Trust and reliability underpin the Baby category on Amazon. Shoppers buying items for children need to be able to depend on the product’s safety, and that’s non-negotiable. This fact permeates the category, shaping strategy for everything from brand protection to marketing.  

Amazon Category Overview: Baby Products 

A Secure Category 

Amazon is frequently criticized for the prevalence of counterfeit products sold on its platform. Fortunately, the Baby category largely avoids this challenge. Because these products are intended for young children, brands must meet many legal and marketplace requirements before they can sell baby products.  

Likewise, this category also doesn’t see many counterfeit products. Because safety is a huge factor in the buying decision for baby products, shoppers are willing to pay more to get a higher quality product. As such, counterfeits struggle to gain a foothold. 

Established Players 

The Baby category is dominated by large, established brands that have years of credibility in both physical and digital retailers. These brands often have a controlling presence across most subcategories in Baby, which is somewhat uncommon on Amazon. We can attribute this trait, at least in part, to brand loyalty.  

Consumer behavior in this category is driven by trust and protectiveness. Once a shopper finds a brand they like, it makes sense that they would want to go to that brand for other baby products. This has enabled and incent baby brands to broaden their product catalogs.  

This landscape may be daunting for new brands trying to break into the market, and rightfully so. One silver lining is that, because there are a few larger players rather than many smaller players, the cost-per-click for Amazon ads tends to be lower than in other categories. 

Amazon’s First-Party Presence 

Amazon has a strong first-party retailer presence in the Baby category, but this is starting to change. The pandemic placed an unprecedented strain on Amazon’s operations, exposing weaknesses in their logistics model. Many brands ran out of stock as consumer demand rose unexpectedly, manufacturing paused, and supply lines were restricted. We saw this result in a small exodus of baby brands seeking alternatives to their Amazon 1P relationship. 

Nevertheless, many major brands in this category still retail through Amazon, including household names like Huggies, Pampers, and Aquaphor. 

Rules & Regulations 

Appropriately, the Baby category is one of the four most restricted categories on Amazon (followed by Beauty, Health & Personal Care, and Grocery). Before entering the Amazon marketplace, brands should collect their Child Product Certificates and safety testing certificates because Amazon will require copies.   

Relevant Regulatory Bodies 

The Baby category includes many types of products, including toys, apparel, food, cleaning supplies, car seats, and more. With this broad spectrum, the category is overseen primarily by three regulatory agencies: 

  • Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC): The CPSC specifically regulates children’s products and consumer electronics safety. 
  • Food & Drug Administration (FDA): The FDA oversees regulations for drugs, biological products, medical devices, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. 
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): The NHTSA provides regulations for car seats. 

Some products will fall into multiple categories and may be overseen by other regulatory agencies as a result. As such, it is imperative that brands identify which standards are mandatory for their product on Amazon. 

Restricted Products 

Most products that are approved for sale in the US are also allowed on Amazon. However, some products are restricted on Amazon due to safety risks, such as: 

  • Amber teething necklaces and other beaded teething necklaces 
  • Homeopathic teething tablets 
  • Certain infant sleep positioners and inclined sleep products, including hammocks  
  • Fetal dopplers 
  • Drop-side cribs 

Before selling on Amazon, review Amazon’s list of restricted products to ensure that your product is permitted on the marketplace. 

Determining Your Regulations  

To determine the regulatory requirements for your product, you should research each federal agency’s purview and determine which your product falls under.  

You should also have your product tested in a reputable lab. There are many domestic and foreign laboratories that are accredited with different federal agencies, so brands can shop around for the best prices and services. Accredited labs for baby products include CTT, BV Labs, and Intertek. 

If you utilize a testing lab, they will often provide a regulatory analysis that can help determine all the compliance requirements for a certain product or category of products.   

Shoppers in the Baby Category 

Brands selling in the Baby category on Amazon are really selling to two audiences: an adult and a child. Both of their criteria must be met in order to capture a sale. 

Selling to Adults 

Adult shoppers in the Baby category, typically parents or family members of the recipient, are motivated by love, protectiveness, and pride; they want items that are safe, enjoyable, and demonstrate their care for the recipient. These desires are reflected in the importance of product quality to parents. 

In an Attest survey of 1,000 parents called, “Consumer Trends: Childrens Products and How to Advertise to Parents, highest quality was found to be the single most important factor in parents’ buying decision when shopping for children’s products. The survey also found that the number one reason parents would start buying from a new baby brand is if it offered better quality than their current brand. 

Finding the highest quality item requires research, so adult shoppers in this category will likely review multiple listings before making their decision. As such, you should strive to make their research as easy as possible by speaking to the quality of your product in the text, images, and videos in your listings.  

Selling to Children 

Though it may seem obvious for this category, brands must also remember that they are selling to children. A child may have developed their own tastes, with preferences for particular colors, patterns, icons, etc.  

If the child is old enough, they may actively help pick out the item with their parent. Even when the child is not actively selecting the item, shoppers buying baby products often try to consider the child’s early preferences when making their buying decision. 

How to account for this will vary by the product type. If selling a toy or game, include images (and ideally a video) showing children playing with it, which will help children and parents determine if it’s age appropriate. If selling clothing or bedding, include close up photos of the pattern for the child to engage with 

Lasting Brand Loyalty 

Shoppers seek out not just products they can trust, but also brands they can trust. Once they have found a brand that they like and trust, it makes sense to return to it for future purchases (assuming that the brand offers the product they need).  

As such, baby brands must deal with two factors: They need to win the shopper first, and they need an expansive enough product catalog that the shopper can return to them for future needs. If the brand has a narrower catalog, shoppers are forced to return to the research phase. If they find a new brand that they can trust and it offers a larger catalog, the first brand just lost a repeat customer. 

Learn More in Our Free eBook 

This post is only scratching the surface. We wrote a complete eBook covering more requirements and a dozen marketing strategies specifically for the Baby category on Amazon. 


2020 accelerated the adoption of ecommerce. Companies that are obsessed with customer experience are among the most successful, with Amazon being a prime example. This is true for brands selling on Amazon as well: with more choices than ever before for both products and marketplaces, online shoppers have high expectations for product selection, shipping speed, listing content, price, and more. 

Many of the trends that emerged in 2020 and persist into 2021 can be traced back to how well customer expectations are met. 

Kaspien’s CEO, GM of Retail, and VP of Business Development sat down for a roundtable discussion of how 2020 changed the ecommerce landscape and what’s likely to come in the year ahead. You can watch their conversation below or keep reading for a summary. 

Trends & Predictions for Ecommerce in 2021 

Ecommerce Growth Rates Will Slow 

With all its turbulence, 2020 did bring strong tailwinds for ecommerce. As that turbulence gradually subsides, so too will the tailwinds. We expect that US ecommerce sales will continue to grow throughout 2021, albeit at slower rates than seen in 2020. 

Greater Fulfillment Diversification 

2020 exposed the surprising fragility of ecommerce fulfillment networks, with FBA taking the spotlight. A sudden spike in demand for certain goods led Amazon to temporarily restrict entire categories from shipping new inventory into FBA. Amazon also temporarily prioritized Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM) orders over Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) orders. Impacted brands that lacked alternative fulfillment methods were left out to dry.  

Many brands learned the hard way not to be dependent on only one fulfillment strategy. This lesson will likely persist into 2021, with brands diversifying their fulfillment strategies through FBM, dropship, and third-party logistics providers.  

This situation also led to the emergence of local fulfillment providers who stepped in to fill the excess demand. It will be interesting to see if these local fulfillment providers maintain a foothold as larger networks restabilize (Amazon increased warehousing space by 50% in 2020). 

In a similar vein, many brands saw shoppers trying to buy products in different quantities than their standard unit sizes. We expect that more brands will cater to their audience by updating their product preparation capabilities to allow for more options. 

Omnichannel will Become More Important 

COVID-19 showed that Amazon FBA is not impervious. Delivery times were delayed by weeks on Amazon in late spring and early summer, and shoppers turned to other marketplaces to fill the gaps. Capitalizing on Amazon’s stumble, Walmart, Target, Shopify, and more experienced strong growth in ecommerce sales in 2020. 

Modern commerce is a game of meeting shoppers where they are at. As more shoppers use more marketplaces, the most successful brands will be those that are there to meet their target audience, regardless of platform. 

Brand Representation Matters More 

With more brands, more sellers, and more marketplaces to choose from, shoppers have a plethora of options. To win them over in 2021, brands need to make strong, positive first impressions. The best way to do that is through high-quality copy, images, and videos that help shoppers understand important product details, like color, size, ease of use, etc. 

If shoppers cannot easily understand such details when they are unable to inspect products in person, they’ll seek another product. It’s also critical that brands provide a consistent experience no matter where shoppers encounter their products, as inconsistency can lead to confusion or doubts about authenticity, resulting in lost sales. This includes consistent branding across direct websites, social media, and marketplaces. 

Retention Strategies will Grow 

Because shoppers have more choice, the cost-of-acquisition will continue to increase. To counteract rising customer acquisition costs, brands will develop more robust retention strategies to keep customers in the family. This will include dedicated efforts for retargeting campaigns, customer newsletters, nurturing engaged social media communities, and more. 

Amazon coupons function the same way as traditional brick & mortar coupons. The seller offers a percentage or dollar amount off, and shoppers can clip and redeem coupons to activate the discount. On Amazon, sellers can choose to target specific audiences with coupons, but generally there’s little incentive to do so.  

At face value, that’s the short of it, but in this post, we’re going to dig a little deeper into this popular Amazon tool. We’ll look at how well Amazon coupons work and best practices for leveraging them on and off the marketplace.  

How Effective are Amazon Coupons? 

Amazon Coupons are a highly effective marketing tool, increasing product visibility and sales velocity. In 2020, Kaspien ran 200 coupons, managing $70,000 in coupon spend, generating $385,000 in attributable sales. That equates to a 18% advertising cost of sale (ACOS) or 5.5 return on ad spend (ROAS). There’s good reason that coupons have endured in retail for so long and successfully expanded into ecommerce. 

Benefits of Amazon Coupons 

First and foremost, Amazon coupons drive sales. According to Amazon, coupons increase sales by 12%. This is likely due to the coupon “tag” that appears on the product listing and on the search results page when you run a coupon. The tag is visually eye catching, and the discount pulls them into the consideration phase. 

In addition to driving sales, coupons also indirectly support product rank improvement. Like any type of paid marketing on Amazon, higher sales indicates to Amazon’s algorithm that shoppers like the product. Since Amazon is a customer-centric platform, the algorithm will rank the product better. This increases the product’s visibility and organic sales, creating a cyclical effect. Coupons are but one piece of the Amazon marketing flywheel, but a helpful one.  

How Much Do Amazon Coupons Cost? 

Coupons are affordable. They cost $0.60/redemption + the discount, and they require a minimum budget of $100. Products with a coupon will display a coupon “tag” on the search results page and in the listing. They will also appear on the Coupon page, which is one of the highest trafficked pages on Amazon. 

How to Create Amazon Coupons 

In Seller Central, select “Advertising” in the main nav bar, then click “Coupons.” In the upper right, click the “Create a new coupon” button.  

From here, you can follow the onscreen instructions. You can add up to 200 ASINs to a coupon. We recommend grouping ASINs by product line. For example, you could include all the color variations for a blanket, but you wouldn’t necessarily include blanks and baby bottles on the same coupon. This helps with reporting in the future.  

Once you select the ASINs, you choose the discount type: Money off or percentage off. As we mentioned above, we typically recommend using money off. The one use case for percentage off is when you include products that have different price points on the same coupon 

You also have the choice to limit coupons to 1 redemption per customer. We typically don’t limit the redemptions because we want to drive as many sales as possible.  

When it comes to budget, coupons require a minimum budget of $100. Do note that you can always add more budget, but you can never take budget away.  

The final step before reviewing is scheduling your coupon. You can schedule coupons in advance, and you can always cancel coupons before their end date.  

Amazon Now Allows Sellers to Create Coupons in Bulk
New Feature as of April 2021

In early 2021, Amazon launched a new feature for Amazon coupons that allows Amazon sellers to create coupons in bulk. Prior to this update, sellers had to manually select each ASIN individually that they wished to include on a given coupon. The new feature is a huge quality-of-life improvement and an enormous time saver for sellers that manage large product catalogs.

You’ll now notice a “Create in bulk” button on the main coupons dashboard.

Once you click the “Create in bulk button,” you’ll be taken to a new page that allows sellers to download the template excel file. You’ll then upload that completed file that allows up to 200 parent ASINs or 8,000 child ASINs to be bulk uploaded to the coupon.

The template excel file fields are below.

 

What’s the Best Way to Use Amazon Coupons? 

Kaspien has conducted numerous tests to determine the most effective ways to deploy coupons. Here are some of our more interesting learnings. 

Best Sellers or Slow Movers? 

We’ve found that offering a lower discount on a high-volume item performs better than a large discount on slow-moving items. This finding indicates that coupons are a pleasant bonus, but not influential enough to change the buying decision for many shoppers.  

Coupons & Sponsored Product Ads 

We’ve also tested how coupons compare to Amazon Sponsored Product Ads. We found that coupons tend to have a lower return on investment than Sponsored Product Ads. However, Sponsored Product Ads typically require a larger budget than coupons (we typically recommend $500/month at the very minimum), so coupons are still a useful tool for sellers with tighter marketing budgets.  

In general, we recommend focusing your marketing budget on Amazon advertising, and using coupons to promote seasonal sales events. 

Use Alongside Sponsored Ads

Coupon tags are visible in Amazon sponsored ads. For brands with the budget to do so, we recommend running coupons for the same ASINs for which you’re running Amazon advertising. The ad increases the product’s visibility, and the coupon tag catches the eye and incents shoppers to click.

Dollar Off or Percentage Off? 

Our marketing experts have also tested the performance difference between percentage off vs dollar off coupons. Our results suggest that dollar-off coupons are generally more effective, perhaps because a simple dollar-off figure is easier to mentally calculate.  

When is the Best time to Use Amazon Coupons? 

Coupons are quite effective during holidays and other sales evens. Shoppers are accustomed to looking for deals during such times, and coupons, especially when they offer more substantial discounts, check that box.  

Some Categories are Sensitive 

Coupons are generally fine to use for most product categories on Amazon, but some categories need to practice a little caution. Categories where quality and safety are especially prioritized by shoppers, such as the Baby category, can become wary of coupons if they appear too frequently, as they lead shoppers to question why a product is always offered at a discount. Is it legitimate? Is it low quality so the seller has to compensate by lowering the price? As such, brands in applicable categories should time coupons with holidays or other sales events to dispel any questions about why a discount is being offered. 

What Are Amazon Coupon Codes? 

Coupon codes are created for use in off-Amazon promotions intended to drive offsite shoppers back to Amazon. You can create coupon codes for specific sales channels or pair them with influencers. For example, you might share a coupon code on your brand’s Facebook page, “Save $5 when you use the code GOODBYE2020.” Whenever that code is redeemed, you can attribute the source to your Facebook page.  

At Kaspien, we recommend creating unique coupon codes for each influencer you partner with, helping you track attribution from each partner.  

Amazon Coupons vs Prime Exclusive Discounts 

You may have heard of Prime Exclusive Discounts, a program that Amazon launched in June 2019. As the name suggests, Prime Exclusive Discounts are seller-funded discounts visible and accessible only to Amazon Prime members.  

From a shoppers’ perspective, coupons and Prime Exclusive Discounts are quite similar, the only difference being their exclusivity. That said, exclusivity is a tried-and-true marketing tactic. Consumers like to feel special, and knowing that they are among a privileged few (take that with a grain of salt – there are over 150MM Prime subscribers) with access to a deal can boost engagement rates. 

From a seller’s perspective, Prime Exclusive Discounts do not come with a $0.60/redemption fee, so you enjoy small savings with this tool. Prime Exclusive Discounts also have more stringent requirements for which ASINs are eligible for the program. 

We do not see a notable difference in performance between Amazon coupons and Prime Exclusive Discounts. Furthermore, coupons, at least at the moment, are much easier to create, as Prime Exclusive Discounts require sellers to download and fill out an Excel spreadsheet, then upload it back into Seller Central. As such, we recommend brands focus on coupons for the time being, but keep Prime Exclusive Discounts on your radar. 

Learn More about Amazon Marketing Services 

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The Role of Amazon Advertising 

If you sell on Amazon, you need to utilize Amazon advertising. In today’s era, Amazon has too many sellers and too many products for you to expect success without investing in marketing. But, don’t think of Amazon advertising as an obligation; it’s an opportunity.  

Kaspien grew Amazon advertising sales 55% year-on-year in 2020 while simultaneously dropping our advertising cost of sale (ACOS) 41% year-on-year. When you’re an expert at Amazon advertising, it shows in your top line and bottom line. But to become an expert, you must master the basics.  

That’s exactly what we aim to cover in this post. Let’s get to it.  

How Does Amazon Advertising Work? 

Most Amazon ad types, including Sponsored Product Ads, Sponsored Brand Ads, and some Sponsored Display Ads are cost-per-click (CPC) ads based on an auction system. Advertisers select the highest amount of money they are willing to pay for an ad placement for a specific word or phrase, called a “keyword”.  

When a shopper enters a search query that contains the keyword, an auction occurs. Amazon’s system looks at all bids for that keyword, then, using a combination of factors that Amazon keeps secret, Amazon selects the winner of the auction. The winner’s ad is placed in front of the shopper.  

Cost-Per-Click Pricing Model 

If the shopper clicks on the ad, the advertiser is charged. If the shopper doesn’t click on the ad, the advertiser is not charged. Amazon charges only $0.01 higher than the next highest bid, so if advertiser A sets their maximum bid as $5 and advertiser B set their maximum bid as $0.98, Amazon would charge advertiser A only $0.99. This may lead one to think it’s always best to set an absurdly high bid to ensure you always win the placement.  

In reality, this would result in your ad placing far too frequently, driving up your advertising costs and rapidly burning through your budget. If you allocated $500 per month, you could easily spend that in a day with such a strategy. Additionally, this approach is also prone to placing ads in front of too broad an audience, resulting in poor conversion rates. 

Amazon Advertising Summary 

To summarize, Amazon advertising occurs in five steps: 

  1. Advertisers select the keywords they want to bid on, and how high they are willing to bid for each keyword 
  2. Shoppers input a search query in the search bar 
  3. Amazon identifies which keywords are in the shopper’s search query, then reviews all bids for that keyword 
  4. Using a semi-secret list of factors, Amazon’s system selects the winning bid, and that ad places on the search results page 
  5. The winning advertiser is charged only if a shopper clicks on the ad 

 

Two Key Factors: Bids and Search Terms 

When we look at Amazon advertising in this way, we see there are two critical factors for advertisers: bids and search terms. Both have sweet spots, and undershooting or overshooting these sweet spots results in poor marketing performance. 

This has led to a great deal of time and attention being devoted to bid optimizations and search term optimizations, both in the form of strategies and the development of software that can automate the time-intensive processes. 

Bid Optimization for Amazon Advertising 

Bid optimization is the act of increasing or decreasing bids for specific keywords in order to strike a balance between frequency of ad placement and marketing budget. If ads place too frequently, you quickly run of budget. If ads place too infrequently, you sacrifice product visibility and sales, limiting your market share.  

Staying in the sweet spot requires constant attention, as Amazon is a dynamic marketplace. New competitors are constantly appearing, existing competitors regularly revise their strategies, peak seasons come and go, and consumer demand can surge or plummet unexpectedly due to unforeseeable external factors (like a pandemic, cough cough).  

As such, advertisers do not have the luxury of a “set it and forget it” approach, at least not those that care about strong marketing results. (If you have an agency or freelancer managing your Amazon ads, make sure they are actively managing your bids. If they are not, you’re paying for a mediocre service. Learn more here: How to Tell If Your Amazon Advertiser is Worth Their Salt.) 

Search Term Optimization for Amazon Advertising 

Search term optimization is the act of adding or removing keywords to an ad campaign based on the keyword’s performance and/or shopper search queries. To understand search term optimization, let’s make sure we have a mutual understanding of a few key terms: 

  • Search term: The word or phrases that a shopper types into the search bar on Amazon 
  • Keyword: The word or phrase that an advertiser bids on in an Amazon advertising auctionA search term must contain a keyword in order for an ad to bid on it.  

Search term optimization is critical because it determines whether your ads place in front of the shoppers who are most likely to buy your product.  

So how does it work? 

Advertisers can identify keywords that they want to bid on in a few ways: 

  • Common sense – What terms would you use to find a similar product to what you’re advertising? 
  • Competitor research – What words or phrases are competitor products focusing on in their listing title, bullet points, and product description? 
  • Customer reviews – What words are customers using to describe your product or competitors’ products in customer reviews?  
  • Seller Central – Amazon sellers can download search term reports from Seller Central to see a list of search terms that their listing placed for organically. 
  • Third-party keyword research tools – There are several credible services for keyword research, such as Jungle Scout, Helium 10, and Merchant Words. 

Like bid optimizations, search term optimizations are not a “one and done” act. Advertisers should regularly review performance and make changes as needed. This ongoing process is what advertisers are typically referring to when they say “search term optimization.”  

Match Types for Amazon Advertising 

Before we go further into how to conduct search term optimization, we need to define a few more terms. On Amazon, advertisers can place keywords into three buckets, called “match types.” Each match type should be used a little differently than the others. Understanding how to use these match types is a critical part of search term optimization. 

Broad Match 

When a keyword is set for broad match, your ad will bid on any search query that contains the keyword, regardless of whether there are other words before or after the keyword. Your ad will also bid even if the keyword is in a different order. For example, if your keyword is “phone case,” your ad would bid for search query of “case for phone.”  

Broad match keywords help place your products in front of new shoppers with a general interest, increasing product visibility. 

Phrase Match 

When a keyword is set for phrase match, your ad will bid on a search query if it contains the keyword in the same order as you set it. The ad will still bid if other words precede or follow your keyword, but the search query itself must include the keyword in the correct order. So, if your keyword is “phone case,” your ad would not bid if a shopper searched “case for phone,” but it would bid if a shopper searched “black phone case” or “phone case for iPhone.” 

Phrase match keywords help place ads in front of slightly more targeted shoppers but is still geared towards increasing product visibility. 

Exact Match 

When a keyword is set for exact match, your ad will bid on a search query if it contains only the keyword in the same order as you set and has no other words in the query. The search term and keyword must match exactly. 

Exact match keywords place ads in front of highly targeted shoppers who are more likely to convert. However, they will not do a whole lot for increasing product visibility to a larger audience. 

Automatic Campaigns 

“But wait, you said there are only three match types!” I did, and there are. But match types can only be selected when running manual campaigns on Amazon. Amazon also offers a second campaign type: automatic campaigns.  

Automatic campaigns are run by Amazon’s instead of an advertiser. These campaigns can be used to identify new search terms that should be added as keywords to your manual campaigns, making them an essential ingredient for Amazon advertising success. 

As you can see, each match type fills a different role and use case. Advertisers are wise to make use of all three match types; focusing only on broad match or only on exact match would limit an ad campaign’s efficacy. Likewise, advertisers should make use of automatic and manual campaigns. 

How to Make Search Term Optimizations  

With this understanding of match types, we can finally get to search term optimization. To get started, Amazon advertisers need to identify which of their current keywords are performing great, average, and poorly. They should also identify which search terms they should add to their campaigns as keywords. 

Search Term Migration 

Search terms that the product consistently ranks for should be added as keywords. These terms can be identified using the methods mentioned above and through automatic campaigns. Depending on the specificity of the search term, they may be added as broad, phrase, or exact match keywords. 

Keyword Migration 

Keywords that are performing great in broad or phrase match types should be migrated to exact match. This results in your most-relevant ads being placed in front of the most relevant shoppers. Plus, by migrating these keywords into exact match, you have more control over bid optimizations for these star keywords. 

Some broad match keywords that perform well may still be a little too broad (pun intended) to migrate directly into exact match, so instead, you can migrate them into phrase match. 

When you migrate a keyword from one match type to another, always remember to negate the keyword from the previous match type so you’re not bidding against yourself.  

Keyword Negation 

Key words that are performing poorly should be flagged as “Negative Keywords,” or keywords that your ads are set to not bid on. Negative keywords can be very helpful when your keyword may involve multiple product types, and only one product type is relevant.  

For example, if selling a lavender oil product, you may bid on “lavender oil.” However, if you found that your ad was placing for lavender candles, you could flag “candle” as a negative keyword so that your ad would never place for a shopper that was specifically interested in candles. 

Negating keywords helps ensure that you’re not wasting ad spend on irrelevant placements. It’s a key practice for using a marketing budget efficiently.  

Campaign Architecture Enables Optimizations 

Both bid optimizations and search term optimizations are made much easier to identify and manage when you construct your campaigns in a certain way. 

In general, we recommend creating four campaigns: 

  1. Broad Match Campaign 
  2. Phrase Match Campaign 
  3. Exact Match Campaign 
  4. Automatic Campaign 

 

Each campaign can contain multiple ad groups. In general, we recommend including only one product per ad group. Amazon provides reporting at the ad group level, so this architecture enables you to see ad performance at a product-level, including insights that inform bid and search term optimizations. 

Next Steps 

If this sounds like a lot, well, it is. You can absolutely manage your Amazon ad campaigns using only Seller Central, but this is really only usable for sellers with a small product catalog. As you scale, you’ll need to find ways to automate much of this process. That’s why Amazon advertising agencies and Amazon advertising software exists.  

Kaspien offers self-service software for Amazon ad campaign management, with the option to hire our experts to manage campaigns for you if you don’t want to take the process in house. 

If you’d like to learn more about Amazon advertising, check out our free eBook!

Amazon Advertising eBook 

Amazon Electronics Category Overview

The Electronics category is one of the largest, most competitive, and most mature categories on Amazon. Amazon itself has a dominant presence, both as a first-party retailer (1P) and in a private label capacity, with Amazon Echo, Alexa, Kindle, and Fire TVs being just a few of their offerings in Electronics.  

But, Amazon isn’t the only established player in this space. Major brands like AppleSony, and many others have large catalogs on Amazon. The Electronics category also sees a surplus of copycat and knockoff products, as there are plenty of factories that will happily produce the same product for two brands and apply a different sticker to each.  

Even with these challenges, there have been tremendous success stories. Brands like Anker and 1More both established much of their initial business on Amazon and have grown into major players on and off the channel. But selling in this category is difficult; brands need to be ready to hit the ground running. It’s a marathon sprint, and the race has already started. 

Overview 

Amazon 1P Dominates Electronics Sales 

Amazon has a strong first-party (1P) presence in the Electronics category, accounting for 43% of the total sales in Consumer Electronics, according to Amazon’s responses to the US House Committee on the Judiciary’s Questions for the Record 

 Amazon’s dominance in this category is partly owed to Electronics brands themselves, many of whom choose to partner with Amazon 1P as their wholesale online retailer. We can see this played out on Prime Day in 2020. A Rolling Stones poll found that on Prime Day, the top selling products were: 

  1. Apple AirPods with Charging Case (sold by Amazon) 
  2. Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar (sold by Amazon) 
  3. YI 1080p HD Wireless Home Security Camera 
  4. VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector 
  5. Echo Show 5 (sold by Amazon) 
  6. Amazon Smart Plug (sold by Amazon) 
  7. Back Bay Wireless Bluetooth Shower Speaker 
  8. 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service 
  9. Pure Clean Automatic Vacuum Cleaner (sold by Amazon) 
  10. YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike 

 

During Prime Day 2020, Amazon 1P accounted for half of the top ten selling products. Eight of the top ten selling products were from the Electronics category, including the top seven products. Digital Commerce 360 estimates that Amazon saw over $10.4 billion in sales on Prime Day 2020, and that Amazon claimed 65% of those sales. 

Amazon’s Prime Day sales demonstrate Amazon’s control in the Electronics category, as well as the enormous interest in purchasing Electronics on Amazon. Shoppers have learned they can find nearly all their Electronic wants and needs on Amazon, making it a key market for Electronics brands and sellers.  

The Electronics Category is Saturated 

Of course, when there’s so much value up for grabs, everyone wants a piece. The Electronics category is not just saturated; it’s among the most saturated categories on Amazon. It is one of the most-purchased-from categories, one of the most competitive with ads and pricing, and rife with knockoffs and counterfeit products. There are literally tens of thousands of purchasing options for headphones alone, making it into its own sub-category. 

Brands entering the Electronics category have a difficult road ahead. For new brands, rising about the clamoring crowd of lookalike products is incredibly challenging in most established sub-categories, such as headphones, speakers, and mics. However, there are strong opportunities in emerging technologies, such as “smart home” products. 

The saturation of the Electronics category is, of course, a long time in the making. Electronics sellers have been on Amazon for many years, maturing into one of the most experienced categories on Amazon. Which brings us to our next point… 

One of the Most Mature Categories 

The Electronics category is one of the most mature categories on Amazon. What exactly does that mean?  

By maturity, we mean that the sellers operating in this category tend to have an above-average understanding of what goes into selling on Amazon. They understand the competitive landscape, Amazon’s dialectic role friend and rival, the necessity and value of marketing, how to marry their brick and mortar and ecommerce strategies, etc. When the category is so saturated, sellers have had to learn to adapt or fail. 

This maturation is leading the category into the next phase of its lifecycle, where major players are reclaiming the landscape. As mentioned, Amazon dominates much of the category by retailing products from leading brands and creating its own low-cost private label products. In 2020, Amazon’s retail sales account for 97% of their sales in the Electronics category, while private label accounts for just 3%.  

Despite its small share, you shouldn’t write off Amazon’s private label. AmazonBasics is a growing threat in the landscape, as AmazonBasics often develops their own versions of successful items on the market at a much cheaper price.  

This practice landed Amazon in hot water in 2020, when the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law of the Committee of the Judiciary published a report that claims Amazon uses private third-party information to inform its private label decisions. 

However, Amazon isn’t the only one taking a larger market share. Major brands like Bose, TLC, and Sony are taking more ownership of their Amazon channels as they realize the opportunities of this marketplace. If the trend continues, the Electronics category may shift to consist of several dominant brands in established sub-categories, while they and new brands continue to fight for market share in emerging sub-categories. 

Learn More 

There are many challenges in the Electronics category: seller saturation, competitive ads and pricing, direct competition with Amazon 1P, knockoffs, counterfeits, quality control, safety testing and certifications, and more. It’s a lot for any brand to handle on their own. 

Fortunately, we’ve got the resources to help. Download our free Amazon Seller’s Guide to the Electronics Category to learn even more about the category landscape, shopper psychographics, and category-specific marketing strategies. 

Download the Amazon Electronics Category Guide


Walmart vs Amazon: How the two companies compare

Amazon has long dominated online marketplaces in the US. However, in 2020, Walmart launched a series of initiatives that would borrow from Amazon’s learnings to bring Walmart into a competitive position, such as Walmart Fulfillment Services and a subscription service, Walmart+ (Walmart Plus) 

The success of these initiatives immediately underwent a trial by fire as the coronavirus pandemic swept the US. Amidst quarantines and dramatic swings in consumer buying behaviors, Walmart’s online segment has conducted itself admirably.  

So, in this post, we’re taking a closer look at how Walmart Marketplace compares to the great leviathan of US ecommerce. 

Walmart vs Amazon – History 

Amazon’s History 

Amazon was founded as an online book seller on July 5, 1994. The company went public just under three years later in 1997then expanded into music and DVDs in 1998.  

Amazon as we know it today, with millions of third-party sellers selling alongside Amazon on its platform, began in 1999, when Amazon launched its third-party seller marketplace. Amazon Web Services, or AWS, joined the fray in 2003.  

2005 brought the introduction of Amazon Prime. From there on out, Amazon continued to grow into the behemoth we know today. The last 15 years have been filled with acquisitions and ventures into all types of industries, including mobile phones, robotics systems, the Washington Post, Twitch video game streaming service, Whole Foods, the creation of Echo and Alexa, prescription medication, and more.  

This article contains a thorough summary of Amazon’s major milestones over the years. 

Walmart’s History 

Walmart is far older than Amazon, founded in 1962. The company went public in 1970.  

The next 30 years saw rapid growth in physical store locations, but it wasn’t until 2000, just five years after Amazon launched, that Walmart launched online stores. Likewise, it wasn’t until 2009 that Walmart launched a third-party seller marketplace, 10 years after Amazon.  

However, Walmart beat Amazon to the online grocery game, starting online grocery pickup in 2015.  

Walmart acquired Jet.com in 2016, a move that would ultimately teach Walmart many lessons about ecommerce, but not drive any immediate, significant growth. 

Walmart launched TwoDay Delivery in 2017 to compete with Amazon’s 2-day shipping, then NextDay Delivery in 2019. 

Though Walmart had been making progress in developing its online marketplace, it wasn’t until 2020 that their online marketplace really began to capture brands’ attention as a high-opportunity ecommerce marketplace 

In February 2020, Walmart launched Walmart Fulfillment Services. In September 2020, they launched Walmart+, a subscriptions service with exclusive benefits, similar in theory to Amazon Prime, but each offering a different set of perks enabled by their unique positions. 

Walmart vs Amazon – Size 

Ecommerce Share 

Amazon currently controls roughly 38% of the United States ecommerce retail market, according to eMarketer. On the other hand, Walmart only controls approximately 8% of the ecommerce retail market.  

Amazon has over 95 million monthly unique website visitors in the US, while Walmart.com has over 100 million monthly unique visitors. 

Physical Locations 

It should come as little surprise that Walmart’s physical locations vastly outnumber Amazon’s, given each company’s history. Walmart has 5,353 US stores as of July 2020, while Amazon ha589 physical stores as of August 2020. 

International Presence 

Amazon has marketplaces in 16 countries, while Walmart has its online marketplace available in 10 countries and physical stores in 27 countries 

Walmart vs Amazon – Customers 

How do Walmart shoppers differ from Amazon shoppers?  

The answer? Not a whole lot. According to Walmart, Walmart’s and Amazon’s customer demographics are nearly identical when viewed by generations or by income levels. 

Walmart’s VP of Walmart Fulfillment Services delved into more Walmart vs Amazon myth busting in our co-hosted webinar. You can watch it for free on-demand. 

Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) vs Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) 

Speaking of Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS), let’s take a look at how it compares to Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). 

For the moment, WFS and FBA share many similarities. Both services allow third-party vendors to ship their product at a fulfillment center, where the product is stored until purchased, then fulfilled. Both will: 

  • Pick, sort, pack, ship, and track products 
  • Handle shipping, returns, and refunds  
  • Provide 2-day shipping 
  • Provide same-day shipping in select areas 

One big difference is that Walmart.com allows for item pickup at any of its stores, while Amazon only has a few stores that do online pickup. 

WFS vs FBA eBook & Webinar

We offer a comprehensive breakdown of WFS vs FBA in our free eBook. If you’re interested in learning more about WFS, watch our on-demand WFS webinar that we co-hosted with Walmart’s VP of WFS. 

Walmart Fulfillment Services vs Amazon FBA

Walmart vs Amazon – Marketing Services

In terms of marketing, Amazon and Walmart.com are very similar, but Amazon has many more options to choose from.  

Amazon Marketing Services 

Amazon marketing products available to sellers include:  

Walmart Marketing Services 

Extensive right? In contrast, Walmart offers a limited selection of marketing products for sellers, including:  

This difference in selection is not surprising though. Amazon has been focused on ecommerce for 25 years, while Walmart has only really made ecommerce a heavy focus in the last five years. Over time, Walmart Marketplace will develop new marketing services to match Amazon’s list. 

For the time being, online sellers will see far greater returns from marketing dollars invested into Amazon marketing than in Walmart marketing. Amazon’s services offer greater control over audience targeting and more data insights, which, in turn, yield higher profitability. 

Walmart Plus vs Amazon Prime 

Until recently, Walmart did not have a competitor to Amazon Prime, Amazon’s premium paid subscription service. In July 2020, Walmart announced Walmart+, its own premium paid subscription service. These subscriptions are very similar as both give you access to perks and benefits like two-day shipping and one-day shipping on a host of products.   

Walmart Plus vs Amazon Prime

Walmart Plus Member Benefits 

  • Free 2-day shipping 
  • Early access to deals 
  • Express delivery for groceries and select goods 
  • Fuel discounts at Walmart gas stations 
  • Scan & Go service in Walmart stores 
  • Walmart dropped its minimum $35 purchase requirement for 2-day shipping in December 2020 
  • Planned Walmart Plus credit card 
  • Planned Walmart Plus entertainment package 

Amazon Prime Member Benefits 

  • Free 2-day shipping 
  • Early access to deals 
  • Express delivery for groceries and select goods 
  • Prime video 
  • Free video games 
  • Free access to Amazon library 
  • Ad-free Amazon Music 

Amazon Prime costs $119/year, while Walmart Plus costs $98/year. Amazon Prime has 126 million members in the US as of October 2020, so Walmart has a lot of catching up to do. 

Walmart vs Amazon – Challenges 

Counterfeit Products Plague Amazon 

Amazon has the ignominious reputation of being rife with counterfeits and unauthorized sellers. In January 2020, the United States Department of Homeland Security released a report detailing counterfeiting on the Amazon marketplace platform. The company has been slow to face the issues but has been making some strides.  

Unlike Amazon, Walmart.com is a gated marketplace, which has helped mitigate the risk of counterfeits and unauthorized sellers. 

Amazon Accused of Stealing Third-Party Data 

Another problem facing Amazon is the accusations of stealing data from businesses that use its marketplace or Amazon Web Services (AWS). Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, testified before United States Congress about these allegations on July 29, 2020, and Amazon provided written answers on September 4, 2020 to the committee’s follow-up questions. 

Walmart is Playing Catch Up 

Walmart Marketplace’s greatest hurdle is that it is starting so far behind Amazon in the ecommerce game. However, Walmart has an extensive infrastructure, capital, and the benefits of learning from Amazon’s successes and failures. As we touched on regarding marketing, Walmart is still well behind Amazon, but they have made admirable progress this year with the launch of Walmart Fulfillment Services and Walmart Plus.  

Walmart vs Amazon – Ecommerce Growth 

As anyone can see, there are pros and cons for both Amazon and Walmart. Amazon may be the giant in the ecommerce space, but that means they have a large target on their back. Both Amazon and Walmart have seen tremendous growth in 2020: 

Walmart Ecommerce Quarterly Net Sales Growth 

  • Q1 2020: 74% year-over-year 
  • Q2 2020: 97% year-over-year 
  • Q3 2020: 79% year-over-year 

Amazon Quarterly Net Sales Growth 

  • Q1 2020: 26% year-over-year 
  • Q2 2020: 40% year-over-year 
  • Q3 2020: 37% year-over-year 

Clearly, both companies’ offer huge growth potential. In general, we recommend prioritizing Amazon over Walmart because the sales potential is, currently, so much greater on Amazon. However, Walmart is growing rapidly, and you would be wise to try to get on Walmart sooner rather than later so you can grow with it. 

Want to learn about selling on Walmart.com? Check out our free eBook!

Download the eBook

WFS: Walmart’s Gamble to Challenge Amazon FBA


Scissors cutting price tag

One of the most frustrating experiences as a brand owner is seeing copycat competitors undercut your pricing. In retail, competition is healthy because it forces businesses to innovate, resulting in better deals and products for consumers. However, sometimes it’s not a matter of two quality products vying for patronage. In some cases, it’s a high-quality product being undercut by a low-quality product.  

There’s not much that brands can do about competitors’ prices, but there’s plenty they can do to convince shoppers that the higher cost of their product is well worth it.  

How to Defend Against Competitors Undercutting Pricing 

#1 – Highlight What Makes Your Product Better 

On Amazon, customers have many choices when looking at products. A simple and free way to help your products stand out is to promote your differential features in the copy, images, and A+ Content. Differentiators are features that make your product different from your competition, such as location of production, quality of materials, performance, additional features or capabilities, aesthetics, or warranties These factors can help convince customers that your product is worth paying a little more.

#2 – Use Amazon Live 

Amazon Live is an Amazon service that allows sellers to broadcast livestreams in which they demonstrate product usage, features, and benefits. Featured products appear directly below the live broadcast window. Brands can use Amazon Live to share their story, live events, educational content, and so much more. Customers on Amazon Live can ask questions and receive answers in real timeAmazon Live allows customers and brands to connect on a more intimate level compared to a video or listing and is an excellent (and free) way to increase visibility. 

#3 – Engage with Your Audience on Social Media 

Social media is one of the most powerful tools that brands can leverage to grow their audience. When we talk about social media, were meaning Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube, and so many more platforms.  

Brands can use social media in many ways, but one of the most important uses is actively engaging with your customer base. This means responding to comments in a timely manner, creating social posts that invite your audience to actively participate in a discussion, and responding to all direct messages. Audiences want to feel a connection to a brand, and engagement on social media is one of the top ways to do so.  

Most importantly, a strong social media presence builds brand trust. Consumers are more educated than ever, and social media is a big part of that education. They’ll initially turn to your social channels to ensure your brand is legitimate but they’ll stay to engage with your brand on a personal level.  

If you need assistance in growing your brand’s social presence, look into our social media management service.

#4 – Respond to ReviewsComments, and Questions on Listings 

When managing many listings, responding to each and every review and comment can seem dauntingHowever, responding to your customers, regardless of whether their feedback is positive or negative, is critical to differentiate your brand from competitors. Responding to questions, praise, and criticism takes time and energy, and not everyone is willing to do it. By taking time to respond to customers in a timely manner, you demonstrate that your brand cares about your customers, and shoppers will favor you for that. 

#5 – Represent Your Brand Consistently Across All Sales Channels 

Consistent representation across all sales channels is often overlooked, but it’s incredibly important for maintaining brand integrity and strong customer relations. Inconsistent representation can lead shoppers to question quality and product authenticity.  

Brands should seek to maintain a consistent brand name, brand voice, high quality copy and images, and prices across online marketplacesThis ensures you provide a fantastic customer experience with your brand, no matter where shoppers find your products. By doing so, you cultivate a reputation as a reliable brand that cares about your brand, products, and customers. 

#6 – Be Where Your Customers Are 

The ecommerce landscape is constantly changing. In order to stay ahead of your competitors, you need to meet shoppers where they’re at. In today’s age, that means listing your products online, such as on Amazon, Walmart, and Google Shopping. As mentioned above, that likely also means curating an active presence on social media. In addition to posting and responding regularly, consider running social media ads and leveraging influencer marketing. You competitors may simply wait for shoppers to find them, so you can get a leg up by getting directly in front of shoppers, no matter where they’re at. 

illustration with three people and the words amazon brand registry roles

The Amazon ecosystem is getting more competitive and complex each day. Counterfeit goods slipping into listings and rising marketing costs are just two of the many issues brands face when selling on Amazon. Luckily, one tool brands can use to overcome some of these issues is Amazon Brand Registry.

What is Amazon Brand Registry?  

Amazon Brand Registry is an Amazon program that provides brands additional protection and access to other marketing services, including: 

Enrollment in Brand Registry is free but requires a trademark registration number with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Learn more about all the benefits in our Always Up-to-Date List of Amazon Brand Registry Benefits. 

What are Amazon Brand Registry Roles? 

One big issue for unregistered brands is the lack of control over their listings. When your brand is not part of the Amazon Brand Registry, unauthorized sellers can come into your listing and change content. As brand trust becomes more important to consumers, it is crucial to maintain control of your listings.    

When brands are brand registered with Amazon, only authorized accounts can change listings. Authorized accounts can include your employees or another account to which you have assigned a role, such as an authorized agency. There are currently three types of Amazon Brand Registry roles: Administrator, Rights Owner, and Registered Agent. Each comes with a different level of permissions.   

  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.   

 

If you wish to give a seller the authority to report violations on your behalf and have extra authority within your listings, you must add them as a Registered Agent, Rights Owner, or Administrator. 

How to Assign Brand Registry Roles 

To assign roles for Amazon Brand Registry, follow these steps: 

1 – On the Amazon Brand Registry platform, click on Brand Registry Support. 

screenshot of amazon dashboard for Welcome to the Brand Registry

2 – Click through Update your brand profile > Update role or add new user to account 

screenshot of Amazon Brand Registry Support

3 – Follow the on-screen form to submit the seller’s email as the role you desire them to have. 

Apply for Amazon Brand Registry 

Learn how to apply to Amazon Brand Registry.

Learn More about Amazon Services

We have a growing library of resources about Amazon services, including other blog posts, whitepapers, eBooks, podcasts, and more. Subscribe to our weekly blog to never miss a beat! 


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 Free eBook


Tips for Influencer Marketing

Online shoppers can’t physically inspect your products before buying them on online marketplaces, such as Amazon, Google Shopping, eBay, and Walmart. As such, recommendations are one of the few ways that online shoppers can connect with your products, and influencer endorsements are one of the best forms of recommendation. Influencers spend years gaining the trust and respect of their followersmaking them ideal advocates for your brand.  

Nowadays, many brands run influencer marketing campaigns. That shouldn’t be surprising, as influencer marketing is one of the best forms of social proof. Their followers trust their actions and guidance within their particular niche. This trust is incredibly valuable to growing brands.    

Influencer marketing campaigns can be challenging to manage and execute, but have no fear. In this post, we’re sharing seven tips for how to manage and maximize the results of your influencer marketing campaigns.   

1. Create Goals for Your Marketing Campaigns  

As with any project, a successful influencer campaign starts with clearly defining goals. Your goals should be tailored to your specific brand, as goals will differ depending significantly on your current social media development level. Common goals among brands include brand awareness, brand engagement, driving traffic to your listings or website, driving sales, or increasing followers for their social media. 

2. Clearly Define Your Goals to Your Social Influencers  

Now that you have clearly defined goals, they need to be communicated to your influencers. If your influencers are not on board with your goals, they are not the right fit for your influencer campaign. Additionally, if your primary goal is to drive traffic to your listings, they need to be aware of that so they can be sure to include all relevant links.  

3. Engage with Your Social Influencers  

Engaging with your influencers keeps them excited about your campaign. Before the campaign starts, message your influencers personally and see if they have any unanswered questions. Also, follow their account and like some of their posts. Start engaging with their brand, so they start engaging with yours. During the campaign, continually message them about their efforts, progress, and results. It is your role to keep them in the loop about changes or errors in their posting. After the campaign is over, thank them and discuss their results. Influencers are not Facebook or Instagram Ads; they’re people, and they need to be engaged to maximize efforts.   

4. Allow Your Social Influencers to Be Creative  

Micro-managing influencer’s content is how influencer campaigns turn into advertising campaigns. Influencers know their audience best. Let your influencers play around with styles, messaging, and so on. The best way to ensure they stay aligned with your goals is to give them the freedom to be creative.   

5. But, Give Them the Specifics 

There are a few specific details that do need to be communicated. This type of communication includes giving them a specific link for your listings or website, how many pieces of content they need to produce, whether the product needs to appear in the post, and so on. These communications should be made before you hire an influencer.   

6. Track Post-Performance Metrics 

Like any marketing campaign, you need to have metrics to see how the campaign performed. In the case of influencer marketing, tracking likes, comments, views, click-through rates, and so on can provide insights into overall campaign performance. Knowing the ROI on your influencer marketing campaigns will allow you to identify what is working and what is not working. If promoting products on Amazon, you can use Amazon Attribution links to associate performance metrics with individual influencers.

7. Create A Relationship with Your Highest Performing Influencers 

Now that your influencer campaign is over, identify the highest performing influencers based around your goals and post-performance metrics. These are going to be the influencers you want to create long-term relationships with. You can do this in several manners, such as asking them to join other influencer campaigns, reposting their content, continuing to engage with their brand, and so forth.   

Looking for Help with Your Influencer Marketing Campaigns?  

Kaspien was the first major third-party seller to combine influencer marketing with Amazon marketing. We’ve spent over 4 years running over 150 influencer campaigns for our partners. Learn more about how we can drive traffic to your listings through influencers. 

More free resources

Amazon and social media marketing

What is Social Media Marketing? 

Social media marketing is the act of promoting products and brands to consumers on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Triller, TikTok, and Snapchat. In today’s virtual age, social media marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tools that brands have at a relatively low cost. 

When done in tandem with other marketing efforts, social media marketing can deliver extraordinary results. A great example of this is Häagen-Dazs’ Instagram and TikTok viral marketing campaign in the United Kingdom. In this campaign, Häagen-Dazs sponsored a weekly home-entertainment series, called “Secret Sofa,” which was promoted by influencers. They had numerous UK creators on TikTok and Instagram create videos around the sponsored series. From this campaign, Häagen-Dazs doubled its Amazon orders amid the COVID-19 pandemic.   

There are two types of social media marketing: organic and paid. 

Organic Social Media Marketing 

Organic social media marketing is any activity that doesn’t require a budget, such as posting, commenting, replying to messages, or interacting with other accounts. Organic marketing is all about growing brand awareness and engaging with your audience. Building relationships and earning customer trust is just as essential for brands online as for brick-and-mortar stores. It’s about striving to achieve the familiarity and service of a locally owned business, but on a much larger scale.

Learn about Kaspien’s organic social media marketing services.

Paid Social Media Marketing 

The second type, paid social media marketing, is about reaching your consumer through paid efforts on social media. These can include influencers, paid advertisements, sponsorships, and much more. Paid marketing is meant to drive traffic and sales on websites or online marketplaces. 

Learn about Kaspien’s paid social media marketing services.

click to enlarge

How to Use Social Media Marketing to Drive Amazon Sales 

Social media marketing can seem like a daunting undertaking for brands new to the space. It can be complicated, but there are a few principles to guide you.  

First off, engage with your audience. Use social platforms to create content, such as images and videos, that display your brand’s values and aesthetic. Do you want your brand to be seen as witty, earnest, fun, no-nonsense, etc.? You can reinforce your branding every time you engage with your audience with copy and visuals alike.  

Second, include a call to action. Suppose your goal is to sell a product, point shoppers to your products and listings. Not every post should include a CTA, as that risks coming across as overwhelming or making the relationship feel shallow. Balance CTAs with organic engagement.   

If you first engage and interact with your social network on the social platforms, directing them to your listing or website will be much easier. In many cases, shoppers need to connect with your brand long before they consider purchasing your products.  

click to enlarge

Promote Products Online: Amazon Marketing 

Amazon is the largest online marketplace and shoppers on Amazon have a higher intent to purchase than those searching via Google. The problem is that Amazon advertising is getting more expensive. In addition to growing brand awareness and building loyalty, social media marketing can help brands grow their Amazon sales. Reaching shoppers off Amazon and directing them back to Amazon allows you to bypass competitors’ Amazon ads. Plus, if they’ve interacted with your brand on social media in the past, you’ve already gained their trust on Amazon. 

Thanks to the Amazon Attribution Program, you can even attribute on-Amazon sales to off-Amazon promotions. If a consumer finds your products through your social media, and you’ve placed a trackable link created via the Amazon Attribution Programyou’ll gain insights such as clicks, Amazon listing views, and purchases. Amazon attribution is a necessary tool to gauge the effectiveness of your social media efforts. 

Run Amazon Giveaways via Social Media 

One great example of how to utilize social media marketing to drive Amazon sales is through product giveaways. Amazon used to run a program called Amazon Giveaways, but Amazon retired giveaways in October 2019. We saw great success in running product giveaways, so the loss of the program was disappointing (BUT, we did create a list of low-cost marketing alternatives to Amazon Giveaways). However, through social media marketing, you can still run giveaways manually through your social media channels. Our partners have seen excellent results promoting their Amazon listings through giveaways held on their social media channels, as it’s a natural way to drum up interest in your products on Amazon. 

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Amazon Giveaways Alternatives

Amazon Giveaways used to be an affordable and impactful way to increase traffic to Amazon listings and support sales growth. However, in October 2019, Amazon retired the Amazon Giveaways Program. We’ve noticed an uptick in searches for Amazon Giveaways as brands plan their holiday marketing strategy for Amazon.

Since Amazon Giveaways are no longer an option, we’ve put together a list of other cost-effective Amazon marketing services you can use to support Amazon’s sales growth this holiday season.   

Amazon Marketing Services for the Holidays 

The holidays are a crazy time for the eCommerce world. In 2019, online holiday spending in the US totaled $142.5 billion. With the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic, holiday spending is expected to rise on online marketplaces. 

Giveaways on Social Media Utilizing the Amazon Attribution Program 

Even without the Amazon Giveaways Program, you can still offer product giveaways. Instead of using Amazon’s program, you can offer giveaways through your brand’s social media channels. This tactic does require more work on your end, as you’re responsible for managing the giveaway from start to finish, but it’s a relatively low effort project and can be a great way to boost your visibility.   

Consider partnering with an influencer to expand the reach of your giveaway on social media. The influencer can post the giveaway on their social channels while you cross-promote on your social channels as well, amplifying your giveaway’s reach while introducing thousands of new potential customers to your brand. 

Thanks to the Amazon Attribution Program, you can track on-Amazon metrics, such as traffic, page views, and sales, generated from this off-Amazon giveaway. These tracking measures allow you to see the effectiveness of your giveaways on Amazon. 

Amazon Coupons 

Amazon Coupons display on the search engine results page (SERP), on the Amazon Coupons page, and the product listing. Coupons are a great way to boost sales, especially on products where the price is differentiating.  

Amazon Coupons

Brands can enroll up to 50 ASINs into a single coupon and offer a dollar amount or percentage off. The coupon cost to the advertiser will equal the discount + $0.60, both of which are subtracted from the coupon budget. Each coupon must have a minimum of $100 for the budget; however, brands will be charged only for redeemed coupons. Within Amazon Coupons, brands get to dictate the duration, the discount, and the product selection. This variety of options makes Amazon Coupons very customizable to your marketing needs.  

Amazon Live 

Back in 2019, Amazon revealed Amazon Live. Amazon Live allows sellers to use the app, Amazon Live Creator, to broadcast live streams where they demonstrate product usage, features, and benefits. Featured products appear directly below the live broadcast. While playing, the videos appear on the brand’s listings, Amazon store, and Amazon.com/Live. The service is currently only available to brand registered brands based in the United States.   

Amazon Live is free and a great way to promote product launches or familiarize viewers with product features. These live events are the best time to allow for frequently asked questions or questions and answers. 

Amazon Stores and A+ Content 

While not an active promotion, Amazon Stores and A+ Content are free tools for brands enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry

Amazon Stores are digital storefronts for brands on the Amazon marketplace. These branded stores allow you to list your entire catalog of products. A+ Content (previously Enhanced Brand Content) provides the opportunity to share more product information through stylized content and additional images.  

A laptop displaying an Amazon Store for brands and sellers

These services are a great way to help your consumer engage with your brand and your products. Creating Amazon Stores and A+ Content is a way to encourage customers to convert once they reach your listings. 

Amazon Marketing is Alive & Well 

Amazon Giveaways may be gone, but your options for cost-effective Amazon seller marketing tools are not. Amazon Coupons, giveaways on social media, Amazon Live, Amazon Stores, and A+ Content are fantastic alternatives to increase sales and conversions. There’s a rich combination of opportunities available that can deliver similar and even better results than Amazon Giveaways, especially when deployed in conjunction with one another. 

Learn more about the current Amazon marketing landscape in our whitepaper, The State of Amazon Marketing. 

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