Holiday Insights From Amazon

Ready to learn about ways to utilize Sponsored Product Ads on Amazon during the holidays? You’re in the right place.

I’m going to start this post by listing some crazy facts about Amazon during last year’s holiday season:

  • Amazon Prime members purchased one billion items.
  • December 19th was the peak shipping day for Amazon.
  • Amazon customers bought enough TVs to reach the top of Mount Everest more than nine times.
  • 10,451 carats of diamonds were purchased.
  • A watch was sold every 1.5 seconds.
  • Shoppers bought enough KitchenAid mixers to make around 7.5 million cookies at once.

(All stats compiled by CNN Money)

What does this mean for Amazon sellers?

Due to the increased search traffic, the holiday season is a vital opportunity to increase ad impressions and conversions with Sponsored Product Ads.

Amazon released a webinar series this week catered to optimizing Sponsored Product Ads during the holiday season. We’re going to talk about the takeaways.

Image showing Amazon webinar host, Jack Mitchell.
Jack Mitchell in the house.

Quick Recap of Sponsored Product Ads on Amazon

I’ve talked a lot about Sponsored Product Ads in previous posts. Take this one for example.

Let’s recap on why Sponsored Product Ads are important:

  • They are the most popular ads on Amazon and the most seen by customers.
  • They are proven to convert the best and increase ROI
  • Sponsored Product Ads appear at almost every point of the customer journey
A diagram showing where Sponsored Product Ads show up on a search results page.
Sponsored Product Ads flood the search results page. You want to get them in front of as many shoppers as you can to increase conversions.

Important things to note when setting up Sponsored Product Ads:

  • Your Sponsored Product Ad campaign may take up to an hour to show on Amazon.
  • There’s no limit to how many campaigns you can create.
  • ACoS, ROAS, total sales, total spend, impressions are all metrics available to sellers.

 

Image of a quick reference guide to Amazon's Sponsored Product Ads.
Here’s a quick reference image about Sponsored Product Ads provided by Amazon.

Here are some valuable tips from Amazon on making the most out of Sponsored Product Ads during the holidays:

Tip 1 – Start Planning Now and Think Beyond the Big Deal Days

Set measurable goals

Before going into the holiday season, you should know what you want to accomplish, how much you’re willing to spend on keywords and if you’re willing to work with a higher ACoS. Once you know your goals, you can know what metrics to watch out for and know if you’re having a successful holiday season. 

Know your most successful keywords before the holidays

This is something you should always keep up with. Know what keywords work best so you can have the best possible ROI entering the holiday season. 

Tip 2 – Ensure Product Page Readiness

Have your product pages in tip-top shape

Because of the possible profit you can make during the holidays, this is increasingly important. If your product pages aren’t optimized, then you will rank lower in search results.

Image of jacket used to show what an optimized product page looks like.
This is a great example of an optimized product page. As you see here, the product title has the most important keywords including the brand name (Poler) and every description the customer needs to know about the product before clicking on it. Amazon doesn’t allow products without bulleted features to win the buy box, so don’t mess up your ranking by not listing out the descriptions with bullets. There is no benefit to having a keyword appear multiple times in a product description, so don’t waste the energy. Lastly, if you were wondering, this image is 100 percent zoom capable and a high-quality image. The only bad thing about this product is they don’t have my size.

What I mean by optimized product pages are making sure your product has customer reviews, great product descriptions, compatible images, etc. Find out more about how Amazon ranks their ads here.

Tip 3 – Bid Strategically

Increase your bidding

The search results page is a hectic place. Because the holiday season is more competitive, you’ll want to bid higher on keywords. Of course with Ad Badger, you’ll never underpay or overpay for a keyword, but for people who don’t have my tool, you’ll want to increase your budget manually. Amazon suggests bidding 1.5x your average bidding number during the holidays.

Monitor your campaigns

Amazon advises downloading their metrics reports inside Campaign Manager once or twice a week to ensure you’re on target. I agree with this because you don’t want the holiday season to slip blindly by.

Image from Amazon's holiday webinar listing out best practices for campaign strategy to monitor and optimize your Sponsored Product Ads.
Here are some best practices from Amazon. They suggest sticking with manual campaigns and lowering your Automatic Targeting bid. I suggest using the peel-and-stick method of putting your highest performing keywords from your automatic campaigns into your manual campaigns and bidding aggressively on them. This guy looks like he’s finalizing his Christmas list.

Use Bid+ 

Bid+ adds 50 cents to your bids in manual campaigns only when your ad has a chance of reaching the top of the search results page. If you’re just starting out, Bid+ won’t be right for you. Amazon PPC beginners should focus on optimizing your product pages and keyword research, before everything else. Here’s everything you need to know about Bid+ from our friends at Bobsled Marketing.

Tip 4 – Optimize Keywords for the Holidays

Use strategic holiday keywords

Use manual targeting to test out different keywords unique to the holiday. For example, if you’re selling shovels, you might want to change the title to “Snow Shovel” during the holidays and bid on a different set of keywords that customers will be searching for during the holidays.

Leading up to the holidays, use broad match keywords and automatic campaigns to identify profitable keywords that you can aggressively bid on during the holiday months. During the months before the holidays, take the time to experiment so you don’t have to in the middle of December.

Image showing Amazon sellers using seasonal keywords to sell their products.
These cookie sellers are flooding their product name with typical Christmas terms, increasing their likelihood of being clicked on. Customers could be typing in “Star”, “Gingerbread”, “Snowman”, etc. when searching for Christmas items. During the holiday months, these keywords are more competitive. A smart seller would bid higher on these keywords compared to non-seasonal cookie cutters, that aren’t as competitive during the holidays.

Create campaigns unique to the holidays with different budgets

Set up holiday campaigns that don’t interfere with evergreen campaigns. If you’re selling swimsuits, you don’t want to bid more aggressively on them, but if you’re selling bodysuits for cold weather, you want to create a separate campaign and bid more aggressively. Bodysuits for cold weather is a product that is more competitive in the winter months, compared to the unlikeliness of someone searching for a swimsuit during the holidays.

If you’re in a competitive category, you want to harness the power of manual campaigns. Learn more about the difference between automatic and manual campaigns here.

Tip 5 – Make Sure Your Ads Don’t Go Dark

Don’t understock

This would be a major bummer. Your ads have the possibility of going dark due to the increase in demand. When you run out of products, your ads start disappearing and your sales will take a halt. Amazon will notify you if you start to run low, but ensure you have enough inventory heading into the holiday season.

Last year, Amazon's Sponsored Products saw a 50-100 percent lift in ad attributed sales in Q4 2016 compared to Q3 2016
This stat from Amazon speaks to the value of Sponsored Product Ads during the holidays.

Monitor your campaign budgets

Your budget may run out if you don’t set your holiday budgets higher. If you run out of your daily budget at 10 am, your ads have instantly dropped out of the competition. This is also something Amazon will notify you about.

Lastly, Happy Holidays from The Badger

I just want to say thank you for visiting my burrow and learning about Amazon PPC! Have a great and profitable holiday season Badgers.

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Short-legged Amazon PPC expert. Furry ad-campaign master. Don’t call me cute.