A Chow Chow Wearing Sunglasses and a Kitten

The Pet Supplies category is an emotions category – shoppers buy with their emotions and justify with logic. The joy that comes from delighting a beloved pet or the fierce protectiveness that comes when thinking of their safety – these are grounding factors that must guide your marketing strategy for the Pet Supplies category.    

Pet Owners Seek Trustworthy Brands 

Shoppers in the Pet Supplies category tend to demonstrate high brand loyalty. Shoppers want to trust that the toys, treats, and items they buy for their pets are safe and reliable. Once they’ve found a brand that they trust, they tend to stay with it.  

We see this played out in data, which shows that first-time buyers enter the category using broad keywords, like “dog toy,” while repeat buyers often use branded keywords.   

In the same vein, we also see that shoppers in the Pet Supplies category are willing to pay for quality. Because pet owners want the best for their pets, they’re willing to pay more for higher quality items. This is especially important to consider given that this category struggles disproportionately with counterfeit product. The low production and freight costs often associated with this category make it a prime hunting ground for counterfeiters. 

3 Ways to Tailor Your Amazon Marketing Strategy for Pet Products 

1 – Lifestyle Images are a Must  

Exciting visuals are critical in emotions categories because they are the first step towards inspiring an emotional rapport with shoppersLifestyle images are images that show your product in use in a natural setting. An adorable photo of a dog using your chew toy will delight shoppers and make them want to see that joy in their own furry friend. In many cases, they also help display the size of the product, helping ensure customers know what size they’re buying. 

Dog with Frisbee in park

Recommendations: 

  • Re-use images generated by influencers for your Amazon listings 
  • Include 2-4 lifestyle images and 1 video, if possible, in your Amazon listings 

Read more about the role of images and video for Amazon marketing. 

2 – Tell a Story with A+ Content 

A+ Content is a potent marketing tool in any category, but especially so in the Pet Supplies category. Pet owners value safety and reliability from the brands they patronize. A+ Content is an excellent place to acknowledge and empathize with their desire. Share your brand’s story and values to show shoppers that your brand is worthy of their trust. 

A Plus Content on Amazon

Recommendations: 

  • Create A+ Content for top performing ASINs (requires Brand Registry) 
  • Share your brand story and values 
  • Use additional imagery that shows your products in use 
  • Highlight product features 
  • Include a sizing chart, if applicable to the product 
  • Link to your other product lines through a comparison chart 

Learn more about earning customer trust in a skeptical world. 

3 – Reach Brand-Loyal Shoppers with Sponsored Brand Ads 

Earlier, we identified shoppers in the Pet Supplies category as being brand loyal. We see this played out in Sponsored Brand Ads – banner ads that show the brand name, logo, and several products. Sponsored Brand Ads typically have lower conversion rates than Sponsored Product Ads, but in the Pet Supplies category, we see strong performance because repeat buyers are seeking specific brands. 

Sponsored Brand Ad on Amazon SERP

Recommendations: 

  • Direct Sponsored Brand Ads to your Amazon Store 
  • Bid on branded keywords so the ads appear for repeat buyers 

Learn more about sponsored ad strategy on Amazon. 

The Best Doggone Guide to Pet Supplies on Amazon 

Like what you’re learning? This is only scratching the surface. Our Amazon marketing experts put together a comprehensive Amazon seller’s guide to selling pet products on Amazon. It contains a category overview, top challenges for pet brands on Amazon (and solutions for them)legal and marketplace requirements, and 10 ways to customize your Amazon marketing strategy specifically for the Pet Supplies category.  

Download the guide for free!  

Is your Amazon advertising agency delivering results?

Amazon advertising represents one of the most cost-effective tools to advertise products. Experienced sellers and marketers know that every opportunity you get to optimize your ad spend and keywords is a way to increase your bottom line. This means itextremely important to manage your Amazon ads properly. Due to the time and complexity of ad management, many businesses outsource their Amazon advertising to a third-party, such as a marketing agency, contractor, or freelancer. The amount of third-party Amazon advertisers is growing, and the market is getting crowded. The large number of choices can be overwhelming for anyone, let alone a brand entering the Amazon advertising space for the first time.   

When you’re paying someone to manage your ad campaigns, you should know if they’re worth their price. Unfortunately, too often, they’re not. They may be charging you hundreds of dollars per month when they only check on your campaigns monthly. That’s not okay.  

The problem is, it can be hard for business leaders to assess their agency’s or contractor’s true performance if they’re not versed in Amazon advertising fundamentals. To help, we’ve put together this blog post to help you determine if your Amazon search marketer is worth their salt. 

Watch the video to learn how to create high-performing Amazon Sponsored Product campaigns. 

5 Questions to Ask Your Potential Search Marketer 

1) How Often will Bids, Budgets, and Search Terms be Optimized?  

Is it every day, every week, or every month? Is it every six months? Frequency of optimizations is a critical consideration. Some folks are going to be affordable, but they may only log in to “optimize” your Amazon advertising campaigns once a month. The reality is that’s not optimization. The Amazon landscape fluctuates too greatly and too frequently to implement optimizations that rarely.   

On the other hand, some may say that they will optimize your advertising campaigns every day. At that point, they may be over-responsive and over-managing. Amazon changes frequently, but it takes time to see what effect your previous optimizations are having. The sweet spot is somewhere between these two examples, in many cases being two to three times per week. 

2) What Cadence will We Receive Performance Reports?  

Your Amazon advertising agency or freelancer should provide reports regularly. As with the frequency of optimizations, there’s a sweet spot. Checking reports too rarely can result in poor performance and missed opportunities. Conversely, checking reports too frequently can lead to unnecessary stress and micro-management. Optimizations take time to take effect, so your reports should be spaced far enough apart to provide a true picture of what your last optimizations did. 

Performance reports are like your child’s report card. If you review their report card only once per quarter, it may be too late to implement the changes needed to bring the grade up from a D to an A. Likewise, if you review their report card every day, there won’t be enough of a difference to suggest what, if any, changes are needed. 

To start, we recommend a monthly cadence for performance reports. This prevents overreactions, while still being frequent enough that you can make strategic adjustments.  

3) How Do You Plan to Manage Budget and How Will We Hold You Accountable?  

Your budget may be based on a percentage of sales, or you may have a $10,000/month marketing budget. How is your Amazon advertising agency going to manage and optimize your budget effectively? Are they using an ACoS target? Are they going to try to reduce costs as much as possible? Are they going to be targeting only sales? Your Amazon advertising agency should have well prepared answers backed by data for these questions. 

One type of relationship to watch out for is pay-for-performance oriented relationships. While your sales may increase, you may be increasing your ad spend by an inordinate amount, diminishing efficiency and ROI.   

4) How Much of Our Budget is Spent on Branded Keywords?  

Are there any high-value keywords that you’d like your products to place higher on the SERP for? Is it a branded term, a competitor’s term, an industry-specific term, or a category-term? If so, you should discuss that with your potential Amazon advertising agency or contractor because those types of targeted keywords may have a higher cost or higher conversion rate. 

It’s easy to spend more than 50% of your budget on branded terms, but that can inhibit your advertising campaigns’ ability to reach new shoppers. Ask your partner how they will manage and optimize between your branded terms and non-branded termsUltimately, you’re trying to find consumers who aren’t only searching for your brand because that’s how you reach new people and acquire more customers 

5) What Organic Sales Lift can be Attributed to Your Marketing Efforts?  

When you’re paying someone for a service, you have a right to know what results you can reasonably expect from their work. Excellent Amazon ad management products, used with reasonable effort, proper inventory, good positioning, and excellent logistics, should raise sales by 30%. Some people will claim they can go even higher than that. If they say they can increase organic sales by 35%-40%, thatI’s not too crazy, but if any agency or marketer says they can guarantee 50%, 60%, or 70% organic sales growth, you should be worried. 

Here at Kaspien, we offer AdManager to help businesses optimize their Amazon advertising campaigns. If you want to use it yourself, SaaS is available. If you want us to manage your ad campaigns for you, we can do that too. 

Telling Factors You Can Check On 

Once you have hired an agency or freelance search marketer to manage your Amazon advertising campaigns (or if you already have one currently employed), you should continue to monitor their work. We recommend checking the following 6 factors as a way to assess how well they’re managing your advertising campaigns. 

1) Are All Campaigns Set to Automatic Targeting?  

If they are, that means your search marketer is not actively managing the campaign. They’re letting Amazon’s autopilot handle the work while they collect a paycheck from you, and your campaigns are missing significant optimization opportunities.   

2) Are Automatic Campaigns Greater than 20% of Total Spend without any Search Terms being Added to Other Campaigns?  

You should always be running both automatic and manual campaigns. However, if your automatic campaigns are generating significant parts of your spend, you should be worried because it indicates your manual campaigns are not being properly optimized. (One caveat to this is if it’s a new campaign. For new campaigns, automatic campaigns may account for the majority of spend while they build relevancy.) 

3) Do Automatic Campaigns Have Negated Search Terms?  

Negating search terms in automatic campaigns after migrating them as keywords in manual campaigns is a matter of good hygiene. Negating search terms from automatic campaigns prevents them from competing with your manual campaigns. If your search marketer is not doing this, that should be cause for alarm. Not doing this is bad etiquette and muddies your metrics, making it harder to manage the given manual campaign, your specific ideal customer acquisition rate, and ideal cost-per-click.  

4) Are Small Groups of Products Utilizing the Majority of Spend?  

If a majority of your spend is from a small list of high velocity products, then youre missing opportunities for your other products. Your search marketer should be attempting to spread your ad spend across your whole catalog, rather than focusing it on a small group 

5) Are Branded Keywords Accounting for the Majority of Spend?  

Branded keywords accounting for a majority ad spend is a huge red flag because it indicates your campaigns are not targeting new shoppers. Consumers will never search for your specific brand if they have never interacted with it before. For example, a consumer might search for “dog toy” or “soft dog toy”, but never “ZippyPaws” unless they have interacted with “ZippyPaws” before. Spending your money on branded keywords to attract new customers is wasting money. 

6) What are Your Highest Performing Keywords?  

If you have a high cost-per-click (CPC) but youre winning the bid for your generic competitive keywords, youre in good shape. It does make you a target for competitors, but it’s a good problem to have. 

Find the Right Amazon Advertising Agency 

Don’t let someone take advantage of your trust. If you’re paying someone, make sure you have mechanisms in place to hold them accountable. Ask prudent questions and check on your campaigns. 

While you’re here, here are some other resources you can use to educate yourself on Amazon advertising 

Amazon PPC Management Software

Today, we’re excited to announce the release of a new suite of features for our Amazon PPC management software, AdManager. The new features include: 

  • Automated search term optimization 
  • Automated budget optimization to maximize profitability 
  • An Out of Budget table that recommends ideal budgets 
  • A new “4 Campaign Build” option for campaign creation 

All these features are being added for free for existing users and will be included as standard features for all new subscribers.

This set of features joins the existing suite of features, which includes dynamic bid optimizations, a centralized keywords table for simplified campaign management, and detailed reporting. 

Automated Search Term Optimization 

AdManager can now automatically identify and add high-converting search terms as keywords to campaigns, promoting relevancy and driving more sales. Users set custom rulesets that will mine customer search terms from automatic campaigns and broad and phrase match types. If a search term meets your selected parameters, AdManager will automatically add it as a keyword to your manual campaigns.  

With this feature also comes keyword negation. AdManager will automatically identify and negate terms that don’t meet your custom performance thresholds. For example, a keyword that continuously generates clicks but never generates a conversion is wasting your budget. AdManager can now automatically negate such terms, minimizing wasted ad spend and increasing campaign relevancy. 

Search Term Optimization

Never Run out of Budget 

AdManager now lets you set custom rules that automatically increase daily budget for high-performing campaigns if they run low. This way, you ensure that your most profitable campaigns never turn off, maximizing your revenue. 

Budget Optimization

Campaign Budget Optimization Table 

AdManager now includes an Out-of-Budget table that shows at what time a campaign ran out of budget, how often they run out of budget, and uses Kaspien’s proprietary data to recommend an ideal budget for each campaign.  

It’s important that campaigns can run 24 hours per day because optimizing campaigns requires data. If your campaigns consistently run out before 10am, any optimizations you make are using incomplete data, and as a result, risk doing more harm than good. The Out of Budget Table provides both visibility and a solution for this problem.  

Out of Budget Table

Automated Campaign Build Strategy 

Maximize data insights and improve performance using our proven “4 Campaign Build” architecture. When creating a new campaign, you can select our “4 Campaign Build” to automatically create three manual campaigns (one per match type) and one automatic campaign. 

Since we began advertising on Amazon seven years ago, we’ve been experimenting with campaign architecture to find the most effective structure for strong results and ease of management. The 4 Campaign Build is what we’ve found to be the most effective.  

Manually creating this architecture is time consuming, which has led many marketers to regretfully turn away from it, even knowing the benefits to data insights and performance. AdManager solves this problem by automating its creation.  

4 Campaign Build Ad Architecture

For New and Experienced Marketers 

AdManager is designed to cater to both novice and experienced Amazon marketers. The easy-to-use interface and data visualization make it accessible for marketers not yet versed in Amazon advertising. For users who are experienced with Amazon advertising and want to get more in the weedsAdManager offers the depth and customization that you’re looking for.  

Take a self-guided demo to see the backend, or request a live demo with a specialist to see AdManager in action and ask more detailed questions.  

If you’re not ready to start using the software yourself, AdManager is also available as a managed service. Our experts can serve as an extension of your team and manage your Amazon ad campaigns on your behalf. 

Our Lowest Prices Ever 

To celebrate the launch of these new features, we’re offering AdManager at our lowest prices ever! Self-service AdManager is now available starting at $99/month and managed service AdManager is available starting at $1,300/month. Visit Kaspien.com/AdManager to learn more. 

The Ultimate Guide to Prepare for Q4 on Amazon

Remember the days when Q4 was the focal point of the year for retailers? 2020 has certainly stolen that spotlight and pushed any semblance of normalcy to the back seat. But thankfully, the familiar panic of Amazon Q4 prep is slowly creeping back, and it’s go time.  

Year over year, restrictions on Amazon continue to increase, so it’s imperative that you start planning no later than late June. Which is now, folks! That’s why we’ve put together this prep guide. This guide will help you put Amazon Q4 prep back on the roadmap for 2020 and set yourself up for success. (Here’s hoping 2020 doesn’t throw us all another curveball – like locusts, that would be very bad.) 

Designate Leaders to Guide Strategy 

Your future success ties back to your team and partners. You need to start with a look at your internal teams. Who within your organization is taking ownership of Amazon? Does that person need additional support? Who are your warehouse and shipping partners? Do you have SLA’s in place that you can count on? Many brands turn to an expert partner to help fill those gaps, leaning on Amazon-focused digital agencies or retail partners that conveniently come with a fully stocked tool belt of standard operating practices and resources.  

Regardless of what your team looks like, you need to finesse and develop an org-chart that explicitly designates working procedures, growth targets, demand forecasting, warehousing solutions, and marketing per person. Your success is tied to those KPI’s, and your team should have them top of mind as well.  

If you don’t already, begin scheduling quarterly business reviews to allow for pivot time if the KPI’s are not lining up with targeted goals. Take inventory of segmented portions of your operation: What do stock levels look like? Have we heard of sourcing issues? What are our customers saying? Are there any product issues noted from reviews? What does your Amazon presence look like? How are advertising budgets performing? The answers to those questions will drive the strategic implementation and changes for the upcoming quarter and help position you well heading into Q4 on Amazon and beyond. 

Conduct a Content Audit 

In line with the basics, commence an audit of your catalog and corresponding creative assets. As Kaspien says, “People remember 80% of what they’ve seen and just 20% of what they read, which is an important reminder. At minimum, the top 20% of your product catalog should have Amazon-compliant and visually exciting A+ Content to boost shopper buying confidence. Then stroll on over to your Storefront – have you organized your product categories in a logical fashion? Is your brand story being portrayed to meet customers at an emotional level?  

Check out our video that deep dives into 12 Amazon marketing services

A+ Content and Branded Storeare one of the simplest ways to communicate who you are as a brand and reduce negative reviews. If you can write a big green check mark next to that advice, then take it one step further. Determine which products could use a ‘seasonal facelift’ and find ways to incorporate holiday themes into the gallery of your product detail pages. If you are a manufacturer of photo frames, could you photoshop a snowflake into the frame? Small changes to your organic marketing efforts can make a big difference when customers are scrolling through hundreds of products trying to find a gift. Simple images that naturally connect dots in our brain are a surefire way to stand out from the crowd. 

A+ Content Page on Amazon

AMAZON Q4 TIMELINE 

Determine Q4 Stock & Lead Times 

Do your due diligence hereThis is one of those tasks that will be critical for a brand to take ownership of. You need to know what your expected lead times will be, based on where your product is manufactured. And if that’s proving difficult due to the Coronavirus affecting predicted ship windows, you’ll need to be ready to invest in more expensive options. Air freight is the most expensive option, but it delivers results. Costs range greatly by product and day, and fees are based on “dimensional weight,” so cost also varies greatly by the volume you ship. Due to COVID-19, the costs of air freight have increased dramatically from where they were a year ago, so this should be a last resort.  

Get creative with your strategy and think outside the box. If you have sourcing issues with your manufacturer, look for unique ways to fill in the gaps. Are portions of the product or packaging not sustainable? Could you find a U.S. based manufacturer that can make the product out of recycled materials instead? Invest in new partnerships right now to ensure you don’t reach 10x growth without inventory to continue the trend.  

Some sellers have learned a hard lesson about tardiness in past years, and we’ve all learned from those mistakes. Amazon implemented key FBA holiday selling dates for Amazon.com that can act as a guide right now (given Amazon hasn’t realized 2020 dates quite yet) 

Amazon Seller Q4 Timeline with Key Dates

Apply to Applicable Categories ASAP 

New brands and products have an increased hurdle this year, as Amazon continues to increase its barrier of entry for some categories. Recently, our brands have experienced issues in gaining access to the Personal Safety and Household & Medical Supplies and Equipment categories, requiring them to apply and, in some cases, wait over a month for any response.  

Start this process immediately to ensure you gain access prior to using expensive shipping methods to get your product here in time. On this note, it never hurts to have a marketplace back-up plan. Is Walmart a good fit for your products? If so, begin the process of either finding a partner to help you launch there or apply on your own. For more information about Walmart, read our blog here.  

Use Prime Day to Inform Amazon Q4 Strategy 

While certainly not its primary purpose, Amazon does provide a convenient holiday that is a perfect opportunity to analyze sales, brand visibility, and advertising performance – Prime Day! Prime Day is a phenomenal opportunity to get a peek into the future and collect data points that should be used to develop a Q4 strategy. The increased volume of shoppers, increased ad spend, and heightened opportunity to rope in new loyal customers creates a similar landscape to what Q4 looks like on Amazon – namely, weeks prior to Black Friday and up until December 15th. Check out our top 5 tips for how to maximize Prime Day sales.

There are whispers that Prime Day will be moved to September, given the current situation, which is considerably later than past years July dates. While that reduces the time you have to use Prime Day stats to your Q4 advantage, don’t cut it short. Sources say there could be a ‘Summer Sale’ that can act as a great segue into Prime Day and thus provide two pools of data from which you can develop strategy 

Meltables Will be Accepted Starting October 15th 

There are a few additional key dates that are certainly worth sharing for the world of meltable products. Per a notice Kaspien received in April 2020, “[…] meltable inventory will not be fulfilled or accepted by Amazon fulfillment centers starting May 1, 2020. Meltable inventory will be accepted again starting October 15, 2020. ‘Meltable’ refers to heat-sensitive grocery, health, and personal care products that are eaten or swallowed, including chocolate, gummies, and probiotics.” Brands that fall into this category should work backwards, using their lead time, to understand when inventory should be prepped and ready to send back into FBA. 

AMAZON MARKETING FOR Q4 

Create a Product-Level Advertising Strategy 

If ever there was a secret sauce for Amazon, advertising is it. Amazon Advertising is one of the most profitable areas of Amazon, and Pivotal Research reported that, Amazon is expected to reach $38 billion in advertising sales by 2023.” If something is making Amazon money, you need to pay attention to it, because you can guarantee they are.  

Many brands find this planning metric quite difficult, given the variety of aspects that span budget constraints, inability to see into the landscape future, and catalog size. To avoid a drinking from the firehose situation, go back to your basic target planning. If you have a partner, sit down with them and discuss what your high-level goals are. Use resources around you to understand target ACoS, ROI, ROAS, and budgets. Spend some time doing the math to understand your per product margin, and work backwards to figure out how much you’re willing to spend on customer acquisition. 

Watch our webinar for an in-depth overview of how to create high performing Amazon ad campaigns

Many brands fall victim to assigning one target for their entire catalog, but if you have multiple products with varying price points, then you should be developing an advertising strategy at the product-levelA product that’s 5% over the target ACoS needs to be optimized differently than a product that’s 20% over the target ACoSEven if your target ACoS is the same across the board, varying price points necessitate a product-level strategy. A $10 product with a 10% target ACoS needs to be optimized differently than a $100 product with a 10% target ACoS. 

Amazon PPC Management Software Can Help

This is no small feat, so find time and cost saving tools to help you do this. We’ve even built one: Kaspien AdManager. Our 30-day trial allows brands to test our strategies and see results before committing to a subscription. Explore your resources and network with others in the industry to help yourself.  

Request a demo

Work Backwards from Goals 

To understand performance and refine strategy, you’ll need to track advertising KPI’s. Start with goals: Define when you will bid up and bid down, how you’ll mine high-converting search terms and at what frequencyin what ways you will identify low converting keywords to be added as negative keywords, and finally, what your daily spend budgets need to be in order to work within your product level marginRemember, Amazon only gives you advertising data for about two months, so find a way to store this insight and lean on the findings once Q4 rolls around. 

Use Amazon Promotions Before Q4 

Seemingly overshadowed by the power of Amazon Advertising are evergreen marketing tactics that deserve a fighting chance: Promotions! Start running promotions now, collect the data, store it, and analyze it. Lean on a combination of tactics, including coupons, Deals, BOGOs. While each targets a different subgroup of shoppers, you’re gaining insight into what lowered price points increase sales and which promotion types yield successful results and should be used during Q4. Hot tip: Today’s Deals during Q4 are about as crowded as B&M stores on Black Friday, so think about using other promotions, like coupons, to help carve out a space for your products in the rush.  

beauty products with a bow

Advertise Beyond Amazon 

Additionally, one of the most successful tools Kaspien has used to circumnavigate the crowded Deals section during Q4 is off-Amazon advertising. Inventory your visibility on other platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, Google, etc., and start A/B testing ad types on those platforms. While some categories are better fit for social advertising, don’t be afraid to get creative here. Who would have thought that a face shield would be a prized holiday gift? Use that to your advantage and sync up with partners in the space to help build content and advertise your product in ways that you hadn’t previously 

Social media marketing for Amazon

Influencers are another incredible way to call out to both niche and major segments of the population and get eyes on your brand. Many brands halt at the thought, thinking their products just aren’t a great fit – but you’d be surprised. And you don’t have to spend a fortune, tapping into micro influencers can be a powerful option.  

Take this example:
Watchmaker Daniel Wellington is known for collaborations with fashion and travel influencers, but the brand also frequently works with CanadianBros (@CanadianBros), an Instagram account for two dogs named Jasper and Louie. Though dog lovers isn’t an obvious audience for a watch company, the fact that the account has featured Daniel Wellington on more than one occasion indicates it’s working. In one post, Louie gazes up at his owner who just happens to be wearing a Daniel Wellington watch. Like many of the account’s other posts, the caption is from the pup’s point of view.  

The big bonus here is most influencers allow brands to have rights to the content they develop which can be used on your direct sites, social pages and even Amazon. 

More free resources

Q4 Planning Starts Now 

We are living in a different time, and while nothing is certain, being a brand on Amazon puts you at an advantage during the holidays. Customers can shop from the safety of their couch, and you can help put a smile on the face of recipients around the country. 

Think of the extra time you have as an opportunity to really give Q4 2020 the planning it deserves. Sit down with your teams, cultivate your goals, develop new relationships, and talk reality with your suppliers. Look at your products through a new lens, play around with organic marketing tactics, and take the time to implement an advertising strategy that spans both marketplace and beyond. The time is now. And if you need support, you can always reach outWe’d love to chat about your goals and the tools and services we have to help you reach them. 

Happy Q4 planning! 

etailz AdManager is your marketer who never sleeps

We recently launched Kaspien AdManager, software for Amazon pay-per-click (PPC) ad management. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we sat down with our AdManager experts to discuss some of the most pertinent questions, like “What is AdManager?” and “What makes it better than other Amazon ad management software?”  

You’ve asked. We’ve answered.  

Find all the juicy details below. 

What is Kaspien AdManager?  

AdManager is your Amazon search marketing team member who never sleeps. In more technical terms, it’s marketing software for Amazon that minimizes manual campaign management by automating keyword and bid optimizations for PPC ads. Users can take a simple “autopilot” approach, where they select their target advertising cost of sale (ACoS) then let Kaspien’s proven optimizations turn on, or users can get into the weeds and create custom rule sets around specific goals per ad group. Additionally, AdManager also captures and composes data, giving you the insights needed to improve your marketing efforts.  

What problems does AdManager solve?   

On Amazon, marketers face three consistent problems: campaign management is time consuming, achieving optimal return and product placement simultaneously is challenging, and data is limited and spread across several reports. All three of these issues become more problematic as a business scales. AdManager solves each of them.   

Automates Optimizations: AdManager gives back time by automating optimizations, including bid up and bid down, adding new high-converting keywords from the Search Term Report, and adding low-converting keywords as negative keywords. It also saves time for manual optimizations by allowing users to adjust all keywords, all ads, all ad groups, or all campaigns at once via a centralized keywords table.

Enhances Efficiency: Second, it maximizes returns and placement by using a combination of value-based and rule-based bidding, which enables optimizations to be more nuanced, precise, and efficient.

To get more insights into why this is such a big deal, download our AdManager eBook. 

Empowers Data-Driven Strategy: Third and finally, it solves the data issue by collecting data from the lifetime of the campaign (instead of just the trailing 90 days), then presents it in a single place, so you can easily assess campaign performance and make strategic improvements. 

etailz's PPC management software increases Amazon sales

What circumstances brought about the need for AdManager?   

Saying that we “just launched” AdManager is a bit of a misnomer. In truth, Kaspien created AdManager over 4 years ago for our own teams to use when managing our partners’ ad campaigns. What we really mean when we say AdManager “just launched” is that it is available for the first time as a self-service application.  

Interestingly, the impetus for AdManager was the need to reduce the time it takes for reporting. As one of the largest 3P sellers on Amazon, Kaspien was running thousands of campaigns for hundreds of brands and reporting on those campaigns was time intensive. As we built out the reporting functionality, we quickly found that there was so much more potential in automation.   

Amazon lacked a way to effectively manage ads for every product, so we had been making all our optimizations via macros in Excel. The files grew so large that they literally crashed Excel. By creating AdManager, we could save time for not just reporting, but every aspect of campaign management. And since we were building the software ourselves, we could ensure it ticked all our boxes, first and foremost being that automation did not sacrifice our experts’ ability to tailor optimizations down to the product-level. 

How does AdManager differ from what’s available in Seller Central?  

Where to begin? AdManager is much more robust and has a more user-friendly interfaceUnlike Seller Central, it provides access to lifetime campaign data, displays realtime changes, enhances optimization functionality, uses AI algorithms that optimize based on product-level KPIs, allows max bid ceilings, and provides cross-campaign reports of keywords, ad group, and product performance 

etailz AdManager vs Seller Central

software for Amazon PPC ads outperforms Seller Central

Amazon advertising via Seller Central is limited compared to AdManager

How does AdManager differ from other PPC Management software for Amazon?  

AdManager is more sophisticated. Most other Amazon PPC management applications dumb down the ad management process by only allowing users to select a target ACoS for their entire product line. This is great for small catalogs or marketers who want to maximize return at a very high level, but it does not serve brands that have products at varying stage of their life cycles (i.e. new products need more aggressive ACoS targets), and products with different margins (which require different ACoS targets)AdManager has dynamic optimization capabilities. Marketers can either set a target ACoS and use Kaspien’s proven optimizations, or they can create custom optimizations using a combination of metrics in a tiered structure, enabling a more nuanced strategy than most competitors. 

It’s also one of the only PPC management tools built by Amazon sellers. We’ve spent over 12 years in online retail and have been refining and validating AdManager on our own and partners’ campaigns for over 4 years. We know the ins and outs and all the pain points of advertising on Amazon, and we used that experience to make the best Amazon advertising software available 

Who should use AdManager as a Managed Service vs. Self-Service? 

AdManager is available in two formats: as a Managed Service and as Self-Service. In the Managed Service model, Kaspien’s marketing experts use AdManager to run your Amazon ad campaigns on your behalf. As such, the Managed Service is ideal for brands who don’t have the personnel, time, or expertise to run and optimize Sponsored Ads on Amazon. This model is available to everyone: our retail partners, agency partners, and businesses using just a select set of Kaspien services.  

The Self-Service model is for brands or agencies who have the personnel and know-how to run PPC ad campaigns on Amazon but could use a better tool. If you have the expertise, but struggle to find the time or want to see improved performance, then the Self-Service model is a great fit. 

Who could benefit from using AdManager?  

All businesses who advertise on Amazon could benefit. The PPC management software can handle a few campaigns or hundreds of campaigns, depending on your needs. AdManager gives you the tools you need with the option to get as granular as you’d like, so anyone from an entrylevel marketer to a veteran marketing manager can drive improvements to their campaigns.  

Some businesses are cutting back on marketing spending now due to the human and economic impact of COVID. Why should impacted businesses be looking for software at a time like this?  

The biggest winners in uncertain times are the ones who can maximize wherever theyre investing time and money. With the reduction in ACoS that AdManager provides, we typically see the software pays for itself through spend reduction and sales increases in just a few months. If you’re skeptical, start your free trial. You’ll see results. 

Amazon PPC software drove consistent year over year sales growth

What are the next steps in AdManager’s journey? What else is on the roadmap? 

There is so much potential for this unicorn! We’re developing Vendor Central compatibility and improved automated optimizations. We’re close to releasing Day Parting, which is a feature that many advertisers (and we at Kaspien) are very excited about. We’ve been beta testing Day Parting, and the results are very promising. We’re also looking to expand to additional domestic and international marketplaces, which is a huge need within the marketing world. The goal is to simplify and enhance every marketer’s online performance through the use of this incredibly powerful software. 

Learn more, request a demo, or start a free trial at Kaspien.com/admanager.

Over 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment in a matter of weeks. Faced with quarantines, businesses have reduced hours, adapted how they provide service, or fully closed as their income dwindles. As brick & mortar shelves went empty and consumers sought to avoid crowded stores, many shoppers have turned to online marketplaces like Amazon for their goods. Amazon’s infrastructure became so overwhelmed by the demand that Amazon placed a temporary restriction on the type of goods it would accept into its fulfillment centers. Though this restriction helped Amazon prioritize essential goods and deliver them to customers faster, brands who rely on Amazon sales for their income felt the blow and had to scramble to find alternative fulfillment solutions. To assist with the surge in demand, Amazon is hiring 175,000 workers in the US for its fulfillment centers. 

All of this feels pretty bleak, and there is talk about whether or not we are entering a recession (though the answer to that question will remain unclear for several more months at least). Some have already dubbed the downturn in our economy “The Great Cessation” as supply chains and businesses around the world slow. To mitigate the risk of a recession, the US government approved a $2 trillion stimulus package to try to boost the economy, although the success of this measure remains to be seen. 

As uncertainty and anxiety spread, businesses must look for ways to improve efficiency and cut down costs to protect their bottom line. During these internal assessments, businesses may be tempted to pull back their advertising spend. History proves this is often a mistake. 

Since we’re an ecommerce company and Amazon is the largest online marketplace, we’re going to focus on Amazon advertisingHere are three reasons why your business shouldn’t freeze your Amazon advertising spend. 

1. Studies Show That Marketing Helps Brands Survive Economic Downturns

History shows many examples of companies that maintained or even increased their advertising presence during an economic downturn outperformed competitors, both during and after the lull.  

This finding is backed by multiple studies about marketing through a recession, which show that brands can increase their market share by persevering their advertising through the hardship. Several of today’s market leaders earned their current status by successfully outmaneuvering competition in past recessions, such as Kellogg’s gaining market share from Post after the Great Depression when then-market-leader Post cut back on advertising, or Taco Bell and Dominoes capturing market share from McDonalds when the golden arches reduced its marketing spend in the 1990 recession. 

Amazon itself saw 28% growth in YoY net sales in 2009, demonstrating online retail’s resilience to the Great Recession. Agile businesses were able to ride the wave with Amazon then, including Kaspien, which was founded at the height of the last recession. We not only survived the tough economy, we thrived.  

We’ve seen continued confidence in Amazon as the market endures the coronavirus, with Amazon being one of the few tech companies to close Q1 with stock growth. While the growth was rather humble by Amazon standards, coming in around 5%, it indicates that there is still confidence in ecommerce’s ability to weather this storm.  

All this is to say: Do not make the mistake of pulling back your digital advertising prematurely. Ecommerce has the flexibility to survive, and history shows that advertising now can be to your immediate and long-term advantage. Step back from the emotional turbulence and let data drive your actions, and you can position your brand to come out stronger on the other side. 

2. Average CPC for Amazon Sponsored Products is Down Significantly YOY 

In that spirit, let’s look at what the data is telling us about Amazon advertising. When we compare the average cost-per-click (CPC) for Amazon Sponsored Products from Q1 2019 to Q1 2020, Kaspien’s data shows that the average CPC is down 6%, with categories like Beauty, Health & Personal Care (HPC), Tools, Office, & Outdoors (TOO), and Electronic experiencing double digit reductions.  

In 2018 to 2019, we saw the average CPC for Sponsored Product ads rise 37% YoY. The 6% drop in 2019 to 2020 indicates that many brands are cutting back their spend for Amazon ads. This in turn creates a vacuum that you can fill.   

This is the same reason that the historical examples mentioned above saw success by maintaining their advertising. With fewer competitors in the space, it’s easier to capture a greater market share. 

3. Due to Lower CPC, Marketing Dollars Will Stretch Further

In addition to indicating a vacuum that brands can fill, the lower cost of advertising on Amazon also means that brands who do advertise will see their marketing dollars go further. As a result, brands who can afford to maintain or increase their advertising budgets will see stronger returns. Brands who need to reduce their advertising budget due to fiscal constraints also benefit from the lower CPC, as it means that they could maintain pre-COVID returns even with a smaller budget.  A word of warning: While continuing to advertise during an economic downturn can be advantageous, it’s not without risks. How you spend your marketing dollars is even more important during an economic downturn. In a strong economy, you have room for error. In a strained economy, you should keep marketing, but you need to be insights driven. Now is not the time for following hunches. Conduct A/B tests. Review historical data. Assess your competitors. What worked well previously and what didn’t? 

Can you advertise while respecting the sobriety of this crisis? Advertising can backfire if you aren’t cognizant of the situation. The coronavirus threatens more than just the economy, and you should always make sure that your marketing doesn’t come across as tone-deaf. 

Find Efficiencies 

If you’re looking for other ways to improve your online business’s efficiency during this crisis, Kaspien recently launched our Amazon ad management software, AdManager. A free 30-day trial is available, as well as an eBook that delves into the software’s capabilities. AdManager is available as self-service (you use it yourself to manage your Amazon advertising campaigns) and managed service (our experts use it to manage your campaigns for you).  

Request a free trial or download the eBook. 

How to create a sustainable Amazon advertising campaign

Running an Amazon ads campaign is exciting. Working to get a low ad-cost-of-sale (ACoS) and high sales is a challenging but rewarding task. We can speak to this with some authority. Kaspien has been doing this with our Amazon sponsored products for 12 years, and we’ve become quite adept along the way.

In 2019, Kaspien generated over $1.5MM in ad sales at a hyper-sustainable ACoS of 6% for our high-opportunity products campaigns using Kaspien AdManager, our proprietary Amazon ad management software. Over its lifetime, AdManager has generated over $50MM at a 10% ACoS for our partners.

In this post, we dive into how you too can create a hyper-sustainable pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaign. 

Incremental Sales – At What Cost? 

Let’s say your product has a gross margin of 40% after manufacturing and shipping costs. Then you list it on Amazon, leaving you with a margin of 20% after FBA fees. What amount of that remaining 20% margin are you willing to spend on marketing1, 2, maybe even 5%? Put simply, what is the maximum ACoS you can commit to?  

Once you have your maximum ACoS selected, you can start creating ad campaigns. If you structure your campaigns in a way that allows granular insights, you can actually create an always on, sustainable marketing campaign 

In theory, the more efficient your ad campaigns are, the more you’ll be able to contribute additional dollars to fuel the fireUsing the below graph as an example, let’s say your campaigns are performing with an average ACoS of 25% and you’ve spent your entire monthly budget, but there are still 10 days left in the month 

how to create sustainable Amazon advertising

You could pause all of your campaigns, which is what most brands do. Or, if you’ve structured your campaign architecture in a nuanced way, you could selectively pause different campaigns or ad groupsmaintaining the most sustainable keywords to maximize profitability. For example, if we divide our graph into different sections based on sustainability (indicated by the red lines), you could continue running ad groups for keywords that fall within the hyper-sustainable range of sections 1 and 2, while pausing keywords that fall in 3 through 7By doing so, you increase sales while minimally increasing spend 

how to create sustainable Amazon advertising

How to Create a Self-Sustaining Ad Budget 

The ability to make these strategic adjustments and create a truly sustainable marketing campaign is dependent primarily on your margins and how you structure your ad campaigns. Here’s how to get started: 

  1. Determine Your Product Margin 

Margins are shaped by many factors, such as labor costs, FBA fees, production costs, etc. Margin generally remains fixed, although factors such as tariffs or updates to Amazon’s fees can impact them. 

  1. Create a Strategy Around Your Margins

Once you understand your margin constraints, you can build a strategy around them.  

One way to do this is to ask yourself, “Where do I want my brand to be in five years?” Set an ambitious goal to aspire to. Once you set your long-term goal, you can set about the process of creating short-term objectives that will get you there.  

With an ambitious goal, you need to be able to measure your progress. That requires good reporting. What metrics do you need to track in order to discern whether you’re trending toward your objectives? For example, keeping track of marketing spend by product will allow you to see exactly what your ROI is by product.  

Another key factor in good reporting is the ability to isolate variables. Your marketing and sales performance does not exist in a self-contained environment. Countless factors can influence their performance, and your reporting needs to take that into consideration. If you don’t, you risk making decisions based on an incomplete understanding, and that may do more harm than good.  

  1. Create a Nuanced Campaign Structure 

Now, campaign structure is technically part of strategy, but it’s so important that it’s getting its own section. How you structure your ad campaigns on Amazon will influence how granular your reporting and optimizations can be, which directly affects your ability to improve strategy. You need a campaign structure that is conducive to reporting.  

We’ve seen great success in structuring campaigns with one product per ad group, enabling us to see insights and make adjustments at a product level.  

Poor architecture doesn’t mean poor performance, but it does mean poor insights. A poor campaign structure is like a firing a shotgun at a target. You can still hit the board, but it’s sloppy and wasteful. A well-structured campaign is much more precise and efficient, hitting near the bullseye and then making careful adjustments to improve every time. 

The Brass Tacks 

To be clear, we’re not advocating for an unlimited marketing budget across your entire product line, but there are product lines with enough margin and velocity that a self-sustaining budget is entirely possible. 

This isn’t a get rich quick scenario, and it’s not really going to be unlimitedNaturally, your products, regardless of the bid and daily budget, have a natural cap on the amount of clicks Amazon customers are going to execute in a day. If you’re in a hightraffic category, your clicks per day could be astronomical. If you’re in a niche category, you may see clicks in the single digits each day. However, if ACoS for your product ad was 1%, wouldn’t you spend there? 

Hopefully yes, and hopefully yes 100% of the time (barring end of life products sold at a loss, but there’s a good argument there as well). 

Ideally, implementing this strategy doesn’t involve you downloading and juggling a mess of spreadsheets every day because you use the exceptional Amazon marketing software we developed, but if it does, you’re still well on your way to leveling up your Amazon advertising efforts. 

Amazon Keyword Analysis for Sponsored Product Ads

As a search marketer, it’s critical that you understand how each individual keyword is performing, and one key indicator of performance is keyword distribution. By graphing your keyword distribution, you can discern if your bank of keywords is too narrow or too broad, helping you refine your Amazon marketing strategy. Two statistics that are particularly important for Sponsored Product and Sponsored Brand keyword analysis are Skewness and Kurtosis. 

SKEWNESS 

Skewness is a measure of symmetry or the lack thereof. A symmetrical distribution will give you that much sought-after bell curve. A perfect bell curve shows that your keyword pool includes a good balance of investment keywords – keywords that are more expensive than desired now, but are important to your strategy and are likely to return a profit in the long-term – and highly efficient keywords that keep your campaigns profitable (enabling you to sustain the investment keywords). If your keyword distribution shows a bell curve and your target advertising cost of sale (ACoS) is equal to the campaign’s average ACoS, you’ve nailed it.

A deviation from this bell curve symmetry indicates that your campaign is under-optimized, and should drive revisions in your strategy. The keyword distribution – skewed to the left or skewed to the right – can be used to understand how exactly your strategy should be adjusted.

Left-Skewed 

Left Skewed Distribution

A distribution skewed to the left (negative skewed distribution) indicates a majority of keywords are performing above the average ACoS; your campaign is spending too much per conversion. When your target ACoS is below the campaign’s average ACoS, you can make optimizations to improve the efficiency of ad spend, but it may come at the cost of total sales. This occurs because the optimizations will bid down the poor performing keywords (those driving up spend) until the bids are no longer competitive. It restores your target ACoS, but leaves you with a small pool of keywords.

If you can justify keeping the high ACoS keywords, leverage inbound marketing services like paid social and influencer marketing to drive traffic to those keywords. A social ad may refer to your product with a specific, high-ACoS term, for example. As more consumers see the ad, more will use that specific term to search for it. In this way, your inbound marketing efforts can help build relevancy and lower the keyword cost.  

 Right-Skewed 

right-skewed-distribution

A distribution skewed to the right (positive skewed distribution) indicates a majority of keywords are performing below the average ACoS. In other words, the majority of keywords are operating at an efficient ACoS, but are driving few conversions.

If you are consistently winning auctions on these keywords and not running into budget issues, you can use a similar tactic as mentioned above, leveraging off-Amazon marketing to drive additional traffic to these keywords to boost sales volume for those keywords.  

KURTOSIS 

Kurtosis is a measure of heavy or lighttailed distribution within a data set. Data with heavy tails indicate the presence of outliers. Conversely, a lighttailed distribution indicates the lack of outliers.  

Light-tailed Distribution 

Kurtosis light-tailed distribution

A lighttailed keyword distribution represents a very targeted keyword mix. This may indicate missed opportunities because your current keyword selection is too refined. To correct this issue, add a greater variety of keywords in your campaign. This widens your net, helping you capture more sales, although it may increase your ACoS. This strategy works best when in conjunction with off-Amazon marketing, for the aforementioned reasons. 

Heavy-tailed Distribution 

Kurtosis-heavy-tailed-distribution

A heavytailed distribution represents a broad keyword mix with a significant number of outliersIn other words, you’ve cast too wide a net. These outliers spread your budget too thin and detract from campaign performance.  

To resolve this issue, you need to identify the most egregious outliersIf they happen to be terms that you consider highly relevant to your product, don’t cut them from your ad campaigns. Instead, use social media marketing and influencer marketing to drive external traffic to these terms and build up their relevancy. If the terms are not highly relevant to your product, cut em loose.  

SIMPLIFY THE PROCESS  

Using these two measurements of keyword distribution will help you better understand and improve your Sponsored Product and Sponsored Brand campaigns. However, repeating this process for multiple campaigns quickly becomes time-intensive and tedious, especially as you repeat it on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis.  

To simplify the process, you have two options:  

Excel Plugin 

Use the Data Analysis ToolPak in Excel. This plugin is a fantastic tool for users who spend some of their time managing ad campaigns in Excel. The plugin does enables you to effortlessly create summary statistics which includes skewness and kurtosis.

Instructions for installation can be found here.

Ad Management Software

Excel may not cut it for users who are managing many campaigns, dealing with large budgets, spending hours in Excel even with the plugin, or are generally looking to further professionalize their operation.

If that’s the case, it’s time to invest in a dedicated ad management tool. Kaspien began as a third-party seller in 2008, and we’ve gone through the full process of using increasingly massive and complicated Excel spreadsheets and macros to optimize our Sponsored Product campaigns. Eventually, we outgrew Excel. Literally. So, our engineers set to work  on creating a custom solution. Over three years in the making, we’ve built and refined Kaspien AdManager until it became a search marketer’s dream tool. With AdManager, we’ve achieved: 

  • 10% avg. ACoS and 10:1 avg. ROAS on over $50MM in ad spend 
  • Generated 30% sales growth on Amazon for retail and agency partners 
  • Reduced ACoS by 50% for key partners  

AdManager is currently available as a managed service, where our experts use the software to manage your ad campaigns for you. A self-service model will be released in March 2020 for users who want to handle the process entirely themselves.  

Join the AdManager waitlist to receive a free 30-day trial when AdManager launches, as well as emails about product features, case studies, and strategic advice.  

Benefits of Amazon Brand Registry

This post will be updated regularly as the offerings through Amazon Brand Registry platform change.

Latest update: November 2019

If you are selling your own products on Amazon, the next best thing you can do for your brand is apply for Amazon Brand Registry. Anyone with an active registered trademark can apply, and once you do, it opens the door to a vast amount of benefits and marketing tools that far too few brand owners are taking advantage of. After your application has been accepted, you’ll gain access to a few immediate benefits, as well as an ever-growing list of powerful marketing and research tools.

Learn How to Enroll in Brand Registry

Benefits of Amazon Brand Registry

Brand Integrity Protection

One of the more common struggles brands encounter while selling on Amazon is keeping their content on the listing detail page accurate and looking as they desire. The fact is that anybody, authorized seller or not, can come into an Amazon listing and publish unauthorized content changes. Sometimes, these listing edits are innocent; other times, they’re malicious and indicate an attempted hijacking.

When your brand is registered with Amazon, only authorized accounts can make changes to your listings. Authorized accounts include your own brand’s account or any other account to which you’ve assigned a role.

There are three tiers of roles you can assign to other Amazon accounts, and each has their own level of permissions. If an account holds any of these roles, they are permitted to make listing edits. If anybody else attempts to edit through a ticket with Amazon, they will immediately receive a rejection notice. The three available roles are:

  1. Administrator: An individual who has full permission to assign roles to user accounts
  2. Rights Owner: An individual who is the rights owner or an employee of the rights owner who is authorized to report violations
  3. Registered Agent: A third party who is authorized by the rights owner to report violations

 

Infringement Reporting Tool/IPR Violations

Amazon will use all the information you provide during your application process to protect your brand on the Amazon market. This tool can alert you when products are incorrectly using your trademarked terms or logos and when product listings are being created with your brand name after you have already listed your full catalog on Amazon. It can even notify you when sellers are shipping products from countries you do not manufacture or distribute to.

There is also a manual search tool you can use to proactively find infringement violations. Whether you are using the global, image, or bulk ASIN search, once you find violators, Amazon will guide you through the steps to submit reports of potential infringement. Once these have been reported, Amazon will investigate the accusations on your behalf and take appropriate action on the potential violators.

Amazon Brand Registry Self-Service Marketing Tools

Now, here’s the fun part of Amazon Brand Registry: You gain access to more marketing tools! These services are ever changing; many services are released through Brand Registry, such as Brand Stores and Enhanced Brand Content, but occasionally, Amazon will phase out services that are either outdated or are no longer of value.

Amazon Attribution Program

Digital marketers have always struggled with attributing sales to their off-Amazon marketing efforts, so the announcement of the Amazon Attribution Program beta was like Christmas for US Amazon sellers. Very similar to building unique campaign tags and URLs for Google Analytics tracking, sellers can now provide unique tags to social media posts, their influencers, and any other off-Amazon digital marketing strategies. Advertisements will receive the attribution if the purchase happens within the 14-day window. If multiple advertisements are engaged by a shopper, only the final ad will be credited. This program is necessary for the data-driven marketer, enabling more strategic adjustments to services and budget.

Amazon Live

This free US-only service allows brands to broadcast live or live-like videos to Amazon consumers. These livestreams can showcase product usage, features, or act almost like an infomercial on the Amazon marketplace. These videos will display on the Amazon Live page and beyond. We’ve even seen livestreams appear in competing product listings. To get the most out of your Amazon Live efforts, it’s best to pair them with promo codes since it provides a clear CTA. And the best part? Amazon Live is currently free.

Brand Dashboard

The Brand Dashboard was one of the more exciting releases in 2019 for registered brands. This dashboard offers a variety of insights that helps brands keep tabs on their brand’s health, monitor new reviews, and check the quality of newly launched ASINs. The main dashboard provides a good snapshot of performance rates as well as conversion and traffic recommendations. The snapshot includes many valuable metrics you may have already been monitoring, but the ability to view them all in one convenient place can help brands better understand the overall state of their Amazon business. Price competitiveness, detail page completion rates, and search terms optimizations are just a few of the metrics hosted on this page.

Brand Analytics

Possibly the best tool Amazon has provided for researching search terms, this reporting platform gives you insight into how your products compare to others in the market. Compare your products to top competitors, see top-performing search terms across the entire channel, or dig into the demographics of your customer base during any given time period. The competitive intelligence offered in this reporting is like none other. This free tool empowers brands to make strategic decisions with their search term and marketing strategies. Just keep in mind that there is a 3-4 day lag in the reported data.

Video Uploads

Videos have been available in the listing media gallery for quite some time, but how to get videos there was an unsolved mystery. Unless you were a large, reputable brand or had a special contact with Amazon, you were out of luck. Amazon now offers a Video Upload Manager under the Inventory tab in seller central. Videos submitted through here must be a .mp4 or .mov format under 500MB and cannot include any website URLs or other marketing materials. When you upload, you must submit a video title, related ASINs, and a video thumbnail. Once submitted, Amazon will review, and it could take up to 72 hours before publishing. Additionally, if your media gallery has more than six images, we’ve seen videos replace the sixth media gallery slot.

Brand Stores

Amazon Brand Stores allow brand owners to create a customized landing page within the Amazon marketplace. It looks like a branded website within Amazon and can be customized with your own images, videos, product listing links, and much more. You can even create a navigation bar to improve the consumer’s experience as they browse through your catalog by category, product line, or in whatever structure makes the most sense for your catalog. Amazon provides a handful of store metrics like number of visitors, views, top performing pages, and any sales that were attributed to the store. Your Amazon store will also have a custom URL that you can use for inbound marketing efforts, and it can work very well with the Amazon Attribution program in helping determine where traffic is coming from.

A+ Content Manager

Registered brands have access to the A+ Content Manager, formerly called Enhanced Brand Content in Seller Central and A+ Detail Pages in Vendor Central. A+ Content is the section of the Amazon listing that appears in either the Product Description (Seller Central) or the From the Manufacturer (Vendor Central) areas of the listing. It is an opportunity for brands to utilize additional image assets and formatted content to help persuade consumers to make their buying decision. Amazon makes claims that A+ Content will improve conversion rate by up to 11%. This is a great opportunity for higher priced items where consumers will need more convincing, or for very technical products that need a lot of details explained.

Brand Registry is an Obvious Choice

I think we can all agree the Amazon marketplace is such an incredible opportunity for brands and manufacturers around the world, but if you aren’t being protective and proactive with your brand, it can also be detrimental. Adapting to the new “normal” in commerce means you will be selling on Amazon, and if you don’t set yourself up for success with Amazon’s Brand Registry program, you could be setting yourself up for failure. Get a trademark, register your brand, and take advantage of these tools to perfect your brand integrity and watch your customer retention and sales grow.

Learn about each of these services and more in our free whitepaper, The State of Amazon Marketing

Amazon adds new features for sponsored products

 

Amazon Updates Sponsored Products & Sponsored Brands

Amazon recently released two new features for Sponsored Product ads that will drastically improve the visibility into advertising performance: Search Terms Insights and History.

Sponsored Products History

Search Terms Insights allows advertisers to view the search terms that shoppers are entering in the Amazon search bar and which keywords they’re matching to within a Sponsored Product campaign.

The report is available at the Ad Group level within a campaign and shows all search terms that produced at least one click. Advertisers can view this data across multiple date ranges (up to 60 days) and across all keyword match types within the Ad Group. Search Terms Insights is available in both Automatic and Manual campaigns and shows both search terms and ASINs, which can be used to create Product Targeting campaigns. This feature will partially replace the need to manually download a Search Term report and filter the data for new keywords.

Sponsored products search terms feature

History is a new beta feature that allows advertisers to view changes made at the Campaign or Ad Group level.

At the campaign level, advertisers can see changes made to the settings of a campaign, daily budget adjustments, or if a campaign ran out of budget. These data points are time- and date-stamped and span the lifetime of the campaign.

At the Ad Group level, advertisers can use History to see changes made to bids on individual keywords.  The dashboard shows the keywords, the current bid, the previous bid, and the time and date it was changed. This data appears to be back dated to October 1, 2019.

Both of these features are significant improvements to Amazon’s marketing platform and address pain points that marketers have experienced for years. Amazon is clearly making an effort to improve the functionality within Seller Central as more third-party software solutions become available.

Sponsored Brands Video for Mobile Devices

Advertisers now have a new ad format to choose from for Sponsored Brand ads – Video in mobile.

This new ad placement contains an auto-play video featuring a single product, with the intent of driving traffic directly back to the listing. The ads appear on the bottom of the SERP on mobile devices. The rest of the ad functions the same way as previous versions of Sponsored Brand ads, using keyword-based placements based on Broad, Phrase, and Exact match types.

This feature is a game changer for search marketers on Amazon, as video ads were previously only available through Amazon’s DSP platform.

Amazon Sponsored Brand Video for Mobile

Amazon’s information on the service provides some basic advice for video marketing:

“Keep your video brief and relevant. It will autoplay, so make sure the first 2 seconds are highly engaging, and don’t rely on sound to communicate your message. If you use text in your video, make sure it’s legible.”

Our Results:
Updated February 2020

In a 2-month test of the beta, Kaspien achieved the following results, indicating significant potential for Sponsored Brand Videos.

  • We’ve achieved an average ACOS of 9.61% on over $2,500 ad spend, showing that video ads perform notably better than traditional banner ads.
  • CPC has averaged $0.80, again showing that video ads perform better than traditional Sponsored Brand banner ads.
  • We’ve generated 260K impressions, showing that in addition to generating more conversions than traditional Sponsored Brand banner ads, they still drive excellent brand awareness.

File Requirements:

  • Video duration is between 6 and 90 seconds
  • File format is .MP4 or .MOV
  • Display aspect ratio is 16:9 
  • Audio bit rate must be at least 192kbps

More information about requirements can be found here: https://advertising.amazon.com/resources/ad-specs/en/video-in-search 

Ad Management Software

Kaspien’s own software, Kaspien AdManager, has features like Search Terms Insights and Bid History available. Our team has used these features and others internally since 2017 to help improve and scale our marketing for our retail and agency partners. We are now introducing Kaspien AdManager as a SaaS offering in Q1 2020.

Join the Waitlist to receive a free 30-day trial and receive informational emails about product features, case studies, and strategic advice.

Amazon search marketing just got a whole lot easier.  

We’re proud to announce the beta launch of our self-service Amazon ad management software, Kaspien AdManagerAdManager is designed by marketers for marketers, drawing on over 11 years of ecommerce marketing experience to create our dream tool.  

We’ve spent years building, using, and refining AdManager internally to run our partners’ ad campaigns on Amazon. Now, we’re launching it as software as a service (SaaS) so interested brands can bring their marketing in-house while using the industry’s best Amazon ad management software.  

Apply to the Beta 

Automate Four Major Optimizations 

The software uses artificial intelligence to automatically optimize bids across all CPC/PPC campaigns, maximizing efficiency and sales. Specifically, Kaspien AdManager automates four optimizations: 

Bid Optimization  
Every day, AdManager automatically bids up or down at the keyword level based on any combination of metrics, including ACoS, ROAS, clicks, CPC, ideal CPA, ideal CPC, sales, and more.  

Search Term Mining  
AdManager identifies high-converting search terms and adds them to your list of keywords, continuously improving campaign performance.  

Budget Optimization  
Ensure that high-performing campaigns keep running, regardless of their budget ceiling. If a campaign is exceeding your goal metrics, AdManager can automatically increase the daily budget to maintain momentum.  

Keyword Negation  
Not all keywords are profitable. AdManager evaluates current keywords and automatically negates low-performing terms, minimizing wasted ad spend and increasing campaign relevancy.  

Lifetime Data Insights & Custom Reporting 

In addition to enhanced campaign optimization capabilities, AdManager also provides better data insights and reporting. With AdManager, you can collect marketing data for the lifetime of your Amazon campaigns, in stark contrast to the 60-day window Seller Central provides into marketing analytics

AdManager can also create reports that include charts, graphs, and tables to visualize your data and empower you to make more informed decisions. 

AdManager Drives Real Growth 

We’ve been using AdManager internally to run our partners’ Amazon ad campaigns for several years, to great success.  

On average, we’ve seen AdManager: 

  • increase total sales on Amazon by 30% 
  • reduce Advertising Cost of Sale (ACoS) by 50% within three months of implementing AdManager 
  • yield a 10:1 Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) on over $48 million in Sponsored Product sales 

Many of our partners have seen even better results, with one brand seeing Sponsored Product revenue increase by 192%! 

Apply to the Beta 

To claim that Kaspien AdManager is the best Amazon ad management software is a bold statement, but to claim otherwise would be a lie. AdManager offers more customization for managing your Amazon ad campaigns than any competitor. It was made by marketers, for marketers. 

Apply to the AdManager Beta today!  

Launch new products on Amazon

Jack-o-lanterns and candy corn already line the shelves of grocery stores, heralding the arrival of fall and the holiday season. But even as the busiest shopping time of the year grows near, some brands are looking further aheadplanning for the launch of new products in the coming year. 

If you’re among that group, you’re well aware that creating and releasing new products is an exciting but complicated process. After spending months researching product opportunity, target audiences, competitive landscape, and developing the product, you hope that all your time and energy will pay off after launch day, but that’s far from a guarantee. 

Markets are increasingly saturated as retailing and direct selling become more accessible, with Amazon occupying the forefront of that trendAmazon is only one marketplace, but it accounts for a significant portion of ecommerce sales, with estimates ranging from a third to half of online sales in the US. Its predominance makes it a key player in any product launch strategy. 

To position your product for a successful launch, you need to enter the game with a holistic strategy for marketing, inventory management, and customer service. 

Launch New Products with Kaspien’s FTM Program

To help with that effort, Kaspien has introduced our First-to-Market (FTM) Program, comprehensive package wherein Kaspien provides marketing, logistic, and account support for a set monthly rate. 

Learn More 

Services include: 

  • Marketplace competitive analysis 
  • Product compliance assessment 
  • Dedicated account manager to consult with on an outcome-oriented strategy 
  • Inventory management support 
  • Brand protection software 
  • Listing creation and optimization 
  • Paid Amazon advertising 
  • Complimentary use of Kaspien’s bid optimization software 
  • Amazon coupons 
  • Amazon giveaways 
  • Customer feedback emails 
  • Access to social media marketing 
  • Access to influencer marketing 
  • And more!  

Over our 11 years on Amazon, Kaspien has helped launch hundreds of new products, establishing and refining best practices. This program draws those insights together into a convenient, comprehensive services package. 

Proven Results 

We’ve deployed our strategies to successfully launch new products on Amazon for leading brands, including 3M and ZippyPaws, rapidly increasing visibility and driving sales for new product lines. 

Alongside established brands, we’ve also seen fantastic results for entirely new brands, including: 

  • 30,000+ brand name searches on Amazon per month within one year of launching 
  • More than 1,000 followers on social media within one year of launching  
  • 43% increase in sponsored ad ROAS and a 37% increase in channel sales thanks to Kaspien’s bid optimization software, AdManager 

Now, we’ve introduced the FTM Program to help your new products succeed too 

What It Costs 

The FTM Program starts at $4,000/month retainer, which pays for labor and up to $1,500 of monthly marketing services. The program transitions to a wholesale retailer partnership when revenue reaches a sustainable rate, typically occurring within six months of product launch. 

Get Started 

Enroll in the Kaspien’s FTM Program by reaching out to your Kaspien account manager and filling out our contact form