There are no doubts the state of digital marketing is constantly changing and markets need to adapt to quickly to what is happening on Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Sure, there are other key players you can invest in like Pinterest, Criteo, SnapChat and so on. Yet, product discovery and searches are dominated by Google and Amazon. Nearly half of all ecommerce related search now appears on Amazon and rightfully so. It’s the largest marketplace in the world and carries nearly every product and brand imaginable.
eAccountable works with several brands that have both an Ecommerce site and listings on the Amazon Marketplace. In the last year, we have noticed an increased amount of search terms for our clients branded terms and non-branded terms being bid on by Amazon. Depending on the term, traffic was being brought to our clients branded products and some were simply being dropped onto an Amazon results page. We were a bit concerned about it at first with regards to CPC’s. Increased CPC’s with flat or lower traffic is never a metric we enjoy reporting, especially, when it is accompanied with lower sales. Around the time we noticed this, another Amazon tool was being rolled out called Social Media Promo Codes. This tool allows users to offer a discount on specific products and be able to track the performance of these discounted products through outside marketing channels like Google and Facebook.
Testing it Out
We decided we would run a test, not to compete with Amazon, but to increase the traffic to our Amazon listings. Our thought process was to create a duplicate Google Ads account with all of the non-branded terms and competitor keywords we were bidding on and drove traffic to the special Amazon listing pages we created. The only way a customer could reach the social promos on Amazon were through unique URLs displaying the discounted products and offers. No searches on Amazon or other sources would drop customers onto these special promo pages.
In a 4-month period, we spent a little over $4,600 in a second Google Ads account and we were able to see nearly $20 K in sales from these unique sales pages! Once again, the only way customers could reach this special offers page were from the URL’s in the ads we were running on Google. Our test resulted in a $4.26 ROAS (before accounting for Amazon fees).
While our test lacked clarity on which keywords were performing well and which keywords were not, we did see some additional improvements. Organic Amazon listings improved, our products’ sales rank increased, overall traffic in Amazon increased and overall traffic to our merchant’s website increased as well.
What We Observed
During the test, eAccountable noticed ads from the primary account and ads on our secondary account were showing up on some of the same searches. We adjusted our strategy to make sure the ads going to our site always showed above the ads going to amazon, in hopes of not losing out on margin due to Amazon fees. We had essentially copied the campaigns over from the primary account, and all we needed to do was reduce the CPC’s by a few points. This resulted in our client’s ads taking up the top 2 positions on Google and dominated the top of the page. Ultimately, it didn’t matter which ad was clicked on, our goal was to take traffic away from competitors, own the top of the SERP’s, and in the process we saw a noticeable lift for both Amazon and webstore traffic and conversions.
After 4 months, we were forced to turn this test off. Several of our campaigns in Google and Amazon were seeing higher ROI’s and we were getting thin on budget. The combination of low budgets, better campaigns being underfunded, and the lack of visibility and attribution, it didn’t make sense to continue.
Looking back at the rest, there were several main problems from our test:
- We did not know what keywords were driving the most conversion on Amazon
- We did not know what campaigns were performing best
- We did not know what ad groups within our campaigns were performing best
- We could not allocate budget properly within secondary ads account
- The only way these Amazon listing worked were with a discount, we did not know if conversions were happening due to the additional savings, or from other Call-to-actions (Free 2 Day shipping, Buy on Amazon, Etc.)
Amazon Attribution Beta
We knew increasing traffic to Amazon had a halo effect on all Amazon listings, but the biggest missing piece was the attribution. Amazon has just released a new beta that solves this exact issue and eAccountable has already passed the certifications needed to use and test the new beta.
Amazon Attribution Beta allows merchants and advertisers to drive traffic from outside sources like Google, Facebook, email, or blogs, and track the orders and revenue from these outside traffic sources. With the new Attribution Beta, eAccountable is able to properly attribute clicks, sales, bounce rates, page views, and more originating on Google to orders and revenue on Amazon.
In addition, the beta also allows users to create multiple different tracking URL’s. eAccountable is restarting the secondary ads account and creating a special URL for each campaign we are running. As we move forward with the secondary ads account and increase traffic, we will have the ability to get even more granular and generate trackable URL’s at the Ad Group level in Google. (Previous versions of Google Ads allowed for URLs at the keywords level but has since been removed).
This is not the perfect solution but absolutely is a step in the right direction in our eyes. Our goal with restarting these campaigns are to generate at least a $4:1 ROI, properly attribute sales to top performing campaigns and use this information to optimize the secondary ads account to become more in line with other campaigns running above $6:1.
eAccountable will write a follow up to this blog post with the results of the Amazon Attribution Beta included and compare the first test using Social Promos with the results of the Amazon Attribution Beta.
If you are interested in having eAccountable drive traffic to your Amazon listings, please reach out to us as firstname.lastname@example.org