5 Amazon PPC Updates: What’s Changed, What Hasn’t

5 Amazon PPC Updates: What’s Changed, What Hasn’t

To celebrate our 50th episode on the AMZ PPC Den Podcast, we looked back at 5 topics we covered last year and decided it’s time to bring them up to speed for 2019. 

We’re going to be analyzing what’s changed, what hasn’t, and what’s to come. Here’s what you can look forward to learning about today:

  1. Are we still living in the golden age of PPC?
  2. Bid+ is finished and has evolved
  3. Amazon advertising stats exactly 1 year later
  4. More reliable reporting
  5. Will we ever get search term reports for Sponsored Brand ads?

Are We Still Living in the Golden Age of PPC?

When we first asked this question in October 2018, the answer was a resounding yes. (Check out that episode here) Does it still hold up?

An even more resounding yes! We’re still living in the golden age of Amazon advertising.

It’s still relatively cheap and extremely high converting. Amazon ads have an average conversion rate of nearly 9 to 10% which is well above Google’s 3% rate.

On top of that, it’s growing extremely quickly. Amazon is releasing new features nearly every week. If you’re on top of your game, then there’s so much opportunity waiting to be captured.

The only aspect that’s gotten worse is barrier to entry. Starting out can be pretty complicated if you’re left to your own devices. There’s loads of crazy different strategies to choose from and competition is only increasing. That’s why we’re here at Ad Badger to help you cut through the BS.

If you’re on the fence about trying out PPC for your own account, the best time to start is now. You won’t regret it.

With that, let’s jump into our second update.

Bid+ is Finished and Has Evolved

One of the most popular topics people love to learn about are bids. They determine ACOS and are really the backbone of any good PPC strategy. 

Bid+ was a feature from Amazon that would increase your bids by 50% automatically if it thought you were going to win a top-of-search placement. How nice of Amazon.

Bid+ in AMS
What a peacful looking Bid+. I'm sure nothing will happen to it.

Well, unfortunately, Bid+ is finished.

But on the bright side, it’s been replaced with three new options: Dynamic bidding up and down, dynamic bidding down only, and fixed bids only. (If you’ve done Google Ads before, these terms might seem oddly familiar…)

Say Hello to Dynamic Bidding Up and Down, Down Only, and Fixed Bids

Dynamic bidding up or down automatically increases or decreases your bid by 100% if Amazon thinks you will earn a conversion from it. How it actually decides that is a bit of a mystery.

It could consider things like ad placement, search term conversion rate, or customer purchase history, but these are just our guesses. Hopefully Amazon will reveal the inner mechanics of how this works soon.

Dynamic bidding down only is very similar except it will only decrease your bid by 100% as the name implies.

Dynamic bidding up and down or down only are both great options when your optimize your account less frequently, say once or twice a month. They pair best with broad match keywords or automatic campaigns. 

How do you know which dynamic bidding type to pick? Well, it can get a little dicey. We’ll have a full post on dynamic bidding in the near future. For now, just enjoy this.

Lastly, fixed bids won’t change your bid at all in real time based on search. If you’re optimizing daily or weekly, these are your best option because they will give you the most control on how your PPC account is run.

That about covers the biggest updates to bidding. Next, let’s check out how much the average metrics have changed over this past year.

Amazon Advertising Stats Exactly 1 Year Later

One year ago, we decided we’d pool together data from our Ad Badger users and create a set of averages for the most crucial PPC metrics. This included stats like CTR, CPC, conversion rates, ACOS, and more. You can learn more about Amazon advertising stats in this post.

We’ve created the chart below to compare how much those average stats have changed in exactly one year.

The Badger loves his numbers oct2018vssept2019
The Badger loves his numbers

Are these changes really significant? I’m glad you asked young badger.

Click-through-rate (CTR) and conversion rate both dipped a little bit. This is likely because there are a lot more ads on Amazon now.

With more ads come more impressions and thus a lower CTR and conversion rate. Overall, we’d say these dips are nothing to worry about.

Meanwhile, cost-per-click (CPC) has seen a pretty substantial drop from $0.98 to $0.85. Because of that, the average ACOS is a little bit lower, and so is revenue per click. These are three very desirable wins for Amazon advertisers.

Of course, this data may be a little skewed since it’s only based on our dataset and not every single account. These numbers are only meant to give you an approximation of what the world of PPC looks like.

Hopefully, this gave you a good idea on where you stack up against the average Amazon seller. Now let’s jump into our update about reports. 

More Reliable Reporting

In the past, we’ve talked about how any reporting data from the last 48 hours was unreliable. This is because Amazon had such a long delay reporting clicks and conversions.

We’re happy to say that Amazon has stepped up their game, and reporting information is updated much faster now. Now you can log on in the evening and see information from the same morning.

However, Amazon still isn’t perfect. We’ve heard stories about people checking their data on Monday, checking it again on Thursday, and seeing totally different data.

We would still advise a two-delay before checking, but if you’re in a crunch, the data you’re seeing now in Seller Central is far more accurate than it used to be.

On the whole, reporting seems to be getting more accurate and faster. Maybe a year from now we’ll be saying “Only a 1 hour delay?! How did Amazon pull this off?” If that’s the case, sign me up for that future.

Which brings us to our last point— are search term reports finally coming to Sponsored Brand ads?

Will We Ever Get Search Term Reports for Sponsored Brand Ads?

Every night, I light my candle under my portrait of Jeff Bezos praying for search term reports for Sponsored Brand ads. My wish could come true very soon.

Amazon has been kicking it into high gear these last feel months as they roll out new features for Sponsored Product, Sponsored Brand, and now even Sponsored Display (I just wish they had more distinct names!)

In fact, last quarter Amazon reported that Sponsored Products alone were one of their biggest revenue generators. They know their advertising department is worth it and are ready to evolve it even further.

Could it come by the end of November? It just might.

Key Takeaways

There’s no textbook on how to get Amazon PPC right. And if we wrote one, it’d probably be outdated by next year. Every day people are trying out new strategies and adapting to the ever-changing Amazon jungle.

It’s tough to stay on top of it all, which is why we do our best to find the most effective and reliable strategies for you. We had the same goal when we created the AMZ PPC Den Podcast.

If you haven’t already, we highly recommend you check it out.  Every week we talk about practical tips and tricks to optimize your account. No BS. Ever. 

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new. As always, feel free to leave a comment or ask questions. Badger out.

Discover Us on our PPC Den Podcast

If you prefer learning via audio, we cover this same info in the podcast episode below. You can also find us on your favorite streaming platforms like Apple, Google, Spotify, and more!

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