Our 6 Predictions for Amazon PPC Updates in 2020

Happy new year, cubs!

2020 is shaping up to be the biggest year yet for Amazon PPC and, based on the trajectory of changes we’ve seen over the past few months, there are exciting developments for your workflows on the horizon.

Our top predictions for Amazon PPC updates in 2020 are:

  1. Ad Groups for Sponsored Brand Ads
  2. Adjust Bids by Device
  3. “True” Exact Match Keywords
  4. Greater Unification of Amazon Ads
  5. Reduced Data Delays
  6. Revamped Bulk Ops 

Want to get as hype as us about how good the future looks? Cool, then keep reading.

1st Prediction: Sponsored Brand Ads Will Get Ad Groups in 2020

We’ve seen serious foreshadowing about the future of Sponsored Brands. Stephen did high level detective work and found you an exclusive hot hint.
Actual footage of PPC detective work

When he downloaded a search term report for Sponsored Brand Ads inside Seller Central, he noticed something interesting. 

A new column: “Ad Group Name.”

Well, well, well. Isn’t this reminiscent of Vendor Central’s recent update? 

This is why our first prediction for Amazon PPC in 2020 is the ability to create multiple Ad Groups within a single Sponsored Brand Ad campaign, a feature currently only available for Sponsored Products.

Think of the time this will save you!

Rejoice with us! Split testing, keyword testing, click-thru rates, conversation rates– by having ad groups, you will save time on these key components of Amazon marketing.

We also predict Amazon will introduce A/B testing within ad groups.

Other platforms, like Google, already allow A/B testing in 50/50 splits to compare the performance of separate ads individually, but Amazon does not. Amazon tends to prefer running ads with a longer history of high performance, and this makes A/B testing extremely difficult, if not impossible.

Soon, however, it may be possible to customize an image to a product keyword and to know which image has a higher click-thru rate.

Say your aunt searches for “boy’s jump rope,” and the top options feature pictures of traditionally girl gendered colored jump ropes, pinks and purples. It’s likely your aunt wouldn’t click on those, even if that same product also offered traditionally boy gendered colored options, like blue or green.

With updated ad groups for Sponsored Brand Ads, one could create campaigns for every option of colored jump rope. Shoppers would find their searches much faster. 

Creating an update like this is in Amazon’s best interest too. When shoppers are happy, Amazon wins.

2nd Prediction: We Will Adjust Bids by Device in 2020

Bid plus. Bid by placement settings. Dynamic up and down bid options. We have seen changes in bid optimization, and we will see more.

Amazon has gradually evolved how bids are placed with more and more specificity. Once it was simply by keyword, and then it was by keyword plus placement, et cetera, et cetera.

What’s the next logical dimension for evolution?

Devices!

We already know that Amazon has the tech to deliver ads differently based on which device a user utilizes, and perhaps by 2020 every seller will have access to this as well.

Bidding differently on mobile top of search or mobile product pages than the desktop’s equivalence could fine-tune how we bid and how much we bid.

Sure, this might have initial drawbacks and complications because there’ll be more steps to optimize for each device, but this is what’s exciting.

Consider all the information we’ll glean from this update! We will be able to play around with campaigns in a bigger way and then study which ads convert to more sales on which devices.

The future might say certain products sell better on mobile devices than desktops, and we will be able to optimize for that accordingly. 

This is how we’ll out-strategize competitors.

An update like this is in Amazon’s best interest because they’ll make greater sales with greater ease of use.

We also predict that this feature will become so dense with options, read: complicated, that Amazon will offer to rush in and be your hero.

After Amazon rolls out the option to adjust bids by device, they might offer a feature to auto-strategize for you for a nominal fee.

Sounds considerate, right? Think twice.

We are warning you in advance that Amazon automatically optimizing your bids  may not be in your best interest. 

We know from working with hundreds of Amazon sellers that different people optimize differently for different, specific goals. 

Different businesses may have  specific Key Performance Indicator goals based on ACoS or sale volume goals or simply the desire to move inventory in a deliberate way, and Amazon won’t be privy to this information.

While bid optimization for devices and the subsequent auto-optimize feature that will follow are our big predictions, there’s a couple more things we’d like to see happen and that we believe will happen in 2020.

Another feature we’d like to see in 2020 for bid optimization is ease of use. It’d be nice to decrease bids sometimes, and the current system doesn’t easily allow for it.

We also believe single keyword campaigns will dominate in popularity in 2020.

A single keyword campaign can be easily optimized for all three placements, especially when we consider adding the option to optimize for different devices. When something so simple brings success, it’s safe to predict popularity will follow.

While some folks counter that each keyword should be its own campaign, this doesn’t make sense for low-traffic items. 

The most important keywords, rooted from keywords with the most granular data, should get the highest traffic, and this is what we’re vouching for when we say single keyword campaigns are the future.

3rd Prediction: “True” Exact Match Keywords Will Exist for Amazon Ads in 2020

As of publishing date, Amazon’s Exact Match feature can be frustrating to use. It isn’t quite a “true” exact match because it accommodates spelling errors and close variance.

On Google, a way around this is the negative exact feature because the negative exact is the true negative exact. (Imagine that! It is what it says it is! Mind blowing concept, we know.)

A “true exact” would only match your keyword with a search term if it matched letter for letter, excluding slight variations or misspellings and plural or singular variations.

We predict that Amazon will have in 2020 a true negative exact match type.

A true negative exact match will improve campaigns because Amazon company owners will be able to optimize for exact keywords.

Huddle up for a quick, little story time.

Once upon a time, the Badger had two single keyword campaigns: one singular, one plural. 

According to Search Term Reports, both keywords qualified for both the singular and plural campaigns, but they performed differently because people who were on the market for plural were buying more units. There was a higher average order value, so those were worth higher bids.

The Badger tried to “negative exact” the singular keyword on that plural campaign, but it didn’t work. The badger blocked all search term impressions for the keyword, both singular and plural.

It was a sad day to be the Badger. 

In 2020, what would turn the Badger’s frown upside down would be a negative true exact. With a true exact-exact match, this tale wouldn’t repeat itself.

4th Prediction: Amazon Ads Will Have Greater Unity in 2020

Amazon vendors are accustomed to operating beneath several different names for their ad product services, including, Amazon Marketing Services, Amazon Advertising, Vendor Central, and Seller Central.

It’s not surprising that these platforms need to unify and synchronize their features in 2020.

It’s easy to forget that ad groups and negative keywords are relatively new to Vendor Central because it’s such an intuitive feature, yet we can expect updates like this across the board.

There are many teams within Amazon working together to synthesize updates and, because of the density of the teams, it will take time for certain fundamental features to reach each other.

It seems like Vendor Central is always playing catch-up with Seller Central, and it seems like Seller Central is always moving forward faster. In six months, it’s possible that Vendor Central will have the features that Seller Central has today but, by then, Seller Central will have even more features!

Vendor Central catching up to Seller Central (Gif via GIPHY)

We also hope for unity within Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands. 

As previously mentioned, Sponsored Brands don’t have ad groups yet, and until recently, Sponsored Brands lacked Search Term Reports. When SBA finally got Search Term Reports, we discovered that their definition of Broad Match was different than Sponsored Product’s definition. 

Will Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands agree on the definition of “broad” in 2020? We don’t know, but we hope so, and we hope it is unleashed with sufficient warning so chaos doesn’t ensue for all the sellers who won’t be prepared.

With greater unity will come greater data.

5th Prediction: Data Delays Will Reduce in 2020

Show of hands: Who here has ever experienced moments of panicked shock looking at a data report expecting to see more conversions than there were, only to learn later about the data delay?

We’ve all been there. Amazon’s data delays are dreadful.

The delay has already reduced from 48 hours to 24 hours. In 2020, the data delay will decrease further.

Our super wish is the ability to see data updates within the hour or even a 20 minute delay.

If this prediction comes true, technique tweaks will help you be proactive with your budget. Business owners will see quickly if a campaign is an instant success or an instant flop, and adjustments could be made before spending gets out of hand.

This prediction could also improve daytime bidding versus nighttime bidding. With minimal delays, it would be more clear to know a target audience’s shopping habits and to tailor campaigns accordingly.

Here’s an example: a man leisurely browses Amazon before drifting off to sleep at night but doesn’t make the purchase until lunch time the next day. In this example, perhaps it’s best to not run your most expensive bids at night because the bid won’t lead to an immediate conversion.

Who knows? All we know is that we don’t want data delays, and we think Amazon will help us out with this big wish in 2020!

6th Prediction: Bulk Ops Will Be Revamped in 2020

Some people don’t use Bulk Operations… but they should!

Bulk Ops makes it possible to create thousands of changes all at once without opening a billion tabs. It’s incredibly liberating. Our lives are bajillion times less tedious because Bulk Ops exists.

Unfortunately, Amazon’s Bulk Operations is primitive and buggy.

We understand how this bulk sheet could look overwhelming to some.

Bulk Ops is so buggy that some people stray from using it altogether, choosing tedium over efficiency. In 2020, we expect the release of a smarter system for Bulk Operations.

Think of this as Bulk Ops 2.0.

The only downside we predict if a more methodical Bulk Ops comes? We’ll have to update our Amazon Academy Master Class accordingly.

Just kidding! This isn’t a downside at all! We love keeping our badger cubs up to date with all the cutting-edge tips and tricks.

When basic account operational features are available, life is easier. This makes us happy, and this will make Amazon happy. In other words, win-win!

Live Long and Prosper

Ad groups for Sponsored Brands, better bid optimization, true exact match keywords, a greater unification among Amazon ads, reduced data delays, and a Bulk Op’s face lift– these are our top six predictions for what 2020 has in store for Amazon PPC.

Agree? Disagree? What do you think? 

Please comment below and let us know what you expect to change in 2020 and what you wish would change too.

Badger out.

Discover Us on our PPC Den Podcast

If you enjoy supplementing your long reads with audio, we cover this topic on our podcast as well. 

Listen to it in the episode below or find us on your favorite streaming platform, like Apple, Google, Spotify, and more!

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 02:20 Welcome to 2020, cubs!
  • 03:16 1st Prediction – Ad Groups for Sponsored Brand Ads
  • 07:37 2nd Prediction – Adjust Bids by Device
  • 16:29 3d Prediction – “True” Exact Match Keywords
  • 19:42 4th Prediction – Greater Unification of Amazon Ads
  • 24:30 5th Prediction – Reduced Data Delays
  • 28:20 6th Prediction – Revamped Bulk Ops
  • 32:20 Mike and Stephen’s year ahead

 

Watch Mike & Stephen on YouTube

If you enjoy supplementing your long reads with video, well, hot diggity dog, you’re in luck! We cover this topic on our YouTube channel too. 

Watch it below and please don’t forget to ‘like’ and subscribe.

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