With the biggest shopping days of the year set to start next week, we’ll show you how to leverage Kenshoo Ecommerce to make your Amazon sales soar this holiday season
You’ve crunched the numbers and analyzed all the data. Your Amazon Advertising campaigns are locked and loaded on Kenshoo Ecommerce and your budget is set. You are so prepared to crush your targets and own the ecommerce holiday marketing game this year. Nothing left to do except sit back and watch the results light up your dashboard, right? Not so fast.
Kenshoo Ecommerce is a powerful marketing tool, full of features and capabilities you may not be using to the fullest extent. So before the shopping frenzy hits, we made this list of tips (and we hope you check it twice!) to help you get the greatest possible ROI out of your Amazon Advertising campaigns this holiday season.
The ghost of holiday sales past…and a peek at the future
Before we dive into our tips, we need to look at the bigger picture and see the opportunity. Examining last year’s holiday season, we noted an increase in ad spending on Amazon, as well as an increase in conversions for Kenshoo Ecommerce clients, in Q4 2017 versus the previous quarter. Spending volume increased 153%, and conversions increased 134%—a massive jump!
This year, holiday 2018 is expected to surpass 2017 and be the strongest Q4 in years, with online sales in the US forecasted to rise 16.2% to over $123 billion—another massive increase! And ecommerce marketers are poised to see unprecedented returns…if the right steps are taken to capture the opportunity.
Prime Day provides clues to 2018 ecommerce holiday marketing success
What can Amazon Prime Day 2018 teach us about preparing for the holiday shopping season? The 500+ brands leveraging Kenshoo for their Amazon Advertising needs saw sales numbers jump at least 25% compared to Prime Day 2017.
Some key insights from this year’s Prime Day:
- Budgets doubled across the board for most clients, with record daily highs for our advertiser index
- Average CPCs increased by 24%, as competition on key terms increased the auction
- Brands invested in sales velocity and were willing to sacrifice margins to capture the opportunity at hand, yet conversion rates remained steady.
- Total daily sales as tracked by our platform almost quadrupled (3.75X) on Prime Day
“So what?” you say? Well, Prime Day is one of those crucial shopping days that can make or break ecommerce performance for brands, and now that we’re just about to hit the Cyber 5, we can use this knowledge to better prepare your ecommerce holiday marketing campaigns on Amazon for the rest of the season.
Your ecommerce holiday marketing checklist
Ecommerce Marketing Checklist #1 – Automate! Automate! Automate!
With Kenshoo, you can set Automated Actions that ensure you don’t leave sales on the table on the biggest shopping days of the year. For example, you can automate the management of your:
Budget – Automatically increase campaign daily budgets to help ensure you never run out of money and your ads continue to serve. More visibility means more holiday sales!
ROI – Set automatic bid increases or decreases for keywords based on efficiency and keyword performance. If a Keyword is not performing well you can set the bid to decrease on that keyword and increase on others that are performing.
Campaign dimension type – Auto-assign dimensions (categories) for a campaign based on your goals. Assigning dimensions is helpful because you can automatically add them to campaigns based on their attributes, or flag those that are underperforming.
Keywords – “Notify Me” is our solution to letting you know about failed keywords. The automated alerts system lets you know when your keywords fail to deliver the results you need, and gives you the chance to rectify it, to get the most from your campaigns.
Ecommerce Marketing Checklist #2 – Plan Ahead and Forecast
Using Kenshoo’s Budget Manager, plan and forecast for your ecommerce holiday marketing campaigns with models that give you the confidence to ensure you won’t miss out on sales. Then flip the switch and let Budget Manager confidently execute your plan.
How many of us have faced our leadership or a client with wide eyes when asked: “What if I had an incremental $100,000 to spend this quarter?” You have to develop an analysis that could confidently state ROI and sales based on that new investment.
With Budget Manager, you can do exactly that with the benefit of a plan developed by a team of data scientists. You can play with your incremental investment amount and slide the interactive visualization to set the values at the point of diminishing return, or wherever makes sense. Once you’ve built the forecast, simply execute it and let it drive to hit your goals.
In addition, with year-over-year budget planning, you can see last year’s peaks and compare to this year’s pricing. Set the pace with Budget Manager, which enables you to adjust for specific boost days from your inputs.
Ecommerce Marketing Checklist #3 – Leverage product data and insights
With Products Manager, build out campaigns and structures based on deeper retail and catalog insights or Amazon Retail Analytics/Premium. Know your position among the top search terms on Amazon and let customer reviews and other insights inform your plan.
Products Manager is an open-ended solution that integrates any valuable data relative to an ASIN, allowing you to use those data sets to inform your campaign building and strategy. When these product insights are paired with performance filters and/or premium Amazon analytics, you can confidently execute and drive new promotions with the benefit of a more holistic, product-centric strategy.
Ecommerce Marketing Checklist #4 – Simplify your reporting
Set automated report deliveries to ensure you are prepared to scale and pivot strategically. If you’re with an agency, let Kenshoo handle more of the tactical client reporting to allow you to focus on your key deliverables.
For example. Our Products Not Serving report allows clients to see product level issues that are stopping ads from serving. It’s an incredibly detailed report showing the % total of non-serving ads and a breakdown of the reasons. And if you’re managing a hybrid setup—Seller and Vendor accounts from a single budget pool—not to worry as Kenshoo can report (and smooth budgets) across both.
We also recommend the “Out of Budget” report. During crazy sales days and throughout the holiday season it’s important to make sure your campaigns are live all day and don’t run out of budget. This report shows how your campaigns ran out of budget, and how many times a day it happened, allowing you to quickly course correct.
Ecommerce Marketing Checklist #5 – Be channel aware.
Ensure you’re up to speed on all the changes coming online with Amazon Advertising: New placements for Sponsored Brands beyond the premium headline unit (below the fold and more); bid modifiers to bid up/down by placement; and other new releases that will help you expand your reach.
Ready to put these tips to work for your ecommerce holiday marketing campaigns? Give your Kenshoo rep a jingle and get started. Not a Kenshoo Ecommerce client? Contact us for a demo today!