Why a Cash Flow Pinch Can Kill Your eCommerce Business

Cash flow is the backbone of any eCommerce company. It is crucial to keep cash flow moving smoothly. If it becomes too much of a pinch point, it can kill the business. Cash flow is defined by the amount of cash available to your business throughout its operations. It is usually measured every month, and the primary source of promote cash flow for eCommerce businesses comes through selling product. 

Cash flow is crucial for businesses and shows how much money passes through the operations. Yet, it is not the same as a profit. The funds received from customers are collected under the term cash flow. Businesses still need to pay for expenses like rent, labor, utilities, taxes, and other fees. Every company has a constant fluctuation of cash flow. The amount of cash received (and when) depends on supply and demand and the business’s monthly expenses. With proper data management, a company’s ever-changing cash flow can still be predictable and manageable and enable sound business decisions. 

Why Is Cash Flow Important

Cash flow is the backbone of a business, so if it fails, the company fails. A recent study from CB Insights found that a third of companies failed because they ran out of cash. One-third of businesses also fail due to an insufficient market for the product they are selling. Which then leads to a lack of cash flow. Improperly managed cash flow streams can lead to poor decision-making, a misunderstanding of how a company’s money is spent, and ultimately be the downfall of a business. 

Companies need to prioritize their cash flow to ensure that their business will stay afloat and reap more benefits from adequately managed cash flow. As businesses manage their cash flow, they pay close attention to how their money is spent and control their finances. When a company has a positive cash flow, it improves the relationships with its partners and customers and promotes brand loyalty. It can also help businesses find their strengths and weaknesses, and how best they can expand. 

What Promotes Cash Flow 

There are a few ways that businesses can promote cash flow and ensure that they will thrive. The first step in promoting cash flow is planning and forecasting. In order to spend money correctly, businesses need to know how much money will be coming in and when. With a better idea of how money flows through a business, there will be less overspending and fewer mistakes when judging how much money the company has. 

With planning comes a strategy of what businesses should spend money on and when. Companies should plan when their cash flow is coming in and the best allocation of that money. If there is a low demand for a particular product, there is no need to spend cash flow on an abundance of inventory. Companies should find what is a priority for spending and what needs the most attention. Pay close attention to what needs fixing. This will promote more cash flow and allow attention to shift to minor issues. 

Cash flow improves when companies receive money faster and hang onto it longer. Speeding up the process of obtaining cash can incentivize customers to choose a faster form of payment. Companies can hold on to money for longer by buying inventory, earning interest, and elongating the amount of time before paying expenses. This sales cycle gives control over when costs pay off and how much money is in the business at one time. 

What Challenges Cash Flow 

Many daily challenges come along with maintaining cash flow. Businesses that forecast their finances consistently can learn how to work around everyday challenges. Conversely, companies that do not find solutions to these problems end up with cash flow as a bigger pinch point, which can negatively impact the entire operation. 

Some common challenges with cash flow include delayed payments from customers. Sometimes, purchases can happen pretty quickly. Businesses may not reap the benefits of the purchase and experience a time with a shortage of cash. Less cash flow is caused by bank deposits holding money. Or if a large sum of cash flow to buy equipment or machines, leading to businesses waiting for new revenue. Companies unaware of their total cash flow, or spend their cash flow before secure income experience negative cash flow. The life of the business is then solely dependent on the speed of its recovery.

How Payability Can Help 

Payability recognizes the difficulties that eCommerce businesses face with cash flow. The funding programs are built for eCommerce businesses that need assistance filling the gap between paying expenses and receiving revenue. eCommerce businesses no longer have to worry about the risk of cash flow with the help of Payability. To see if your company qualifies for Instant Access to your marketplace payouts, visit Payability.com and apply now.

Thank you Payability for your guest post. For more information on Payability, head to their site. To better your selling business and software tools, head to Viral Launches main page.

E-commerce and Advertising

Corey Gary is Viral Launches amazing Demand Generation Strategist and Advertising Manager. This guest post written by Corey highlights the importance of E-commerce and Advertising in how they go hand in hand.

The beginning.

I started my career in Digital Marketing as an Analyst at an agency located in New York City. I
joined an account with separate teams for programmatic, paid social, and E-comm. Since we
rarely communicated with each other, I felt siloed and inefficient.

A few years and a few clients later, I’ve worked across almost all facets of Digital Marketing.
I’ve run Display & Video as well as Search & Social ads. There have also been opportunities to
buy programmatic podcast ads and CTV (connected TV ads). I also purchased a programmatic Digital-Out-Of-Home campaign where the vendor claimed they could change ads at a bus stop based on the interests of the people walking by. We ran this campaign before iOS 14.5 and increased privacy regulations.

Working on a channel-agnostic team of digital marketers was not only rounded out my Working on a channel-Agnostic team of digital marketers not only rounded out my skill set but was best for the client’s expanding needs. Having multiple types of marketers on one team helped us own all stages of the digital marketing funnel.

Awareness campaigns matter for E-commerce and Advertising.


Awareness campaigns are excellent for large brands, but how about those small Amazon start-ups who don’t have millions of dollars to spend on billboards that connect to the Metaverse? That’s where e-commerce advertising is essential. Buying for conversions is where marketers can gauge the effectiveness of their campaigns. E-commerce advertising becomes essential once a consumer is familiar with a brand. As a consumer, if I allocate myself $150 for a new pair of running shoes, I can choose between big brands such as Nike or Adidas and Asics. Or, I can shop with up-and-comers like On and Hoka. These two shoe brands are agile and efficient in their digital marketing. Both On and HOKA have extensive running shoe digital marketing campaigns while the big brands are nonexistent on
the SERP (Search Engine Landing Page).

As a consumer during the evaluation process of the marketing funnel: I decided to allocate my $150 depending on a wide range of criteria such as cost after taxes & shipping, quality of the product, reviews, merchant (Amazon or EastBay), and color. For the digital marketer on the other end of the purchase, yes, people buy running shoes based on color, guilty as charged.

The seller can optimize their ads to account for all these criteria to meet the customer when
they’ve allocated time to research and budget. It takes time for the Digital Marketer to A/B test which ads perform best on a specific channel. Here’s one example.

On Amazon, an ad for the keyword [running shoe] could perform vastly different than an ad for the keyword [racing running shoe]. The first keyword is for buyers who want a running shoe but aren’t necessarily intense runners. However, [racing running shoe] clarifies that the buyer could be participating in this year’s New York City Marathon in addition to their local Turkey Trot. Viral Launch has expert-level keyword analysis software to help e-commerce marketers discover the best keywords to target for their online advertisement.

Conversions mean results.

So, why is it essential that all Digital Marketers learn E-commerce Advertising? Conversions
drive business results, and ultimately the purpose of marketing is to have a positive return on investment. Marketers can spend all day ideating grand awareness campaigns. Still, conversion marketing is where CMO’s can go to stakeholders exclaiming, “look at how my campaigns drove an increase in sales with a positive.”

What Amazon Sellers Should Learn for 2022.

As the world recovers from the global pandemic, eCommerce is adjusting yet again to the modern landscape. We’ve seen some interesting Amazon selling trends in 2021, as merchants find new ways to stay ahead of their competition and leverage Amazon’s expanding offerings. Here is what to learn for 2022.

Now, as we near the end of 2021, let’s take a look at some key takeaways to keep in mind for 2022. 

Inspect Sample Goods Before Switching Manufacturers

Poor product reviews break listings. Products with good reviews and listings influence 79% of Amazon prospects, so you can’t afford to lose consumer trust by accumulating bad reviews. If your products have a bad reputation, you will have trouble selling them to just break even. 

So, be sure to order and inspect samples from manufacturers beforehand. If you’ve been using a supplier for a while, don’t drop the ball by compromising your vetting process; it takes one wrong delivery to ultimately tank your customer reviews. Another thing to learn for 2022.

Take Advantage of Amazon’s Expanding Branding Features

Amazon’s Brand Registry gives sellers more control over their products and brand representation. The program is easy to join, and here are a few reasons why you might want to consider it (other than the fact that it’s free):

Increase product sales and conversions

While you may not notice an immediate change in your bottom line, Amazon’s Brand Registry actively works to remove fraudulent listings and delist third parties that are fraudulently using your brand’s name. 

Reducing fraud is vital to building trust in your brand and driving conversions. Otherwise, if buyers unknowingly purchase a knockoff, it may reflect poorly on your brand’s image. You can use the registry to report any perceived violations and have infringements removed. 

Take back control over your product’s information 

Sharing accurate, valuable product information is vital to building customer loyalty. It’s essential to avoid misleading prospects and help them understand precisely how your product can benefit them.

Unfortunately, third-party sellers may not honor your core values and alter your descriptions, spreading misinformation. You can’t avoid third-party sellers either, because they make up for more than 50% of Amazon sales. 

Fortunately, Amazon’s Brand Registry gives sellers more control over how products are described in the listing. After submitting your product and company information, Amazon will regulate any third-party attempts to alter them, preserving the key information.

Beyond these measures, the Brand Register protects brands against more complex fraudulent efforts as well. For example, some third parties may use your company logo or information to sell their own knock-off products. Amazon’s Brand Registry combats these malicious activities by:

  1. Removing listings that use your company logo or trademark on products that aren’t yours. 
  2. Images need to be removed with trademarked information/items that don’t represent your company. 
  3. Removing fraudulent listings that use your brand’s information.

Learn and implement this for 2022.

Access the Sponsored Brands Feature

The Brand Registry unlocks your access to Amazon’s Sponsored Brands Feature, which is an ad format that lets businesses promote up to three products. It also allows you to include your company logo and brand name, which is great for raising brand awareness if you’re selling on Amazon.

A big draw for using the Sponsored Brands feature is that your ad will appear at the top of search results, even above “Sponsored Products.”

Stay on Top of Amazon’s Evolving SEO Algorithms 

Paying attention to Amazon SEO is vital to increasing your listing’s visibility and ensuring prospects can easily find you. In a nutshell, Amazon SEO’s purpose is to help consumers buy, so the algorithm works to meet this goal. 

When a consumer searches on Amazon, the algorithm quickly determines which product listing has the highest likelihood of fulfilling the searcher’s needs. In other words, Amazon’s SEO algorithm needs to figure out which listing has the highest ‘purchase likelihood’. 

Similar to Google on-page SEO practices, there are technical steps you can use to improve your product ranking, including the use of keywords, images, and optimized titles and descriptions. But, to beat out the rigorous competition and rank at the top of Amazon search results, you need to convince the algorithm that consumers are ready to buy your product. 

That’s where the A10 (formerly known as A9) algorithm comes in. Amazon’s algorithm undergoes continuous updates, with the ranking factors adjusting slightly every six months or so. Thus, staying current with the evolving algorithm is important to keep your product listing at the top. Keep this up for things to learn for 2022.

Amazon’s A10 algorithm, in general, prioritizes two core criteria for ranking:

  • The number of customer reviews
  • Your sales rank, which includes details like how many customers are searching for your product and buying it

It’s important not to get bogged down by the algorithm’s technicalities. Sure, it’s updated regularly, but its core working and objective remains the same: to help customers buy what they need. This intention means sellers should focus on optimizing their offerings for customers. 

True to Amazon’s MO, you’ll notice that the two core criteria behind the A10 algorithm are geared towards customers. The algorithm reflects Amazon’s commitment to delivering the best customer experience. By sharing this commitment i.e., keeping customers happy and meeting market needs, you can drive your search ranking up. 

Have Both a Vendor and Seller Account

Many growing businesses struggle to decide between having a vendor or a seller account, because each offers unique pros and cons. But what if you could combine the best of both worlds? Turns out you can—Amazon doesn’t restrict sellers from having both accounts. 

By having both a vendor and seller account, you can complement sales efforts and mitigate restrictions. For example, seller accounts usually get fewer sales because they lack the “sold by Amazon” endorsement, so having an additional vendor account can increase your bottom line. 

Retailers can also leverage the advanced analytics and flexibility of a seller account to help launch new products. Generally, Amazon is hesitant to promote new vendor products because they lack performance information. So, you can do the initial heavy-lifting and sales testing from your seller account and eventually use the analytics to encourage Amazon to endorse the item from your vendor account. 

Invest in Good Customer Service Mechanisms

Amazon’s commitment to customer service and delivering the best customer experience is a critical driving factor behind the eCommerce giant’s success. Amazon sellers can take a page out of the megacorp’s book and improve sales by committing to good customer service.

Ecommerce gives merchants access to a full suite of data, analytics, and meaningful insights to tailor marketing efforts and optimize the customer experience. However, without the right systems in place, your support team won’t be able to leverage the data to your brand’s benefit. 

Thus, it’s important to invest in good customer service software solutions. For example, you might want to consider using email automation to deliver automated updates, like shipping notifications or order verification. 

Additionally, it’s vital to invest in tools to centralize information to maintain customer satisfaction. If customers receive unsatisfactory answers or varying responses across channels, they become frustrated and confused, reducing your FCR (First Contact Resolution) rates. With a centralized knowledge base, you can resolve customer support requests faster and more accurately. Learn this for 2022.

Executive Summary

The core best practices for Amazon Sellers don’t change. Whether you look at 2010 or 2021, successful sellers prioritize customer-first experiences, strive to deliver value, take feedback seriously, and leverage tools to optimize their operations.

As we break into 2022, it’s important to remember that these objectives won’t change, but the means to achieve them might. For example, SEO algorithms are continuously evolving, and new technological developments help businesses optimize their operations in new ways. Therefore, staying up to date with these advancements and trends is vital to keep your brand relevant and successful.

To sum things up to learn for 2022, don’t forget to:

  • Weigh your options out with Seller and Vendor accounts, and see if it’s beneficial to use both. 
  • Invest in centralized knowledge and automation to deliver better customer service. 
  • Leverage Amazon’s robust branding features.
  • Keep up with the latest Amazon SEO updates.
  • Inspect your products as they arrive.

And don’t forget to put your customers first!

—-

Jake Rheude is the Director of Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment, an ecommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of ecommerce. He has years of experience in ecommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others. 

Thank you, Jake for the guest blog post! Be on the lookout for more great content!

Myth: Run PPC even when not retail ready.

The truth is: You should not scale up or aggressively run PPC before you are retail ready.

A majority of advice that comes down the line on selling is focused on PPC campaigns. You are able to find hundreds of articles conveying “The best PPC campaign” or “Do this to build sales”  for your business. Yet, not many articles go over when you should focus on PPC campaigns and start investing in those areas. 

Retail Ready comes first

You and your business need to be retail ready in order to successfully run Amazon Advertising. Set yourself up correctly with reviews, correct SEO and keywords, product photos, etc. It is okay to not immediately jump into PPC, it is the safer route. A majority of sellers want to quickly scale up and aggressively run PPC in order to get ahead and set the curve. The truth is, if you are starting out right now, you are going to have to slow down. 

Most of the differentiating ad types on Amazon simply use your existing listing as the ad itself. Sponsored brand ads that are largely designed to drive awareness even include the listing elements such as product photography and reviews. 

Don’t pay before you are ready.

You are paying Amazon to show your listing to more shoppers. If you start paying for more people to see your listing before it is ‘retail ready’ you are bound to get low click through rates and low sales. Regardless, Amazon will still happily take your advertising budget.

There are millions of sellers out there all running PPC as well. Before getting your feet wet, have all of your ducks in a row. Join Amazon seller community groups and ask questions in the forums, learn all there is to know about PPC while still building the business. Once your business is running smoothly and is retail ready, then create the PPC strategy and implement it. 


Doing this will save you time, energy, and a lot of money at the backend. Save your reserves and don’t jump the gun. If you need resources on Amazon PPC specifically, this guide will give you more insight into how Amazon runs their programs. Viral Launch has their own guide as well utilizing the Ad Manager tool and Kinetic.

Amazon Advertising: New Budgets Page Feature In Beta

On Tuesday, Amazon announced a new feature for the Advertising console, the Budgets Page (beta). While the new feature hasn’t generated much buzz, it should be on the radar of every Amazon seller utilizing advertising. It comes with some powerful performance insights and actionable steps being added to their Seller Central account.

The value proposition of the new Budgets page is the powerful data points that allow individualized metrics and estimates for your campaign. Within this page, you can see the average time your campaigns were in budget. It covers estimates on missed sales, missed impressions and missed clicks in the time that the campaign was out of budget.

With the data provided on the page, this will also provide a recommended daily budget for each of your campaigns. It covers the goal of optimizing ad spend, and the option to apply those recommendations.

Amazon claims they are able to provide estimated missed sales, missed clicks, and missed impressions through Amazon’s machine learning technology based on historical performance.

The Potential

The potential of these estimates and metrics can go a long way for Amazon sellers looking to get the most advertising bang for their buck. Access to this information (for free) is a huge advantage for savvy sellers looking to maximize advertising efforts. Knowing how many sales you could be racking up in the time your ads are inactive would theoretically answer any questions or concerns about the efficiency of your campaigns.

It’s important to remember that the majority of these metrics are estimates. These estimates could eliminate much of the guesswork when creating and optimizing PPC campaigns. If accurate, you won’t have to wonder how many sales, clicks, or impressions were left on the table while a campaign ran out of budget.

In theory, Amazon is able to monitor your advertising campaigns over time. Plus, be able to create estimates on performance if they were to run in perpetuity.

Additionally, Amazon sellers can see which campaigns are running out the quickest, compare actual budget to recommended budget, and more.

Where can I access the Budgets page?

Sellers can find the brand new Budgets Page (beta) in a few different ways:

  1. Within Campaign Manager, select the Budgets page.
  2. Download the data into a report within the Report Center of Seller Central.
  3. Set up a subscription within Seller Central to have the results emailed to you.

Within the Reports page, information and data will be available beyond the limits of Campaign Manager, which displays information from the last 90 days.

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Summary

The new Budgets page should be something to keep an eye on for any sellers advertising on Amazon. Tracking the campaign estimates for accuracy could greatly benefit sellers in regard to maximizing return on ad spend.

Monitoring estimates and tracking performance when taking suggested actions will certainly be interesting. We’ll be sure to monitor the new page as more information becomes available.

Overall, it becomes the latest addition to the Advertising Console’s busy 2021, which has been a central point of emphasis for Amazon. The amount of time, attention, and energy paid by Amazon into revamping the Advertising Console should speak volumes as to where the future of Amazon is headed.

If you haven’t begun advertising through PPC on Amazon yet, don’t wait too much longer to start creating your campaigns. With plenty of new tools and features, there are many resources to help you get started.

Check out our Amazon PPC Playbook for absolutely free to hit the ground running with Amazon Advertising.

What do you think of the new Budgets page and how do you plan on using it? Feel free to join the conversation and let us know!

Amazon Seller Podcast: Conquering Amazon PPC with Sumner Hobart

We spoke with expert Amazon seller Sumner Hobart to discuss Amazon PPC best practices for beginners and pros.

When stepping back to notice big picture Amazon trends, the continued emergence of Amazon Advertising stands out. It is one of the biggest takeaways from the past few years.

While Amazon Advertising has skyrocketed, it still may be in its early stages. Analysts speculate Amazon Advertising may be a $600 billion business within the next 2-3 years. It is safe to say Amazon PPC is here to stay.

Conquering Amazon PPC is shifting from an elective skill to a prerequisite for success as a seller. In the not-so-distant future of selling on Amazon, the arms race for dominating a market will likely be through advertising.

Because PPC is transitioning from the elective stage, it’s still a facet of selling that gives many sellers headaches. But fear not, and try to view this as an opportunity, not a roadblock. By gaining PPC knowledge and experience now, you can distance yourself from the competition for short-term gains and long-term dominance.

To help, we chatted with Sumner Hobart, an Amazon PPC maestro who has utilized PPC to power his business and change his life through FBA. Tune in as we pick his brain to break down Amazon PPC tips and tricks on your way to advertising like a pro!

HIGHLIGHTS

Get to know Sumner and his story of how selling on Amazon helped transform his life. (0:00)

Selling via FBA has changed so many lives, helping them live out their dreams through entrepreneurship. We say hello to Sumner and get to know his story from his experience before selling on Amazon, how he got into it, and how he turned it into a rewarding career and lifestyle.

When should sellers start running PPC campaigns? (5:22)

One common refrain we’ve heard from sellers considering making the leap into PPC is that they don’t think the time is right. We chat with Sumner to hear about his path in PPC and how sellers can know if they’re ready or not to introduce their product to ads.

What goals should sellers new to PPC be considering to determine success? (14:30)

Not all campaigns are created with the same goals in mind. Sumner explains the primary objectives behind PPC campaigns, and discusses what steps you take to accomplish these goals through ad campaigns.

Sumner shines a light on which campaigns outside of the norm should sellers examine in PPC and how to put them into place. (26:34)

After explaining some of the basic PPC campaigns, we dive a little deeper with Sumner on more niche campaigns. While the basics are tried and true, sellers can find more success and learn more about their performance by getting a little more creative ith their campaign structures.

Does driving external traffic play a role with PPC? If so, how can a seller integrate it into their strategy? (44:37)

Over recent months, the emphasis on driving external traffic has been further incentivized by Amazon. In terms of overall strategy, the ability to drive traffic from outside of Amazon continues to rise as well. Building a following on social media, growing an email list of potential customers, or driving traffic through ads from Google, Facebook, TikTok, or other spaces outside of Amazon can be extremely valuable.

Sumner breaks down how driving external traffic and PPC can go hand-in-hand to strategically grow and scale your Amazon business to new heights.

A huge thanks to Sumner for chatting with us and sharing his expertise. You can stay in touch for more helpful FBA gems by connecting with him on LinkedIn, or pick up tricks of the trade through his selling courses.

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Sponsored Display Ads Launch on Twitch

Recently, Amazon announced the latest major update to their increased emphasis on advertising. Sponsored Display ads are now being shown on Twitch, adding yet another avenue to expand advertising reach.

Effective immediately, all Sponsored Display audiences campaigns are eligible to serve on the Twitch Browse and Discovery pages. Twitch supply is automatically enabled for all US, CA, FR, IT, DE, ES, and UK based Sponsored Display audiences campaigns.

Amazon-owned Twitch is a live streaming service with a global community from content spanning gaming, entertainment, music, sports, and more. In April 2021, Twitch boasted approximately 9.36 million active streamers. In 2020, there were around 41.5 million Twitch users in the United States alone, with that number estimated to rise by 10 million by 2024.

An example of how Sponsored Display ads appear on Twitch.

Twitch users tend to skew towards a younger crowd. The opportunity to put your product in front of the highly-valued young demographic. As Gen Z builds buying power, the ability to put your product in their hands and build brand loyalty with them presents a phenomenal opportunity.

Amazon Advertising states the Display ads may appear in three unique spaces, each with varying levels of visibility.

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Getting In The Game

With this announcement, Amazon advances its relationship between the marketplace and Twitch. Amazon’s Prime Gaming community works as a link for Amazon Prime subscribers to connect their account with Twitch. With deals and “loot” such as in-game currency serving as an incentive for customers to attach the two.

As the PlayStation 5 and XBOX Series X become more accessible after the production and delivery, one would reasonably expect further advancements in Twitch. To promote user count and usage.

In addition to the millions of engaged customers who can now be targeted being newsworthy. This also highlights the growing emphasis on advertising from Amazon. Since Twitch is a subsidiary of Amazon, its addition makes perfect sense.

Impact on Advertising

While Apple’s highly-publicized changes to advertising and protecting user data threaten to shake up industries, Amazon and its far-reaching subsidiaries present an opportunity to target customers in a way that may not be as easy to do elsewhere.

As Amazon continues to grow on its own and through purchasing companies such as Twitch, Whole Foods, and Goodreads, so does the potential for extra advertising avenues.

If you’re an Amazon seller with little experience in Advertising, there’s no better time than now to get involved. Over the past year, the Amazon Advertising Console has evolved at a rapid rate.

In previous years, advertising knowledge was a luxury. Soon enough, it’ll likely be a prerequisite towards customer acquisition.

Enroll In our FREE Amazon PPC Playbook

Amazon PPC Tool Quick Start Guide

Learn what to expect, how to navigate, and where to start when mastering an Amazon PPC tool.

As Mark Twain once said, the secret of getting ahead is getting started. But in many instances, getting started can be the most challenging part. Especially with the amazon ppc tool.

That much is certainly true regarding Amazon PPC and software designed to simplify and add sophistication to Amazon’s advertising platform. Amazon Advertising is still very much in its early stages. There should be no expectation to know where to begin.

So we’re here to help guide you in the right direction. To provide a basic knowledge of the Viral Launch advertising platform. You will know where things are, what to look for, and what’s included. Everything else begins to make much more sense.

Just like we must learn to walk before we run, you’ll need to understand the basics of Viral Launch’s PPC automation and management tool. Then, you’re free to start implementing advertising strategies that take your business to the next level!

You’ll need to set up a Viral Launch account that includes access to Viral Launch’s advertising platform, Kinetic PPC.

Sign up for our FREE Amazon PPC Playbook. With training from experts guiding you through all steps, you can perform PPC like a pro and dominating on Amazon!

First, you will need to provide Viral Launch with both MWS and seller central authorization in order to integrate Kinetic with your Amazon Advertising Console. You can find step-by-step instructions on how to do that here.

Once successfully added, you’ll see your storefronts and ASINs within your account. Additionally, we strongly recommend setting up your landed unit cost and target ACoS within Kinetic. While admittedly tedious, doing so pays off in the end to fully experience the benefits. We’ll explain more on that shortly.

Campaign View vs. Product View

Once you’ve added proper authorizations, you’ll notice there’s not one but two ways you can view your ad.

  • Campaign View shows information for every campaign across all your products. It looks a lot like Seller Central. 
  • Product View shows information per ASIN, so you can see how each individual product is performing.

For those familiar with Amazon PPC, campaign view offers a more familiar appearance. With souped-up features, embedded data reporting, and cutting-edge integrations from the Viral Launch software suite, it’s like the Amazon Advertising Console on steroids.

But Product View truly allows for innovative insights into their ads like never before. With Product View, you are able to view how your ads are performing at the ASIN level so you can maximize efficiency. Once you’ve added your landed unit cost and target ACoS, you gain the ability to pinpoint your campaigns to minimize risk and maximize your ROI.

Make Your Own Rules

Create a rule for your campaigns or utilize our templates to optimize your ads.

One of the biggest roadblocks to Amazon advertising success continues to be monitoring adjustments. With all the duties placed on a business owner’s shoulders, monitoring campaign statistics and making changes at the right time can feel impossible.

Kinetic solves that problem with its ability to create rules to optimize your ads. Don’t know where to get started? No worries! Our handy pre-made templates can help get you started with understanding what rules you can create by providing the strategy behind them.

Set parameters to shut down underperforming campaigns or increase the budget for ads that are skyrocketing your sales to enact performance-based automations. That’s right. Kinetic’s by-the-minute monitoring and your personalized rules combine to stop losing campaigns in their tracks or reward winners with more ad spend.

You can set the rules to three different states of action.

Automatic

  • Rules set as automatic continuously go into effect once the rule has been triggered. In this state, the rules you’ve created for a campaign will fire off whenever the conditions have been met. For example, if you create a rule that increases your bid amount for keywords with a low ACoS and place it on automatic, the rule will take action every time it’s applicable without any action needed from the seller.

Manual

  • Rules in a manual state work similarly to those in automatic. However, instead of the rule going into effect as soon as the conditions have been met, you’re notified within the tool without Kinetic making any changes. Once notified, you can review the rule that’s been triggered in the Activity History tab to decide whether or not to approve the action. As the name implies, this state is more hands-on.

Paused

  • In a paused state, rules exist without any action taking place as a result of them. Perhaps you’d like to experiment with rule creation but don’t want to trigger changes for your campaigns. Placing them in a paused state ensures that your work is saved, but there will be no automations or notifications regarding the specific rule. At any point, you can take paused rules off the bench and into the game by selecting manual or automatic with the push of a button.

With Kinetic, your campaigns can literally make desired real-time adjustments while you sleep! If you prefer a more hands-on approach for your ad campaigns, you can do that too. Featuring the option to do either,

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Get Familiar with Your Keywords and Search Terms

On top of the ability to create campaigns at the ASIN-level with customizable rules to more effectively carry out your goals, this Amazon PPC tool collects extensive reporting for a clear view into your ad performance at the keyword level.

The Keywords and Search Terms tabs within Kinetic display critical metrics that better informs your advertising strategy and tactics.

In Seller Central, you have to run a report for a particular date range, export it to Excel, add a series of filters and try to understand where it’s actually delivering and look for opportunities to improve the targeting. Kinetic simplifies this process, giving sellers the power to dig deeper into their data and make changes to optimize their campaigns.

The Keywords and Search Terms tabs offer unbridled insights into your ad performance.

While many make the mistake of using these words interchangeably, a very important detail differentiates these two Amazon buzzwords. In short, the Keywords tab is where you’re targeting, while the Search Terms tab presents only where your ads are delivering.

Keywords Tab

This view helps to consolidate all of the keywords you are targeting and allows you to see how the keyword is performing, and what campaigns are contributing to that.

Search Terms Tab

The Search Terms tab can save you loads of time in understanding where your ads are delivering. Once you’re using an Auto campaign, or broad and phrase match targets, your ads can deliver for a wide array of customer search terms.

In short, the Keywords tab shows keywords are targeting, while the Search Terms tab presents only where your ads are delivering. Your Search Terms report will show you a list of keywords that have garnered at least one impression, along with a bevy of metrics that gauges performance.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this quick start guide helps you gain a better understanding of this cutting-edge Amazon PPC tool. As PPC continues to become a larger priority for Amazon, it can serve as an engine for your business to scale like never before.

Now that you have a better lay of the land, taking your business to a new level is within reach! Register for a Viral Launch account today and start your 14-day free trial to turbocharge your FBA efforts.

Sign up for a 14-day FREE trial to Viral Launch’s most comprehensive plan, featuring Kinetic PPC

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!

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!

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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

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