How Amazon Marketing Stream Helps Advertisers

amazon marketing stream

Amazon Marketing Stream, an Amazon product which provides advertisers with real-time data via push-based notifications, is giving advertisers the opportunity to level up in a way that hasn’t been done before.

If your brand advertises on Amazon, there have likely been times that you’ve wished you had a reliable way to control ad spend on an hourly basis. There have probably been occasions when you wished you had hour by hour information on how your campaigns were performing. The right kind of data is necessary for maximum ad campaign performance, and Amazon hasn’t always made accessing this type of granular data easy. 

However, Amazon has now made granular data available. In recent years, Amazon has been on a mission to provide their advertisers with more comprehensive data, and one of the ways in which they’re doing so is with the launch of Amazon Marketing Stream (AMS). The beta program for AMS launched in June of 2022, and has since expanded to all countries except India. 

Amazon Marketing Stream, Explained

Amazon Marketing Stream (AMS) is a product that delivers ad campaign metrics in near real-time through push notifications, giving advertisers better insights into traffic, conversions, ad spend, and more. Previously, this type of information was only available on a daily basis. If advertisers wanted hourly data, they had to call the Amazon Ads API numerous times a day, making data collection tedious and creating API throttling, which limits the number of API calls advertisers can make. 

With AMS, advertisers can have performance metrics delivered almost instantly, as opposed to aggregating the data over a certain period of time. This makes true dayparting possible on the Amazon Ads API. Dayparting is a strategy many advertisers use on other platforms to schedule or distribute their ad budget at specific times of day, like when conversion is highest, to better ensure campaign success.

How Amazon Marketing Stream works

AMS’s hourly performance metrics provide intraday insights that can be leveraged to better optimize ad campaigns. This helps advertisers in four main ways: budget, ad efficiency, traffic and conversion. 


You can use the real-time budget reporting to increase your ROAS and decrease your ACoS. With real-time budget reporting, you can learn how much of your ad budget has been spent at a given time of day and increase it before the budget runs out. As we mentioned earlier, you can also track when your conversation rate is highest and allocate more ad spend for those specific windows. The budget usage data-set does include reporting on all sponsored ads (sponsored brand, sponsored display, and sponsored product), and will notify you every time that your budget increases by 5%.

Ad Efficiency

Currently, AMS is limited to sponsored product ads (with the only exception being budget reporting), but Amazon has made it easier to create campaigns with more efficiency. According to Amazon, “sponsored products performance metrics from Amazon Marketing Stream enables new dimensions such as the combination of targeting expression and ad placement, so you can not only optimize on your keywords but keywords by placement.” 

Conversions and Traffic

Traffic reports contain click, impression, and cost data related to sponsored product campaigns. You can access the click data within 12 hours of the ad click. You can also invalidate clicks within the first 72 hours as part of the traffic validation process, and AMS will automatically deliver any adjustments to your queue. Conversion reports contain conversion data attributed to sponsored product campaigns. Sponsored product campaign conversions are reported based on the hour when the click on the ad occurred. Conversion data is reported daily, weekly, and monthly.

AMS is currently available through the Amazon Ads API. It’s also worth noting that there may be additional costs associated with using AMS because of the amount of data it will push and the fact that you’ll need to have a place to store said data.

Why you should use Amazon Marketing Stream

If you advertise on Amazon, it’s definitely worth considering AMS. The level of data that you’ll receive will enable you to optimize your campaigns in ways you’ve likely never been able to before, saving you both time and money. AMS is a code-free, automated way to ensure that your business is using marketing data and investment to their fullest potential. Leveraging the near real-time insights that AMS delivers will give you a competitive advantage and can only help your brand, in terms of growth and revenue.

If you’re looking for help with Amazon Marketing Stream, Blue Wheel is here to help! We are currently integrating AMS with our proprietary Amazon tool, Companion, which was designed with Search Term Isolation at its core. We developed Companion to power our strategic approach and complement our Amazon advertising services.

If you’d like to talk to an expert about Amazon Marketing Stream or any other Amazon advertising services, simply fill in the form below and we’ll be in touch.

Why Amazon Marketing Cloud is a Big Win for Advertisers

Amazon Marketing Cloud is a big win for advertisers.

If you’re a user of Amazon DSP,  you’ve probably heard of Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC). Arguably its best feature is the ability to pull over 1,000 metrics to create aggregate reports, which offers marketers an in-depth analysis across multiple data sets. 

Let’s take a deeper look into why this solution is a game-changer for Amazon advertisers. 

What is Amazon Marketing Cloud?

Amazon Marketing Cloud is a secure, privacy-friendly, cloud-based analytics and performance management solution.

Amazon Marketing Cloud was built on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and provides advertisers with transparent and customized analytics across multiple data sets, resulting in aggregated reports.

  • AMC converts personally identifiable consumer data into anonymous insights that eligible Amazon advertisers can access.
  • Previously, there was no way to bridge the gap in information between Amazon DSP and PPC performance, as Amazon didn’t make first-party data available to advertisers.
  • Now advertisers can collect all of the data in DSP or the advertising console, for example, and map them together to create holistic reports.

How does Amazon Marketing Cloud work?

The goal of Amazon Marketing Cloud is to provide transparent analytics while maintaining end-customer privacy.

The last-touch attribution model was the previous standard on Amazon, meaning you could only collect data on the last ad that a consumer interacted with before they made a purchase.

With AMC, you can see the consumer’s entire journey without collecting any personal information. All aggregations must contain a minimum of 100 users, to protect end-customer privacy. Currently, only those who advertise through Amazon DSP can utilize AMC.

Building Custom Reports from AMC

Amazon Marketing Cloud is a complex reporting tool that requires Structured Query Language to generate reports. SQL is “a standardized programming language that is used to manage relational databases.”

Essentially, in order to retrieve customized data from AMC, you have to write queries using code. SQL acts as the bridge between one piece of data and another, giving you a clearer picture of the success of your campaigns.

It’s important to note that there’s a learning curve when it comes to implementing SQL, and it’s worth having someone on your team or working with an agency who understands the language.

However, Amazon has a library of pre-built instructional queries that advertisers can utilize by simply adding in their own data points.

New Marketing Capabilities for Amazon Advertisers

AMC has the ability to produce event-level data across an advertiser’s various channels and offer reports that are unique to each advertiser in terms of goals, messaging, and audience. Examples of data that AMC can produce include:

  • Channel-related data: Run reports to discover how each of your media channels is performing and which ones perform best with different audiences at each stage of the sales funnel.
  • Audience-related data: Learn how many consumers have seen your campaigns, where they are in your marketing funnel, and how best to engage them.
  • Custom attribution models: Analyze how your different media channels impact purchasing behavior and where best to invest in future campaigns.

Overall, AMC gives advertisers more flexibility and customization in terms of advertising performance both on and off Amazon.

Should you use Amazon Marketing Cloud?

If you use Amazon DSP, Amazon Marketing Cloud is a game-changer and certainly worth your consideration. Though it will take an investment of time to learn how to use it to its full potential, AMC offers a level of advertising and consumer data that’s difficult to ignore.

The report customization capabilities are nearly endless and will allow you to maximize your brand’s advertising campaigns while increasing your ROAS.

Learning and implementing new software can be challenging, but the team at Blue Wheel is here to help! We offer a variety of Amazon advertising services, including our proprietary software, Companion.

Simply fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch to discuss your Amazon advertising goals.


Prime Day 2022: Everything You Need to Know

prime day 2022

Prime Day is two of the biggest days for Amazon sellers. Many sellers spend months preparing for this day that will account for a large portion of their sales for the year.

Prime Day began in 2015, and it was originally a 24-hour event. In 2019, it switched to a two-day event. Over the years, brands have come to rely on Prime Day as a large sales day, on par or larger than Black Friday (historically the biggest sales day for brands). Brands across a variety of verticals participate in Prime Day — from haircare to kids’ snacks!

This year, more than ever, brands are beginning to utilize Prime Day in conjunction with their largest omnichannel DTC strategy. By pointing users towards Amazon during those few days, brands can more fully position themselves as universal brands.

Here’s our breakdown of Prime Day 2022!

When is Prime Day 2022?

Prime day is on July 12 and 13, 2022.

What Can You Expect on Prime Day 2022?

The past few years have been somewhat of an anomaly for Prime Day. Prime Day was postponed to October in 2020, and many sellers saw huge increases in their overall sales during the past two years. 2021 was perhaps more of a traditional Prime Day, but this year will arguably be even more “traditional.”

Sellers who have a great advertising strategy in place (more on that later) can bet on seeing success this Prime Day, though maybe not as high of sales as in 2020. Supply chain issues and manufacturing challenges can affect your sales this Prime Day as well.

How To Prepare for Prime Day 2022


The number one tip we can give for Prime Day is to keep advertising. You might be tempted to turn off your ads, thinking that you’ll get extra traffic on the days leading up to the event. But in reality, you should ramp up your advertising in order to maintain visibility and potentially outperform your competitors.


Some brands do lightning deals or issue coupons on Prime Day. While this strategy is not suitable for everyone, it might be right for your brand! If you work with an Amazon Advertising agency, talk to your rep about the pros and cons of offering a discount on Prime Day.

Post-Prime Day

Ensure you have strategies and processes to capture additional sales post-Prime Day. Some users might view your product but not purchase it on Prime Day. By retargeting them with ads after the fact, you can capture additional sales that you might have otherwise missed! This is also a great opportunity to start preparing for Q4, which is right around the corner.

2021 Prime Day Examples

In 2021, we helped a luxury hair care brand increase their Prime Day sales by 87%. We sought to maximize performance before, during, and after the two-day event, so our team crafted an expert strategy to achieve amazing results.

We increased budgets two weeks before Prime Day to ramp up campaigns and visibility, and invested in non branded and branded campaigns to increase impressions and ward off competitors. On Prime Day, we monitored and managed budgets, increasing as necessary throughout the day to maximize visibility and bolster the brand. We also kept ad budgets higher after the event to capture lingering impressions and missed sales from the event.

This strategy resulted in an 87% increase in Prime Day Ad sales year over year, and a 60% increase in revenue month over month.

Want more help navigating Prime Day madness? Reach out to Blue Wheel, an Amazon Ads advanced partner!

Buy with Prime Off Amazon: What It Means for Brands


At the end of April, Amazon announced that they would be extending Prime benefits outside of — so sellers can extend these benefits to their owned website.

This update came as somewhat of a surprise to brands, as Amazon has been seen as a separate business silo from DTC websites. (We here at Blue Wheel beg to differ — omnichannel marketing is the future of ecommerce in our opinion!)

Let’s dive into the specifics of this update and what it means for the future of ecommerce.

ICYMI, Here’s the Scoop

On April 21, Amazon announced that they would be extending Prime benefits to merchants’ own off-Amazon websites. This feature, which is currently in beta, allows select Amazon sellers to offer Prime benefits to their customers on their owned website — including free shipping, next-day shipping, and free returns. These sites will feature a “Buy with Prime” button to reduce friction in the path to purchase.

What it Means for Brands

If you’re a brand that has your own website and sells on Amazon as well, this has a number of benefits for you. It also represents a larger shift in the industry, which we’ll get into shortly.

Utilize Shipping Benefits

This “Buy with Prime” button will allow brands to utilize Amazon’s lightning-fast shipping capabilities and expansive warehousing network. Now, even brands who have limited shipping capabilities outside of Amazon can serve their customers with exceptional shipping rates and times.

Many DTC sites cannot offer the same shipping rates and speed as Amazon. When that happens, consumers prefer to shop with Amazon to get their item quicker and have the option of free returns — moving sales from DTC sites to Amazon. While this certainly isn’t a bad thing, especially if your brand has a comprehensive Amazon strategy, some brands might want to drive traffic to their DTC site via Facebook advertising. This update would allow them to keep the purchase on their site.

Since this feature is still in beta mode, we aren’t sure of the impact this will have on your inventory in Amazon warehouses. Are units separated based on the sales platform? For example, 1K units could be earmarked for Amazon, and another 1K units could be reserved for DTC sales. It will be critically important for brands to ask relevant questions and monitor this to ensure items don’t go out of stock.

Embracing Omnichannel Strategy

If brands have been hesitant to embrace an omnichannel strategy thus far, this is certainly the push that brands needed to go all-in. If your brand chooses not to sell on Amazon or other marketplaces, you’re missing out on a vital opportunity to expand your brand’s reach — and you can bet your competitors will take advantage of that.

This new announcement encourages brands to adopt an omnichannel strategy and not silo their Amazon sales into a separate bucket. A holistic strategy and comprehensive customer experience is key to succeeding in this competitive marketplace.

Preserve the Entire Customer Journey

As we’ve stated before, the customer journey is no longer linear. Someone might see a Facebook ad for your product, browse your owned website, get retargeted on Instagram, and purchase on Amazon after sourcing reviews there.

As the world of ecommerce continues to become more omnichannel, brands will need to embrace this non-linear customer journey in order to succeed. This update allows brands to do just that — keep the entire customer journey within reach.

Owning your Customers’ Data

One downside to Amazon is that you don’t own your customers’ data once they make a purchase. You have access to this data, but it’s not yours. So, while you can send emails to your Amazon customers through Amazon in order to promote new products or solicit reviews, you do not technically own that data — Amazon does.

However, with this new feature, you are able to get all the benefits customers expect while still owning their data, since they’re purchasing through your site. For many brands, this is the best of both worlds!

What it Means for the Industry

Alright, we know what this change means for individual brands — but what does this signal for the ecommerce industry as a whole? Let’s dive in.

Omnichannel is here to stay

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — omnichannel ecommerce is here to stay. With the rise of marketplaces like Amazon and the ease of creating DTC brands thanks to Shopify, brands are embracing the omnichannel philosophy in order to dominate.

As this philosophy continues to guide all digitally native DTC brands, it will only become more relevant. If you’re not adopting an omnichannel strategy, you’re behind.

Amazon vs. Shopify

Perhaps the biggest advance this announcement made was that it shows Amazon is making moves on Shopify. Shopify is the most prevalent builder in digital ecommerce websites, making it easy for brands to go from zero to live in a short amount of time.

Amazon has a similar appeal in that they handle warehousing, shipping, and fulfillment. Once you list your item and start advertising, Amazon handles the rest. But, as we stated before, many brands choose Shopify over Amazon so they themselves can own their customers’ information.

However, Amazon is now making moves to piggyback off of Shopify’s DTC dominance by offering their services to those using Shopify (or other ecommerce site builders). Complementing their services is a smart move for Amazon.

Need help navigating the world of Amazon Advertising? Reach out to the team at Blue Wheel today!

What is the Average Amazon ACoS?


If you’re selling on Amazon, you’ve likely wondered what the average Amazon Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS) is at some point. It’s a great question that seems simple, but has a complicated answer. There’s much more to ACoS than meets the eye, but you can still have some general numbers to follow.

Read on to discover the average Amazon ACoS!

What is the Average Amazon ACoS?

Many experts estimate that the average ACoS on Amazon is around 30%.

Your average ACoS might be higher or lower, depending on a number of factors. This estimated average is by no means a benchmark for your brand at any given point. If you’re new to Amazon, it might be a helpful guide, but as you get more familiar with Amazon Advertising, you’ll figure out what your average Amazon ACoS should be.

What is a Good Average Amazon ACoS?

There is truly no one-size-fits-all “good” ACoS for brands overall. However, a good rule of thumb is to aim for around 15–30% when you’re getting started. As you optimize your advertising, that number will likely lower.

A “good” ACoS will be different for everyone. Depending on your brand’s profit margin, advertising budget, and keyword competition, your ACoS will vary. There are a number of factors that determine your ACoS:

  • Sales goals
  • Campaign type
  • Keywords
  • Seasonality (high-traffic/holiday seasons)
  • Product newness
  • Competition
  • Product price
  • Campaign strategy

Based on all of these factors, your ACoS might differ for the same product over time! When you’re launching a product, a good ACoS might be 50%, but as it gains relevancy your target ACoS might be only 10%. And, if competition later increases, a good ACoS might be 25%. As you can see, ACoS is not the end-all-be-all statistic to base your success on. More and more people are tracking TACoS instead, as it serves as a more holistic view of your Amazon account, not just advertising directly.

What Should My Amazon ACoS Be?

Again, it all depends on your business goals. As we’ve stated earlier, 15–30% is a good baseline goal to begin with, but that will likely change over time.

If you’re launching a new product, you might want your ACoS to be around 30%. But, if you’re promoting one of your best-sellers, you might want it to be around 10%.

How can I Lower My ACoS?

There are a number of tactics to lower your ACoS. 

Search Term Isolation, our bidding philosophy here at Blue Wheel, will help you lower your overall ACoS over time. This technique puts money behind successful keywords, so you’re only bidding on keywords that are successful for you. For a more in-depth look at how to lower your ACoS, check out this blog post on how to optimize your account.

Ultimately, working with an Amazon Advertising agency will allow you to lower your ACoS — if you work with the right partner. Finding an agency that can help you meet your goals is always important, but it’s also important to manage expectations about your ACoS. Talk with your agency partner to reach a common goal together!

Interested in working with an Amazon Advertising agency? Blue Wheel is the best in the biz.

How Your Product Listing Content Impacts Amazon SEO


Appearing at the top of the Amazon search engine results page (SERP) is the number one goal for many brands selling on the marketplace.

Many brands enact strategies to take over the SERP for a specific keyword, while others utilize Search Term Isolation to avoid wasted spend and put money behind keywords that convert. But the goal is the same — to appear on the SERP through organic rank and advertising.

Creating Amazon content that sells is no small feat, but it’s well worth putting time and money into. Your product listing content affects your Amazon PPC conversions, but it also affects your organic ranking. While their search algorithm is relatively unknown, it’s nearly certain that your product listing content impacts your Amazon SEO.

Our Amazon team here at Blue Wheel has compiled some of their insights on how your product listing content impacts your Amazon SEO. Read on to discover more about how to improve your product listing content.

How the Amazon Algorithm Works

Like any search algorithm, no one is really sure exactly how the Amazon algorithm works. However, with enough experience and research, we can form a basic idea of what informs the algorithm.

It’s widely known that Amazon is extremely customer-centric — so much so that their search algorithm is partially organized by which products have a high amount of positive reviews and are popular sellers.

Amazon has never confirmed this, but many savvy sellers have noticed that your advertising can also affect your organic SEO. While there’s certainly no direct connection, at the very least, advertising your products gives them more exposure, which will result in more purchases, which results in more reviews, which is great for your organic ranking.

Last, but certainly not least, your product listing content impacts your Amazon SEO. Arguably, this is the most important factor in your organic ranking on the SERP.

Product Listing Content and SEO

It seems obvious, but the content in your product listing has a direct impact on your Amazon SEO. While most tend to focus on Amazon Advertising over organic SEO, it’s still an important part of your holistic Amazon marketing strategy.


Your title, obviously, plays a huge role in your organic ranking. Writing a title that is descriptive and contains relevant keywords is a fine art that many ignore. Include selling points for your product that back up your relevant keywords. Additionally, researching your competitors is a great way to find relevant keywords that seem to be converting well.

For example, if you are selling a shampoo formulated for blonde hair, you would want to make sure to include words and phrases like “blonde,” “shampoo,” “purple shampoo,” etc. Including the size of the bottle, your brand name, and any other relevant features (cruelty-free, SLS free, etc.) is pertinent as well.


Bullet points are the first — and sometimes only — thing people read on your product detail page. More than converting viewers, however, this section also informs your SEO ranking based on the keywords you’ve included.

Like any SEO rule on or off Amazon, it’s important not to keyword stuff, especially in your bullet points. They should be clear, concise, and easily scannable. Don’t fall into the temptation to just list adjectives or nouns that describe your product. Make it relevant to the customer while still including necessary keywords.


Your product description, located farther down on the product detail page, is another chance for you to include relevant keywords and phrases without overdoing it. The nature of this section allows you to go into more detail than your bullet points, which means the opportunity for more keywords!

Still, this section should be easy to read and should seem like it was written by a human, not a robot. Include relevant details about your product that will convert users who are either looking for more specific information before purchasing or aren’t convinced your product is the best option for them.

Backend Keywords

Backend keywords are incredibly important to your Amazon SEO, since they help Amazon’s algorithm determine what your product is and how it should be categorized. These keywords should directly relate to your product — in other words, don’t stuff with random, unrelated keywords.

Your backend keywords aren’t customer facing, so you don’t need to worry about making anything sound fancy. Simply enter your keywords for each ASIN and you’re done!


You might not think that images have a huge impact on your Amazon SEO, but following best practices only helps your SERP placement overall. So, while the images are not the most important part of your optimization, you should still follow the basic guidelines.

You should have at least 7 images for each of your ASINs. Obviously, you need to have your classic white background images, but you can also include mockups, lifestyle images, and product explanations. Images are one of the first things viewers see on the SERP and your Product Detail Page, so make sure they’re high quality and informative.

A+ Content

The last bit of content on your Product Detail Page is A+ Content — the designed images that further detail your product. However, this portion of the page does not impact your Amazon SEO. Because there is no text content here, only images, it does not count towards your page’s SEO.

Still, you should absolutely have high-quality A+ content on every Product Detail Page. While it won’t impact your SEO, it will help convert viewers into customers by informing them about your brand and product.

Want help improving your product listing and Amazon SEO? Reach out to Blue Wheel today.

How to Create an Appealing Amazon Brand Store

amazon brand store

Creating an appealing Amazon Brand Store is a huge part of your overall Amazon strategy. Not only does it aid your advertising efforts, but it also builds up your brand on the marketplace, allowing you to gain more lifetime value from your customers.

If you’ve never created a brand store before, or are not sure how to optimize it to reach your goals, here are Blue Wheel’s tips for creating an appealing Amazon Brand Store.

Write Appealing Copy

Your headline is one of the most important parts of your Amazon Brand Store. It’s likely the first item viewers will read! Here are a few basic points to remember when creating headlines and copy in your brand store.

First, be sure to include your brand name and logo on the store page banners. This helps build brand awareness and encourages consumers to look for your brand name and products when shopping on and off Amazon.

Second, include copy that is inclusive of your brand and the products being advertised. Don’t add generic filler content — make sure every word in your copy is relevant and necessary. It should be abundantly clear who your brand is and how your product can help the viewer.

Lastly, if possible, create specific banners with unique copy for each category page. For example, for our work with Peanuts, we created banners for their different product categories, such as Books and Games, and then we updated each of these to match the current seasonality. (More on that later.)

Make it Shoppable

Brand stores should not only look great, but they should also be super shoppable. Reducing friction in the buyer’s journey provides a great experience for your customers and increases conversions.

It’s important to include custom image panels with ASINs that correlate to each category. For example, for the Peanuts brand store, we include a school panel and list a backpack and book next to that panel. Each product image is linked to a specific ASIN, and the category panel is linked to the category itself.

Update for Seasonality

As we mentioned earlier, your Amazon Brand Store and accompanying ads should be updated for seasonality. Whether your product is traditionally seasonal or not, you can still find creative ways to update your assets to encourage sales.

Create Sponsored Brand Ads for specific holidays and seasons, linking to seasonal-specific items in your store. Whether you’re advertising Christmas items or back-to-school essentials, your seasonal ads and accompanying brand store can make a huge difference in sales.

Sponsored Brand Ads and Brand Stores Best Practices

Lastly, we’d like to share a few general best practices for Sponsored Brand Ads and Amazon Brand Stores.

  • Create SBAs to link directly to your store. This will encourage users to shop all of your categories and products rather than a single ASIN.
  • Include your brand logo in the SBA to build brand awareness.
  • Create custom copy for each SBA banner. Don’t rely on generic copy — update for seasonality and products.
  • Select up to 3 ASINs to feature in the SBA that will take the customer right to the PDP. Advertising individual products can provide great results on the search page.
  • Link SBA to a specific store or category page that the featured ASINs live on. Depending on your strategy, you might prefer to link to a specific category rather than an individual product.

Want to learn more? Tune in to our webinar on Amazon Brand Stores. Register today!

How To Prepare for Q4 on Amazon


Last year, in the craze that was 2020, Q4 was just the icing on the Amazon cake—with Prime Day occurring in Q4 alongside Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But this year, Prime Day occurred at its usual time, meaning Q4 will be just the traditional holiday shopping season.

So this year, as you prepare for this season, things will look different than last year. Our Marketplaces Team came together to give you their top recommendations to prepare for Q4!


The cutoff shipping window for this year is status quo—a week before Christmas, as usual. As shoppers are used to buying their holiday gifts online, they’re becoming savvier with shipping windows and understanding when to buy.

Make sure you are able to handle the influx of shipments during this time, and also verify your products are at an Amazon fulfillment center, if applicable.

Also note that there is one more weekend between Thanksgiving & Christmas this year than there typically is, so the week leading up to Christmas could be bigger in brick and mortar stores versus online.

Prepare Now

Perhaps the greatest piece of advice our Marketplaces Team can give is to start preparing now — don’t wait until the holidays to start promoting your products. The advertising you invest in now will directly impact the return you see during peak Q4 times.

We recommend running programmatic advertising (DSP) during the weeks leading up to Black Friday. That’s the time when you’ll want to increase spend for awareness campaigns, including competitor and ASIN targeting.

For many of our clients, we’re already starting to ramp up budgets, making sure we nail down holiday items and the associated top-performing advertising terms. Because of how CPCs are currently trending and how competitive the space is, this is a crucial step in preparing for Q4.

If you’re not advertising to prepare for Q4, you’re already behind. You can bet that your competitors are already doing it. Weed out and refine your top converting terms, so that when the actual event comes, you’re in a better position to ramp up advertising. If you build that relevancy now, you’ll have that momentum on those products early on, so you will have more success and have better ACoS performance during Q4.

Solidify Budget

Like any form of advertising, you need to solidify your budget months before your high-traffic season. Start the budget conversation with your key stakeholders now, including your Amazon Advertising Agency, if you work with one.

Last year, many clients had to spread out their Q4 budget over the course of the entire quarter due to Prime Day happening in October, but this year, you can really hone in that budget for the Turkey Five and the days leading up to Christmas.

Figure out what are your big topline revenue drivers for budgeting and put budget behind those ASINs. Campaigns that stay fully funded throughout the day have a better chance of success than campaigns that run out of budget by noon.

Bid on Seasonal Items

If you sell highly seasonal items, like Christmas cookie cutters or tree ornaments, you need to start bidding on those holiday terms now. There’s so much competition for these terms, and digitally native brands are already bidding on them — so you need to ensure you maintain relevancy by bidding early.

Additionally, if you sell holiday kits, you’ll want to start bidding on those early as well. One of our brands that sells specialty teas has already set up its brand store for holiday teas in preparation for the holiday season.

Update Assets and Brand Store

You should be having conversations around creative assets, too. Make sure you have a plan for new holiday assets that can be utilized in Sponsored Brand and Sponsored Display Ads as well as your Brand Store.

If you have video assets, incorporate those into Sponsored Brand Video Ads. Fewer brands have access to this ad type, so it’s a little less competitive. It will only get more competitive, so it’s important to capitalize on this ad type now to get lower cost-per-clicks (CPCs) and higher conversions. Additionally, Amazon is testing different ad placements on the search engine results page (SERP) for that ad type, instead of just having them at the bottom, which makes this type increasingly relevant to your advertising portfolio.

Update your brand store for the appropriate season — Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. — and ensure your entire team has a plan to switch out assets once the holiday season is over.

Retarget After

Following high-traffic periods like the Christmas season, be sure to dedicate budget to abandonment retargeting campaigns. Your audience pool has drastically grown during this time, so you have a higher chance to serve retargeting ads, which helps increase conversion rates on listings. Even though you didn’t sell your product to the person who viewed it, they were clearly interested in it at one point, so retargeting allows you to stay top of mind if they’re still interested.

Look Ahead

Lastly, our team encourages you to keep your sights on January and the “New Year, New You” theme that will arise. People will be looking for products to simplify or better their life, so don’t take your foot off the metaphorical gas for products that are relevant in this category.

Additionally, many people will have Amazon gift cards that are burning a hole in their pocket — and your retargeting ads could be used to convert those buyers after the holiday season.

Let the expert team at Blue Wheel help you prepare for Q4. Reach out to the team today.

Back to School on Amazon: 5 Tips to Succeed

amazon back to school

Back to school is a favorite time for many — parents who are ready to have a quiet house and kids who are ready to see their friends again. Especially since the pandemic resulted in at-home school for the past year or so, many students are now going back to school for the first time in a while. With that, students will need lots of supplies for the new school year, including supplies they might not have needed for the last year.

Our Amazon experts have compiled 5 tips to help you succeed in this back-to-school season, especially if your brand has a product that is great for school.

Take Advantage of Prime Day Traffic

Your brand likely saw an increase in traffic during Prime Day — capitalize off that increase by utilizing DSP to retarget those users who viewed your product pages. You can negate purchasers on DSP, which you can’t do with Sponsored Display, which is why we recommend DSP for this strategy.

With DSP, you can hyper-target for back-to-school audiences and products based on the increased traffic data you have from Prime Day. Depending on the product, you can utilize in-market or lifestyle data for parents with kids of a certain age, demographic data for college students, or data for life-stage.

Create custom creative for your ads instead of running generic ones. This specific targeting is the perfect time to make custom creative that is back-to-school focused! Your creative could give your product a whole different purpose, especially if it’s not a “traditional” back-to-school item.

Note In-Classroom Items

Now that many schools in America are going back to fully in-person classes, school supplies will be in high demand once more. Items that were not purchased last school year because of the pandemic — such as glue, crayons, and notebooks — will be needed for in-person learning. And, because of the worry of spreading germs, these items will need to be purchased on an individual basis, not as items to be shared in a classroom.

The supply mix will be different for in-school learning. Grocery items, especially individually packaged snacks, will be extremely popular as concerns about germs are still at an all-time high. Pre-packaged snacks will become necessary in the classroom as homemade goods will likely not be an option.

Additionally, as students head back to the classroom, parents will be looking to purchase new clothes, shoes, and accessories for their kids. Lunchboxes, thermoses, water bottles, food containers, backpacks, and more will be popular as well!

As sports make a comeback this year, students will need new uniforms and equipment, which will result in a boom in sports and outdoor equipment, including lawn chairs, coolers, and sunscreen for game days!

And for that back-to-school glow-up for high school and college students, many will be looking for new beauty products to make a good impression on their classmates they haven’t seen in so long.

Think about Workers, Too

Back to school season also means back to the office for parents! Especially as many offices are opening back up for employees to work in, they’ll be searching for supplies as they head back into the office for the first time in over a year. Snacks, thermoses, business casual clothing, and beauty tools and products will be increasingly popular as more people head back to office work.

On the flip side, as many workers shift to a permanent work-from-home situation, we’ll likely see growth across the home category in general as people formalize their office or workspace at home. Desks, laptop stands, office chairs, noise-canceling headphones, and plants will likely boom as people seek to make a comfortable workspace at home.

Utilize Different Ad Types

With this high-traffic time, you’ll want to utilize different ad types. Depending on your category of product, you might vary your ad type.

Amazon Sponsored Brand Video is a relatively new ad type that has been proven successful. Additionally, Sponsored Display Ads have different targeting options that allow you to target specific categories and audiences. There are lots of different placements as a whole on this ad type.

You can do product substitutes and target complementary products, which is a huge benefit for this ad type. So, if you’re shopping for a pencil case, you can create an ad for pencils on there as well as a supplementary product. You can target whoever your market is, but for back to school, it will likely be mothers between 25–50 years old. You can see the audience volume and already start strategizing about how you’ll get the most bang for your buck by doing your research ahead of time.

Monitor Inventory Levels

As always, when you’re coming up on a high-traffic or high-sales volume season, you’ll want to carefully monitor inventory levels to make sure you’ll have enough product in stock to accommodate for those sale numbers.

Especially with Q4 and the holiday season coming up close on the heels of back-to-school season, you’ll want to make sure that you have enough product in stock to make it through this season, as well as processes in place to restock almost immediately to prepare for the boost in sales that comes in Q4.

Let the experts at Blue Wheel help you strategize for high-traffic seasons. Reach out today!

2021 Prime Day Recap from the Experts

2021 prime day recap

Prime Day 2021 is over, and everyone is wondering how the biggest sales event of the year went. Amazon boasted over 250 million items were sold, Prime members saved more than ever before, and that their Fire Stick was the biggest-selling item. There were shockingly no site crashes, despite the immense amount of traffic, and sales soared for small businesses.

But what did Amazon advertisers see as the biggest takeaway this year? We asked three of our Amazon experts what they thought the biggest takeaway of 2021 Prime Day was. Here are their thoughts in full!

Melissa Ardavany, our Director of Marketplace Client Services, noted that this was, unsurprisingly, the biggest sales day ever for many brands.

“For many of our clients, Prime Day 2021 was their biggest sales day since Prime Day 2019 and for some, it was even their biggest EVER. This was regardless if they were running deals or not.”

Most brands will run some sort of deal or discount on Prime Day, but the fact that brands who didn’t run a discount still saw a lift in sales really speaks to the high amount of traffic and purchase intent that is on Amazon during those two days — regardless of price.

Kyle Slunick, Senior Marketplace Manager, spoke to the impact of advertising and how the time of day drastically impacts placement.

“Competitors started the day very aggressive and were constantly increasing bids for first page placements. CPCs were high because of the aggressive approach taken early in the day, however, as the day progressed brands began to lose placements and CPCs began to decrease, as competitors were running out of budget. In the later half of the day, we saw placements granted to smaller brands so we pushed and capitalized on the traffic. It worked extremely well!”

Amazon themselves definitely highlighted that small businesses were able to see great success, noting that 2.5 million customers bought from small businesses on Amazon in the first twenty-four hours of the sale.

Dani, Senior DSP Manager, noted that your Prime Day strategies should extend after the two-day sale is over, especially for DSP.

“Utilizing DSP before, during, and after Prime Day. Before the sale event, DSP helps build awareness for any deals you plan on running. During Prime Day, DSP is useful for bringing in traffic from users across the internet — off Amazon — who may not be aware the sale is even happening. Post-Prime Day, retargeting lookback windows can help by reengaging with the increased traffic that viewed your product without purchasing or purchased on Prime Day and haven’t re-purchased recently.”

For our team at Blue Wheel, Prime Day is just the beginning. We capitalize off the high visibility to continue to grow your sales through advertising and prepare for Q4 and the holiday season.

Prime Day didn’t go as planned? Realized you need an expert team to help you? Reach out for a free Amazon Advertising audit from Blue Wheel!