Ecommerce Strategy

A Starter’s Guide to Marketing on Amazon

A recent report from ClickZ in partnership with Catalyst, revealed that fifty-five percent of American shoppers start their purchase journey on Amazon.com, not only making Amazon a powerful retail search engine, but also proving how vital it is to be well-versed with marketing on Amazon for brand success. In fact, 64% of American households have Amazon Prime memberships. Amazon’s potential customer reach is undeniable and with features such as proactive item pairings, free two-day shipping, a variety of pricing options and reminders to refill past purchases, it’s no wonder consumers are drawn to this retail giant.

With all that potential to reach consumers at varying parts in the purchase process, it may be surprising to hear that, per the report, only 31% of advertisers have dedicated media spend on Amazon Marketing Services. Furthermore, only 17% of advertisers say that they have a defined strategy when it comes to marketing on Amazon. Amazon’s growth has been rapid and many marketers are playing catch up when it comes to leveraging Amazon Marketing opportunity for their businesses. If you’re new to Amazon Marketing Services, here are some key features that Amazon provides to advertisers that can help you decide if Amazon Marketing Services is a good fit for your brand:

  1. Purchase Suggestions: Amazon can proactively suggest purchases to consumers based on actual purchase data. So, for example, if you are a baby product company and a customer is purchasing a crib, Amazon will automatically recommend a mattress and sheets that go with this purchase, based on customers who have bought these items together in the past. This helps you to upsell with little effort. Additionally, Amazon users can control their recommended items by voting up or down on a product category in their account settings, essentially identifying themselves as being interested in a certain product category or not.
  2. Brand awareness during early touch point for consideration: Marketing on Amazon helps your brand appear throughout the customer purchase journey. The number of upper funnel searches such as “best valentines gift ideas for her” has been increasing yearly on Amazon. You can place your brand in the forefront of customers’ minds before they even know what they want to purchase when adding keywords to your campaigns that pertain to more generalized searches such as the above mention query.
  3. Multi-Media Advertising: Amazon Marketing features use of photo and video ad units allowing for more in-depth representations – and potential sales – of your products. Comparatively, more traditional search engines typically feature only text ads.
  4. Conquesting: Some ad units within Amazon Marketing Services allow for conquesting, which allows your ad to show up when users are viewing competitor brand names and product names.
  5. Data: Amazon Marketing Services provides brand lift data to help you understand if your ads are working to convert your target audience to purchase.

Amazon undoubtedly has a lot to offer, but there can be some potential drawbacks brands need to be aware of before deciding if marketing on Amazon is a good fit for your company:

  1. Amazon Marketing Services sets and holds products advertised on Amazon to financial thresholds of profitability. If a product or products that your brand sells on Amazon do not meet these profit margins your ads will be restricted from appearing. Profit margins are evaluated weekly.
  2. Seller Rank, a major influencer of product visibility, compares your rank within the product category. A brand’s seller rank is directly tied to its sales, which for lower performing brands/products may hinder ability to truly grow search visibility within the Amazon marketplace.
  3. The Amazon Marketing Services advertising interface is not as sophisticated as Google when it comes to performance details, such as keyword performance. To get a full picture of performance it is recommended to add a supporting technology (Product Information Management System, Digital Asset Management System).

Opportunities with Amazon Marketing Services

With some pros and cons mapped out for you, you may now be wondering what types of ad formats are available to you. Here is a high-level view of the type of ad units Amazon Marketing Services provides.

Headline Search Ads are keyword targeted cost-per-click ads that allow brands to promote 3 or more products and drive traffic to a brand page or to a custom landing page on Amazon. Keyword targeted advertising matches the keywords contained in your campaign to the search terms that shoppers are searching for on Amazon. When a shopper searches using words or terms relevant to your campaign, your ad can appear above search results. Below is an example of how this type of ad unit appears on desktop and mobile.

Amazon Marketing Services - Headline Search Ads

Image Source: Amazon

Sponsored Products are keyword-targeted ads that allow you to advertise individual products you sell on Amazon.com. Keyword targeted advertising matches the keywords contained in your campaign to the search terms that shoppers are searching for on Amazon. When a shopper searches using words or terms relevant to your campaign, your ad can appear within search results either at the top of the page, along the right side of the page, or at the bottom of the page. When shoppers click on your ads, they are directed to the product detail page. Placements are based on ad rank. Tip – To help improve your ad rank, consider increasing your current bid and adding more relevant keywords.

AMS Amazon Sponsored Products Ad

Image Source: Amazon

Product Display Ads are cost-per-click product or interest targeted display ads that drive traffic to a product’s detail page. These ads help to maximize the visibility of your products in the final stages of shopper decision making. Your ads can appear in a range of places including: on the product detail page, on the right rail of search results, at the bottom of search results, on the customer reviews page, on the read all reviews page, at the top of the offer listing page and in Amazon-generated marketing emails such as follow ups and recommendations. Product Display Ads run across desktop, mobile web and the mobile app.

Amazon Advertising - Product Display Ads

Image Source: Amazon

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