The ABCs of Amazon PPC: A Glossary of Terms

Amazon Advertising has exploded in usage and importance for Amazon sellers in the past few years. As the Amazon marketplace continues to grow, the stakes for understanding, implementing, and executing Amazon PPC strategies into your business have never been higher.

Although Amazon launched its advertising platform in 2012, it has grown recent years. In a short amount of time, Amazon has placed itself behind only Google and Facebook for digital advertising market share.

With so many shoppers heading online, Amazon sellers can transform their business with advertising by attracting more visibility than ever before.

However, since it’s a relatively new advent, it’s a topic most sellers don’t feel comfortable adding to their marketing mix. And we understand! With so much to learn, where do you even begin?

At times, learning about Amazon PPC can feel similar to learning advanced math or a foreign language. In a way, it’s a mix of both, with formulas and equations that determine your success and terminology that exists in a world of its own.

While this may sound daunting, it’s actually a little easier to understand than you might think. Whether you’re just beginning with PPC and need to speak the language or just want to reference an unfamiliar term or two, feel free to use our glossary and explainer for popular PPC terms!

[You may also be interested in: The Amazon PPC Playbook from Viral Launch]

Advertising placement

Advertising placement is where an advertisement is displayed. On Amazon, ads are commonly shown on mobile and desktop. Found at the top of search results, alongside search results, product display pages.

Example of an ad placement at top of search, via Amazon Sponsored Products

Budget

The maximum amount of money that can be spent on a campaign. If you set a daily budget at $25, this means you will not spend more than $25 for the selected day.

Bid

The amount that an advertiser is willing to pay for each click. On Amazon, sellers can choose between automatic or manual bidding.

Keywords

The most common PPC tactic for how customers will discover your ads. Whether through automatic or manual targeting, sellers can target specific keywords that customers utilize in search to find products.

Search Term

Often confused with keywords from a PPC perspective, search terms within Amazon reports (and PPC tools like Kinetic) refer to where your ads appear.

In short, the Keywords refer to what you’re targeting while Search Terms refer to where your ads are being delivered.

Demand-side platform (DSP)

An Amazon software platform that enables advertisers to programmatically buy display, video, and audio ads on and off Amazon.


Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS)

A metric used to measure performance, efficiency, and profitability of Sponsored Products ad campaigns. You can calculate ACoS by dividing Total Ad Spend by Total Sales.

For example, if an advertiser’s ACoS is 30%, the seller paid 30 cents for every dollar made.

Target ACoS (TACoS)

Not the delicious Mexican treat, unfortunately. Target ACoS, or TACoS refers to advertising spend relative to total revenue generated, while including organic revenue. While ACoS utilizes only spend and revenue numbers that are directly related to advertising, TACoS includes organic revenue to apply a more holistic perspective to your promotional efforts.

Return on Ad Spend (RoAS)

A prominent benchmark across digital advertising, RoAS is the inverse of ACoS. Instead of measuring the cost of a sale, ROaS represents the dollars earned per dollar spent.

Conversions

An action that a customer completes; this phrase can be used to refer to any number of actions, including clicking “Add to Cart,” completing a purchase, etc. Generally, this measures how many times your ad ended with the desired result.

Conversion rate

Measures the frequency that your advertising campaign ends with the desired result.

Cost-per-click (CPC)

Specifically, the average cost you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. To find out your CPC, divide the amount of money spent on an ad by the number of clicks it receives. Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands feature CPC ads.

As a whole, CPC can be a mutually beneficial relationship between Amazon and the seller, as sellers only pay for ads that receive a click.

Click-through Rate (CTR)

The percentage of ad impressions that are clicked as compared to the entire number of clicks. The standard calculation for CTR is (clicks/impressions) x 100.

New-to-brand metrics

Metric used to describe customers purchasing your brand/product for the first time on Amazon over the past year. These metrics estimate the cost of engaging new customers on Amazon and identify the most efficient channels and tactics to achieve their campaign goals and are popularly used in comparison with repeat customers for brands to better understand their customer acquisition vs. customer retention paths.

Automatic Campaigns

A campaign or targeting type where Amazon decides when and where your ad is displayed. Automatic campaigns are convenient for their ease of use and the data gathered through Amazon, but take control out of the seller’s hands.

Since automatic targeting campaigns are made programmatically, they can occasionally lead to running ads for odd keywords or unrelated products, which can cause less efficient campaigns.

Manual Campaigns

The counterpart to automatic campaigns, manual campaigns put more control in the advertiser’s hands, allowing more strategy in campaigns. Sellers can select competing or complementary products or keywords for their product to appear for.

PPC Spend

The total amount of money allotted to advertising efforts on Amazon.

Target ACoS

Not TACoS or tacos, Target ACoS refers to your profit margin before advertising divided by target profit margin after advertising. This number will vary from seller-to-seller and determined by the various costs of making your product available.

For more, check out Amazon’s official glossary

We’ll be sure to update as more words enter the Amazon lexicon. Subscribe to our email list below to stay on top of all things Amazon!

Amazon Continues Its Crackdown on Fraudulent Reviews

By suspending familiar Amazon brands, Amazon sends a crystal clear message: fake reviews will not be tolerated on its platform.

Since late April, Amazon has suspended many notable brands that have made their name on the platform due to fake reviews. The list of noteworthy brands includes Mpow and Aukey, two brands that have dominated the Electronics category for years. HOMTECH, Atmoko, Tacklife, and Vtin are a handful of other Chinese-based sellers suspended.

Many of the suspensions went into place in late April, and the sellers remain off the platform weeks later in the U.S. marketplace and internationally.

As Amazon continues its increased enforcement of guidelines, it underlines the importance of staying with terms of service.

RELATED: [How To Get Amazon Reviews: Automated Review Conversion from Viral Launch]

In Late April, reviews for one MPOW listing declined from over 18,000 to just over 9,000. (Via Market Intelligence)

By all means, Amazon sellers should take notice. Amazon has markedly worked towards removing fraudulent reviews from time to time. Perhaps most notably, Amazon removed more than one million reviews in May of 2018. It’s not uncommon to see massive waves of reviews removed periodically.

However, the suspensions of such major Amazon mainstays at once is new territory.

While Mpow’s storefront is still viewable, many products are unavailable to be purchased from the brand.

At the moment, the future of the brands is unknown. In all likelihood, the brands are seeking reinstatement by submitting a plan of action for correcting the matter. If this is a repeated issue, a ban could be in place.

For Amazon sellers, the incentive to generate plenty of favorable reviews is easy to provide trust to potential customers. As a result of shoppers seeing others have pleasant experiences, they’re more likely to complete a purchase.

In order to combat bad actors looking to game the system, Amazon created its Anti-Manipulation Policy for Customer Reviews.

While Amazon has automated much of the review generation process and taken many aspects of the process out of the control of sellers, Amazon sellers can take measures to maximize review count within terms of service.

For example, our Amazon Review Automation tool optimizes the review generation process by signaling Amazon to follow up with customers on your behalf. It’s TOS compliant, effortless to use, and up to 5 times more effective than traditional email follow-ups. Available as an add-on within the Market Intelligence Chrome Extension, it’s the best way to garner reviews without violating Amazon’s terms of service.

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Will Pakistan Be Added to the Amazon Approved Sellers List?

According to Abdul Razak Dawood, the Advisor for Commerce and Investment to Prime Minster Imran Khan, Pakistan will soon join the list of approved countries for selling on Amazon.

“An important milestone of e-Commerce policy. Achieved has been through teamwork by many people across the globe,” he would go on to say.

Additionally, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Information Dr. Shahbaz Gill spoke on the importance of the addition to the list.

“Amazon has included Pakistan in its list of sellers. With this development, Pakistan has now joined the international market. This will result in billions in investment and produce employment opportunities.”

At this instant, Amazon has not released a comment or notice regarding the addition of Pakistan to the approved seller list.

Despite not being o the list of approved Amazon sellers, it hasn’t stopped Pakistani retailers from making an impact in the marketplace. Pakistan-based sellers can sell on Amazon if they register their business in a country on the approved seller’s list. Registering a business in another country stands as a roadblock for many and a constant cause for concern for others.

As a result of being added to the list, that will no longer be the case.

[You may also be interested in: A Chat With Saqib Azhar, Leader of the Largest Amazon Seller Facebook Group in Pakistan]

In late January, we spoke with Saqib Azhar, the CEO and Co-Founder of Enablers, a company that focuses on helping hopeful entrepreneurs in Pakistan build their business. Additionally, Azhar leads one of the largest Amazon seller communities in the world. Ironically, all in a market that at the moment, isn’t on Amazon’s approved seller list.

During our conversation, Azhar mentioned that among his many goals, landing Pakistan on the approved sellers list was chief among them. For years, Azhar has underscored how e-commerce can empower Pakistan’s economy and provide opportunities for the youth.

Above all, Azhar and government officials pushing the change recognize the opportunity e-commerce represents for people in their communities.

Certainly, we’ll continue to update as more information becomes available.

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When is Amazon Prime Day 2021?

Tucked away in Amazon’s Q1 Earnings Call was an announcement of important intel regarding Amazon Prime Day 2021.

Unfortunately, Amazon did not announce an exact date for Amazon sellers and customers alike to circle on the calendar. But Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky did drop some hints and key information about Amazon’s signature sales event.

“I will remind you that Prime Day has been scheduled for later in Q2, and we’ll have more on that as the quarter unfolds.” This would mean Prime Day would take place in April, May, or June.

With April in our rear-view and roughly a week into May, it’s highly unlikely Amazon would make a surprise Prime Day without giving sellers a few weeks in advance to prepare for the massive wave of sales that come with Prime Day.

For that reason, we’d imagine that an official announcement regarding the date of Amazon Prime Day 2021 is coming soon. At the present time, we’d recommend planning on Prime Day kicking off in mid-late June.

Additionally, Olsavsky mentioned Prime Day 2021 is slated to be a two-day event. As Amazon did for Prime Day 2020, he stated it will heavily emphasize small businesses.

“Another popular benefit of Prime membership is Prime Day. And we are excited to announce that we will hold the two-day savings event during the second quarter. Prime Day is also a great opportunity for our selling partners to reach more customers and will make supporting small businesses a big focus again this year.”

Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky

When is Prime Day typically?

Since its initial launch in 2015, Amazon Prime Day has been held in mid-late July with one exception. In 2020, the mid-summer sales event was postponed until October, making one of the world’s largest shopping days the unofficial kickoff to the holiday season.

The usual mid-July date marks the anniversary of Amazon.com going live in 1995. Known for massive markdowns and discounted deals, it’s estimated that sales on Amazon surpassed $10 billion over Prime Day 2020.

Over the years, Prime Day has grown into one of the largest shopping days globally.

In summary, the tidbits of information gleaned from Olavsky’s comments certainly deserve much attention. With a blockbuster Q1 behind us, the return of a mid-summer Prime Day marks another reason to believe Amazon sellers can keep the sales momentum going.

For Amazon sellers positioned to take advantage of Prime Day, the potential for record-breaking sales is stronger than ever.

UPDATE: In order to ensure your inventory is properly stocked for Prime Day, Amazon advised sellers to the following countries by these dates:
June 1: Australia
June 6: United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Turkey
June 7: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia
June 13: Japan

As more information becomes available, we’ll be sure to update. Lastly, feel free to let us know how you feel about Amazon Prime Day 2021 in June in the comments!

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Amazon Marketplace Sets Record Growth in Q1 2021

After a record-breaking 2020, the Amazon marketplace shows no signs of slowing down. In Amazon’s quarterly earnings report for Q1 2021, the results show the marketplace is only growing larger and third-party sellers remain the backbone of Amazon’s signature retail platform.

It’s estimated that third-party Amazon sellers were responsible for 55% of all products sold on the Amazon marketplace, matching Q4 2020 and up from 52% from a year earlier. Even more encouraging for Amazon sellers, that percentage hasn’t budged even as the amount of products sold has risen.

Overall, Amazon reports $52.9 billion in retail sales in Q1 2021. For comparison, that number represents 44% year-over-year growth from 2020.

Emphatically, the record-breaking numbers are encouraging in any context. However, the sales data becomes even more impressive when taking the events of the past year into context.

[Interested in selling on Amazon? Get started building your entrepreneurial empire today!]

As the COVID-19 pandemic caused lockdowns that pushed customers online, it goes without saying Amazon sales would dramatically increase. If there were any doubts on if customers would ditch digital shopping once restrictions loosened up, this quarter serves as the first indicator of e-commerce’s staying power.

While the year-over-year results may be partially skewed due to the pandemic only impacting the last month or so, the numbers represent a significant increase from Q2 and Q3 2020, when the pandemic and its subsequent restrictions were more prevalent.

Regarding what’s ahead for Amazon, the company projects year-over-year growth between 24% and 30% for Q2 2021. This projection is company-wide and not solely for the marketplace. With this in mind, the Amazon marketplace continues to thrive and appears poised for continued growth for the foreseeable future.

Without a doubt, there’s never been more opportunity to make your entrepreneurial dreams come true on Amazon.

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Pro vs. Pro Plus Ads: Which of the Amazon Seller Plans Is Right for You?

The world of Amazon is a wild one, with different seller tools required at each stage of the journey. Therefore, it’s a tremendous benefit to dig through Amazon seller plans to discover the software tools that are just right for you!

If you remember the fairytale Goldilocks and the Three Bears, you’ll remember Goldilocks making herself comfortable in the forest home Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear. Each time Goldilocks tests out an element of the home (chairs, beds, bowls of porridge), one option is not enough, another too much, and the third option is juuuust right.

Depending on which stage you’re at in your Amazon journey, you’ll likely relate to Goldilocks when deciding between software packages. One option may not have all the capabilities you’re looking for. Another may have too many tools, resulting in you paying for tools you don’t need.

At Viral Launch, we specialize in creating software with relevant and reliably accurate data that Amazon sellers can leverage to thrive in the marketplace. With three unique plans thoughtfully designed to meet sellers at their stage, we have the right plan for you.

Without further ado, let’s break down the differences between our two most comprehensive Amazon seller plans, Pro and Pro Plus Ads.

[Check out our Amazon seller plans, packed with innovative, industry-leading data!]

The Pro Package

Firstly, let’s begin with our most popular software bundle. The Pro package contains everything Amazon sellers need to start and grow their business accordingly.

Viral Launch’s Market Intelligence tool, via the Chrome extension.

What’s Included in Pro

  • Product Discovery: Quickly uncover brilliant product ideas to start selling on Amazon! With 4 unique search types and plenty of filters, sellers can reverse engineer product ideas that align with their goals and resources.
  • Market Intelligence: Master your market to ensure your product’s success! Gain access to the most accurate sales estimates along with price, and review trend data to consequently understand the market and validate product ideas.
  • Keyword Research: Eliminate the guesswork with the markedly most accurate search volume estimate data available. Search for a product and instantly see a list of all related keywords with current and historical search data.
  • Competitor Intelligence: Know the competition better than they know themselves with our cutting-edge reverse ASIN lookup tool. Find out what they’re doing right or wrong and use that info to optimize your listing, ads, and more.
  • Listing Builder: Craft an SEO-optimized product listing designed to convert with our time-saving tool. With a comprehensive keyword list to draw from and real-time feedback with our Optimization Score, anybody can significantly improve their listing’s copy!
  • Listing Analyzer: Never miss out on a sale due to a lousy listing ever again! The innovative tool provides data-based feedback and performs a SWOT analysis as a result to make sure every aspect of your listing is top-notch.
  • Keyword Manager: Uncover cutting-edge keyword analytics such as index checks, organic and ad rank tracking, search volume trends, badge notifications, and keyword scores.

With a full fleet of insightful seller tools, it’s no wonder why it’s our most popular subscription package. Lastly, at $99/month, Pro is a cost-efficient option for Amazon sellers looking to start or grow their Amazon business.

The Pro Plus Ads Plan

Optimize your PPC campaigns like never before possible with Kinetic!

The Pro Plus Ads package explicitly gives Amazon sellers access to all of the seller tools in Pro, plus access to our innovative advertising console to scale their business. Kinetic, our comprehensive PPC advertising solution, makes PPC simpler for beginners while simultaneously boasting advanced customizability and unmatched data reporting for PPC experts.

Visibility is the name of the game on Amazon. Formerly, organic rank was the only way to be visible for customers searching for your product on Amazon. At the present time, PPC advertising allows anyone can gain exposure if they’re willing to pay for it.

Furthermore, the possibilities for your business are limitless with consistently high-performing advertising campaigns.

What’s Included in Pro Plus Ads

  • Every tool included within the Pro package. That’s right. All of them.
  • Kinetic: Automate your PPC campaigns like never before! Set manual or automatic rules into place to end underperforming ads or scale up successful campaigns and see easy-to-view PPC metrics to optimize campaign performance.
  • Elevated usage limits across all tools with limits

RELATED: How to Use Kinetic, Viral Launch’s PPC Tool

Packed with integrations from the Viral Launch software suite, sellers can perform next-level PPC campaigns based on the most accurate sales and keyword data in the market.

Perhaps the most flashy aspect of Kinetic is that you can create automated rules based on your campaign performance. In a nutshell, this allows you to put an end to inefficient campaigns to prevent wasteful spending, or increase spending on ones that are thriving.

Priced at $199 per month or $1,990 annually, the plan practically pays for itself with well-structured campaigns and

In Conclusion

To sum up, the main difference between Pro Plus Ads and Pro is access to the Kinetic PPC platform.

For Amazon sellers looking to establish their brand on Amazon, the Pro plan has everything you need to jumpstart your success. By

On the other hand, if you’re a seller looking to exponentially expand your brand, break sales plateaus, and dominate on Amazon, the Pro Plus Ads plan possesses the tools to make that happen.

Do either of these plans sound right for you? Whether the answer is yes or if you’re still on the fence, sign up for our free 14-day trial to Pro Plus Ads to take the next step in finding the Amazon seller plan that’s right for you!

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5 Amazon Advertising Mistakes to Avoid

As advertising becomes an even more prominent part of the Amazon marketing mix, be sure to stay away from these five common Amazon Advertising mistakes.

Every day, more Amazon sellers make the smart decision to start incorporating advertising into their seller strategy. Unfortunately, many get their Amazon advertising experience off on the wrong foot, committing costly blunders.

At Viral Launch, we specialize in assisting sellers through each and every stage of their Amazon selling journey, and PPC is no different.

For that reason, we pay close attention to our customers, Amazon news and updates, and the pulse of the Amazon seller community. Amazon has ramped up the importance of advertising over the past few years, and is impacting Amazon sellers now more than ever.

Due to this, we’ve witnessed many seller mistakes or flawed teachings within the community.

Since Amazon PPC can often seem like a foreign language to sellers, often don’t realize these mistakes until it’s too late. That’s why we’re here to clear the air to discuss a few common mistakes and why you should avoid them.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great Amazon tips and tricks.

1. The “set it and forget it” fallacy

Contrary to what some in the industry say, Amazon PPC isn’t set up for “set it and forget it” strategies. As much as we hate to be the bearer of bad news, there are simply too many variables involved for a campaign to run unattended.

Ignoring your campaign performance once it’s gone live is wasteful at best and downright dangerous at worst. By monitoring campaigns regularly, sellers can recognize trends and optimize accordingly.

Now, thankfully, Amazon advertising doesn’t need to be monitored too closely. You don’t need to agonize over your data reports every few minutes or hours. But we do recommend checking in daily, especially early on in your campaign lifespan.

Of course, as you make strategic adjustments and allow your campaigns to run, less changes will be needed. But it’s paramount that sellers understand that PPC is a process.

If we’ve learned anything about the Amazon seller community, it’s how fiercely competitive sellers can be when it comes to their business. Undoubtedly, at least one of your competitors is meticulously monitoring their campaign performance so they can make tweaks that give them the edge.

Sellers who view PPC as a “set it and forget it” aspect completely miss the point and are practically begging for competitors to take a larger market share.

2. Not doing enough homework

At all stages of selling on Amazon, performing intelligent, data-based research is necessary for success. So why do some sellers seem to think they can run sustainably profitable campaigns that maximize success without doing their homework?

Sure, sellers likely know their high-performance keywords, but PPC is a different game. Many sellers think they know what they’re doing when setting up campaigns, but sellers who do thoroughly intensive research know what they’re doing.

What are your margins? Which keywords would be most beneficial to run ads for? Should you add negative keywords to avoid wasteful spending? Are there any competing listings your listing performs well for in product-targeting ads?

These are only a few of the many strategic questions sellers should take into consideration before crunching the numbers to find tactful answers.

Viral Launch’s Kinetic PPC Tool allows you to implement data, strategy, and profitability rules into your ad campaigns. Sign up for your free trial to avoid these Amazon Advertising mistakes!

Get Your 14-Day Free Trial to Viral Launch

3. Disregarding strategy or structure for your ads

Often, PPC rookies decide to test out advertising under the impression that if you spend money, sales will come in. But without strategy or structure into those campaigns, they’re likely doomed before they begin. Whether it stems from foolishness or a lack of understanding, the result ends the same.

For the most part, ad campaigns should be created with two goals in mind.

  1. To Drive Profitable Sales
    Nobody ever lost money taking a profit. Sellers emphasizing profitability are simply looking to make sure they aren’t spending too much for a sale to be profitable. Their most important metric is likely Average Cost of Sale, or ACoS, with a focus on it being as low as possible.
  2. To Improve Organic Rank
    While less popular, this is an excellent strategy for sellers more focused on long-term growth. In this strategy, sellers largely ignore ad profitability in the short term as they’re looking to drive in sales for keywords to boost organic rank. As we know, organic rank remains the best way to position your listing for sales. Sellers who utilize this strategy are prioritizing long-term profitability over short-term gains.
With Viral Launch’s Kinetic PPC tool, avoiding Amazon Advertising mistakes by structuring campaigns to achieve your strategy can be done like never before.

Why not both?

In a perfect world, sellers can do both. But due to competition for highly valuable keywords, it may not be profitable to appear for keywords with the highest search volume. In this case, sellers who want to drive profitable sales should likely pursue lesser-used keywords at a lower cost. Those who prioritize organic rank may embrace short-term inefficient spending to rank higher and cash in on organic sales.

Within these strategies, there are a few different campaign structures you can utilize to achieve your goals. Not knowing how or why to structure campaigns to achieve your goals makes advertising a long and unnecessarily circuitous hassle.

4. Not taking advantage of the unique targeting methods

Each seller, product, and market are unique. Because of this, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for your product’s success.

Luckily, there are a few different targeting methods and ad types sellers can choose from to find which ones are right for them. However, sellers often don’t explore all the options that exist for them to become PPC rockstars.

Although we certainly understand time and money are not in abundance for sellers, take a little time to study the different ad types available to you. Amazon Advertising has grown exponentially in recent years, and as a result, Amazon has made countless advancements in this space.

With new features appearing in the Advertising Console somewhat regularly, it’s rare that sellers have turned every stone in the search for PPC success. Dedicating the time to learn and experiment can go a long way towards staying ahead of the curve and gaining an edge over your competition.

[You may be interested in A Complete Guide to Amazon Advertising Types for Beginners]

5. Trying to do too much, or too little

We know, we know. It’s vague, but it’s the truth!

Especially for beginners, finding the right balance of budget, keywords, and ad groups can be difficult. Even worse, beginner mistakes can cause sellers to avoid PPC altogether instead of knowing where things went wrong.

While you certainly don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on your first campaign, setting a budget to $5 or $10 a day isn’t going to lead to enough sales or exposure to draw any insight worth applying in the future. Not giving your campaigns the resources to succeed will ensure they don’t.

Regarding doing too much, sellers can often put too many keywords into a campaign without the budget to support it. If you prefer to start small, that’s perfectly fine and likely savvy. But starting small with budget should likely be coupled with starting small with keywords.

Handling Campaigns

Additionally, sellers frequently apply the “helicopter parent” mentality to their campaigns. As we mentioned earlier, paying close attention to your campaigns is recommended, but hyper-focusing on them can lead to more problems than it solves. Be sure to let your campaigns run long enough to develop a statistically significant sample size before making tweaks. Constant tinkering before campaigns have run long enough is tempting, as data informs the seller. But without a sizable sample, making changes can be a result of being misinformed instead of uninformed.

Finding the perfect balance may take time, but sidestepping these common Amazon advertising mistakes can put you on the fast track for success.

Wrapping It Up

The five highlighted Amazon advertising mistakes are only a few of many common errors that can affect sellers. We hope you avoid them all and skyrocket your business to new heights.

To learn more about Amazon PPC strategy, sign up for our free Amazon PPC 101 course!

Enroll in our free Amazon PPC 101 Course

FBA Storage Update: No More ASIN-Level Restock Limits

Effective April 22, 2021, FBA restock limits are now set at the storage-type level. Instead of at the ASIN-level.

You may remember in July 2020, Amazon introduced ASIN-level quantity limits on FBA products amidst supply chain issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In that announcement, Amazon notes changes in preparation for the peak towards the end of the year.

According to the official announcement, the change is a result of seller feedback and designed to allow more inventory flexibility. “We’ve heard your feedback and are continuously improving our policies and programs to better receive and store your products.”

As always, we’re here to help make sense of the change, help you navigate through the important questions, and monitor the situation. For more personalized information, be sure to review your restock limits and maximum shipment quantity within Inventory performance or Shipping Queue.

How are restock limits any different from storage limits?

Storage limits are based on volume, measured in cubic feet, and determine the fulfillment center capacity you can use. Restock limits are based on units and determine how much inventory you can send to fulfillment centers. Restock limits apply regardless of your IPI score.

Amazon limits by storage type FAQ

To sum up, your inventory limits is based on space, not units.

Amazon Inventory Management: What You Need to Know

Letting your products go out of stock can spell disaster for your listing. And on the other hand, overstocking can lead to costly storage fees that damage your bottom line. How do tiptoe the line of optimal inventory management? We look at into what to consider and what it takes to find the balance for FBA storage.

How restock limits are decided.

Restock limits are determined based on past and forecasted sales. Subsequently, this would mean your restock limitations are never too little or too much, which should be a sigh of relief for sellers.

The maximum shipment quantity is calculated by maximum inventory level allowed minus utilization. To avoid confusion, utilization counts include the inventory and all incoming shipments, including shipments with a Working, In transit, or Receiving status.

Therefore, as you grow your business or encounter seasonality, the changes should be reflected in some sort to your personalized limits.

Are my restock limits going to remain the same?

No. Amazon claims they will continually assess its network capacity to adjust restock limits to best support your business. You can view your restock limits by storage type and maximum shipment quantity from Inventory performance or Shipping Queue, by expanding your restock limits monitor at the bottom of the page.

Especially early on, you may consider monitoring your restock limits over time to gain a better understanding of how frequently it updates and how volatile the limits change with each update.

If you believe your restock and inventory information isn’t correct at any point, reach out to Seller Central support to solve or better understand the issue.

Will pending shipments be affected?

According to Amazon moderators, there should be no issue as long the shipment was created before the change went into effect.

“Shipments created under the previous ASIN Quantity Limits policy, including shipments which are already on the way, will continue to be received as normal and will not be canceled.”

Amazon Forums Moderator

Wrapping Things Up

Based on the early reaction in the seller community, there are certainly mixed feelings about the recent change.

For many sellers unsatisfied with the July update, the change comes as a breath of fresh air and appears to suit their needs better.

To all sellers, try not to panic. As longtime sellers know, Amazon continually tweaks policies in attempts to optimize the seller and customer experience. Although change can be scary and impact your success, flexibility remains essential for successful sellers.

Unquestionably, those who optimize their business with the evolution of Amazon are best served to come out on top.

Whether or not this positively or negatively impacts your business, it’s undoubtedly a change worth monitoring. Since the changes were made due to seller feedback, be sure to make your voice heard regarding the new FBA storage limits.

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Earth Day 2021: The Importance of Sustainability, Eco-Friendliness Growing Among Consumers

As Millennials and Gen Z become a larger share of consumers, businesses can make a lot of green by going green.

Globally, and in the United States, consumer demand for environmentally-conscious products is growing. Welcome to Earth Day 2021.

For decades, social responsibility has gained steam as an important factor among employees and consumers. The next evolution of social responsibility, environmental responsibility, is getting closer to reaching its tipping point as the Millennial and Gen X groups continue to make up a larger segmentation of consumers.

Generation Z consumers who prefer shopping for environmentally sustainable products in Canada and the United States in 2019.

In certain industries, going green has been more noticeable than others.

Patagonia’s ad requesting customers not buy its R2 Jacket.

The beauty industry has exploded in recent years, with brands prioritizing sustainability and without animal testing leading the way. Nike and Adidas have both moved towards emitting fewer carbon emissions and created clothing and footwear from recycled materials. Very fitting for Earth Day 2021.

Perhaps more than anyone, the outdoor sports brand Patagonia has led the charge among major brands shifting towards going green. Most famously, its 2011 Black Friday ad in the New York Times urged customers not to buy its signature jacket, highlighting how much waste was created to make and distribute it to retailers. Additionally, they’ve pledged 1% of all sales go to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment.

While it makes perfect sense that an outdoor brand such as Patagonia would take such a bold stance on the environment, making a committment to sustainability could go a long way for companies in any industry.

What is Sustainability?

Before digging any deeper, perhaps it’s best to answer the question of what “sustainability” actually means. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) answers this question with the following:

“Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations.”

The Statistics

In a 2020 study conducted by IBM and the National Retail Federation that monitors consumer trends, the significance of ecologically ethical products stood out as a significant takeaway.

In the study, experts note that the idea of environmentally responsible shoppers has shifted from a forecast to fruition.

“As consumers increasingly embrace social
causes, they seek products and brands that
align with their values. Nearly six in
10 consumers surveyed are willing to change
their shopping habits to reduce environmental
impact. Nearly eight in 10 respondents
indicate sustainability is important for them.
And for those who say it is very/extremely
important, over 70 percent would pay
a premium of 35 percent, on average,
for brands that are sustainable and
environmentally responsible.”

A 2020 IBM and NRF Study

Elsewhere in the same study, it’s noted that 81% of shoppers worldwide are considered to be either value-driven (41%) or purpose-driven (40%). While the value-driven shopper has cost and convenience in mind, the purpose-driven shopper prioritizes brand trust, the importance of sustainability and expresses a willingness to change habits to reduce environmental impact.

Ways To Make Your Business More Sustainable for Earth Day 2021

Kudos to sellers who have already taken steps to run a greener business. For many sellers, the idea of changing their business can be quite intimidating, but there are a few basic ways that you could implement environmentally sound practices into your business.

  • Source a sustainable product
    If you’re sourcing a product, whether it’s your first or most recent, consider prioritizing sustainability in your product research. Based on the customer data in the IBM and RTF study, sustainable products have an organic (pun-intended) advantage, as most customers prefer a more sustainable product and some would even spend more for sustainability.
  • Reconsider your packaging
    We’ve all ordered a product that has a ridiculous amount of unnecessary packaging. While the effort for safely delivering a product is appreciated, consider if you could scale down your packaging to create less waste. Additionally, sustainable packaging materials exist, and instructions for recycling any relevant materials would likely be appreciated by your customers.
  • Get certified
    Across industries, there are certifications business owners can earn by a commitment to environmental responsibility. Not only does this exemplify your ecological awareness, but it also can be wonderful for marketing materials.

    One of the most popular is a Certified B Corporation stamp of approval. Ben & Jerry’s, Allbirds, and Tillamook are just a few of the thousands of companies from around the world with B Corp certifications. Some customers even begin their product search on sites that aggregate sustainable brands. If this practice becomes more popular, there could be a tremendous advantage to being in these marketplaces sooner rather than later.

Let’s Make Our World A Better Place

While it’s easy to look elsewhere, even the smallest changes incrementally have a positive impact. No matter how small, each step in the right direction leads by example and gives us a reason to feel good about ourselves! Celebrate Earth Day 2021 in style.

We all share one home. Let’s all do our part to take care of it! Happy Earth Day 2021.

A Beginner’s Guide to the Amazon Advertising Types

When it comes to advertising on Amazon, there’s plenty to unpack. We break down the three main ad types for third-party sellers, highlighting the ways you can ensure your products get the visibility they deserve.

Much has changed about Amazon in recent years, but arguably no aspect of the platform has advanced more than advertising on Amazon.

Over the past year, Amazon Advertising’s growth rate accelerated past its other products, AWS, third-party seller and subscription services, and its online store.

Before Amazon Advertising becomes even more critical to sellers’ success, every Amazon seller should be aware of the opportunities in the Amazon Advertising Console.

No matter if you only sell one product or manage an extensive catalog, Amazon Advertising could be the key that unlocks the next evolution of your online business. But understanding what ads are, how they can scale your business to new heights, and which ad type is best for you must come first.

What are Amazon ads?

Much like the typical advertisements you see on billboards, television, or between YouTube videos, Amazon ads are a way for brand owners to gain exposure and visibility by paying for premium digital real estate.

As we know, exposure and visibility are the heartbeats of being profitable. If customers can’t find your products, they can’t buy them! But standing out among the millions of products on Amazon isn’t easy.

Amazon Advertising is pay-per-click (PPC), so sellers only actually spend if it’s increased visibility.

Of course, as the old saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force it to drink,” meaning the visibility doesn’t inherently lead to a sale. Undoubtedly, a strong product and an appealing product listing are foundational selling elements that cause turn clicks into conversions.

[RELATED: What Is Amazon PPC?]

What are the benefits of Amazon PPC?

The benefits of PPC are far-reaching but primarily break down to getting discovered, increasing sales, and controlling costs in the process.

Product and brand visibility constantly ranks among the most critical topics for sellers. Advertising provides an outlet for sellers actively seeking more exposure for their brand or products.

As previously mentioned, the pay-per-click model ensures you pay only for advertisements that are seen. Since you place the bids and set a budget, you never pay more than you’re willing to spend. Once you know your margins and get a solid understanding of your conversion rates, you can place bids accordingly to maximize your profits and scalability.

As a whole, the advent of advertising on Amazon solves many issues simultaneously. Even better, all sides benefit when adequately performed. Sellers pay Amazon for valuable digital real estate. Shoppers are shown products they’re looking to purchase, and sellers profit as those sales accumulate.

Additionally, there are tertiary benefits of advertising, some of which can be directly measured and others that are indirectly impacted. Organic rank remains the holy grail for Amazon sellers, and it’s very likely that you’ll notice your organic keyword rank improve as you gain purchases through via PPC.

For example, if you sell coffee mugs and customers purchase your product through an ad they found when searching for “cute mugs”, you may see your organic rank for “cute mugs” boosted as a result.

How do you access the Amazon Advertising Console?

Fortunately, the process for accessing and setting up Amazon Advertising is simple! First, you must register your Seller Central account for advertising.

Once you’ve successfully registered, you can find it within your Seller Central account under the Advertising tab. When hovering over the Advertising tab, a dropdown menu should appear. Next, click on the Campaign Manager option in the dropdown menu.

From there, select the “Create campaign” button, and you’re ready to start advertising!

The 3 Primary Amazon Ad Types

Choose between three unique ad types for your ad campaign.

Amazon Sponsored Products

How Amazon Sponsored Products appear to shoppers.

Mission: Improve visibility of individual products with ads that appear in search results and on product pages.

List of eligible marketplaces for Sponsored Products

In all likelihood, Sponsored Product ads are the ad type you’ve been most exposed to on Amazon.

With Sponsored Products, there are two unique ways to set up your campaigns that determine where your ads will be displayed.

  1. Automatic-targeting ads: This targeting method leaves the heavy lifting to Amazon. Similarly to Amazon’s algorithm scanning a product listing to find keywords to index and rank for, Amazon automatically decides which keywords and/or products a product will appear under in an ad.
  2. Manual-targeting ads: A more hands-on approach, where the seller decides which keywords or products to compete for through bidding.

For manual-targeting campaigns, sellers can bid on the placement of their ads in two ways:

  • Keyword Targeting lets you be seen in search results for desired keywords and is a way to generate traffic through search. Ideally, these keywords are relevant and accurate to your product for maximum conversions. For even more strategy execution, sellers can choose between exact match, phrase match, or broad match depending on how targeted the campaigns will be.
  • Product Targeting allows you to be displayed on a product detail page of another product and generate traffic from complementary or competing listings. For example, if you sell peanut butter, you may want to be displayed under competing peanut butter listings, or you may visible under an item that is frequently purchased with peanut butter, like jelly.

Pro Tip

It may be best to run automatic targeting ads and let them run for 7-10 days with a budget you feel comfortable with when starting. After the campaign has ended, dig through the reports to view performance by keyword or ASIN, and utilize that data to set up manual campaigns.

Viral Launch’s Kinetic PPC tool helps with each stage of Sponsored Products. Featuring unparalleled Amazon data, easy-to-read reporting, and helpful campaign templates, Kinetic PPC is perfect for creating and managing Amazon ads like a pro!

Get Your 14-Day Free Trial to Viral Launch

Amazon Sponsored Brands

How Sponsored Brand ads appear to shoppers.

Mission: Boost brand awareness with your logo and a customized headline in ads that appear in search results.

Formerly known as Amazon Headline Search Ads, Sponsored Brands advertisements promote entire brands. Sponsored Brands ads allow for three formats to choose from; product collection, store spotlight, or video.

A typical product collection ad showcases a company logo, a slogan or tagline, and up to three products at a time for customers to view. If the customers likes what they see, they’ll click on the product that stands out and be led to the product detail page.

This allows larger brands that specialize in a product market to build brand awareness and showcase multiple products at once.

Similarly, store spotlight ad types look similar but drive traffic to a storefront or subpage within a storefront.

Sponsored Brand videos present a unique opportunity to tell your brand story and at the same time, showcase how or when your products are used. Unlike other video ads such as Facebook, the videos default to autoplay, ensuring your ads are seen.

Amazon’s recommended practices for Sponsored Brand videos:
  • Know your audiences — Your content should be educational, demonstrative, and product-focused.
  • Show your product — Research shows that videos that feature the product prominently within the first second typically perform better than those that don’t. Do not waste your chance to engage shoppers by fading in from black or starting with an empty frame. Hook them from the start!
  • Keep it brief and focused — Amazon recommends keeping the video length between 15–30 seconds to relay your message and hold customers’ attention. Limit your content to just a handful of key selling points to ensure your message is received.
  • Optimize for the format — This video unit auto-plays without sound and runs inline in the search results with no option to go full screen. Your videos should work without sound, and you’ll need to ensure that on-screen text can be easily read on a mobile device and isn’t obstructed by the user interface that is positioned within the video area
  • Consider the loop — Once this video ends, it will automatically loop. Consider adding an end card to allow for some breathing room, or get creative and make your loop seamless.

Amazon Sponsored Display

How Amazon Sponsored Display ads appear to shoppers.

Mission: Grow your business by reaching relevant audiences on and off Amazon using this self-service advertising solution.

The most recent addition to the Advertising Console, Sponsored Display ads currently offer the unique opportunity to advertise on and off Amazon.

Brand registered sellers can choose from two targeting options: product targeting and audiences.

Like Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands, sellers can run product targeting ads. In the same fashion as the other ad types, sellers can pinpoint competing or complementary products. Regarding strategy, it’s best to target competing products that your listing has an advantage on. Review quantity or quality, price, or a lack of captivating creatives are prime indicators to look for when hunting potential product targeting victims.

On the other hand, Sponsored Display audiences are a method of reaching customers with high buy-intent. Through Amazon, Twitch, IMDb, and Prime Video, Amazon tracks shopper signals such as interests, lifestyle, in-market, and life stage.

Without a doubt, this consumer information is PRECIOUS for highly targeted, highly efficient ads. At the moment, audience ads are the only way to advertise through Amazon outside of Amazon’s digital walls, as they’re displayed on third-party websites and apps.

Summary

Generating exposure remains absolutely critical to longstanding seller success. For the foreseeable future, advertising appears to be the best bet to earning visibility and driving profitable sales.

As Amazon Advertising continues to grow, sellers that master advertising will be handsomely rewarded. Those who don’t will be facing an uphill battle against sellers picking up cost-efficient sales in droves through PPC. With record-setting revenue growth for Amazon and a system that rewards all who participate, Amazon Advertising is here to stay.

Now that you know the three main ad types feel free to take the next steps! If you’re ready to start advertising, best of luck on your PPC journey. If you could stand to learn more, enroll in our FREE Amazon PPC Playbook today!


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