Did you know half of all items sold on Amazon are purchased from small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the Amazon Marketplace? And that a staggering 300,000+ SMBs joined the Amazon Marketplace in 2017 alone?
That means your competition is increasing at a shockingly fast rate. And it’s only going to get more difficult to capture the attention of the growing Amazon Marketplace customer base.
Amazon Sellers need to take advantage of any opportunity they have to eclipse their opponents. If you want to get your brand in front of more shoppers than your competitors, you need to build Amazon Sponsored Products campaigns.
What is Amazon Sponsored Products?
Amazon Sponsored Products is a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising solution that exists within the Amazon Marketplace. It allows Amazon sellers to promote their items with ads on the Amazon search engine results pages and/or on relevant product pages. Retailers decide which products they want to advertise and then either A) pick the specific search phrases that will trigger their ads or B) allow Amazon to determine when their ads are served.
If a shopper sees a seller’s ad but doesn’t click on it, the retailer incurs no cost. If the shopper clicks on the ad, he or she is directed to the seller’s product page, and the seller is charged a fee. The retailer is only charged when a shopper clicks their ad — ergo, pay-per-click.
IMPORTANT: Amazon Sponsored Products is not the same as Amazon Product Ads, which Amazon retired in August 2015.
Who Can Use Amazon Sponsored Products?
In order to be eligible to create Amazon Sponsored Products campaigns, you must meet the following four requirements:
- You must have an active Amazon Professional Seller account.
- Your products must be Buy Box-eligible. Note: Adult products, used products, and products in closed categories are not eligible.
- You must be able to ship to all U.S. addresses.
- Your products must be in one of the available categories (Figure 1).
How Do I Get Started With Amazon Sponsored Products?
You can access the Amazon Seller Campaign Manager via the Advertising tab in Seller Central. Click on the Create a campaign button and then follow the steps below.
- Name your campaign and set your daily campaign budget. Be descriptive with your campaign name. Don’t just title it “Campaign 1” or “Campaign 2” or use an overly broad name such as “Clothes” or “Toys”. This will make it more difficult to optimize since you won’t know exactly which products are in each campaign. As far as your daily campaign budget goes, base it on your advertising goals, your overall marketing budget, and how competitive you’re willing to be.
- Select your campaign’s run dates. If you plan to run the campaign indefinitely, you don’t need to designate an end date. But if your campaign is for a temporary promotion or is seasonal or holiday-specific, pick the date on which you would like the ads for this particular campaign to stop.
- Choose your campaign targeting type. There are two different targeting types: manual and automatic. In a manual campaign, ads are displayed based on the keywords you choose. Targeting is more precise, and you’ll have more control over when your ads are served. In automatic campaigns, ads are served for all relevant customer searches based on product information. Automatic campaigns require less maintenance than manual campaigns and generally have lower costs-per-click.
IMPORTANT: Once a campaign has been created, the targeting setting cannot be changed.
- Pick which products to include in your campaign. While you shouldn’t create a campaign only targeting a handful of items, you also shouldn’t include dozens of products across several different categories in a single campaign, either. Instead, dedicate each campaign to one specific product type and business goal — e.g., new products, best sellers, stale inventory, etc.
- Create your ad groups. Ad groups are collections of similar products, organized by theme. Like the campaign name, ad group names shouldn’t be generic. The more descriptive your ad group titles are, the easier bid management and optimization will be.
- Set your default bid. Your default bid is how much you’re willing to pay when a consumer clicks your ad. Use higher bids on more competitive keywords.
My recommendation is to start with an automatic campaign. While you may have a good idea of how shoppers search for your products, there also could be dozens (or possibly hundreds) of keywords that would be perfect for your campaigns. And if you believe certain products will perform well, you’ll likely focus time, effort, and budget on those when there may be other products that will do much better but don’t get the chance. Using the data from automatic campaigns, you can make more informed, objective, data-driven decisions about your Sponsored Products strategy.
Why Should I Use Amazon Sponsored Products?
Amazon Sponsored Products campaigns can offer sellers quite a few benefits. For example …
- Target qualified, high-intent traffic
- Boost brand awareness and visibility of new products
- Highlight seasonal items, special promotions, or products on clearance
- Grow the number of Buy Box conversions
- Remove stale inventory
One last thing: Once you’ve harnessed the power of Amazon Sponsored Products and you’ve officially left your competition in the dust, expect to see an impressive influx of orders. And while this is undoubtedly exactly what you want, scaling an online business can lead to a few growing pains. To keep your operations running smoothly, invest in an ecommerce shipping solution. It’s the key to killing it on the Amazon Marketplace.
ShipStation is the leading web-based shipping solution that helps ecommerce retailers import, organize, process, and ship their orders quickly and easily from any web browser. ShipStation features the most integrations of any ecommerce web-based solution with over 150 shopping carts, marketplaces, package carriers, and fulfillment services. ShipStation has sophisticated automation features such as automated order importing, custom best practice rules, product profiles, and fulfillment solutions that enable its users, wherever they sell and however they ship, to be exceptionally efficient at shipping orders.
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