Case study

TSUBOYA increased profits by 734% through ad-attributed sales by partnering with Barriz

Kibana Cookie Box

Established in 1929, TSUBOYA Co., Ltd., is a long-running confectionery manufacturer based in Asahikawa, Japan, that develops products with a strong awareness of the Hokkaido region. Kibana, the company’s famous cookie and one of their flagship products, is often sold as a local souvenir at airports and other locations, including the 20 stores operated by TSUBOYA in Hokkaido.

In 2020, the number of tourists in Hokkaido decreased due to COVID-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions, and sales at stores and airports plummeted. Urgent efforts were necessary to discover new audiences, and to expand sales channels outside the area of souvenirs.

TSUBOYA had established their own website to sell online, but the site was dated and required a complete overhaul. TSUBOYA decided to use the Amazon store to reach customers and sell products. The company used sponsored ads, but TSUBOYA wanted to further improve their advertising strategy. They decided to use an agency with expertise and experience related to Amazon Ads, and after researching several options, TSUBOYA chose to partner with Barriz Inc. in June 2021.

Barriz Inc., an Amazon Ads advanced partner, is an agency specializing in advertising in the Amazon store, and has a track record of supporting marketers in various industries including beauty, fashion and consumer packaged goods (CPG). The company uses their solutions to formulate strategies to resolve advertisers’ issues, while simultaneously supporting their clients from execution to effective measurement.

Implement advertising operations and improvement measurements in line with TSUBOYA’s profit structure

TSUBOYA saw advertising in the Amazon store as an additional channel to promote their products so that offline sales in physical stores and online sales in the Amazon store could both be successful. In advance of entrusting all advertising operations to Barriz, TSUBOYA acquired basic knowledge about Amazon Ads as an advertiser before starting to work on advertising management with Barriz. Before partnering, TSUBOYA communicated to Barriz that return on ad spend (ROAS) was a key objective calculated based on all costs associated with the sale of each product, and explained the rationale behind the numerical value objective. As a result, Barriz was able to understand TSUBOYA’s profit structure and implement advertising operations and improvement measurements in line with that structure.

After analyzing the various performance metrics provided by TSUBOYA, Barriz proposed using Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA). Next, work shifted to improving the product detail pages that form TSUBOYA’s selling aisle in the Amazon store. In addition to checking whether a Store page had been built, product detail pages were created by selecting appropriate keywords and describing products from a customer perspective.

quoteUpI recommend that once a brand or advertiser understands the specifications and overview of their advertising approach in the Amazon store, they ask an ad agency to help resolve any points they still don’t understand or to further improve sales.quoteDown
– Junichi Tokunaga, president and CEO, Barriz Inc.

After adopting sponsored ads, profits increased 734% through ad-attributed sales

After improving the product detail pages, Barriz focused on creating the advertising strategy for sponsored ads: Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Display. The agency considered each marketing funnel stage: Sponsored Products to reach customers considering purchasing products, Sponsored Brands to attract the interest of customers who visit the Amazon store, and Sponsored Display to promote engage audiences:

  • Sponsored Products: Barriz prioritized customers who were already familiar with TSUBOYA’s Kibana product to improve ad-attributed sales. Barriz used Sponsored Products to reach these customers who already have higher awareness of TSUBOYA’s products.
  • Sponsored Brands: Sponsored Brands, which helps increase brand visibility, increased awareness of the brand by setting general keywords. Barriz used Sponsored Brands to reach new customers and bring more attention to TSUBOYA’s Kibana product.
  • Sponsored Display: Sponsored Display, which can reengage audiences who have viewed product detail pages, was used to expand the ad-attributed sales opportunities.

Barriz strived to improve advertising based on operational results, and TSUBOYA improved the product packaging materials based on customer reviews and other feedback, with both companies going through plan, do, check, act (PDCA) cycles together to make improvements. As a result, as of January 2022, profits increased by 734% compared to June 2021, when Barriz began the partnership with TSUBOYA.1

1 TSUBOYA, Japan, 2022.