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Amazon Releases Product Updates Across Advertising Arm
Stay on top of the latest e-commerce and marketplace trends.
Overview of Sponsored Products Updates
In January 2019, Amazon released several new bidding and targeting features for Sponsored Products, giving you more options to optimize your advertising campaigns. Included in these updates were additional bidding strategies, placement multipliers, product attribute targeting capabilities, and enhanced targeting improvements to automatic campaigns. The combination of these features now enables you to better manage your Sponsored Products by giving you more control over your ad placements, how you target, and how you bid.
Two months later, Amazon released Sponsored Products on its AmazonFresh platform in the U.S. only, and the capability is only available to vendors and is category specific. If you are a vendor in this space, you can now add your ASINs with AmazonFresh offers to new or existing Sponsored Product campaigns.
This capability will allow you to increase discoverability across Amazon’s regular search results and product detail pages as well as within AmazonFresh search results, so you can better reach relevant consumers as they shop. In this article, we have compiled the most recent product updates to ad types outside of Sponsored Products, namely Sponsored Brands, Stores, and the Amazon Attribution beta program.
What’s New for Sponsored Brands?
The product update to Sponsored Brands that has been the most transformative so far this year is undoubtedly Amazon’s introduction of new-to-brand metrics. This suite of metrics allows you to measure the orders and sales of your products generated from first-time customers of your brand on Amazon, which, in turn, enables you to pinpoint strategies that drive new customer acquisition instead of just customer retention.
However, in addition to this, Amazon has released a new creative builder to seller brand owners and vendors worldwide, which will allow for a more streamlined campaign building experience. The ads will still incorporate a logo, a custom headline, and up to three products, but you will be able to use an “Ad Preview” drop-down to see the different ad creative sizes before submitting your ad for Amazon’s review.
Amazon has also implemented enhanced keyword recommendations for Sponsored Brands, ensuring the keywords that are generated are more likely to result in purchases. There were no changes to the user interface and the suggestions are available as part of both the campaign builder and manager. You can choose not to use the suggested keywords with no impact on your campaigns.
Sponsored Brands, as well as Sponsored Products, can now also be broken down into portfolios. Portfolios are groups of campaigns that you can organize to help you better meet your advertising needs. They can be created by brand, product category, business line, or by season and are designed to mirror your business and how it is organized.
For example, a brand that sells multiple lines of toys can create a portfolio for each business line and connect the Sponsored ads for each line to the correct portfolio. Toy car Sponsored Products will map to the toy car portfolio, giving you a consolidated view of your Sponsored Product performance with segmentation that is meaningful to your business.
It is important to note that not all campaigns need a portfolio, but they may be beneficial for the following reasons:
- They provide campaign and account organization. Building portfolios will give you a framework to better manage your campaigns and look at your advertising data in terms that make sense for your business.
- You can receive your complete performance view in one place. This aggregated performance data lets you see all of your campaigns with your custom-defined portfolio segmentation.
- You can control your spend across Sponsored Products campaigns automatically with portfolio budget caps. Here, you can define a budget cap to ensure your campaign spend does not exceed your desired marketing needs.
Portfolios work within a single account, so you will need to merge your accounts if you have multiple that you want together in one portfolio. The best way to merge accounts is via bulk sheets, by pausing the campaigns that are active in one account and loading them into a centralized account. If you do this, keep in mind that you will need to rebuild your keyword variance data so you may see an initial fluctuation in performance.
By using the new portfolio view on the “Campaigns” tab within the campaign manager, you can quickly evaluate the performance of your Sponsored ads. You will be able to spot trends and find growth opportunities and spend less time downloading reports and manually manipulating your data.
What’s New for Amazon Stores?
Amazon Stores are free, self-service branded destinations that provide an immersive, multi-page experience for consumers through rich media like images, text, and video. The pages boast flexible ASIN tile placements and “Add to Cart” buttons for frictionless shopping.
A new tile option that Amazon has recently introduced is background video for full width, large, and medium tiles. Available worldwide if you are a Brand-Registered seller or vendor, the capability allows you to autoplay videos on a loop silently on your brand’s page. The video can be between two and 20 seconds and can enrich the content on your store by demonstrating your value proposition or highlighting specific products and features.
To help you track insights related to your Store traffic, you can view performance metrics in the Stores Insights Dashboard, which are accessible from the Stores builder. Amazon has launched a new set of performance metrics that allows Store owners to measure visitor traffic and basket-building behavior. In addition to reporting sales, units, and page views, the Insights Dashboard now also shows:
- Sales per visitor and sales per visit
- Total orders and orders per visit
- Units per order, to show order size
- Sales per order, to show order value
You can also break down your metrics by traffic sources, such as Amazon organic traffic, Sponsored Brands traffic, external traffic, or by tagged source for specific URL parameters. Finally, you can now manage multiple Stores for your brand from one account.
What’s New for Amazon Attribution?
In August 2018, Amazon introduced the Amazon Attribution beta program, which is a measurement solution for brands that sell on Amazon. The program allows brands to measure the impact of display, search, and video activations based on how consumers discover, research and buy their products on Amazon and provides impact analysis across their off-Amazon media channels.
Amazon has recently introduced social ad measurement capabilities, which enable brands to measure the impact of their social campaigns. Amazon leverages cross-device attribution to properly attribute ads and conversion events, including when they occur on different devices. Amazon Attribution also provides unique conversion metrics to help you understand how your marketing strategies contribute to buyers’ activity on Amazon — from awareness and consideration all the way through to conversion.
Amazon’s U.S. digital ad revenues are slated to grow by 53% in 2019. It is clear that the company is prioritizing building out and optimizing its digital advertising arm in order to remain a legitimate player in the race against Google and Facebook.
As a retailer or brand on Amazon, you should keep your finger on the pulse of Amazon’s advertising suite, as we anticipate the company will continue to introduce new features — both to the front-end creative and back-end targeting capabilities — in order to better enable a comprehensive understanding of your end-to-end advertising strategy.