to download search term reports, rather than using Seller Central. However frequently you choose to monitor your campaign, Kinetic will help you optimize it with adjustments that will improve your visibility and conversion rates. 

Learning Where You Can Best Compete

The keywords you target play a huge role in how successful your PPC ads are. Keeping a constant eye on the keywords your ads are targeting is one of the crucial tasks of monitoring your campaigns. 

 

In the past, the usual strategy was to bid for the top keywords in a product category. Since those were the main keywords, that was the most logical thing to do, but the outcome would be a low click-through rate and an even lower conversion rate. To add insult to injury, your organic ranking for that keyword would drop. 

 

A smarter strategy is to discover which keywords you can best compete for, and Kinetic can help you verify your targets or find missing opportunities. By targeting the right keywords, you’ll be giving yourself the best chance at conversions and avoiding wasted spend on the wrong choices. You’ll then be able to achieve some visibility and sales for your products, and in turn help boost your organic rank. 

 

Amazon’s algorithms are paying attention to every aspect of your PPC performance, so if you target keywords you can’t compete for, it will actually have a negative effect on your campaign. Instead, examine your data, find your best targets, and adjust your spending. 

Streamline Your Bid Strategies, Strengthen Your PPC Campaigns

Having a huge budget at your disposal, as great as that might be, doesn’t automatically mean your PPC ads will be successful. It’s your overall PPC strategy, including your bidding decisions, keywords and placement targets, that will determine the success of your PPC campaign. 

 

Whether you’re aiming to increase sales, boost brand awareness, or run a profitable campaign, Viral Launch’s Kinetic will help you achieve your PPC goals. Its automated features will give you greater control over your bidding tasks and help you use your budget more efficiently. You’ll also be able to quickly pinpoint weaknesses in your campaigns, make improvements, and increase your ads’ impressions, clicks, and conversions.

 

Amazon’s PPC advertising ecosystem is complicated, and PPC is a major challenge for any Amazon sellers, no matter the size of the business. Each of Viral Launch’s software tools can help your Amazon selling efforts, and as PPC becomes more important for business growth, Kinetic will be an indispensable asset in simplifying your advertising challenges. With this customizable tool, you can ensure your PPC campaigns are built on accurate data, an optimized structure, and competitive bidding strategies.

Click here learn more about how Kinetic can energize your PPC campaigns and connect with your ideal consumers. Not interested in managing things yourself, let us do it for you with Kinetic Assist.

Amazon PPC Advertising: The Essentials for Building Your Ad Campaign

The average Amazon consumer probably doesn’t know much about Amazon PPC advertising, but the ads themselves will be a familiar sight.

The average Amazon consumer probably doesn’t know much about Amazon PPC advertising, but the ads themselves will be a familiar sight. When scrolling through search results and viewing product pages, a series of product ads is always competing for the buyer’s attention

Every Amazon seller wants their products to be found as easily as possible, and Amazon pay-per-click (PPC) ads are one of the central tactics in making this happen. Optimizing a product listing is crucial to having a strong ranking, yet it requires much more than that to be competitive, and PPC will play a huge role in getting products in front of their intended audience. Knowing how to start an Amazon PPC advertising campaign can seem intimidating, but understanding the basics is the first step in learning how to take advantage of its inherent sales possibilities. Here we’ll provide an overview of Amazon PPC advertising and the advantages it can provide for increasing product exposure and sales.

Learning the PPC Facts

Let’s start with some fundamentals. The advertisements that appear on Amazon’s search results pages and on product pages are what Amazon refers to as Sponsored Products ads. “Sponsored” refers to the fact that these ads are paid for by the product’s seller.

 The ads appear based around keywords entered during a product search. As a seller, you’ll bid for a keyword related to your product, such as “thank you cards.” Whenever someone searches for that keyword, the amount of your bid will determine the position of your ad. If you have the highest bid, you’ll win the first position. The second-highest would claim the second spot, and so on. You don’t actually pay for the bid until a consumer clicks the ad to view the product page, which is why these ads are known as pay-per-click.

Another important topic is CPC or cost per click. This cost reflects the efficiency of your ad spending based on how many consumers clicked your ad. If you spent $80 on an ad, and 40 people clicked the ad, your CPC would be $2. The significance of CPC is that it indicates how well your ad is performing. To differentiate, PPC is the overall advertising plan, whereas CPC is the performance gauge of your plan. Note that Amazon PPC ads are available only to sellers on the Professional plan.

What You Can Gain from PPC

Visibility

Sponsored ads enable a great means of exposure with your target audience. PPC ads draw attention to your product, providing a photo, price, and title (or the first part of it). It also shows if you’re a Prime member, when the consumer will receive it, and your review rating. These basics all form the hook that will intrigue someone to click the ad to learn more. Consumers can then compare your offering with those of your competitors and become familiar with your brand.

Sales

Greater visibility leads directly to greater potential for sales. In some cases, sponsored ads have enabled no-name businesses to steal sales away from larger, more established brands. By doing so, a smaller business can build enough sales to compete with those large brands and take market share away from them.

Performance Monitoring

Within Amazon’s Seller Central, you can monitor your Sponsored Products performance and make adjustments depending on how well you’re doing. You can reduce or increase your bids on the keywords you’re ranking for or choose to stop bidding on keywords that aren’t going well. All this allows you to use your ad budget wisely and fine-tune your campaign.

Keyword Categories

Not everyone searches for products using the exact same keywords. Giving your ads the biggest potential for exposure requires connecting your ads with the different possibilities of search terms. Keywords are categorized in three different groups:

  • Exact: Just as it sounds, this would consist of an exact match of a keyword, such as “thank you cards.” In this category, your ads would only appear for searches for this exact match.

  • Phrase: This category would be a step beyond exact match but include the phrase itself in the same order as exact match. Many different derivations may exist, but the keywords must appear in the right order. Here are some phrase match examples:

    • Thank you cards with envelopes

    • Thank you cards baby shower

    • Thank you cards wedding

  • Broad: This category provides the broadest potential for your ads to appear. Keywords can appear out of order and include modifiers. Examples would be

    • Card thank you funny

    • Gift cards thank you

    • Cards thank you religious

By using a combination of all three categories, your ads can appear in front a wide array of consumers and increase your chances of clicks and conversions.

Using Automatic and Manual Campaigns

As you start your campaign, you have a couple of different campaign options when it comes to targeting keywords. You can either take a manual approach and choose which keywords you want your ads to target, or you can allow Amazon to do the targeting for you automatically, based on what it considers the best keywords to be for your product.

 Automatic is the best place to start and will enable you to compete in the auctions that make sense for your product. When using an automatic campaign, you’ll set your budget limits and Amazon handles the rest. After you’ve begun, Amazon will send you a report breaking down your performance, listing your keywords, clicks, and conversions. You can determine how frequently you’d like to receive the reports, which can be generated every 12 hours.

A manual campaign will put all the control in your hands, but you’ll need to do your research before choosing your keywords. It’s best to use a manual approach after you’ve had an automatic campaign under way and now you want to target specific keywords that you’re ranking well for. You’ll also be able to bid for exact, phrase, and broad matches, and you’ll be able to set your bids depending on your budget and performance.

Weeding Out Negative Keywords

As your campaigns grow and certain keywords are performing well, you can start eliminating those keywords that are no longer relevant or aren’t leading to conversions. Amazon’s algorithms will monitor any keywords that you’re bidding for that aren’t generating clicks, and your organic rankings will consequently suffer. Removing those poorly performing keywords will help your spending be as efficient as possible and help you focus on the keywords you can compete well for.

 Also, when it comes to those keywords you’re converting well for, you can devote an entire campaign to that specific keyword. In order to do so, you’ll need to remove that keyword from an existing campaign by making it a negative one. You’ll then create a manual campaign devoted to that keyword.

Putting Your PPC Campaign in Action

Now that you have an understanding of what PPC can help you achieve, you’re likely already thinking about how you can put it to use in your Amazon selling endeavors. In addition to being something any seller should put into practice, PPC can have distinct advantages when launching a new product or for getting seasonable products some attention during specific times of year. Taking advantage of the advertising channels that Amazon provides is crucial for giving your products some valuable exposure and a reliable means of increasing your chances for sales.

 As you get started learning your way around Amazon PPC advertising and get some hands-on experience, the team here at Viral Launch can answer questions and provide help when needed. Our Amazon PPC expertise and insights have been built on years of launching thousands of products. We’ve helped new brands establish themselves in the Amazon marketplace by using our sales and rank strategies to lay the groundwork for long-term success.

Are you interested in putting some of this strategy to work for you? Start your free trial of Kinetic, or learn more about how our team of in-house experts can run your ads for you with Kinetic Assist.

How to Prepare for the Amazon Policy Crackdown on Product Titles

The title of a product on Amazon carries a lot of weight when it comes to organic rank and click-through rates, and if your listing isn’t in step with the official style requirements, the upcoming Amazon policy enforcement should motivate you to make some changes.

Amazon recently announced that on July 22 it will be “suppressing ASINs from Amazon Search that violate Amazon’s title guidelines.” According to the announcement, the reason behind this new enforcement is that titles that don’t comply with Amazon’s guidelines “result in a poor customer experience.”

As shown in the news release above, the announcement mentions some specific requirements:

  • No promotional language can be used, such as “free shipping” or “100% quality guaranteed.”
  • Other examples would be “Best Seller” or “Hot Item.”
  • No non-readable characters can be used, such as HTML code.
  • The length of a title can’t exceed 200 characters. Titles must include “product identifying information,” which describes what the product is, such as a garlic press or first aid kit. 

Although not mentioned in the announcement, the Amazon Style Guide also contains a number of further requirements, such as using all caps or special characters (such as ! or $) being prohibited. 

No one wants their business to be disrupted, so it’s important to understand the effect of what this new level of Amazon policy enforcement may have on your brand, and then take some practical steps to ensure you can maintain your visibility and sales.

What This Means for Amazon Sellers

The most important element of a product listing is its title, and having it optimized for organic search is a vital part of gaining visibility under any conditions. 

The “suppression from search” for those who violate the title guidelines is open to interpretation,  but the announcement indicates that this suppression would actually be a removal from search entirely. 

Amazon mentions that if a product title is penalized, “[o]nce the issue is fixed, we will remove the search suppression and the ASIN will appear back on Amazon search.”

From this statement, the penalization wouldn’t be a matter of your product taking a drop in organic ranking and be languishing many pages deep in a search. It would be an outright elimination from organic search, and the effect on your product’s visibility and sales would bring your business to a halt.

Considering the amount of products that exist in Amazon’s marketplace, how quickly they will be able to roll out this tighter enforcement is uncertain. It likely won’t happen immediately, yet ensuring your title is compliant with the style guide so that your product remains searchable should be your current top priority. 

Getting Your Listing Ready for Compliance 

To avoid losing visibility, ranking, and sales, we’ve provided a list of crucial steps for becoming compliant with the title guidelines.

In case you aren’t clear on the guidelines or need access to them, we’ve created a downloadable spreadsheet, Amazon Style Guides by Category. It breaks down what the title counts have previously been for each category and provides links to the style guides for each category. The announcement states that title character counts cannot exceed 200 characters, so it remains to be seen if certain categories will continue to be limited to 50 characters. 

Another requirement in some categories is that businesses must include their brand name in their product titles. Although this helps promote your brand, it essentially restricts the character limit even more, forcing business to balance visibility, precision, and helpful information.

In order to be prepared before the deadline arrives, these five tasks will help you stay compliant and avoid any issues:

1. Access your style guide from our spreadsheet and track down the category-specific limitations for your title. Find what the exact character count and if you’re exempt from having to include your brand name. Keep in mind that the style guides may be updated after this article has been published, so be sure to stay up-to-date.

2. Write a new title, staying within the new limit for your category and including your brand name, if required. Our tool Listing Builder can help you quickly devise a new one and move any previous info from your title into your bullet points.

3. Set up organic rank notifications for a particular keyword in Keyword Manager. Go to the Notification Settings, and under Rank Change Notifications, choose to receive messages based on whether the rank increases or drops, or only if it drops. You can then specify how high or low you want the rank positions to be and in this instance you should set wide parameters for the notifications. The tool will then message you if your organic rank changes after the new policy goes into effect. (You can also receive notifications on your Sponsored Rank, as shown in the GIF below.)

4. Set up buy box and Best Seller Rank notifications in Competitor Intelligence for your ASINs. If any changes occur, you’ll be informed and can respond. Using CI, you can track keywords a competitor is targeting and indexed for, and see the keywords’ organic rank. You can then choose to receive change alerts for the keywords’ ranking. This can occur on an hourly basis, as shown below.

5. If you’re notified that your ASIN is affected, implement your new title and bullets to your product listing. After you make this update, Amazon will re-index your listing, so you’ll temporarily see a drop in your organic ranking, but based on your sales history, reviews, and traffic, you’ll see your rank resume its position.

Stay Compliant, Stay Successful

The recent announcement regarding titles has received a variety of different reactions, and many sellers may be asking why it took Amazon so long to enforce its own policy. Whether you’re in favor of the crackdown or giving it the thumbs-down, ensuring your title meets Amazon’s policy requirements will keep you from being penalized with a loss in visibility and help maintain your sales opportunities. 

For any help getting in step with Amazon’s product title guidelines, contact us at service@viral-launch.com. Our team can ensure your product listing complies with Amazon’s style guide and is optimized to increase your visibility, conversions, and business growth.

New to Seller Central: How to Set up Prime-Exclusive Discounts

Prime Day is right around the corner, and in true Amazon fashion, they’ve rolled out a brand new feature just in the nick of time.

As an Amazon seller, you’re probably quite used to visiting the Advertising tab in Seller Central. For US accounts, you’ll now see sub-tab called Prime-Exclusive Discounts. This is a new way to offer a discount on your products exclusively to Prime members. These discounts can be offered all year long, and they’ve been unveiled just in time for Prime Day (which has been rumored to be July 15th, 2019). But hurry up… the deadline to run these new discounts on Prime Day is July 5th!

Prime Day will provide sellers with an incredible opportunity to jolt their sales. We even put together a step-by-step guide to help you prepare. Now is the time to take action, and Prime Exclusive Discounts are an easy opportunity for you to set your product apart from the pack… or at least to make sure you’re not left behind if everyone else sets them up too.

What are Prime-Exclusive Discounts?

Prime-Exclusive Discounts are offered on Prime-eligible products sold through FBA, which are only available to Prime members. These products will show strikethrough pricing plus a savings message in the search results and in the buy box.

Amazon is giving sellers like you the ability to create Prime-Exclusive Discounts specifically for their upcoming holiday: Prime Day. You can do this by checking the corresponding box during setup. On Prime Day, these discounts will even include an extra badge that reads “Prime Day Deals” in the search results and on the detail page.

What are the requirements for Prime-Exclusive Discounts?

Many Amazon.com products are going to be eligible for Prime-Exclusive Discounts, and they are free to create. In order to set one up, your product must meet the following criteria:

  • Prime shipping eligible in all regions in the US
  • New condition
  • No rating or 3+ stars
  • The discount must be 10%-80% off of your listed price. For a Prime Day discount, it must be 20%-80% off
  • The discount must be the lowest price in the past 30 days

How do I set up a Prime-Exclusive Discount?

The process for creating Prime-Exclusive discounts is quite manual, but it only takes a few minutes. Don’t forget: the deadline for Prime Day discounts is July 5th, so take action now before it’s too late!

1. Find the discounts in Seller Central

Sign into Seller Central and navigate to the Advertising tab. Inside, you’ll find the option for Prime Exclusive Discounts. To get started, click “Create Discount.”

2. Name your discount

A name is required, and it will be used internally for your reference. Give the discount a name that corresponds to the product(s) you’re setting it up for so that, in the future, you can look back and quickly recognize what the discount was for.

3. Decide whether or not to run the discount on Prime Day

From what we can tell, you cannot uncheck the box labeled, “Is this a Prime Day discount?” So for now, it seems the Prime-Exclusive Discounts are being initially rolled out for Prime Day specifically. We assume that, in the future, you will be able to set a timeframe and date range for these deals. (If you’re seeing something different, please let us know in the comments below!)

4. Upload your product template

This part is a little bit manual, but don’t let it scare you away. It’s pretty easy to set up. Click the “view upload template” link, and it will download a spreadsheet for you to read through and fill out. There are three tabs:

  • Instructions: Learn how to use your Price Loader Template. This is pretty straightforward, but read through it so that you’re fully informed.
  • Data Definitions: Get specific instructions on what exactly to put into each field.
  • PrimePriceLoader Template: Enter your discount information, including SKU, amount off vs. percentage off, price discount, minimum discounted price, and the action (whether you’re adding, editing, or deleting the discount).

Don’t worry about deleting or renaming any tabs. If you do, it will cause an error. Simply fill out the information, save the Excel document, and upload the file. In the next step, you will find out if your inputs are valid.

5. Validate products

Here, you can make sure you’ve filled out the template correctly, along with seeing any issues that may make your product ineligible. If there are issues, the status will show why. You can edit the Discount Type, Prime Discount, and Minimum Price to resolve the problem. From here, you can add more products or Submit the Discounts. Next, you’ll be taken back to the main page where you can view discount details along with the status of each deal. Amazon states that if your start date is today, then the discount may take up to 120 minutes to go live.

Do Prime-Exclusive Discounts overlap with other deals?

Yes, they do overlap! Regular promotions or coupons will stack on top of these Prime-Exclusive Discounts. Please review your products carefully before scheduling to prevent customers combining them for significant discounts. And keep in mind that if you are running a Lightning Deal during the Prime Exclusive Discount, it will impact the maximum Deal Price of your Lightning Deal.

What do you think about Prime-Exclusive Discounts?

Prime-Exclusive Discounts are brand new, so we’re not sure how they will impact conversions. Some sellers are frustrated, calling this another way for Amazon to make money while sellers dig into already-slim margins. Others are hopeful this will help set their products apart.

What’s our suggestion? Well, we know that shoppers will be flocking to Amazon in mid-July during Prime Day, hungry for the best deals on products across all categories. And honestly, the more you can appeal to these shoppers, the better. So, our suggestion is to try these out. The volume here will hopefully make up for the cost (of course, this depends on your market, your conversion rate, and your visibility). If your margins are already pretty thin, consider raising your price and then discounting it to appeal to the discount-nature of Prime Day. The extra badge on your listing should help draw some meaningful attention to your product (especially if you missed the Lightning Deal deadline). And since you cannot set these up for Prime Day after July 5th, schedule them now and keep an eye on your clicks and conversions during the holiday.

To make sure you’re fully prepared for Prime Day, check out our free guide: How to Jolt Sales for Prime Day 2019. We’re excited to see the results for those of you that take action on these new discounts, and we can’t wait to hear of the successes that Prime Day brings.

We’re interested… what do you think of these new Prime-Exclusive Discounts? Will you be using them in your strategy?


Amazon Brand Analytics: Mind-Blowing Customer Behavior Insights

There are incredible insights buried within Amazon Brand Analytics that you can use to make smarter decisions and real improvements.

TL;DR: If you’re a brand-registered Amazon seller, you may now have access to Amazon Brand Analytics in Seller Central. There are incredible insights hidden within this data… like real customer shopping behavior, competitor insights, and even the potential to estimate total clicks and conversions per keyword! You can use these insights to start making smarter decisions and real improvements today. With our new Data Science as a Service (DSaaS) model, Viral Launch will process your Brand Analytics data, return a detailed shopper insights report, and reveal the massive golden nuggets hidden within your Brand Analytics. Please note: You must sell on Amazon.com and have access to Brand Analytics to be eligible. Get your very own Shopper Insights report here.

One of my favorite things about data scientists is their ability to look at the world through a unique lens; a lens capable of transforming mildly interesting, yet disparate, information into incredible and profound insights. If you have ever struggled to understand the meaning of a piece of abstract art as others talk about how exquisite and meaningful the artwork is, or tried reading a restaurant menu written in a foreign language when visiting abroad, then you understand how possible it is for two people to see the exact same data, yet arrive at completely different conclusions.

Amazon’s Brand Analytics is the perfect example of data we all “know” could be valuable, yet we didn’t know exactly why it was valuable or what actions to take with this new found information.

Once our data science team got their hands on a Brand Analytics report for a client, an incredible world of mind-blowing insights began to unfold. After reading through this post, you’ll never look at your market’s keywords the same.

Table of Contents

  1. What is Amazon Brand Analytics
  2. What is Inside Brand Analytics
  3. 4 Powerful Brand Analytics Insights
  4. Conclusion

What is Amazon Brand Analytics?

Brand Analytics is a free report available within Seller Central for sellers in Amazon’s Brand Registry program (it is still being rolled out to all accounts).

The data provided in Brand Analytics is interesting but alone is hardly actionable and quite clunky. As a results-driven company, our brilliant data science team is obsessed with deriving results-oriented insights from all things data. They were able to turn this interesting data into game changing insights that will change the way you look at keywords, allow you to better understand your market’s customers, and ultimately, make better decisions to drive more sales and profitability for your business!

There are four incredibly valuable insights the data science team was able to pull from Brand Analytics that the average seller would normally miss. We’ll get to those in just a moment.

Important Note: We could not share any specific information in this blog post to comply with Amazon’s Brand Analytics Terms and Conditions around confidentiality. All examples align very closely to the various insights we are able to develop from customer’s Brand Analytics reports. If you want to see the very detailed and specific insights, you can receive your own Brand Analytics Shopper Insights report here.

What’s Inside Brand Analytics?

Amazon’s Brand Analytics is available to 3P sellers that are enrolled in Amazon’s Brand Registry program. It is still being rolled out to all accounts, but if you do have access to this new report, it can be found by visiting this Brand Analytics link.

Here is a breakdown of each component in the Amazon Search Terms report.

  • Search Term:  This is the keyword an Amazon shopper uses when looking for a product. The keyword can be an individual word such as “iphone” or a phrase such as “iphone Xs case for women”.
  • Search Frequency Rank (SFR): Search Frequency Rank is reminiscent of Amazon’s Best Seller Rank (BSR) in that it calculates the popularity of one keyword relative to keywords around it. This means that the keyword with a SFR of #3 is more popular during the given timeframe than a keyword with a SFR of #5. Amazon does not provide the number of searches for a particular keyword, but the relative rank is still very helpful!
  • #1 Clicked ASIN: This field is designated for the ASIN that received the most clicks from shoppers who searched this keyword. This field does not mean that the product was ranking in the first organic position.
  • #1 Product Title: This is the product title of the #1 clicked ASIN.
  • #1 Click Share: Amazon provides the percentage of total clicks that the #1 most clicked ASIN received. This percentage is calculated by looking at the total number of clicks after customers searched the given keyword. This does not indicate the total Click-Through Rate (CTR) of the ASIN. The Click Share is the percentage of total clicks that this ASIN saw for this keyword’s searches alone.
    • If 1,000 customers searched the keyword “fish oil”, and each of those customers clicked into two products (2,000 clicks total), and Product XYZ received 500 clicks from said customers, then the click share for Product XYZ for the search term “fish oil” would be 25% (500/2000).
  • #1 Conversion Share: Conversion Share is slightly different as it does not inherently represent the ASIN that received the most conversions for the given search term. It represents the percentage of total sales the #1 Clicked ASIN received for the given keyword.
    • If there are a total of 1,000 sales from customers who searched “fish oil,” and the #1 most clicked ASIN saw 100 of those sales, that #1 Conversion Share would be 10%. It is possible that the most clicked ASINs do not drive the most conversions for the given search term.
  • #2 & #3 Most Clicked: Amazon provides the #2 and #3 most clicked ASINs for each keyword including their Product Title, Click Share and Conversion Share.

4 Powerful Brand Analytics Insights

1. Customer Shopping Behavior: Heat Maps

Imagine having a heat map for every Amazon keyword to know exactly how customers are shopping. Imagine being able to answer questions like:

  • Does the first ranking product always get the most clicks? Most sales?
  • Does it vary by keyword?  
  • Do I have to be ranking in the top 5 to see good sales volume? Top 15?
  • I’m ranking in position #7, why am I not seeing any sales?
  • How much market share can I take with sponsored ads alone?

While at face value it doesn’t appear as though the Brand Analytics report provides this type of insight, our data science team was able to combine a variety of data sources to produce possibly some of the most interesting and insightful data the Amazon seller community has ever seen. We’re calling this new data Shopper Insights.

Shopper Insight Heat Maps

Here is an example Shopper Insights Map for the keyword “gifts for men”. While we can’t share exact data, this is the type of map similar to keywords like “pajamas for kids”, “easter baskets”, and “women’s dresses” in which customers must do some shopping before making a purchasing decision.

As you can see, people are shopping all the way down to the 27th ranked product. We’ve also seen Shopper Insights Maps where customers are shopping much further down.

One of the first things you’ll notice is the 9th rank position on average is seeing a higher conversion share than the second and third rank positions.

You might be asking how/why the click share and conversion share do not add up to 100%, which is completely understandable. It all comes down to the way in which we build out these heat maps. There are two contributing factors: 1) keywords do not usually maintain a single ranking position throughout the entire week. 2) We show the weighted average click and conversion share at each rank position. What this heat map does not show is the number of weeks in which we found top ranking ASINs in each position. You can find more details on how we build these heat maps down below.

The map above becomes quite a bit more interesting when you look at it next to the heat map for another keyword like “toothpicks”. While we can’t share exact data, think of the keyword “toothpicks” alongside keywords like “AA batteries”, “iPhone charging cable”, (i.e. commodity products) in which there is little decision-making or style preference involved in the buying decision.

This map is telling us that, on average, the most trafficked products are consistently ranking between the first three organic positions. The color indicates the weighted average conversion share from customers searching “toothpicks” that purchase the products found ranking at each position. You will notice a blank space between positions #3 and #5 indicating that on average products ranking in the fourth positions have not driven many clicks.

This data is extremely valuable as it tells “toothpick” sellers that the vast majority of purchases occur within the first 6 ranked products. This means that if you wish to drive sales through this keyword, ranking in the top 10 alone is not going to cut it. You have to be ranking within the first six positions. And logically, this makes sense.

Toothpicks are toothpicks. How large of a selection do shoppers really need when purchasing commodity type products?

While “toothpicks” may be an obvious example where customers require little shopping, we’ve seen plenty of examples for style-heavy products like “stroller.” At first, you may think style plays a major role in buying decisions, but this market actually has very shallow sales depth. In this example, we see that a large amount of shopping is being done in just the top four ranking positions (with the second ranking position seeing the most action on average for this group).

The old strategy was to look at the sales estimates/BSR of the products showing in the organic rankings to determine sales depth. The problem is that sales/BSR show sales driven from all keywords. This doesn’t inherently indicate how customers are shopping for a specific keyword. Shopper Insights Maps completely solve this problem. Through this Brand Analytics data, combined over time, we are able to see the sales depth for that keyword and build a ranking strategy around it.

Here are a couple other heat maps to show you drastically they can vary:

Here is a market with good sales distribution as customers are shopping well into the first page of results.

Here is a market where customer’s are shopping to only the 5th result. (notice the “Low Data” message starting at thee 6th rank position)

Here is a market where the 5th rank position’s average conversion share is greater than the first rank position. The 7th rank position has the greatest average conversion share, however, there was only 1 of 12 weeks in which we found a top three most clicked ASIN indicating much less frequency at that position.

Here is a market in which there are strong sales all the way through the 25th position, however, it’s very important to pay attention to the number of weeks a top product was found in each position. This indicates there is a lot of volatility in the ranking results.

How do we build these Shopper Insights maps?

When working with a seller, we first compile their Brand Analytics reports from the past 90 days. Then, we look at the historical keyword rankings for the most-clicked ASINs per keyword along with the date range that those ASINs appeared.

Let’s take the week of 3/03/19 – 3/09/19 for the keyword “garlic press” (~220k searches/month) in which ASIN: XYZ was the #2 most clicked (2nd most click share). We then use our new reverse ASIN and competitor monitoring tool to identify where that ASIN was ranking during that given time period. This product spent most of the week ranking in the 1st organic ranking position, so we attribute the click share and conversion share to the #1 ranking position.

For the same week, the 3rd most clicked ASIN DEF, as you can see in the screenshot below, spent most of the week ranking between position 7 and 8 using our Competitor Intelligence tool.

And the #1 most clicked ASIN ABC spent the majority of the week ranking in the 3rd organic ranking position for the keyword “garlic press” so we have attributed their performance metrics to the third ranking position.

So after just one Brand Analytics weekly report, seeing just three ASINs, here is what our Shopper Insights heat map would look like.

As you can see the “Rank Position: 3” box is the darkest with the highest conversion share which was derived from the stats of the #1 most clicked ASIN in the week.

The “Rank Position: 1” box has the second highest conversion share and represents the stats of the #2 most clicked ASIN.

Representing the #3 most clicked ASIN, there are two boxes filled in “Rank Position: 7” and “Rank Position: 8”. Both boxes are filled in because the product spent a good portion of the week ranking in the #7 position as well as the #8 position.

Now, imagine building this report 11 more times for each of the 12 prior weeks of Brand Analytics reports for the keyword “garlic press”. The top clicked ASINs may change over time, and where the most clicked ASINs ranked in the search results will likely also change. The data science team layers on these 12 reports on a keyword basis to develop the final “heat map”

It’s important to note that the given depth is not total depth. Depth is key, and it is based on the most clicked products for each keyword. In most cases there are still clicks occurring outside of our Shopper Insight Maps (we only see those which correspond to the top 3 clicked ASINs). But, by looking at this data for keywords over time, especially their click/sales share percentages, you are able to develop a great understanding of how customers are shopping for each keyword.

How can you use Shopper Insight maps to drive more sales?

Understanding how customers are shopping for your keywords is powerful knowledge. Seeing how deep customers are shopping per keyword let’s you know exactly where you can and cannot rank to drive significant sales. This gives you more granular keyword insights to help you make better product research decisions. Imagine sourcing a product where customers consistently only shopped among the top three ranking products. That would mean you have to compete against the best of the best, or you might as well not be ranking at all. Or, imagine being able to find keywords you once thought were too competitive, but you can now see that customers are consistently shopping at easier-to-rank positions.

We used to determine sales depth by sales estimates, but these are not keyword specific. Shopper Insights gives you the granularity you need to make smarter keyword decisions!

We have decided to offer a new service where we will process your brand analytics reports with our internal data and algorithms built by data science team to give you these powerful insights.  To complement our powerful Software as a Service, we are now introducing Data Science as a Service. You can head to our Brand Analytics Insights page to get your own reports which contain the Shopper Insights map and so much more!

GET YOUR REPORT

Note: We will not be sharing Brand Analytics data, we will simply provide data science analysis to your Brand Analytics reports.

2. Competitor Insights (Manipulated Keywords and More)

The insights we’ve uncovered in Brand Analytics are extensive. There’s a lot to be learned about competitors and customer purchasing decisions. In our Brand Analytics Shopper Insights reports, we provide this analysis on each keyword market, so the value is significant to say the least.

Manipulated Keywords

There are a slew of seller activities that violate Amazon’s Terms of Service (TOS) used to game various aspects of selling on Amazon. From review manipulation tactics to tactics used to game the keyword rankings.

One such tactic shared by Efficient Era is bots which run searches, click into the target product, and perform specific behaviors. This results in a lift in keyword ranking for the product EVEN without a purchase. This is a tactic we DO NOT advise using (it should go without saying that we do not advise using any of these tactics). Every so often, this tactic fades in and out of effectiveness. With Brand Analytics we can easily identify if certain products/sellers are using this technique to try to boost keyword rankings.

The three indicators that there is manipulation for a keyword is:

  1. 0.00% conversion share
  2. the product is not ranking in the top two pages or running sponsored ads
  3. Significant click share (e.g. > 60% clicks share to a single ASIN)

There are a number of highly-searched keywords such as “iphone charger” in which we estimate the search volume in to be near 1,000,000 searches per month, however, we find the #2 and #3 most clicked ASINs both received 0.00% conversion share! No way!

Reason #1: The fact that the products with the second and third most clicks have 0.00% of sales is a big indication of manipulation. However, it is possible to have clicks but no sales if customers are purchasing a variation of the clicked ASIN. For example, if customers click on product XYZ, but end up purchasing variation ABC, then XYZ will record the clicks, but not the sales.

Reason #2: These products are not ranking organically in the top few pages. In fact, these products are not ranking in the top 100 results! Nor are these products running sponsored ads. If these products are so buried in the results but are receiving assumedly tens of thousands of clicks, then something unnatural is happening here.

It is apparent to us that these products are being manipulated to try to boost the overall keyword ranking without spending money to drive sales. It’s now easy to detect when competitors are trying to manipulate the search results so you can report them to Amazon thanks to Brand Analytics. Is this happening to some of your keywords?

Sponsored Ad Rank Impact

Ever wondered how large of an impact sponsored ads have on your market? For some product markets, it appears as though sponsored ads help to drive a significant portion of traffic. But for others, it appears as though customers pay less attention to sponsored ads, meaning they do not drive significant market share.

Here is an example of a product that was the #3rd most clicked ASIN receiving more than 10% Click Share. However, the product never ranked higher than position #10 organically for the given keyword. But, this product did consistently rank in the first sponsored ad position throughout the given timeframe. This means that through sponsored ads alone, the product was able to drive more market share than products ranking organically.

As you can see, the product was able to take more than 10% of the clicks for the market without ranking above the 10th position organically.

Should You Run Sponsored Ads if You’re Ranking Well Organically?

A big question among successful sellers is whether or not you should run sponsored ads for a keyword if you are organically ranking in the top one or two positions? With Brand Analytics you might be able to answer that question!

We found multiple instances in which customer’s ASINs, that were organically ranking in top positions, drove greater conversion share when they also ran sponsored ads in the first or second ad position. Weeks in which the ASINs were not being advertised, the ASINs saw a smaller conversion share.

Imagine knowing which of your keywords saw customers interacting heavily with sponsored ads, allowing you to drive significant market share without having to rank organically. Want to know how impactful Sponsored Ads can be in driving market share for your product market?

GET YOUR REPORT

Note: It is not possible to detect sponsored ad impact if the top ranking products are also the top ranking sponsored results.

Review Count, Review Rating Impact

For some keywords, you can see that there is a strong relationship between conversion share and review rating. Let me explain. For some product markets, shoppers are more sensitive to review ratings than in other markets. This is wildly insightful! In the past, there was no way to drill this deep into how customers are making buying decisions on a keyword basis. This is another data point that should absolutely impact your decisions, like whether or not to jump into a product market or whether or not a keyword is worth trying to rank for.  

Here is an example keyword market where review rating appears to have an impact on conversion rate.

The larger the circle, the higher the conversion share. The higher up in the chart, the higher/better the review rating. The fact that the products taking more market share (the larger circles) are consistently the products with the higher review rating (displaying higher in the chart) points to a strong relationship.

Here is an example of a keyword market in which there is no consistent relationship.

As you can see, there are plenty of instances in which products with better review ratings (circles showing higher on the chart) in this market take a greater share of the sales (larger circles). This indicates that there are factors other than review rating as the largest drivers of sales.

Want to see the relationship between conversion share and review rating for your main keywords? Check out our Shopper Insights report.

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Giveaway Detection: What really drives keyword ranking?

We’ve always believed that the largest driver of keyword rankings is the number of orders a product receives. While I still believe this is true, after looking at some of our data science team’s charts, it’s hard to not feel like the primary metric is relative conversion share. We see a number of instances in which a product showing around position 150 organically sees a significant percentage of the conversion share and then a corresponding significant increase in the organic keyword rankings.

The highlighted product has a significant percentage of the conversions (~80%) and jumps from ranking in position 204 to position 5. The product was not running sponsored ads during this period, which makes it apparent that the seller was using some sort of promotion to drive a significant share of the keyword’s sales while ranking so low in the results.

Want to get a notification when a competitor runs a promotion to boost ranking? You can setup product notifications for competitors with our new Competitor Intelligence tool.

3. Validation for Search Volume Estimates

For Google and Amazon, keyword search volume estimates have been around for many years. Google provideds estimated search volume numbers via their Google Keyword Planner. In the Amazon ecosystem, sellers have had to rely on third party tools to estimate the search volume and importance of keywords. Brand Analytics answers some of the questions that sellers have around keywords.

Search volume answers three questions

  1. What words are important for my product
  2. How important is each keyword
  3. How do I prioritize one keyword over the next

The beauty of Brand Analytics is the ability to know relatively that Keyword A is more important than Keyword B thanks to Search Frequency Rank. However, the question still remains, exactly how important is each keyword. If Keyword A has 1,000,000 searches/month or 1,000 searches/month, it may significantly impact your keyword and PPC strategy.  

While third-party search volume estimates, are just that, estimates, one major benefit Brand Analytics offers sellers is the ability to judge the accuracy of various third-party keyword tools against Brand Analytics. While no tool is going to be perfect, hopefully BA can help you bridge the gap.

4. Estimate Total Clicks and Sales Per Keyword!

While Amazon sales estimates are cool, we’ve always dreamed of having estimated sales per keyword. The problem has been the lack of a quality data source to indicate the amount of sales being driven through each keyword. Through Brand Analytics, in the right scenario, you can actually estimate the total number of clicks and sales on a keyword basis for your market.

If an ASIN for a specific keyword and date range is:

  1. Not ranking well organically (e.g. not ranking in the top 15 positions)
  2. Is running aggressive sponsored ads  (i.e. displaying in the first two ad positions)
  3. And has a top 3 click share (#1, #2, or #3)

The seller is able to visit their sponsored products campaign and see how many clicks they received for the target keyword during the given timeframe. Once the seller has the number of clicks, they can divide that by the click share percentage found in Brand Analytics for that keyword.

So for example, let’s say ASIN XYZ was the 3rd most clicked product for the keyword “grill brush” during the first week of March, driving 11.27% click share. Throughout the week, ASIN XYZ ranked organically in the 17th position on average, but it consistently held the 1st ad position. This means it is unlikely that many clicks came from organic ranking. Most clicks were likely driven from the sponsored ad results. When looking at the search term report, the sponsored ads for ASIN XYZ drove a total of 2,000 clicks during the first week of March.

If 2,000 clicks is approximately 11.27% (2000 / .1127), then there are approximately 17,746 organic clicks for the week for that keyword. (We would assume click share does not take into account clicks from Product Pages, but we could be wrong).

The same could be done for estimating the number of sales/conversions keyword by looking at the number of PPC salees for the keyword divided by the product’s conversion share percentage.

Super cool, right? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Conclusion

We’ve discussed A LOT in this post. If you take nothing else away, I hope we’ve helped to open your eyes to the fact that there is a wealth of information contained within your Brand Analytics reports. Hopefully you better understand the importance of analyzing your keyword markets at a more granular level to truly discern how customers are shopping for your product. For some keywords, there’s no point in fighting for the first organic rank position because significant clicks and sales are happening in the top 15 results. Whereas for other words, if you are not ranking in the top 3, then you might as well not be ranking at all.

Let us know in the comments if you’re interested in a webinar or additional blog posts walking through some of these items and more in additional detail. We’d love to hear your thoughts and questions!

This has been a major step by Amazon to help provide the seller community with insights into real customer shopping behavior. While there are a lot of insights we uncovered in this post, I imagine our brilliant seller community will be able to identify even more.  The only stipulation is that it takes a bit of massaging and combining the data with other metrics (e.g. rank position, sponsored ad rank, etc.) to truly extract the value out of these reports.

There is an incredible amount of actionable insights locked within Brand Analytics to help you make better decisions to improve your sales, market share, and more.

That’s why we are offering our new service to process your Brand Analytics to provide you with an in depth report on your most important keywords. Our Shopper Insights report will give you the data and actionable insights you need to make better sourcing, keyword research, advertising, and ranking decisions.

Contained within each Shopper Insights report is:

  • Sponsored Ads Market Share Impact
  • Giveaway Detection
  • Top Performing ASINs Analysis
  • Shopping Heat Map
  • Review Rating to Sales Relationship Analysis
  • And more!

Get your new competitive advantage!

Note: You must have access to Brand Analytics in order to sign up for your Shopper Insights report.