COVID-19 frequently asked questions

We’re closely monitoring the developments of COVID-19 and its impact on our employees, customers, partners, and communities. We’ve created this resource to help answer some of your frequently asked questions.

What are some of the changes Amazon has made due to COVID-19?

For a list of updates and what we’re doing to support our employees, partners, customers, and communities, please refer to The Amazon Blog: Day One.

I’m concerned about my inventory levels. Should I pause my sponsored ads campaigns?

In the US and EU, sellers can use the Restock Inventory page and Restock report in Seller Central to check which products are eligible for FBA replenishment. If you have a Vendor Manager, please reach out to them for more assistance.

Sponsored ads campaigns pause automatically if the promoted items go out of stock—no action is needed on your part. Here’s more detailed information on how each product works in out-of-stock situations:

  • Sponsored Products ads are shown if the promoted product is also the featured offer on the product detail page. The ads will appear so long as that product can be purchased. If the product is out of stock and not the featured offer, the ads won’t display but will automatically resume when the product is back in stock and available for purchase.
  • Sponsored Display ads automatically pause when the promoted products go out of stock. When the products are back in stock, your campaigns will automatically resume as long as they are still active.
  • For Sponsored Brands campaigns linking to a product list page with less than two in-stock products, the campaign will automatically pause. For campaigns linking to a Store, the campaign will continue to run regardless of inventory levels. With Stores, you can feature your full product selection in your own branded destination on Amazon, which may help you be less reliant on inventory levels of specific products in your catalogue. Featured deals, best sellers, and recommended products content tiles will automatically hide out-of-stock products, as will product grid tiles using the automated option. For product grid tiles using the manual option, as well as full-size product tiles with the product detail option, you can select to have out-of-stock products hidden from your Store. Simply choose this option when editing specific pages or sections of your Store, then submit your Store for publishing for your changes to apply.
Should I take any action on my display, video, custom ads, or Amazon DSP campaigns if my inventory is low?

We recommend reaching out to your Amazon representative to discuss inventory levels and develop an action plan for your campaigns.

What happens if products in my Store go out of stock?

Stores offer various section and content tile types that display products and their information. This is how content tiles perform in out-of-stock situations:

  • Featured deals, best sellers, and recommended products tiles, which automatically source relevant products from your catalogue to display in your Store, will hide out-of-stock products. Additionally, product grid tiles using the automated option will hide your out-of-stock products.
  • Product grid tiles using the manual option, as well as full-width product tiles with the product detail layout option, will continue displaying, but will exclude information such as price and Prime eligibility. Shoppers will be able to see the product images, click on the products, and go to their detail pages. With these tiles, you can also choose to manually suppress out-of-stock products from displaying. Simply choose this option when editing specific pages or sections of your Store, then submit your Store for publishing for your changes to apply.
What are my options for fulfilling products directly?

Sellers can use Merchant Fulfilled Network (MFN) to use their own resources to fulfill an Amazon order. You can find additional information here. Vendors can talk with their vendor managers about Direct Fulfillment.

Some of the products in my campaigns currently have longer delivery times. Do I need to make any changes to my campaigns?

If you have longer delivery times, here are some tips to optimise your campaign performance:

  • Sponsored Products: Select ‘dynamic bids - down only’ or ‘dynamic bids - up and down’, as these bidding strategies will take into account any changes in conversion rate and adjust your bid accordingly. Fixed bids will not adjust automatically—you will need to manually change them.
  • Sponsored Display: Bidding on Sponsored Display is dynamic, so bids adjust automatically taking into account the likelihood of conversion. You may reallocate budget towards products that are generating most sales.
  • Sponsored Brands: Evaluate which keyword and/or product targeting strategies are working for your business. You can increase bids for the strategies that are driving conversions, and reduce bids for strategies that are under-performing. Learn more about targeting strategies for your campaigns.
  • If your catalogue includes digital products like books, music, or software, include ASINs for the digital formats of your products in your campaigns to help engage shoppers with items that are immediately available.
Are there keywords I shouldn’t use in my sponsored ads campaigns right now?

In response to COVID-19, we’ve restricted advertising at this time on keywords related to some protective equipment. You should continue to choose relevant keywords for your products.

How can I help manage my advertising cost of sales (ACOS) for my sponsored ads campaigns at this time?

Monitor your ACOS to make sure it stays on track with your business goals. Here are some strategies that can help control your spend:

  • For Sponsored Products campaigns, use ‘dynamic bids - down only’ or ‘dynamic bids - up and down.’ When you select either of these bidding strategies, Amazon will automatically lower your bid in real time when your ad may be less likely to convert to a sale. We recommend using these strategies over fixed bids during this time.
  • For your Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands campaigns, evaluate which keyword and/or product targeting strategies are working. As always, you can increase bids for the strategies that are driving conversions, and reduce bids for strategies that are under-performing.
  • With Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands, you can use negative targeting to remove products that don’t drive clicks or sales.
How can I help manage my return on ad spend (ROAS) for my DSP campaigns right now?

Here are some things to keep in mind for managing DSP ROAS:

  • Automatic optimisation adjusts your bids, budget allocations, and pacing based on changes in conversion rates and KPIs you’ve set.
  • Use the audience segmentation report to view performance by audience segment for a given campaign. You can add audiences that are driving conversions, and remove those that are under-performing.
  • Use the custom report template to review performance across various campaign and line item parameters such as inventory. You can use these insights to adjust your targeting settings accordingly.
Does Amazon Advertising offer other ways to help my business during this time?

If you’re a vendor or a seller enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry, you can use these free self-service products below to communicate your brand message and increase your connection with potential customers.

  • Stores: This free solution lets you create a dedicated destination for your brand on Amazon, and helps shoppers discover your brand’s product selection. Stores are easy to build and update, and display on mobile and desktop without any additional work. You can link Sponsored Brands ads and DSP ads to drive traffic to your Store homepage or specific sub-pages.
  • Posts (US only beta): Posts is a new free browse and discovery experience on Amazon focused on brand shopping. Posts help shoppers discover new products and see what’s new from brands by browsing feeds of brand-curated content. They link to product detail pages, making each post in a feed shoppable, and each post includes category tags so shoppers can continue exploring posts in related categories. To participate in Posts beta, you must have a US Store.
  • Amazon Live (US only): Engage with shoppers in real time with interactive livestreams. You can stream for free on the product detail pages of your products, as well as across various placements where Amazon shoppers browse. US vendors as well as sellers enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry can livestream on Amazon.

We also offer a webinar series on beginner to advanced advertising topics to help you learn more.

Do you have recommendations on how to manage my budget for sponsored ads campaigns?

Here are some tips for managing your budget and bids as you create and optimise campaigns:

  • Use a daily budget for your campaigns—the amount you’re willing to spend on a given campaign each day. You can adjust your budget at any time.
  • You can also consider using portfolios, a feature that lets you organise your campaigns by brand, business line, product category, or seasonal events. With this, you have the option to set a budget cap across all campaigns that comprise your portfolio, helping you manage the total spend of those campaigns. With portfolios, you can choose a recurring monthly budget cap or set a budget cap by date range.
  • Choose ‘dynamic bids - down only’ or ‘dynamic bids - up and down’ for your Sponsored Products campaigns. When you select either of these bidding strategies, Amazon will automatically lower your bid in real time when your ad may be less likely to convert to a sale. Learn more about dynamic bidding strategies.
  • When setting bids for your Sponsored Brands campaigns, refer to the suggested bid and bid range feature. This provides an estimate of bids that have been used by other advertisers for products like yours, and can help you set bids that align with your needs and goals.
How can I manage fluctuations to my campaign metrics?

During this time, your metrics may vary from what you’ve typically observed, due to Amazon prioritising high-demand products in our fulfillment centers. The following tips can help you manage your
campaigns:

  • For all ad products, monitor your seven-day performance closely so you can optimise your campaigns based on recent trends.
  • For Sponsored Products campaigns, consider using ‘dynamic bids - down only’ or ‘dynamic bids - up and down.’ These bidding strategies lower your bid in real time when your ad may be less likely to
    convert to a sale.
  • For your Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands campaigns, evaluate which keyword and/or product targeting strategies are driving conversions for you. Consider increasing bids for those strategies and reducing bids for strategies that are under-performing.
  • With Sponsored Display, your bids adjust automatically based on the likelihood of conversion. Consider reallocating budget towards products generating most sales.
If some of my products are out of stock or experiencing longer delivery times, how can I present more options from my brand to shoppers?

Consider using Sponsored Brands, a cost-per-click solution for vendors and sellers enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry, to create more visibility for other products in your catalogue. This ad type allows you to showcase multiple products from your selection, helping you present additional or alternative purchase options to shoppers. You can also link your Sponsored Brands campaign to your Store, a free, self-service destination for your brand, to help shoppers discover your entire catalogue.

What happens if products in your Sponsored Brands campaigns go out of stock? For campaigns linking to a product list page with less than two in-stock products, the campaign will automatically pause. For campaigns linking to a Store, the campaign will continue to run regardless of inventory levels.