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 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.

Incorporating Accessibility in your Amazon Advertising

Accessibility is an integral part of a fair and just society. Without accessible goods and services, millions of people will be cut off from the products they need. In the US alone, 61 million Americans live with a disability that impacts their shopping and buying experience. 

You can incorporate accessibility in your Amazon advertising by accounting for the diverse needs of all users and consumers. This will improve your reach, strengthen your brand image, and ensure that all users can buy from your eCommerce site.

Common Mistakes

Offering accessibility isn’t just the right thing to do — it can save you from expensive litigation fees, too. Even major brands like Netflix and Nike have been sued for failing to provide an accessible web presence. As a growing brand, the last thing you need is legal battles and fines. 

When developing your Amazon advertising, try to avoid common accessibility mistakes like: 

  • Missing alt-text on images;
  • Using non-descriptive text for links;
  • Embedding non-accessible documents;
  • Using a low color contrast.

Avoiding these mistakes will ensure that most users can use your web content. However, you may still need to complete an accessibility audit with a licensed web developer to ensure that your content meets today’s standards. 

Accessible Listing

As an Amazon seller, the listing is the most important piece of the marketing puzzle. Your Amazon listing has to double as a point of sale and a marketing opportunity. As such, you must ensure that your listing is fully accessible to all users. 

Fortunately, Amazon itself is an accessible website. This means that you don’t have to worry about the code behind your listing or headline advertisement and can focus on the visual and written elements of your Amazon listing. 

Ensure that you provide multiple images of your product so that visually impaired users have the best chance of seeing your offering. Fill out the keywords field, as this will be used as your alt-text for your product. While alt-text doesn’t need to be grammatically correct, it should make sense for users who are using screen readers. 

Use a color-blind simulator to ensure that color-blind users can see your products. Keep your descriptions short and ensure that any anchor text you use is descriptive of the link’s destination. 

You should also account for neurodiverse users who will come across your Amazon listing. Neurodiversity is an umbrella term that “covers multiple diagnoses” like autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia, and ADD/ADHD. You can help neurodiverse users interact with your Amazon listing by avoiding unnecessarily explosive language and metaphors and using better organization. 

If you’re looking to increase traffic and convert more visitors into customers, we can help. Our listing optimization software tools will compile a comprehensive list of keywords for your product and title, helping you to reach new audiences and drive more traffic to your product listings. Assuring you’re able to produce high-quality, vivid product descriptions that highlight specific product information not located elsewhere on the listing – helping potential customers find and buy your products faster.

Social Media

Social media is an invaluable tool for Amazon eCommerce sites. A successful social media strategy can improve your reach and drive traffic toward your Amazon listing. However, you need to ensure that your social media posts are fully accessible before you begin your next campaign. 

Start by choosing the right social channel for your business. Choosing the right platform will simplify your approach and make it easier to craft effective, accessible marketing. If you’re new to social media, consider creating a business page on Facebook and working with an influencer on Instagram or TikTok. These platforms will help build your brand awareness and gather vital customer reviews. 

Make your Facebook page accessible by following social media accessibility guidelines. Caption all of your video content before you post it, and give context for animated GIFS. This will ensure that visually impaired users can understand and interact with your content. If you use emojis on Facebook, be aware of how screen readers will present the emoji to users. 

Work with your chosen influencer to create accessible branded posts on Instagram or TikTok. Encourage them to capitalize each new word in their hashtags, as this will improve the screen reader’s effectiveness. A short description of the content can also help users understand the context of the post. 

Websites and WCAG

If you host a website in addition to your Amazon listing, you need to meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards. WCAG 2.0 is designed to help all users navigate web-based content with ease and independence. WCAG has four major indicators for accessibility: 

  • Perceivable: can users tell that your content exists? Is your content perceivable to folks who are color blind, deaf, visually impaired, etc? 
  • Operable: can users navigate your content? Is your website keyboard accessible? Do users have enough time to navigate the site before they are timed out? 
  • Understandable: do you use unusual words or explosive language? Will all users be able to understand the abbreviations you use? 
  • Robust: will your content be accessible in five years? Is it compatible with new models of screen readers? 

Meeting these WCAG 2.0 standards ensures that your website is authentically accessible. This will drive more traffic toward your Amazon listing and will improve your digital brand presence. 

Conclusion

Accessibility is an important part of your Amazon advertising strategy. Start by reviewing WCAG 2.0 guidelines and work with influencers who already understand how to create branded, accessible content on social media. You can also rewrite your alt-text and double-check your anchor text to ensure that your marketing is understandable and operable for all users. 
If you’re still having trouble boosting traffic to your Amazon listings, you can also compare it to your competitors with the Viral Launch Google Chrome extension. You can also analyze which keywords you’re striving to rank for, and other Google trends.

How Should Sellers Handle Advertising During Major Sales Events?

If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s the importance of being able to recognize changing conditions and adapt and adjust to changing conditions.

On September 26th, Amazon officially announced the inaugural 48-hour Prime Early Access Sale slated for October 11th, leaving Amazon sellers just two weeks to prepare for what projects to be one of the biggest shopping events on the calendar.

While it had been rumored for months before it became official, the timing of the announcement leaves little time for Amazon businesses to stock up on supplies and optimize inventory. Additionally, the sale effectively speeds up the holiday shopping window.

Needless to say, the market conditions have changed.

For many Amazon sellers, advertising on Amazon can be a headache even on an average day. So how does a major sales event like Prime Day, the holiday season or Prime Early Access Sale change the advertising equation?

Below, we’ll take a look at a few crucial pieces of advice and data points that may help you take control of what can be controlled at this point, and navigate through busy sales periods like a seasoned pro.

Know When The Math Changes

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Perhaps it goes without saying, but it certainly helps to know when these busy sales periods are. With a heightened awareness of the potential of changing conditions comes a greater ability to act swiftly and decisively with confidence.

On rare occasions, times with drastic change can’t realistically be accounted for. But for the most part, Amazon sellers can do themselves a favor by anticipating seismic shifts in the market.

Even for savvy, longtime Amazon sellers, the rules and conditions they grew accustomed to disappeared when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted normalcy around the globe, with plenty of trickle-down effects impacting the e-commerce and Amazon marketplace.

While the COVID-19 disruption served as an extreme example of how an agent of change can flip a marketplace on its head, we can apply that thought and learning experience to other avenues when business as usual takes a turn.

More typically, busy sales periods like Prime Day, Cyber Monday, Black Friday, the Prime Early Access Sale and holiday season will cause greater fluctuations in the market. If you sell a product with a greater deal of seasonality, the ability to forecast when sales will see an uptick or downtick in demand can have a great impact on the profitability of your ads.

High-traffic sales events up the ante in every way for Amazon businesses. With more shoppers searching for a deal, the opportunity for record sales multiplies. But with that opportunity being there for the taking, the competition in the market intensifies.

Your typical ad bids that routinely win prime digital real estate are highly unlikely to get the job done during these high-sales periods, changing the math significantly in the battle between visibility and profitability.

Understanding Benefits Beyond The Obvious

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

Although it can be easy to focus on the big sales number during a major sales event, that big bag of cash isn’t the only thing to keep an eye on.

Without a doubt, seeing skyrocketing sales is always welcomed. But success during Prime Day or the Early Access Sale can do so much more, helping your business prosper far beyond the promotional period.

For example, increasing brand awareness and new-to-brand customers through advertising can go a long way toward earning sales all year long. According to an Amazon study, brands that advertised leading up to and during Prime Day showed a 216% increase in awareness and 214% increase in considerations, compared to the prior week.

The most difficult aspect of customer retention? Earning their purchase in the first place. Once a customer has purchased a product from your brand, they are much more likely to purchase yet again from you as long as they feel like they got a good return on their investment.

Additionally, the sales made during these multiplier events greatly affect your visibility going forward. When you achieve sales either via search or through keyword-targeting advertising, your product sees an increase in organic rank. With organic rank serving as the holy grail of profitable sales, a successful sales event can help your bottom line all year round.

Capitalizing on the influx of traffic during these sales events can become a foundational part of your year-round performance, bringing in repeat customers who seek out your product the next time they need it.

Because of the increased competition for eyeballs, your ACoS (average cost of sale) will likely increase, a metric sellers like to keep as low as possible. However, consider these ancillary benefits while concocting your strategy and use these extra wins as consolation for the added cost.

Balancing Sales and Profitability

Photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA on Pexels.com

For every seller, finding the perfect balance between advertising costs and profitability through conversion takes a large sample size of data and plenty of trial and error. And these numbers become warped on high-traffic sales events, but typical data can still be incredibly useful for mastering that balancing act.

One study conducted by Perpetua provides valuable insights into the numbers during July’s Prime Day 2022 compared to data in the month before and weeks after.

One of the more interesting figures from their case study shows that for Sponsored Products, Amazon businesses that increased ad spend by 50% saw a minimal rise in ACoS while experiencing a significant boost in conversion rates.

Graphic and data originally from perpetua.io.
Graphic and data originally from perpetua.io.

In short, this data indicates that increasing ad spend to match the hype of these events can be quite profitable despite the rise in ACoS depending on your product, price point and ad spend budget.

If you can afford to raise your ad spend by a significant amount, you’re much more likely to see a positive return on ad spend. For those who choose to stick with business as normal or provide a meager boost to their ad spend, the return on your investment are more likely to disappoint.

How Can You Execute These High-Opportunity Strategies?

For each and every product, the data changes can be drastically different, making it difficult to apply widescale rules to follow.

However, Viral Launch’s Kinetic tool makes creating profitable advertising campaigns and tracking performance as easy as can be via automation. With easy-to-create rules you can create to trigger action, you can optimize your ad spend by combining an informed strategy with state-of-the-art automation.

Within Kinetic, you can customize your advertising experience to match your goals and budget like never before. Create rules that increase ad spend for profitable campaigns and shut down campaigns or keywords where you’re not getting a proper return on investment once they’ve met the criteria you’ve set.

Kinetic PPC provides all the Amazon advertising functionality and tracking to help maximize your advertising success all year-long, but can be especially worthwhile during high-velocity sales periods when the stakes are at their highest.

Set yourself up with Kinetic PPC today to manage campaigns, monitor keywords and product performance and optimize your advertising experience today.

Amazon Advertising: Zoom In On Product Level PPC Performance & Take Action With Kinetic

Amazon Advertising can be a complex topic, but Viral Launch’s Amazon PPC platform Kinetic simplifies your performance so you can stop wasting money on inefficient ad spending and maximize profits.

In a recent update, Amazon announced certain ASIN-level metrics added to their Brand Analytics dashboard in Seller Central.

“With the launch of ASIN view, you can measure the search performance of a specific product by metric, such as clicks or conversion rate, within a selected time frame.”

– Amazon Seller Central announcement

Before this addition to the Brand Analytics suite, you could only find ASIN-level data and metrics through Viral Launch’s Kinetic PPC tool. While the addition certainly assists sellers, it’s a far cry from what Kinetic is capable of when it comes to capabilities like data fetching and rule-based automation that optimize your campaigns at the ASIN level.

How to use Product View in Viral Launch’s Kinetic PPC platform.

Optimize your Amazon PPC campaigns at the product level

Kinetic’s main benefit is the ability to make rule-based automations that trigger when a set of selected criteria is met. These capabilities provide endless possibilities. With pre-set rules to get beginners pointed in the right direction and plenty of custom rules for PPC experts, it truly is the single tool for newbies and PPC wizards alike.

For example, suppose you’re running an ad and want to target keywords with small-to-medium search volume because they’re less expensive than their higher-volume counterparts but fear overspending on low-volume. In that case, you can set your limits on search volume estimates and create campaigns that automatically shut off if a certain level of unprofitability is met.

On the other hand, suppose a campaign for another product is absolutely crushing it. You can set it up for successful campaigns to increase spending for your best keyword or ASIN-targeted campaigns and appear more frequently in your most successful positions.

In either condition, Kinetic’s product-level PPC data and automation assists sellers with skyrocketing their most successful campaigns and halt unprofitable ones.

Kinetic showcases a comprehensive collection of data points for your product for you to take action on with the push of a button.

With integrations from the rest of the Viral Launch suite pulling invaluable data such as search volume estimates, suggested PPC bids and recommended keywords, Kinetic provides critical data points to make your campaigns easier to run and much more data-informed.

Not to mention your most crucial, personalized sales data points can be quickly discovered in Kinetic. PPC Sales, PPC spend, RoAS, ACoS, conversion rates, organic and sponsored rank and much, much more are all automatically tracked for your campaigns and can be seen at the product level for PPC.

All of this data goes a long way when it comes to running your ad campaigns. Not only does this simplify the data to make more data-informed decisions, but they also assist with seeing why and how they’re succeeding or not. In an easy-to-view, easy-to-navigate platform, you can see the performance at a very broad level, or zoom in for a more granular view of how your product performs for specific keywords and similar or complementary ASINs.

Start improving your PPC performance today

Dig into Kinetic PPC for campaign and product level PPC data and automation like you’ve never seen before.

While Amazon’s recent addition of displaying product-level PPC performance in Brand Analytics marks a step in the right direction, it’s only a fraction of the data, automation, integration with other tools and strategic assistance provided within Kinetic.

Kinetic makes it easier than ever to supercharge your PPC campaigns and understand your product performance like ever before. For more information, check out our guide on How To Use Kinetic PPC for your first step in becoming a PPC guru.

As PPC becomes an even more significant tool in the Amazon seller arsenal, it’s even more critical to have the intelligence advantage. Now that every brand-registered Amazon seller has easy access to ASIN-level data in Brand Analytics, it’s as critical as ever to gain the edge with the advanced metrics and actionable automations available in Kinetic.

Want to stop wasting advertising spending and run more efficient campaigns? Of course you do! See what Kinetic can do for you! Sign up for your free Kinetic trial today to start running more efficient, more profitable campaigns.

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.

6 Insights into Selling on Amazon in 2022

As the world recovers from the global pandemic, eCommerce businesses are 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.

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

Inspect Sample Goods Before Switching Manufacturers

Poor product reviews break listings. 89% of buyers read product reviews as part of their customer journey; 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 selling on Amazon in 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 selling on Amazon 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 selling on Amazon in 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 e-commerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of e-commerce. He has years of experience in e-commerce 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 Amazon PPC Budget Page

On Tuesday, Amazon announced a new feature for the Advertising console, the Amazon PPC Budget 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 Amazon PPC Budget 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 Amazon PPC Budget 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

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