The trend for holiday shopping is clearly moving away from in-store purchases and towards ecommerce. In the 2016 holiday season, ecommerce sales jumped 17.8%, and are expected to jump again significantly this coming year.
At the heart of these rising online sales, as always, is Amazon. The online behemoth shipped out over a billion items worldwide last holiday season, and there is no sign that they will be slowing down in 2017.
Getting the Most from Amazon Holiday Advertising
Brands need to have a holiday strategy going into the holiday season. Amazon holiday advertising has proven to be worthwhile for vendors. Is your team set up on AMS and strategizing to get the most out of your campaigns? Here is our advice for planning ahead to maximize your holiday sales campaigns:
#1 – Set Priorities
Not every product you sell needs its own AMS campaign, but your top sellers do at the very least. Decide what products to prioritize for the holidays. These items should make sense for holiday shopping, should have a high number of product review, should have a 3.5 star rating or above, and should lead to great product pages.
#2 – Start Running Your Campaigns Early
Don’t wait until the last minute to try and set up your campaigns for Black Friday. Aside from the fact that AMS campaigns perform better the longer they run, Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals have to be set up in advance of the sales. Aim to get your campaigns ready 3 months ahead of time.
#3 – Closely Manage Your Campaigns
AMS gives brands the ability to set their campaigns on autopilot, but this is not the best way to get a high return on advertising spend. We have found that managed campaigns returned roughly 3x the revenue of automated campaigns during the same time period. Successful holiday campaigns require close monitoring and optimization to maximize holiday sales.
#4 – Increase Daily Spends and Bids During Important Sales Periods
Amazon told us that in 2016, AMS saw a 125% to 175% lift on ad-attributed sales on Prime Day compared to the previous day. It’s important to make sure your daily spends are high enough during the holidays to take advantage of these raised sales numbers. A general rule of thumb is to double daily spends for the holiday time period.
Optimizing your Amazon holiday advertising also means upping the price of your bids. Though there’s a chance this may negatively affect your total return on advertising spend, it should significantly boost impressions.
We’ve found that managed campaigns returned roughly 3x the revenue of automated campaigns.
#5 – Start Planning Your Holiday Lightning Deal Strategy Now
If you plan on running any Lightning Deal Promo Ads during the holiday season, now is the time to start planning your strategy. First, you need to identify what products you plan on promoting with Lightning Deals. Submit your Lightning Deal proposal to Amazon early to avoid the rush that will inevitably happen closer to Q4. Secondly, you need to identify what the most effective Product Display targeting strategies for your selected Lightning Deal product. Now is the time to experiment with different Product Display targeting strategies such as targeting competitors, in-brand ASINs, basket building strategy targeting complimentary ASINs, related category targeting and interest-based targeting. Test all these different targeting strategies now and only use the most effective targeting strategies for your Lightning Deal Promo campaigns.
#6 – Incorporate Content Into Your Strategy
A click to a product page is less likely to result in a sale when that page doesn’t include the information a customer is looking for. When content26 combines AMS management with essential and A+ content services, our clients have seen their AMS revenue increase by more than 700%.
#7 – Improve Future Campaigns with What You’ve Learned
Taking what you learn from holiday AMS campaigns and applying that knowledge to future campaigns makes your brand better equipped to succeed during the next big sales period. These holiday metrics are invaluable for learning and calculating a more refined approach for Prime Day, seasonal marketing campaigns, and new product launches.
Just like it’s never too early to start buying presents for loved ones to lessen the holiday load, it’s also never too early to start getting get your AMS holiday campaigns in order. With a smart strategy and some forward thinking, you can maximize your Amazon holiday advertising for big returns.