Toy manufacturer hires e-commerce agency, Whitebox, to drive holiday sales with Sponsored Products

The company

EM Games, a board game manufacturer established in 2015, was seeking an end-to-end solution to manage all aspects of its business on Amazon.

The goal

Ahead of the holiday retail season in 2018, EM Games collaborated with Whitebox, a full-service e-commerce operation based in Baltimore, to help scale and grow its business on Amazon. In order to prepare for the holiday and drive sales, Whitebox not only managed EM Games’ inventory logistics, but also updated its Amazon Advertising campaign tactics.

Due to the nature of the product, a board game, it was important for us to stay top of mind during the holiday season. Working with Whitebox allowed us to build an effective holiday retail strategy in order to drive peak sales.– Bruno Saboga, Creator of The Awkward Storyteller, EM Games

The solution

With the holiday season approaching, Whitebox began by updating product pages to include high-quality images and engaging branded content, and incorporating relevant search terms into the product listings to help customers find and learn more about their products. To ensure brand exposure during a busy holiday season, Whitebox utilized Sponsored Products to reach potential shoppers, using automatic campaigns to harvest keyword, and manual campaigns to target both branded and non-branded keywords. Since EM Games was enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry, Whitebox was able to evaluate and utilize brand analytics to better inform campaign strategies and gain insight into customers’ search terms.

Whitebox is integrated with the Amazon Advertising API, which enables them to develop flexible solutions, to manage sponsored ads campaigns at scale for their clients. The Amazon Advertising API integration enabled Whitebox to dynamically change bids and immediately obtain a variety of reports, such as placement level and keyword reports, in a scalable way for all running campaigns. That meant rather than having to manually download each report, it received the data from these reports automatically through the API integration. To help inform optimization, Whitebox primarily focused on advertising cost of sales (ACOS), focusing particularly on keywords that had the highest impressions. Whitebox also used a combination of automated bid strategies through the Amazon Advertising API to programmatically make changes on the fly.

The Amazon Advertising API has been critical to our team. It's given us an edge to other manual solutions when it comes to providing clients insights in to their campaigns as well as the ability to make a multitude of changes in a fast and dynamic way.– Drew Kramer, Vice President of Business Analytics & Insights, Whitebox

The results

By working with Whitebox and using Sponsored Products, EM Games was able to reach new customers and achieve successful results during the holiday season. In less than two months of advertising, EM Games generated close to 13 million impressions while spending almost 50% less on advertising in 2018 than it spent in 2017. This resulted in an 8% increase in sales attributed to advertising. The company achieved this scale during a busy time of the year while still maintaining an ACOS that was 31% lower than in the previous year.

Whitebox shared a few recommendations for other advertisers for the upcoming holiday season:

  1. Tailor keywords to what customers are likely to look for during the holidays. A common mistake is to use the same keywords all year long; it’s important to research and refine holiday-specific keywords through automatic targeting campaigns
  2. It’s a small window of time, so anticipate a competitive landscape and increase bids as needed to reach those important top-of-search placements.
  3. Use data like Amazon Search Terms from Amazon Brand Registry if possible to better understand your customers and update the content accordingly to stay relevant.
With Amazon Advertising, it’s one of the best ways to test and gain visibility in a category like toys, especially during the holiday season. Using Amazon reporting on brand analytics and sponsored ads can help you understand how holiday shoppers’ search terms change and how to best showcase your product to those customers.– Bruno Saboga, Creator of The Awkward Storyteller, EM Games