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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Pro Package

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

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

What’s Included in Pro

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

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

The Pro Plus Ads Plan

Optimize your PPC campaigns like never before possible with Kinetic!

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

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

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

What’s Included in Pro Plus Ads

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

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

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

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

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

In Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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Amazon 2020 Year in Review: The Hottest Items of a Year Like No Other

The Amazon 2020 Year in Review: Examining the products that defined the past year.

“What was it like living in 2020?”

We’ll likely be tasked with answering that question at some point in the future. And oh boy, how would we begin?

Undoubtedly, we’ve all had our own unique, personal experience with 2020. But collectively, you can tell the story of 2020 through consumer trends. What were we looking for and buying? What was popular in 2020 like no time before?

Behind the year’s hottest items lies a story about a year for the history books. Shoppers bought more items on Amazon than ever before, an important benchmark that tells a story of its own. Responsible for nearly half the items sold online, Amazon is a powerhouse packed with an almost unlimited trove of insightful data.

Using Viral Launch’s comprehensive software suite, including tools such as Keyword Research and Market Intelligence, we’ve tracked Amazon trends via sales and search volume.

Using that information, we’ve compiled your Amazon 2020 Year in Review, with the data on the year’s hottest items.

The COVID-19 Pandemic

Face Masks

What a difference a year makes. Remember when “face mask” conjured thoughts of a football helmet, Halloween accessory, or a part of a beauty routine? Man, those were the days.

With an estimated search volume that lingered around 240,000 searches per month for nearly two years, we can’t accurately say the phrase itself came out of nowhere.

PICTURED: Estimated searches for “face mask” on Amazon over time.

But the reasoning behind this search began to change and take on a whole new meaning starting in February as COVID-19 infiltrated the country. As towns, cities, and states mandate the wearing of masks to contain the virus, demand is higher than ever as we enter 2021.

With over 1.8 million searches this month, face masks may be as popular of an item that Amazon has ever had.

With the influx of searches, sales skyrocketed.

In the image on the left, we see sales estimates for a top-selling face mask listing dating back to January 2019. For the entirety of 2019, they sold between 100-200 units per month. Since late March, they’ve sold over 1,000 units per month for much of the year.

Many of the top sellers for the product just started selling in the past few months, as longtime sellers were wiped out of inventory quickly due to boom in demand. As the need for face masks has persisted, it’s allowed newer sellers to enter the market and find success.

But face masks were far from the only COVID-related product to rise to prominence in 2020…

Hand Sanitizer

We imagine no two products paired more often than face masks and hand sanitizer for the year.

Unlike face masks, there was no redefining “hand sanitizer” this year and it’s a product that has always experienced consistent sales. But clearly, the demand climbed exponentially in the wake of COVID-19.

Brands such as Germ-X, Purell, Rubbermaid, and Amazon’s Solimo were at the forefront of the pack to take on the massive amount of traffic looking to kill 99.9% of germs.

However, even the major brands couldn’t have been prepared for the onslaught of sales. As showcased in the image below, sales stagnated for months on certain listings, almost certainly due to providing enough inventory to meet the insatiable demand.

At Home Products

But COVID-19 had a much larger imprint on our buying habits than directly stopping or killing the virus through masks and sanitizer.

Due to the abrupt changing of our world, we had to adjust our everyday habits on the fly. Of these changes, finding alternatives to the gym has been one of the more impactful ones on Amazon. Whether because of gyms closing, restrictions on gym-goers, or people preferring to not using shared equipment, the home workout market has been on a tear.

If you’ve tried purchasing at-home gym equipment over the past few months, you’re well aware of this.

These popular Bowflex adjustable dumbbells are a space-efficient solution for working out at home, but you’ll have to wait up to 4 months before it’s in route to your home.

Hoping to avoid the dreaded “quarantine 15” weight gain, many gym-related products have seen a dramatic upswing in interest on Amazon. Across the board, searches for treadmills, dumbbells, adjustable dumbbells, and jump rope have all experienced nearly four times as much traffic at its 2020 peak compared to pre-COVID demand.

Additionally, work life shifted from the office to remote for many companies. In recent months, it’s become apparent that work-from-home is here to stay. Workers have begun to turn their at-home work station from makeshift to one that better fits their long-term needs, the market for traditional office supplies has grown substantially.

In the last quarter of 2020, the following home office products have seen a dramatic increase in demand; office chairs, desks, desk accessories, and HDMI cables to get that time-saving double-screen action going.

Here’s to 2021’s Year In Review centering around getting back to normal as we defeat the virus and get back to normal.

2020: The Year TikTok Broke Through

In a more typical year, 2020 would be known as the year of TikTok.

Once upon a time, the lifespan of a social network platform was brief. One day there’s a brand new app that your cool friend is touting. The next, it’s gone the way of the dinosaur. When was the last time you updated your Myspace Top 8? Made any cool Vines lately?

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all have a decade or more under their belt. Snapchat isn’t far behind. With the massive amount of money bankrolling these social networks, it had been a while since a new social network materialized that could compete.

From government intervention to surpassing 100 million U.S. users to the rise of content houses dedicated to TikTok stars, the app has solidified itself as Gen Z’s breakout social media.

Even before TikTok announced eCommerce integrations to allow merchants a larger presence on the platform, the rise of TikTok trickled into consumerism.

The Ring Light

Once an accessory for photographers and select content creators, the ring light became a must-have item for TikTokers this year. Peaking during the holidays, over 1.6 million estimated searches were performed for the product.

While searches for “ring light” peaked at the end of the year just in time for the holiday season, “ring light with stand” made a considerable leap in April and May before a holiday push.

Likewise, green screens saw a rise thanks to TikTok and it’s feature to use any backdrop with a handy green screen. As TikTokers pros like Jason Derulo and Will Smith use green screens for content gold, they rushed to Amazon to get one of their own.

@jasonderulo

Posting my faves til 2021 @chrisashley @willsmith #willxjason

♬ Love Not War (The Tampa Beat) – Jason Derulo & Nuka

Evidenced by over 440,000 estimated searches in December (compared to 106,000 in January), green screens were on everyone’s holiday wishlist.

Pop Culture Trends of 2020

As we spend more time indoors than ever, the year saw a rare shift back to the monoculture. With so many different sources of entertainment available, finding shared experiences through pop culture became a rarity. In a time where we were around family and friends less than ever, pop culture events of the past year gave us ample conversation topics, even if those conversations were through text, social networks, or Zoom.

Here are the shows, events, and games that helped define the past year.

The Netflix Standouts

Demand for tiger shirts roared during the show’s peak in April, then again right in time for Halloween.

With how long this year has felt, it may be difficult to believe that Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness came out in March. But it’s true. Just as the coronavirus forced us indoors, Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin entered our lives and became the modern-day Hatfields and McCoys.

Released on March 12th, the day between the WHO declaring COVID-19 a pandemic, the docuseries provided much-needed entertainment and comic relief as we headed indoors.

But Tiger King was far from the only blockbuster hit from Netflix. In the last few months of the year, The Queen’s Gambit became the most-watched scripted miniseries in Netflix’s history. The drama, set in the 1950s and 1960s, renewed interest in the strategy-based board game.

For a top-selling chess kit, The Queen’s Gambit premiere on October 23rd kicked off a dramatic uptick in sales.

Premiering on October 23rd, searches and purchases have spiked for chess-related terms. In September, searches for “chess set” totaled 41,868. As the show’s rise in popularity coincided with the holiday season, searches were up to 345,245 in December. But the holiday season alone can’t be attributed to the uptick in searches for the phrase, as December 2018 and December 2019 each had between 105,000 and 120,000 searches.

The Queen’s Gambit’s popularity and the resulting blitz of traffic and sales prove selling the right product on Amazon at the right time can be incredibly rewarding.

The Kobe Effect

On January 26th, the world lost NBA legend Kobe Bryant in a helicopter accident that took the lives of Bryant and eight others, including his daughter Gianna. Around the world, millions of fans lamented for the fallen icon.

Fans of Bryant sought solace in merchandise to honor the basketball icon.

Just before COVID-19 changed American life, countless fans of “The Black Mamba” gathered outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where Bryant provided so many memories throughout his storied career. Fans adorned the area surrounding the arena with murals and items to memorialize Bryant.

As fans grieved, people sought Bryant gear to show their allegiance to Bryant was as strong as ever.

While Amazon typically isn’t the go-to source for athletic apparel from signature athletes, fans flocked to the eCommerce retailer looking for available merch. Much of Bryant’s signature merchandise is through the NBA or Nike, both of whom exclusively sell in their own stories.

However, part of Bryant’s allure is that he wasn’t just a typical athlete. You can find the five-time NBA champion’s autobiography, series of children’s books, and much more on Amazon.

Sports In 2020: Checking In On The Champs

Search volume trends for champions in the four major U.S. professional sports leagues mirrored the popularity of each sport in recent years, highlighting that football is America’s true pastime. Below, you’ll find each 2020 champion’s peak monthly estimated search volume.

(NFL) Chiefs: 174,757
(NBA) Lakers: 82,758
(MLB) Dodgers: 41,967
(NHL) Tampa Bay Lightning: 38,959

Even as teams played in empty or sparsely packed arenas, fans showed their support from afar.

The Gamers Level Up

Similar to TikTok, 2020 was a new high score for gaming. With more time spent indoors and next-generation XBOX and PlayStation consoles, it’s no surprise that competitive and casual gaming alike powered up. Amazon-owned Twitch, a streaming platform used primarily for gamers, nearly doubled the amount of content watched from Q3 2019 (2.5 billion hours) to Q3 2020 (4.7 billion).

The 2020 Console Wars

The latest battle of the Console Wars, with the XBOX Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles releasing in the last quarter of 2020. Due to production and manufacturing delays causing a stock shortage, many gamers are still refreshing their browsers in hopes for a restock.

Because of this, gamers are searching for the consoles at an astronomical rate. But which console wins in our 2020 year in review?

Over the holiday season, the PlayStation 5 appears to be the desired next-gen console for Amazon shoppers.

During the most popular shopping season, Sony’s Playstation 5 is holding a steady lead over its counterpart from Microsoft. Hopefully, more and more gamers can make the switch to next-gen as more consoles become available.

For reasons good and bad, 2020 has been a year for the books. As the ball drops in Times Square signaling the beginning of 2021, we at Viral Launch wish you a happy new year!

Thanks for checking out our Amazon 2020 Year In Review! Did we miss anything you think belongs on the list? Feel free to start your free trial with Viral Launch to dig through the data on your own! What was your favorite trend of 2020? Drop a comment below and let us know!

Want to make money by selling on Amazon? Learn from the experts in our totally FREE seller course!

Trick or Treat: 7 Amazon Trends for Halloween 2020

Attention ghouls and goblins, Halloween 2020 is almost upon us! Carve up some pumpkins, flip on your favorite horror movie, and rock out to Monster Mash.

In these unprecedented times, it’s increasingly difficult to know what to expect of Halloween 2020. However, consumers are shopping on Amazon more than ever, and Viral Launch has tools for Amazon sellers that accurately estimates metrics such as search volume and sales for products.

After taking a deep dive through our trove of data, we’ve found quite a few insightful trends for Halloween 2020.

1. Fewer People Are Dressing Up

If Amazon search trends are any indication, fewer people will be donning costumes compared to previous years.

As you might expect during a widespread pandemic, people are less likely to go out. In many places, the get-togethers will be limited and the number of attendees will be slim, so it makes sense that fewer people will be putting on a costume.

Sales for Halloween costumes are significantly down.

Compared to last year, searches for “Halloween costumes” on Amazon have been slashed nearly in half. Despite Halloween falling on a weekend, adult costumes don’t seem to be selling as well at traditional retailers either.

2. Shoppers are still buying tons of candy.

Despite the drop in people dressing up, candy is still being purchased by the boatload. Bulk boxes from Reese’s, Hershey’s, Mars, and other assorted all have multiple variety packs fetching over 10,000 estimated monthly sales.

Unfortunately, we’re also picking up historic Halloween sales of candy corn. Yuck!

Sales of candy corn are crushing its previous peak over the past month.

3. People are decorating like never before.

Just because people aren’t dressing up as much doesn’t mean they’re not in the holiday spirit! While there is still time to receive Prime-eligible items, searches for “outdoor Halloween decorations” have doubled from 2019’s search estimates, from 141.4k to 288.6k at last check.

Among the items you’re most likely to see in the yards of more festive folks are a 6’0 hanging cocoon corpse (13.2k monthly sales), a set of window decorations with bloody handprints (just under 10k monthly sales), and a pack of cautionary yard signs with stakes.

Of course, you’ll see your fair share of scary skeletons (a combined estimated search volume of over 600k) and Halloween lights (324.4k searches over the last 30 days) to get those signature Halloween vibes.

4. Pumpkin carving kits are selling frightfully fast.

Piggybacking off the increased interest in decorations, pumpkin carving kits are among the hottest items this month on Amazon.

On the first page of search results for the phrase, six of the top 20 results that appear showcase low quantity warnings, a sign that these items are selling even faster than the sellers anticipated.

Pumpkin carving kits are flying off the shelves.

During the 2019 Halloween season, estimated daily sales for the market peaked at 5,269. This year? 7,453.

Whether it’s the fun of carving with friends or family, or showing off your creativity and craftiness, nothing gets you in the spirit of the holiday quite like making a Jack-O-Lantern.

Pro tip: once finished carving, save them to make a salty, tasty treat.

5. The Tiger King (and Carole Baskin) are roaring.

Thanks to Netflix’s Tiger King, archenemies Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin are the biggest new stars of 2020. The true-crime documentary was released mid-March, right as COVID-19 began to make its impact felt in the United States.

Tiger King resonated uncannily due to a perfect storm of timing, enthralling characters, and internet memes. So it comes as no surprise that people are lining up to be the big cat adversaries for a night. So it comes as no surprise that people are lining up to be the big cat adversaries for a night.

Viral Launch’s Market Intelligence tool notes Joe Exotic costumes are increasing in popularity, while the price is down 29%, a sign that the market is getting saturated with sellers.

Our Keyword Research tool notes that there have been an estimated 42.1k searches for “Joe Exotic costume” over the past 30 days. The tool also pulls search data for related keywords and notes that there have been an estimated 30.4k “Tiger King costume” searches, and just under 10k “Joe Exotic wig” searches. Hopefully, the people who aren’t purchasing their mullet wig are saving money by growing their own.

While people flock by the thousands to dress as Mr. Exotic, the Tiger King himself will be donning a prison jumpsuit on Halloween as he serves his sentence for Murder for Hire and Animal Abuse.

Don’t be surprised if you see some of these cool cats and kittens out in the wild for October.

6. Move over Fortnite, “Among Us” is 2020’s top choice for gamers.

Seemingly every other month, there’s a new viral game capturing the attention of the nation. And what is Halloween but a look at what’s popular in the culture in a given year?

If consumer trends are the measuring stick, Among Us has far surpassed the popularity of Fortnite in 2020. In 2018, Fortnite Fever peaked swept the nation, with nearly 615k searches for Halloween costumes. While that number diminished in 2019, Fortnite maintained its place at the top of gaming costumes without an adversary to take the throne…until now.

Among Us has captured the hearts and thumbs of the nation. Released in 2018, the popularity of Among Us skyrocketed in 2020 as Twitch and YouTube streamers opted for the game. Based on the premise of working with Crewmates to find Impostors, the multiplayer game has been the most downloaded app for iPhones and iPads this month.

For the unfamiliar, the costumes are noted for looking like spacesuits and the more ambitious trick-or-treaters may take on the shape of the game’s avatars, which is reminiscent of a jelly bean.

Not only are searches for “Among Us” at an all-time high, but searches for “astronaut costume” have been out of the stratosphere this Halloween season.

Searches for “Among Us costume” are soaring in October, with 66.9k. Meanwhile, “Fortnite costume” is receiving just 17.5k searches over the past month.

7. PG-Rated Halloween movies are dominating slasher flicks.

Hocus Pocus (1993) is all the rage 27 years later.

Halloween movies are typically thought of as scary horror movies with terrifying characters such as Freddy Krueger, Jason, or Chucky. But it’s the PG-rated movies people are watching the most.

Debates on who Hollywood’s best Halloween character rage on, and it’s…Bette Midler?

Hocus Pocus, a 1993 film starring Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker, leads the way with an astounding 283.3k searches over the last 30 days. Packs of face masks depicting the stars faces are making a killing, with nearly $24k in revenue over the last month. Disney’s Halloweentown (117.9k) and Ghostbusters (84.4k) are also being searched for at a rapid rate over the past month.

Meanwhile, the fear-seekers are searching for Scream (64.4k), Nightmare on Elm Street (57k), and Chucky (43.2k) to fulfill their fix for frights. While we’re sure Jason Voorhees and the Halloween franchise is a favorite, it’s impossible to attribute searches for “Halloween” to the franchise.

For more Halloween 2020 trends, create a Viral Launch account and start a free trial to get started.

Be sure to share any spooky finds or holiday plans in the comments and enjoy Halloween 2020 responsibly!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Sponsored Products Ads 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Sponsored Brands Ads 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Product Display Ads 

 

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

 

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

 

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

How Kinetic Can Help

 

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

Keyword Targeting

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

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

Controlling Spending

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

 

Monitoring Performance

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Why Amazon Ad Placement Data Matters 

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

 

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

Know Which Placement Leads to the Best Results 

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

 

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

Know the Keywords or ASINs That Deliver the Best Performance

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

 

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

 

  • Garlic press 

  • Garlic press stainless steel 

  • Garlic press and slicer in one 

 

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

 

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

 

Kinetic: Simplified and Efficient PPC Campaign Management 

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

Sales, Spending & Placement Data

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

 

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

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

Manage and Maximize Your Bids and Budget

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

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

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

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

Monitor the Performance of Your Keywords

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

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

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

Improving and Refining Your Amazon PPC Campaigns 

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

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

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

 

 

Improve Your Amazon PPC Bidding Strategy and Energize Your Campaign

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

 

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

 

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

Amazon’s Dynamic Bidding Strategies 

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

 

The three options are as follows:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

How Kinetic Can Help Your PPC Bidding Challenges

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

Working with Amazon’s Bidding Strategies

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

Fixed 

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

 

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

Down Only

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

 

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

Up and Down

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

 

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

 

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

Turning Non-delivering Keywords into Delivering Ones 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Eliminating Overspending and Lowering Your ACoS

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Reducing Your Monitoring Frequency

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

 

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

Learning Where You Can Best Compete

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Streamline Your Bid Strategies, Strengthen Your PPC Campaigns

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

 

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

 

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

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

Amazon PPC Advertising: The Essentials for Building Your Ad Campaign

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

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

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

Learning the PPC Facts

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

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

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

What You Can Gain from PPC

Visibility

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

Sales

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

Performance Monitoring

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

Keyword Categories

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

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

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

    • Thank you cards with envelopes

    • Thank you cards baby shower

    • Thank you cards wedding

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

    • Card thank you funny

    • Gift cards thank you

    • Cards thank you religious

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

Using Automatic and Manual Campaigns

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

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

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

Weeding Out Negative Keywords

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

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

Putting Your PPC Campaign in Action

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

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

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

Your Amazon Sales Data Is Costing You Thousands

The foundation of a successful Amazon business is great Amazon sales data. How’s that, you ask? Well, in order to have a successful Amazon business you have to have great products. And in order to source great products, you need to be able to identify great market opportunities. You need accurate and comprehensive Amazon sales data. We have hundreds of sellers come to us each month asking for help with their business. And why are they struggling? Poor product selection. Many of them have gotten into insanely competitive markets and don’t have the budget to achieve success. Others sourced products where they were forced to lower their price and now sell with razor-thin margins.

Many of these sellers even used a market research tool to determine whether or not to source. So what went wrong? Their Amazon data wasn’t giving them an accurate picture of the market. Most software is grossly inaccurate, calculating estimates using a single snapshot of BSR data 

Where Other Amazon Product Research Tools Are Lacking

Snapshot Data

Most tools that use the Amazon Best Sellers Rank as their indicator for estimating sales are relying on the brief snapshot of what BSR is RIGHT NOW. Those tools are estimating sales over the last 30 days, based on a metric highly influenced by the last 24 hours. Using Snapshot data to analyze performance is like looking at a still frame of a movie and trying to predict the plot. It can be extremely inaccurate. As we discussed in our blog post covering the Amazon Best Sellers Rank, BSR can vary drastically hour to hour, day to day, month to month, etc.

Using a product’s BSR to estimate sales can make a market look awesome one hour and completely different 12 hours later.

  • Do you do your product research primarily on the weekends? Be careful. Consumer buying behavior in some product markets will affect BSR and those snapshot estimates over the weekend.
  • Do you do your market research primarily in the mornings? Again, be careful. Some markets see higher sales in the morning hours, meaning BSR will be lower. That means that tools with snapshot estimates will show higher sales volume than they would if you did your product research at night.

To accurately estimate sales, you need to take into account all the fluctuations of BSR that occur throughout the month.

Have you ever tried doing product research during November and wondered if the estimated sales numbers were inflated due to holiday sales or if those numbers were consistent throughout the year? Perhaps you have done research on some of the weight loss products during January and February when sales are much higher than they are throughout the rest of the year. There are tons of consumer buying trends you may not be intuitively aware of, so how do you know the likelihood of your estimated sales numbers remaining consistent across time? 

Not knowing how sales are trending across a market as a whole is dangerous when sourcing a product. To not have a complete picture of how sales trend throughout an entire calendar year for a product is kind of insane when you consider the amount of time and the thousands of dollars you spend getting initial inventory, creating a listing, and trying to gain traction.

ASIN Focused

Don’t look at just one ASIN. While some sellers may be well aware of this common fallacy, we’ve seen plenty who have unknowingly made this critical mistake. When doing research to determine which product markets you want to get into, you should be focused on the performance of the market as a whole, not a specific ASIN. Tracking how well a particular ASIN is performing in sales, keyword ranking, reviews, price, etc. is dangerous. There are so many potential external factors and reasons as to why sales are where they currently are.

Perhaps an ASIN with very few reviews but really high sales is only performing that well because the seller is a wizard at driving external traffic. Can you match that performance? There are plenty of reasons that sales may fluctuate per ASIN: running out of stock or driving external traffic. There are also plenty of reasons that price may fluctuate: split testing, temporarily attempting to push traffic. There are reasons that almost every metric you can track for a given ASIN may be fluctuating. But when you look at snapshot data, you don’t see the fluctuation, and you definitely don’t see what’s going on behind the scenes for that product. 

Research should not be a question of “how well is this specific ASIN performing?” but a question of “what is the sales potential in this market?” Ask yourself what the barrier to entry is for the market, and what the opportunity to outsell the competition is. Both of these questions require you to look at all of the top competitors and analyze the whole market.

Validation 

We work with the entire spectrum of sellers on Amazon. From large brand names to sellers trying to find their first item. For those in Facebook groups, I’m sure you’ve seen it a million times where someone posts a screenshot of the results from a sourcing tool where they ask “should I source this?” or “is this a good idea?” For every one of those posts, there are hundreds of sellers who don’t ask for help and end up getting into a product market where they waste precious resources: time and money.

At Viral Launch, we truly do believe that every product is a good product to sell so long as the numbers make sense for you. But there are some basic principles that make certain products absolutely great investments and others potentially risky. Think of it this way: if you’ve never been ice skating before, you’re probably not going to try competing against Olympic athletes the first time you lace up your skates. If you’re a new seller you don’t want to take on a highly competitive market like Vitamin C Serum. And even as an established seller, you might not want to take on a big brand like Tide in a market like Laundry Detergent. With the right knowledge, anyone can sell on Amazon. But that doesn’t mean anyone should sell in any market. And we believe your market research software should help you determine which markets are most favorable for you.

Product Suggestions

Imagine if you could snap your fingers and instantly know exactly which products you should source. That would be like every seller’s dream come true. And that’s why lists of hot products get so much attention. But a good product idea instantly becomes a bad product when it is easily accessible to many sellers. We have seen it plenty of times. Someone posts their list of hot new products, and within a couple of months, we have 20+ sellers come to us with those hot products. These product markets very quickly become saturated and the barrier to entry increases dramatically. Price wars cut margins in half, and suddenly that market that looked so good is terrible.

Unfortunately, for some sellers who have already placed inventory orders, by the time their product gets to FBA, the market has already turned sour. The way to avoid this nightmare scenario is to avoid products featured on these lists! We’ve seen it happen as a result of a product being mentioned by a guru or from popular webinars or demonstrations. The same can and does happen with programmatic product suggestions. That’s why Product Discovery offers warnings for popular results. Our goal is to help inspire new product ideas and then help you determine how great that idea is. Of course it would be incredible to have someone provide unlimited “secret” high potential product market suggestions. Unfortunately, it’s dangerous for the sellers who jump in.

Not Mobile Friendly

Our phones are a huge part of our lives these days. And we expect to be able to answer the questions that we have when we’re out to lunch or waiting for the subway. Market research software needs to be available in the same way that Google is available. It’s like your second brain. It’s right there when you need it. Because a product idea is going to hit you smack dab in the middle of your evening stroll around the neighborhood. Your best product ideas don’t always come when you’re sitting at your desktop. They probably come randomly, whether you’re out shopping, on your morning walk, in the bathroom, etc., having the opportunity to do a quick lookup on the go can be very helpful.

Stale Data 

Most software in this space does not update their information or algorithms regularly allowing estimates to become stagnate and remain that way for longer than 6 months. A BSR of #1 in Beauty back in 2015 is a lot different than a BSR of #1 in Beauty in 2017. As Amazon continues to increase in popularity and more consumers shop on Amazon, the amount of sales any particular BSR represents, continues to increase.

Market Intelligence: Our Version of an Amazon Market Research Tool

Not Snapshot Data, Comprehensive Data

Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank can be extremely volatile hour to hour, day to day, and week to week. So in our mission to develop the world’s most accurate sales estimation tool, we had to build a tool that was going to take into account the vast fluctuations in BSR that occur all month, and we’ve done just that.

Our Amazon Market Intelligence tool tracks and analyzes seasonal trends and displays aggregated sales across the market for up to two years. This allows any seller to identify how seasonal consumer behavior may be affecting current sales numbers as well as how future seasonal trends may have an impact on future sales.

 

Not ASIN Focused, Market Focused 

From our “outlier detection”, to our page of collective Market Trends (from sales to price to review quantity), to our Product Idea Score, we do our best to push users to focus on the principles of the market as a whole versus anticipating to replicate the results of a single ASIN.

Validation 

Our Market Intelligence’s “VL Analysis” page is dedicated to helping sellers validate or invalidate their product idea providing them with a 1 – 5 star rating based on a customer algorithm analyzing an impressive number of market indicators. We go a step further and provide sellers with key tips, warnings, and alerts of the market if they do decide to enter in. This allows sellers a comprehensive view of a market’s potential outcome for success.

Not Product Suggestions, Product Idea Inspiration 

While we are strongly against providing Amazon product/market ideas, we are very keen on providing inspiration or tactics of coming up with your own ideas! This is why we started our Sourcing Saturdays to help you develop your own ideas to then research with our Market Intelligence software.

Not Stale Data, Fresh Data Every Day

Our Market Intelligence tool continually updates our BSR to sales mapping algorithm each night. This allows our calculation to remain severely accurate and consistent with the natural trends of the market. Due to seasonal trends across Amazon, as well as Amazon increasing in popularity, estimation tools that do not refresh their algorithm regularly will find their estimations quickly become stale and continue to decrease in accuracy as time goes on.

The Most Sophisticated Amazon Product Research Tool

There are three major components to our Amazon product research and validation software.

Market Research – Top Sellers

The market research component of our sourcing tool provides a view very similar to what most are used to. Essentially we grab the top ranking products for a provided search term.

We provide data specific to each product such as brand, price, product title, estimated units sold over the last month (see why our sales estimation algorithm is more accurate than any other tool), review quantity, the sales to review ratio [[include link to another post]], net profit per unit, and estimated monthly net profit. If you click into any of the highlighted metrics you will be provided with historical data from the last 3-4 months. This is important for developing a better understanding of how products have been performing and what to expect if you happen to jump into the market.

Under the “Filtered View” tab, you will see essentially the same information with some rows of the table possibly highlighted in light pink. Highlighted rows depict market outliers. An outlier is a product we’ve determined to be statistically insignificant due to either their sales or reviews being far outside the market norm. The general rule of thumb is simply to ignore those listings.

 

The “Competitive View” allows you to see important metrics also shown in the “Standard View” as well as the opportunity to see the product’s full image set and title. The intention here is to allow you to quickly identify the types of products potential competitors are selling for the given search term as well as identify possible areas where you could provide better creatives to out compete.

Clicking into an image allows you to quickly flip through each product’s image set.

 

 

Market Trends

Making a sourcing decision based solely on the metrics of NOW can be incredibly dangerous. Our trends tool allows you to quickly identify how sales across the market have been trending over the last two years (provided data is available) as well as how the average price point and review quantity have trended. Has price been dropping significantly over the last 90 days? It may not be a great market to get into as margins look to be declining. Is the average review quantity growing at a relatively slow rate? May be an opportunity to come into the market with a better review funnel to outpace competitors and dominate the market.

 

 

For convenience we display how price has trended over the last 90 days in a simple percentage metric. We display the product’s best selling period throughout the calendar year. This can be a single month or a few months depending on consumer buying behavior. Finally we display, the rate of increase in reviews per month (ex. +10 reviews/month).

Viral Launch Analysis

The Viral Launch Analysis tab is our attempt at algorithmically helping sellers steer clear of money wasting products and into potential gold mines.

 

To kick off, we show our “Product Idea Score”, which is programmatically generated based on a large variety of factors and metrics both real time and historical. We’ve put all of our knowledge and experience running over 16,000 product launches, working with thousands of brands large and small, into this rating algorithm. A five-star product means that you’ve found a potential gold mine so long as you are comfortable with the provided numbers. A five-star rating means that the sales potential compared to relative barrier to entry is ideal, in addition to satisfying other market indicators we’ve identified contribute to successful products.

          At the bottom of the page you will find our “Tips, Warnings, and Alerts” section. Here we try to bring to your attention some of the opportunities, topics to be aware of, and potential success crippling aspects of the given product market. An example of a tip would be to consider bundling the product as it appears others in the market are doing it with a degree of success. An example of a warning would that the average price point seems to be declining in the market so be cognizant of the potential cannibalizing of profit margin. An example of an alert would be a scenario in which page one is dominated by known name brands that are consuming the majority of the market share.

Other Features

ADVANCED SEARCH 

We’ve included two opportunities to customize the results based on your specific situation. Do you have a minimum monthly units sold threshold? Plug in your sales minimum and we will take this into account when calculating your Product Idea Score. Have an idea as to what the landed cost may be per unit for the product you’re looking to source? Plug that into the advanced parameters and we will take that into account when calculating the net Amazon profit for each product shown.

The Search For Smarter Sourcing Decisions

We didn’t build our Amazon product research tool because we thought we could make money if we provided a marginal improvement on a tool similar to what others before us had created. We HAD to create this tool to help sellers avoid the potentially tens of thousands spent getting into product markets they have no business being in. We are now starting to manage more and more accounts as a company and we needed accurate market data. It’s impossible to make accurate future projections without knowing where the market has been. The old adage, “you have to know where you’ve been in order to know where you’re going” is incredibly relevant to jumping into a product market.

Start making better sourcing decisions when you sign up for the most sophisticated Amazon market research tool in the galaxy!

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We would love your feedback on how we can improve. What additional information, either historical or real-time, would help you make better sourcing decisions? What calculations or computations would help you to be more informed? We would love to hear your thoughts so we can all benefit!

Understanding The Amazon Best Sellers Rank (BSR) – The Definitive Guide

At Viral Launch, we thrive on understanding and discovering the intricacies and science of the Amazon marketplace. Because the more we understand about Amazon the better equipped we are to map out the process of selling successfully for you. One of our targets was to reverse engineer the Amazon Best Sellers Rank (BSR) algorithm.

The intent was to build an incredibly robust Amazon sales estimation algorithm with unprecedented accuracy. While we have built a far more accurate BSR-to-sales mapping algorithm than what is currently available, reverse engineering the BSR algorithm requires a far greater amount of data and sophisticated machine learning tactics.

Here are our findings on BSR and the downfalls of using Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank as a tool to estimate sales. 

 

 What is Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank?

A product’s Best Sellers Rank can be found on the product’s detail page. As you can see, products are typically listed in multiple categories. There is usually a top level category: in this example it is #71 in Beauty & Personal Care. And there is a subcategory: this product is the #1 best seller in the sub category, Serums.

Often you’ll find a product in multiple subcategories and, somewhat less frequently, in multiple top level categories. For sales estimation equations, it is the top level category that the algorithms pay attention to. If someone had enough data to map out the current 64,000+ subcategories, they might use those numbers. But at the moment, that seems unlikely.

How is the Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank (BSR) Calculated?

The “best selling” product in a category has a BSR of #1 in that category. The second “best selling” product in a category has a BSR of #2 in that category. Amazon calculates a product’s Best Sellers Rank or BSR by considering the number of orders for that product compared to other products in the same category within a given amount of time. 

We tried to figure out the time frame in which orders are taken into account using a few different machine learning algorithms. We wanted to know how much weight Amazon was placing on various timeframes. The most successful of these algorithms was Linear Regression. 

[PRO INSIGHT: We also tried Decision Forest Regression, Bayesian Linear Regression, and Boosted Decision Tree Regression algorithms] Generally, with this kind of dataset, we would expect to use Linear Regression to help us understand how Amazon weights sales each hour. For example, using Linear Regression, we can determine that sales today are more heavily weighted than sales a year ago when calculating BSR.

To briefly explain how Linear Regression helped us reverse engineer the BSR equation, let’s break it down. Linear Regression is an AI equation that finds the proper coefficients for an equation by sorting through massive amounts of data. The equation looks something like BSR = X(a)+ Y(b) + Z(c)….. and so and and so forth.

Variables a, b, and c are the numbers of orders for each period of time, and X, Y, and Z are the amounts each period of time is weighted. For example, sales over the last hour (a) are worth 40% of the BSR calculation (X) and sales two hours ago (b) are worth 20% of the BSR calculation (Y).

Unfortunately, this approach did not return the exact calculation we were looking for. But it did help us uncover some great insights. 

What We Discovered About BSR

Though BSR has been difficult to work with, through trial, error, and analysis of massive amounts of data, we definitely learned a lot! Some of these are not new discoveries, but for those unfamiliar here you go:

  • BSR updates for a product within 2-3 hours of a sale (we assume depending on when the payment clears relative to Amazon updating the market’s BSR).
  • The BSR calculation more heavily weights recent sales.
  • Historical sales still hold considerable weight in the calculation.
  • We’ve seen two products with near identical BSRs have different sales by a couple of hundred during the last month. (Ex. BSR #76,430 and #76,433 with monthly sales of 94 and 310 monthly sales respectively).
  • We’ve seen products with much lower BSRs with far fewer sales (Ex. BSR #720 at 366 sales over the last month.).
  • New items with no sales do not have an Amazon Best Sellers Rank.
  • When it comes to listing variations, some types of variations do not have their own BSR. Instead sales roll up to the parent ASIN. Other variation types do have their own Best Sellers Rank.
  • BSR is order dependent and unit independent. (e.g. 90 items in a single order has as much impact as an order for 1 unit).
  • BSR can swing by tens, even hundreds of thousands in the lower ranks with a single sale. Likewise, BSR can plummet just as fast (we’ve seen drops of 10,000 per hour until another sale occurs).
  • BSR is re-calculated every hour for every product. We’ve never seen two products with the same BSR in the same hour.. so you can’t just re-calculate the top X products each hour as some people suggest.

So as you can see, BSR can be both an indicator of how well a product has sold in the past and an indicator of how well it has sold over the last few hours. The problem is you can’t tell exactly which unless you have detailed BSR history. Becuase BSR fluctuates so drastically and frequently, it’s almost impossible to determine anything from a product’s BSR at a single given moment.

An Example of BSR Fluctuations

Let’s take Product A and Product B. Product A has been selling steadily at 40 units per day in the Patio, Lawn, and Garden department for the last 6 months and Product B has only ever had 1 sale which was 31 days ago.

Let’s say that Product B get’s their stuff together and starts really promoting their product. Let’s say it sells 120 units total over the last two days. We would expect Product B to have a very similar BSR to Product A even though Product B has only sold 120 units over the last 30 days and Product A has sold 1,200.

Pretty crazy huh?

Different Ranks But Same Sales

With there being millions of products per category it is very possible for two ASINs to have the same number of sales but have very different BSRs.

Let’s say that Product A  has had 197 sales and Product B has had 200 sales over the last 30 days and their BSR is sitting at 12,000 and 10,0000 respectively. 

 

Okay, now let’s say that Product A had three sales in the last three hours, while product B has had none. We would expect Product A to be ranking somewhere in the 8,000’s even though they have had the same number of sales over the last month. 

 

Timing Is Everything

Product A has only ever had 2 sales on Amazon, and they both occurred 18 months ago. The product is now sitting with a BSR in Patio, Lawn, & Garden of #2,000,000. Product B on the other hand has only had 1 sale, but that sale occurred 12 months ago. Because Product B had a sale more recently than Product A, we would expect its BSR to be something like #1,000,000.

Even though Product A has had more sales, those sales happened earlier and reached “the bottom” of the BSR calculation, while Product B didn’t hit “the bottom” of the BSR calculation until much later. As BSR updates each hour, products that don’t report a sale generally get pushed down the ranks (increasing in BSR), and products that have a sale rise above.

BSR Is Bad For Sales Estimation (But It’s The Best We Have)

In our journey of crafting the most accurate sales estimation algorithm, we brainstormed all possible indicators of sales on Amazon’s platform. One thought was estimating sales based on an assumed average review rate per market, which would look something like this: if an average of 25 reviews were added per product in a month, and we assume review rate is 1% of organic sales then we would assume there were 2,500 sales that month.

This is obviously not the proper approach. But in brainstorming, no idea is a bad idea. The most popular alternative is tracking inventory levels, which has some major weaknesses. This approach does not allow for situations in which sellers are driving sales from external sources as well as listings whose inventory levels are above 999 units, or listings where the Max Order Quantity is set.

You may be wondering why we were so turned off by the way existing tools use BSR. Essentially, we were opposed to using the Best Seller Rank because it is such a volatile metric. BSR is globally updated per hour meaning each product’s Best Sellers Rank is calculated and adjusted each hour.

Each time Amazon pushes a BSR update, a given product’s rank can fluctuate dramatically. For example, we watched a product’s Best Seller Rank jump from 98,000 to 38,000 in one hour due to one sale. Then in the next hour it fell back down to 76,000. This drastic fluctuation is happening across the marketplace all the time.

Moving forward, let’s call the BSR that you find on Amazon a “snapshot” (because it is just a snapshot in time as BSR changes hourly).

Let’s walk through an example of how snapshot BSR is a poor metric for estimating sales volume. Imagine you are wanting to source a tea kettle. When are people most likely to remember that they need to purchase a new tea kettle? Probably, most people remember to purchase a new tea kettle in the morning when they have their morning tea/coffee before work. That means, that BSRs for tea kettles are likely going to be lower (showing higher sales estimates) in the morning than at night.

So, if you do your sourcing research in the mornings, you are going to estimate higher sales volume than if you do your research at night. The same can be true for times of the week. Let’s say for example’s sake that half of tea/coffee drinkers only drink tea/coffee on work days to get some extra pep in their step on the way to work. That would mean that BSR/sales figures are going to be different when looking over the weekends versus weekdays.

Essentially because there is no direct calculation and because BSR can fluctuate so drastically within the scope of a day, week, and/or month, the Amazon Best Seller Rank is a poor indicator of past sales.

How We Built Our Sales Estimation Algorithm With This Knowledge

We don’t feel comfortable sharing too many specifics, but here are a couple of key aspects that allow us to have an incredibly accurate estimation algorithm in our Amazon product research tool.

As you can see,  the Amazon Best Sellers Rank can be extremely volatile hour to hour, day to day, and week to week. So in order to build a sales estimation tool with any degree of accuracy, we had to build a tool that was going to take into account the vast fluctuations in BSR that occur all month, and we’ve done just that.

Using a snapshot of BSR to estimate the number of sales over the last month is like trying to predict the plot of a movie based on a single still frame. It can be extremely inaccurate. One feature of our algorithm that I would like to highlight is that we continually update our BSR-to-sales mapping algorithm each night.

Nightly updates allows our calculation to remain consistent with the natural trends of the market. Due to seasonal trends across Amazon, as well as Amazon’s increasing popularity, estimation tools that do not refresh their algorithm regularly will find their estimations quickly becoming stale and continuing to decrease in accuracy as time goes on.

See just how accurate our sales estimates are with a free trial of Market Intelligence!

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Busting the Myths: Amazon Best Seller Rank (BSR)

Your Amazon Best Seller Rank does not help you drive future organic sales, in the same way that a report card from a previous semester does not impact your grades in a new semester. It is only an indication of the past.”

In an effort to continue expanding our capacity for helping Amazon private label sellers solve their problems, achieve success, and increase profitability, we spend a good amount of time engrossed in a plethora of conversations across the various FBA/Private Label centered Facebook groups. As we’ve mentioned before, this is the true breeding ground for rumors, misinformation and miscommunication. It can get ugly. For young, novice sellers still trying to understand how to navigate the space, listening to rumors can lead to costly mistakes and sometimes even financial ruin (literally). We’ve seen it plenty of times. It’s terrible, unfortunately, and becoming more and more common!

As a company that cares deeply for people and enjoys watching/helping people succeed, rumors/misinformation are extremely frustrating. This is especially true when we see “gurus” or service providers profiting off the misinformation. So, in our effort to help sellers succeed, we’re doing our best to clear up miscommunications and rumors so you have all the information necessary to make informed intelligent businesses decisions to help you prosper!

Now to the subject matter.

The Amazon private labelling world has an obsession with the Amazon Best Seller Rank (BSR). Everyday we have sellers emailing in, wanting us to help them improve their BSR or help them to reach a specific BSR threshold. We see the same in the Facebook groups. It is completely unnecessary and is founded on misunderstanding. We explain how..

Myths Around Best Seller Ranking / BSR:

  • Best Seller Ranking (BSR) helps keyword ranking.
  • Best Seller Rank impacts sales.
  • “I need to improve my BSR”
  • Reviews are taken into account when calculating BSR
  • Keyword ranking impacts BSR
  • Listing price at the time of sale impacts BSR

What We See/Hear Sellers Saying About BSR in Facebook groups:

  • “My BSR increased, but why haven’t my organic sales?”
  • “How can I improve my BSR?”
  • “My BSR is better than my competitors, but they are outranking me. Why?”

How Is Your Listing’s BSR Calculated?

An ASIN’s Best Seller Ranking is calculated solely based on the number of units sold over a given period of time. That is it.

Your BSR is not directly related to your listing’s keyword ranking, price, quantity of reviews, or any other metric.

Sales estimation tools like Jungle Scout operate on this same premise. By looking solely at a product’s BSR in specific categories, they are able to estimate that product’s monthly sales volume with a decent degree of accuracy.

For example, if listing A sells more than listing B, listing A will have a lower/better BSR. It’s as simple and rudimentary as that.

When describing Best Seller Ranking, I often use an analogy of a report card. BSR is like a report card showing how many units you sold compared to others in the same category. Just like a report card, your BSR is a representation of past activity. Your BSR does not help you drive future organic sales, in the same way that a report card from a previous semester does not impact your grades in a new semester. It is only an indication of the past.

Debunking the Myths of Amazon Best Seller Rank

Myth: Best Seller Ranking (BSR) helps keyword ranking.

Our Amazon product launches have uncovered the most contradictory evidence to the BSR assumptions. When running a promotion with a poorly optimized listing, we see a great spike in BSR (ex. #28,400 to #1,600), but see little to no movement in keyword ranking.

Example:

This is the Jungle Scout data from the search “dog toys”.

As you can see, the two listings in the red box have higher Best Seller Ranks than the listings in the blue box. If BSR had a direct effect on rankings, we would expect to see a more uniform increase in BSR scrolling down the search results. Many searches will show similar results.

There are many factors being taken into account when it comes to keyword ranking and sales. It is especially difficult to properly attribute the cause of keyword ranking between increases and BSR and sales simply because BSR increases from sales.

Myth: Best Seller Rank impacts future sales.

Referring back to data we’ve obtained from our product launches, we’ve observed plenty of instances in which promotion increases a listing’s Best Seller Ranking significantly but does not lead to an increase in organic sales for a variety of reasons. This particular listing was not optimized for rankings (targeted keyword(s) were not in their title), which is why we suggest working with one of our Amazon seller coaches. There is a lot that goes into improving a product’s sales on Amazon, which is why we continually preach the importance of doing everything extremely well. Cutting corners leads to lost money!

Myth: Reviews are taken into account when calculating BSR

This is definitely false. The cause of this misconception again falls to misattribution. Reviews generally have a significant impact on sales (click conversion). Typically, listings on page 1 with more reviews drive more sales, which means their Best Seller Rank will improve.

This is the Jungle Scout data from the search “iphone 7 plus case”. (Update: we have since released Market Intelligence, the best Amazon product research tool in the galaxy, with sales trends, the most accurate sales estimates, and a star-rating validation).

As you can see, the listings within the red boxes have far fewer reviews than the listing in the blue box, however, their BSR is significantly better/lower.

Here is an example of a listing with over 1,000 reviews at a star rating of ~4.5 with a Best Seller Ranking of over 10,000.

If BSR was impacted directly by a listing’s review rating and/or quantity, we would expect different figures.  

Myth: Best Seller Rank is affected by a product’s price at the time of sale.

There are a few key indicators to this myth being false.  We can’t rely solely on Jungle Scout data for reference as we don’t know if their sales estimation algorithm is taking price into account or not. Simply looking through the search results at varying BSRs and comparing the current selling price is not sufficient as we don’t know how many units are actually being sold. The question is, “Does the price at the time of sale have weight on calculating the BSR,” not “Does your current price have impact on your current BSR?” If that were the case, raising your price would result in an instant improvement in Best Seller Ranking, which we obviously know is not the case.

Route 1: Looking at the BSR of similar ranking products with varying price points.

These are the search results for the keyword “coasters”. As you can see, the second listing is 25% more expensive, yet has a higher BSR. The listing priced at $12.95 has a lower Best Seller Ranking than the $18.99, $15.99, and $14.99 options. Again this is not concrete proof but one example.

Route 2: Looking at actual sales data.

We mange a good number of listings by now. Going through a number of those product’s sales and BSR history within the same category, we are able to see that regardless of price, the products fell within the same BSR range when sales were similar. If you have just a couple of products in the same category that sell fairly similar volumes, it is pretty easy to see for yourself.

How Can You Use BSR To Improve Your Sales?

Should you try to increase your BSR?

When we see this question, it is generally in reference to using promotional services to increase BSR, in which case the answer is no. Increasing your Best Seller Rank through promotional sales serves no direct purpose apart from pushing to obtain a best seller badge, which happens to be against Amazon’s TOS.

Since Viral Launch has been in business, we’ve seen plenty of sellers get excited about an improvement in BSR driven by giveaways. From our perspective it’s a no brainer. Of course the BSR improves. If sales are the sole factor in calculating your Best Seller Ranking, and you drove additional sales, whether at full price or at a discount, then of course the BSR is going to improve. And like we mentioned, that improvement in Best Seller Ranking will have no direct impact on future sales.

For example, (keyword ranking aside) if you gave a massive volume of units to help you reach a BSR of #2 in all of Health & Beauty, you would see no improvement in organic sales as a direct result. Customers do not find products to purchase by sifting through the browse trees, they purchase products after running a search, selecting an item, and then making a purchase.

Essentially, if you give units away at a loss with the intention of improving your Best Seller Ranking, you are wasting money. That is not a strategic move.

How BSR Can Help You Make Smart Business Decisions.

Using the Best Seller Rank metric is fantastic for estimating product’s monthly sales. Even though current tools are not incredibly accurate, they are far better than pure guesses and can be extremely helpful when putting together launch strategies, optimizing your listing, and validating sourcing ideas. From our perspective, this is the only real use for this over-hyped vanity metric.

Should You Be Paying Attention to Your Product’s BSR

Largely, no. If you are using BSR as a sales estimator for your own products, then you should look at your actual sales volume as shown in your Seller Central dashboard as those figures will be more accurate. Generally, the only benefit of watching your BSR is in comparing yourself to your competitors. Is your BSR increasing, but competitors’ BSRs are not? Then you you need to make some adjustments to your offering/listing so you can continue selling at the same volume as your competitors are. Is your BSR increasing at the same rate as competitors? If so, this is typical of seasonal items. As sales slow for a sub-market, all competitors will see an increase in BSR.

Your listing’s Best Seller Rank can fluctuate quite a bit over the course of a day, week, or month. The focus should really be on maintaining/improving search rankings, optimizing your listing, and improving your review funnel as these are the activities that will have an impact on your organic sales and ultimately your business’s bottom line. Continually watching your BSR is like watching the grass in your yard grow, it’s going to grow and at varying rates depending on external factors, but you watching your yard grow does not affect the process. It is only a waste of time. Being aware of your actual sales and responding to changes in the market or your listing are activities that will lead to better bottom line.

Conclusion

More often than not, rumors and misinformation are spread simply due to wrongful attribution. It’s so easy to wrongfully attribute the cause of sales improvements, ranking changes, BSR changes, etc. simply because there are so many moving parts. Amazon is a complex animal. It is wrongful attribution that I hold as the culprit for a lot of the myths around Best Seller Rank.

Know any other rumors? Have any questions? Am I wrong? I’d love to know what you think in the comments!