Oct. 24-26, NYC: Amazon Advertising, participated in SMX East, an annual event for search marketers. Colleen Aubrey (Vice President, Performance Advertising) hosted sessions on the sponsored ads’ product offering (formerly Amazon Marketing Services, or AMS), Amazon’s customer-centric culture, and top holiday advertising strategies. Here, we recap the key moments from those sessions.
Amazon is, above all else, an e-commerce destination: Many customers use the search bar to find products on Amazon, and 92% of customers who start their purchase journey on Amazon make their final purchase on Amazon1. And while it may seem intuitive, it’s important to remember that Amazon is an online retail site and not a search engine. This means customers frequently come to Amazon with an intent to purchase—not necessarily just to research. How does this tie into advertising? You need to have a strong retail presence on the site. Your products should be in stock and drive to product detail pages with quality images, accurate info, a good customer rating, and plenty of customer reviews. As Aubrey shared, “Advertising will not fix a product that customers don’t love.” The takeaway: be deliberate and opt to advertise your best products. Agency clients should work closely with their retail partners to ensure they’re set up for success.
A live look at Stores: In one talk, Aubrey walked the audience through the on-site experience of a best-in-class Store, featuring video, eye-catching lifestyle images, and a seasonal product curation. Stores is a new, free, self-service solution that lets brands create a comprehensive, dedicated, and brand-centric destination on Amazon. They can drive to their Stores from both their bylines and their Sponsored Brands (Headline Search Ads) campaigns. Aubrey noted that integrating Stores into the advertising experience gives brands a powerful way to expose customers to their selection, story, and unique features—all in one cohesive, easy-to-navigate setting.
Manually-targeted Sponsored Products campaigns unlock an important benefit: When a brand selects manual targeting for their Sponsored Products campaigns—meaning they choose their own keywords—they’re able to leverage a feature called Bid+. This feature dynamically raises bids by up to 50%, boosting the chances of an ad showing in top of search when it’s likely to lead to conversion. This is valuable real estate; the prominent placement makes it easier for customers to discover products.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are important, but so is the rest of the season: Amazon’s holiday season runs through the end of December, with deal-based events happening after those tentpole days wrap. How should brands plan for it? Aubrey had three tips: take an always-on approach to stay discoverable before and after the big ‘deal days,’ be extra-vigilant about campaign budgets to ensure your ads appear throughout the season, and advertise your holiday offers—including Lightning Deals, Deal of the Day, and more—with targeted campaigns. Plus, remember that customers are likely to redeem gift cards after the holidays, so consider running your campaigns into January.
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1 Source: PowerReviews, Mapping the Path to Purchase, June 2016