In our last two blog posts, we provided a step-by-step guide to selling your products on Amazon. Hopefully, by this time, you’ve set up your store and have it running. Once you’ve gotten your groove on Amazon as a seller, you can start focusing on promoting your brand and gaining visibility in order to drive more sales!
One common question we hear a lot about advertising on Amazon is, “Why would I pay to advertise on Amazon when I could pay to send customers to my e-commerce store and make more money?” Well, if you already have an Amazon store, then you should think of it as an additional platform with an advantage of reaching unique potential customers. If you’re selling products on Amazon, you want to reach those people who use it as a search engine, especially if your brand is relatively new. According to TechCrunch, in 2018, Amazon has 49 percent of all online retail spend in the country, and 5 percent of all retail sales.
While many people do use Amazon to research products, their intent is to purchase. According to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report, 49 percent of people start their product searches on Amazon. With the size of Amazon’s retail market share and the fact that people start product searches on Amazon, advertising can give you an advantage in getting your brand in front of people who are further down the purchasing funnel.
Amazon has very simple advertising methods, but there are a few requirements you must meet in order to advertise:
- -You must have a professional seller account.
- -The products you choose to advertise must be new products. Adult products and used or refurbished products are not eligible for advertising.
- -For Sponsored Product Ads and Headline Search Ads, your products have to be able to ship to all U.S. addresses.
- -In order to run Sponsored Product Ads, the listings you use must be eligible for the Buy Box. Products that are not Buy Box eligible will be flagged in your Campaign Manager.
- -To run Headline Search Ads, you must be registered as a brand owner. Brands with a registered trademark that are selling their own products can register with Amazon Brand Registry. This gives them more control over their product listings and offers brand protection.
Types of Ads
Amazon offers three types of self-service ad formats across desktop and mobile devices that are charged using a cost-per-click pricing model. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad and Amazon provides reporting to help you measure performance.
Sponsored Product Ads: Amazon suggests using sponsored product ads to increase visibility, promote new products, and highlight seasonal promotions and clearance items. Ads are keyword-driven and are great to run during the decision-making phase of the customer journey. You can set up keywords manually if you have an idea of what your target audience is searching for, or you can use Amazon’s automatic targeting, which is recommended by Amazon for new advertisers. Amazon’s automatic targeting uses its shopping intelligence to learn what shoppers are looking for. In order to test effectively, run the ads for 2-3 weeks and then analyze data and results.
Sponsored Product Ads look like regular product listings and appear on the top, alongside, or within the search results and in product pages. The gray “sponsored” text on the top of the product title distinguishes them from the regular listings. After someone clicks the ad, they will be directed to your product details page just like any other listing. This ad format is the most incognito, which can work to your advantage as they blend in and appear within normal Amazon search results.
Headline Search Ads: Headline ads are great if your goal is to raise brand awareness. They are keyword-driven ads that show up at the top of the search results page. The difference between Headline Search Ads and Sponsored Product Ads is that you are allowed up to three custom images and a headline. You also have the option to drive users to a custom landing page or a product detail page depending on where they click on the ad. If someone clicks the main hero image (the hero image could be your logo) or ad copy, they will be taken to the landing page or storefront. But, if someone clicks on a product image, then they will be taken directly to that specific product detail page. Typically, you will see a brand logo with a unique headline and three product images.
Product Display Ads: If you’re looking to beat your competitors, then Product Display Ads will be the campaign type to choose. They do not use keyword targeting but instead target products, categories, or shopper interests. These ads will appear on product detail pages, customer review pages, or in product emails as complimentary or similar products under the details. When people click the ads, they are directed to your product detail page.
Another way to help raise brand awareness and provide customers with more information about your products and brand is by creating a branded Amazon Store. You can use different layouts to engage your customers and help increase sales. In order to build a branded storefront, sellers must have their brand registered with Amazon Brand Registry.
Each storefront has an opportunity to add a product navigation to the template which allows for multiple pages. For example, if you sell a clothing brand, you can have a navigation that includes: tops, bottoms, shoes, accessories, etc., and then you are able to customize each page with the same capabilities as your actual storefront.
● Four storefront templates: Amazon offers sellers four templates to choose from. Each one has a different store layout which you can enhance with custom branding and design elements. Each template includes a hero image and logo and varies in product layouts.
1. Product grid – The product grid is the simplest template that lists your products in a grid layout. The product tiles are all the same size and have a very uniform feel.
2. Marquee – The Marquee layout has a bit more room to highlight any specific products or copy. Each tile varies in size and has more room for product descriptions and calls-to-action.
3. Showcase – The Showcase template is best for those who want more freedom in creating a customized experience. Tiles also vary in size and can be laid out in different formats. This template allows for more content creation and visual and informative elements.
4. Blank – Sellers also have the option to design their own custom storefront from scratch. If you know a good designer and really want a fully custom storefront, you have the opportunity to do so with a blank template.
Products showcased on your storefront can be handpicked or automatically placed using a dynamic widget based on shopper insights. If you choose to use a widget, products will be automatically updated when you add new listings. Things that you can add to the different tiles in your layout are:
● Individual Products – Amazon auto-populates the product information once you choose which one you want to highlight.
● Text – You can add brand text, customer testimonials, or quotes including a call-to-action button.
● Video – Videos that are added to a tile must be at least 1280 x 640 pixels and less than 100MB, which you can use to support your branding.
● Image – You have the ability to add images or photos, and you can showcase your products with or without text.
● Gallery – A gallery allows 3 – 8 images that users can scroll through. You also have the ability to mix in videos with your images.
● Best Selling Products – The best selling tile is automatically generated using your best selling products based on performance.
● Recommended Products – The recommended tile is also automatically generated, but it is based on the individual shopper’s previous purchases.
Included with each template is the ability to link users to your social media platforms to help drive more traffic to your social networks. Sellers without a branded storefront can’t choose how their products are displayed and don’t really have a method to engage with customers.
Wrapping It Up
Advertising on Amazon can be very effective for growing sales, raising brand awareness, and staying competitive on the platform. When combined with the branded storefront, you have more flexibility to showcase your brand.
Because brands are required to register on Amazon in order to advertise and create a storefront, it helps reduce unauthorized third parties from selling your products. But, it’s important to note that if you’re going to sell on Amazon and you have an e-commerce site, you must still focus on a multi-channel strategy. Yes, you want to be able to sell products on your website without Amazon taking over sales, but at the same time, Amazon is an e-commerce giant with plenty of potential on its own. Think about your approach, set goals, and have a strategy for each channel. With combined efforts and an effective strategy, your sales will increase quickly!