In 2021, more than 250 million items were purchased by Prime members worldwide over the two-day timeframe. This year, preparations for Prime Day should be well underway by now so that your brand can be ready when millions of consumers shop during one of the most significant retail events of the year. Here are a few tips so you can be prepared ahead of time.
Amazon Prime Day Tips:
View your historical performance of past Prime Day events
Create a ‘Prime Day’ page within your Amazon Store
Start planning your budgets NOW. Remember, traffic to Amazon’s website is increased exponentially during the Prime Day event, so you want to capitalize on this. If you don’t have enough budget for your campaigns to stay visible throughout the day(s), your ads will be paused until the next day.
Build brand awareness ahead of the event with Sponsored Display Ads and Sponsored Brand Video ads. Shoppers are more likely to purchase a product during Prime Day that they discovered during the lead-up to the event.
During Prime Day, use Sponsored Display and Sponsored Product ads to engage with shoppers browsing similar products or even remarket to audiences that visited your product detail pages before Prime Day to stay top of mind on the day of the event.
Use negative targeting to help prevent your ads from appearing on shopping results pages that don’t meet your performance goals.
Check your inventory levels for your products, as well as understand your top-selling and least-selling products, so you know where to focus your efforts.
Create and choose strong products to focus on in your Sponsored Product campaigns. Ensure their product detail pages are informative, have high-quality and detailed descriptions, and include four or more high-resolution images with a strong title.
There are many more solutions for brands to reach audiences you might not be aware of. Consider diversifying your content before Prime day by streaming a video game on Twitch, listening to music through Amazon Music’s ad-supported tier, or streaming video via Freevee (formerly IMDb TV) and Fire TV…all of which are available via Amazon DSP ads.
Use Sponsored Display Ads to target other products in your category to help reach new customers, or consider targeting your product detail pages to introduce shoppers to other products you sell. Let’s take ‘Computers & Office’ as an example: to engage new customers and ensure that your laptops are top of mind, you can target similar product pages within the Computers & Office category, or you can target your own product pages to promote your complementary products (e.g., laptop cases or external hard drives).
Lastly, don’t forget, there’s the lead-up (- two weeks) and lead-out (+ two weeks) of the Prime Day event. Brands that advertise throughout all phases of Prime Day can better build brand presence with shoppers. According to Amazon’s internal data, “Brands that advertised leading up to and during Prime Day showed a 216% increase in awareness and 214% increase in considerations, compared to the week before.”
Amazon Prime Day Deadlines
Keep the following deadlines in mind for Prime Day as they are right around the corner, and some have already passed.
Prime Day Deals Deadline (for consideration):
Lightning Deals Submission Deadline:
April 29 (U.S. and Canada)
May 13 (France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, and the UK)
Coupon Submission Deadline:
June 10 (U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, and the UK)
FBA Inventory Cutoff Deadline:
June 20 (U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Portugal)
June 29 (Japan)
Inbound Shipping Cutoff Deadline:
June 2 (U.S. and Canada)
June 22 (Mexico and Portugal)
June 29 (France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the UK)
Prime Member Promotions Deadline:
April 29 (U.S. and Canada)
May 13 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Portugal, Australia, Japan, India, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates)
Prime Exclusive Discounts Deadline:
July 8 (the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Portugal, Australia, and Japan)
July 19 (India, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates)
Victoria’s Secret has undergone an evolution over the past several years, and part of that evolution is testing new opportunities. The ecommerce giant recently announced that it would break the tradition of direct selling only with an Amazon storefront. Fans of VS will now be able to shop roughly 120 Victoria’s Secret Beauty and Pink Beauty products on Amazon.
While a Victoria’s Secret x Amazon collab line is probably not on the horizon, this move could be indicative of future D2C expansion onto the infamous selling platform. It’s also indicative of the current success that many sellers are seeing on the platform.
Amazon accounts for significant percentages of retail ecommerce sales share across a wide variety of product categories (graphic below). Plus, Research shows that 56% of US consumers say that if they could only shop at one store, it would be Amazon. Amazon has a purchase-ready audience that sellers can leverage easily and effectively.
Unlike Google Ads, Amazon never takes users off of the platform when they tap on an ad. They’re able to seamlessly purchase items of interest and remain on a trusted platform for the entire experience. No wonder this Amazon Ad Agency reported an average conversion rate of 9.5% on Sponsored Product Ads!
Another bonus of selling on Amazon for retail giants like Victoria’s Secret: they have leverage to negotiate Amazon’s fee structure. This is especially advantageous given the increased cost of advertising on the platform. In Q1 2022, Amazon’s advertising business increased by 23% per Insider Intelligence. Retailers are realizing that if they don’t pay to have their products on Amazon, third party sellers and competitors will.
Victoria’s Secret isn’t the first major D2C player to foray into the world of Amazon selling - other household names like Adidas and Levi’s currently have storefronts on Amazon. Amazon has the volume and customer base to make selling worthwhile, but only if it doesn’t come at a cost that eats into the bottom line.
Companies that are already advertising (or interested in advertising) on Amazon can leverage Marin Software to make the most out of their efforts. Our unique Amazon integration allows advertisers to import Amazon Advertising campaigns into our platform, enabling you to view and comprehensively manage your Amazon campaigns, as well as accessing our full suite of automated bidding and reporting options. Reach out to your Marin Software representative to learn more!
It's no secret that users on social media are scrolling through their feeds for much more extended periods. In 2022, social commerce sales in the United States are expected to reach $45.74 billion, with more than half of the nation's adults purchasing directly on the social media platform of their choice.
With such robust behavior data, brands must have an omnipresent presence across social media platforms to take advantage of these trends. Recent studies indicate that the majority of significant brands plan on increasing their social commerce investments in 2022.
Get a quick look into emerging social commerce trends for 2022 and how they can help you grow your brand's sales, marketing, and profits. Continue reading and discover key trends that have shaped social business over the past few years and what you should do in 2022.
What Is Social Commerce?
Social commerce is a part of e-commerce and refers to consumers' shopping experience on a social network. In other words, social commerce is selling products through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
Social buying is a growing trend within the US and is becoming more popular worldwide. It's estimated that social commerce will grow to $79.64 billion by 2025 in the US. Although that may be a very healthy number for the market overall, marketers still have a long way ahead of them if they want to succeed on the individual brand level.
Brands can utilize various techniques in this space to take advantage of impulse purchase decisions and consumer FOMO. The major players in social media like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat have optimized the buying experience by reducing friction throughout the buyers' journey within the platform.
Social Commerce Trends
One of the most inherent benefits of social media marketing is how quickly it can change and adapt to new consumer trends. Text-based updates have been replaced by more visual, transient content on social media platforms in the last two decades. Companies can draw on their strengths historically to determine how they approach social commerce now. Think of it as an opportunity to present the same brand messaging that has worked before in a new medium, like taking the headline of a billboard and turning it into a PPC ad. This transition from organic social media to social commerce ought to work much in the same way.
For example, Instagram Shopping, Facebook Shops, and Pinterest Buyable Pins have all been updated in response to consumers’ want for quicker, easier purchase experiences. Snapchat is another platform taking steps to introduce social shopping trends to its 229 million users. Snapchat’s recent introduction of “lenses” allows users to read product descriptions, reviews, and specs.
Verbiage within the content (whether in video, audio, or written form) is often purchase-driven on social media now as well. Common phrases such as "swipe-up to purchase" or "click the link in the bio" make it easy for social media users to purchase the advertised items and services. Users have come to expect these captions or comments within brand messaging, as they reinforce the CTA (call to action) in another way and make the user’s most simple next step very clear.
A Shift in Marketing Strategies For Brands
Just like any other channel, the social shopping experience for each industry can vary quite a bit. Social commerce ads that promote athleisure clothing is very different from ads that promote electronics, for example. Take the time to do thorough competitive research for your social commerce strategy, just as you would for any other new medium.
With so much content available to consume, users are unlikely to engage with or pay attention to brand-generated content. Because of this, more brands are starting to understand the value of user-generated content, live stream shopping, chatbots and influencer marketing. This content is both user-friendly and approachable–the key being that UGC is humanizing your brand and building authenticity, much like a low-key testimonial. With such a shift in traditional content engagement, these organic opportunities should not be overlooked. They will play an important supporting role in your social commerce strategy.
Social Commerce & the Importance of User Experience
E-commerce purchases are affected by the interaction a shopper has with the website. Merchants who run online stores have ultimate control and can often view direct actions when all purchases are taking place on site. Social commerce diversifies that shopping experience. The benefit of course is that this can increase the amount of revenue and number of sales overall, as a step is removed from the users’ conversion journey. The downside is that you may not have as much data or control as an advertiser that you would have on your own site or e-commerce shopping cart.
Keep in mind that the objective is digital convenience whenever looking at important decisions within the social commerce space. Brands that still use outdated business models with a long buyer journey and complicated purchase models will frustrate customers. The faster and more seamless the path is to checkout, the better your chance to capture more revenue.
Another factor to consider is the fact that users' attention spans have fallen dramatically. This makes it even more critical for brands to optimize their user experience to gain more confidence and increase sales with as little work from the consumer as possible. Consider diversifying your purchase integrations to optimize this process fully. Plugins from tools like Shopify Pay, PayPal, Apple Pay, and more will yet again remove a step from users’ finishing their checkout.
Social Commerce Market Stats And Outlook
It's been fascinating watching how social trends have driven innovation in social networking beyond just communicating with friends or family. Over the last several years, legacy direct-to-consumer brands (DTC) have invested billions in paid social advertising to drive new revenue. Their success caused a flood of more unique, independent brands to follow suit…which made the competition for advertising slots that much more aggressive. This led to higher costs for advertisers and increased ad fatigue for social media users. Global advertising spend on social networks was 26% higher in the third quarter of 2021 than in 2020. In 2022, Insider Intelligence forecasts that US retail and social commerce sales will rise by 24.9% to $45.74 billion. Fashion categories, such as apparel and accessories remain the largest market for social commerce. However, other lifestyle brands wanting to market electronics or home decor are also doing incredibly well with social commerce campaigns. Brands that offer new and differentiated goods are best suited to social commerce. But if the patterned growth is any indication of the value still to come for advertisers…we recommend testing it out, regardless of what kind of DTC product you’re selling.
Social commerce enables brands to develop frictionless shopping experiences and reach consumers in the most critical places. As social media continues to evolve in 2022 and beyond, brands will have more options to create social commerce experiences with potentially explosive growth. Brands with a proactive approach to moving to the next level should shift their marketing efforts and build trust with customers through social commerce implementation.
TikTok recently partnered with Shopify in an effort to help Shopify’s 1 million+ merchants sell to the TikTok audience.The partnership allows Shopify merchants to create and manage TikTok marketing campaigns without ever leaving the Shopify dashboard. Taking advantage of this new feature is easy. Just download the TikTok channel app found in the Shopify App Store then access the TikTok for Business Ads Manager right in Shopify.
How to use TikTok for retail
TikTok sells. Not only is it the fastest growing social media platform in existence, but it is also the easiest place to sell out a product. On average, TikTok users spend upwards of 850 minutes per month on the app. Considering there are more than 1 billion active monthly users on the platform, the potential for your content to be seen on the platform is massive. In quarter 2 of 2021, consumers spent more than $535 million via the TikTok app.
Understand how TikTok works
TikTok isn’t like Instagram or Facebook. It’s designed for short form content. When users scroll through their For You Page (FYP), they are bombarded with rapid context changes. If you don’t grab their attention in the first few seconds of your video, they can (and will) scroll past with a simple twitch of the thumb.
Advertising on TikTok successfully requires carefully crafted native content. Traditional ads won’t work here. Luckily, TikTok users are pretty easy to please. Catch their attention and show them your product or service works, and they’ll be flocking to your site in no time.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
Hack the algorithm: learning how the TikTok algorithm works can go a long way in the quest to create viral content that sells. TikTok starts by showing your content to a limited number of users. Who they push your video to next depends on how those users interact with your video. Your goal should be to get as much engagement as possible by those first users.
Use native formatting: aim for your videos to be around 30 seconds in length, always use vertical orientation, and make sure your video takes up the entire screen (no black space).
Hop on trends: using trending hashtags, sounds, and video concepts is the best way to market your products via native content while participating in bigger conversations and trends on the platform. If a user likes a particular sound, using that sound might be all it takes to grab their attention.
Get to know your audience
Understanding your target audience isn't enough. You have to understand how your target audience behaves on TikTok. As you post content and grow your account, keep tabs on the analytics. Take a look at what TikTok influencers your followers are fond of, when they are online, what trends they participate in, etc. The more you know about what TikTok content resonates with your audience, the better informed your TikTok advertising strategy will be. As TikTok is a hub for Gen Z, it’s important to prioritize authenticity when creating content.
Take advantage of TikTok’s features
TikTok wants you to find success on their platform. This is why they’ve implemented so many features that make selling products on TikTok easier. Here are a couple to consider:
Live stream shopping events: recruit influencers to help you sell products in a live stream shopping event.
Product tags: turn every post into a potential advertisement by adding product tags that link directly to your product listings.
TikTok might be a newer landscape for most advertisers, but the platform has proven to be a goldmine for selling online— especially to a younger audience. With the help of the Shopify integration and the right advertising solutions, you can use TikTok for retail too.
Launched last year, Instacart is offering a program supporting black-owned companies by promoting their products at the point of sale through Instacart Ads. Brands can apply for a share of $1M in advertising credits that can be used on the platform.
Instacart is the leading online grocery platform in North America which creates tremendous opportunities for emerging brands to reach their customers as they complete their online grocery shopping.
In addition to advertising credits, brands accepted into the program will get additional resources, including a “designated team focused on supporting participating brands and a monthly training series to ensure brands maximize the impact of their advertising campaigns.”
Instacart offers a range of advertising formats on the platform, including Sponsored Products, Digital Coupons, and more. You can think of Sponsored Product Ads as increasing the digital shelf space for your products. They show on the search page results in addition to checkout and other browsing and discovery placements.
If you need help with your Instacart Ads campaigns, or increasing exposure on other retail marketplaces, set up time to learn more about how MarinOne can help maximize the performance of your marketing investments.
Brands can now optimize Target Product Ads in MarinOne’s cross-channel ad management platform
There’s a reason so many consumers shop on Target.com and the Target app: the guest experience. Target has invested heavily over the last few years in making online shopping easy, convenient, affordable, and enjoyable for its millions of shoppers.
Target Product Ads Help Brands Intersect Shoppers’ Line of Sight
With this kind of growth, brands cannot afford to miss out on one of Target’s retail media offerings, Target Product Ads, which provides access to so many high-intent shoppers.
Target’s native, cost-per-click product ads amplify brands’ visibility and discoverability on Target.com and the Target app, which is becoming increasingly important in a now busier-than-ever eCommerce landscape. With available placements on search, browse, and product detail pages, advertisers can connect with customers with tailored ads at every step of the buyer journey.
Target Product Ads may be the solution that advertisers are looking for to address a variety of objectives, from defending market share to increasing purchase frequency. Brands can reach purchase-ready customers while making their products more visible across search and browse placements. And the best part: sales can be attributed down to the SKU-level to provide you with a granular understanding on performance.
MarinOne Optimizes Target Product Ads to Drive Incremental Sales
Marin Software’s collaboration with Roundel™ means customers will now be able to analyze, manage, and optimize their Target Product Ads directly from the MarinOne platform.
MarinOne unifies Retail advertising like Target Product Ads with other Retail Media campaigns as well as paid search, paid display, and paid social, while simplifying reporting and management of advertising campaigns across channels.
MarinOne’s Insights module automatically identifies opportunities such as Product A/B Testing in your account with estimates of potential value and easy implementation.
In the few short years since it launched in 2017, CitrusAd has become the fastest growing ecommerce ad network in the US and established itself as a preferred retail media platform for both brands and retailers like Lowes, Shipt, and Petco.
In fact, CitrusAd was ranked in the highest category in Forrester’s recent report on Sell-Side Retail Media Solutions, receiving some of the highest scores possible. It’s easy to see why brands choose to spend their Retail Media dollars with CitrusAd and their network of retailers.
CitrusAd’s unique benefits
CitrusAd makes it easy for brands and retailers to work together to increase sales by launching targeted and cost-effective digital campaigns with access to sponsored products, display media, landing pages, and fixed tenancy for the best placement. Advertisers can streamline inventory across top retailers from all verticals and 25 different countries to deliver greater ROI on their Retail Media campaigns. CitrusAd provides brands with unique benefits including:
access to high-intent audiences: consumers shopping on these sites are browsing for specific products and ready to purchase, so placement on is low-funnel and likely to convert to sales.
personalization: Retailers know what their customers like to buy and by leveraging this first party data, brands can promote relevant products to the right audiences, right at the point of purchase.
native advertising formats: sponsored ads feel natural and unobtrusive to shoppers, helping brands make smooth connections with audiences through in-feed advertisements that are more likely to drive engagement and conversions.
closed-loop analytics: it’s easy to attribute ad engagement to sales with Retail Media, because Retailers are running the ad and selling the products and can make direct connections within their own platforms.
CitrusAd and MarinOne
CitrusAd’s full suite of products is now available in MarinOne. Marin has been helping advertisers advance their digital advertising campaigns for almost 15 years and has managed over $40 billion in advertising spend.
MarinOne unifies eCommerce advertising with paid search, display and social campaigns, while simplifying reporting and management of advertising campaigns across channels. Automated insights help advertisers identify opportunities to deliver growth and improve their return on the investment, and sophisticated bidding tools help advertisers plan, pace and optimize their campaigns to hit their targets.
With CitrusAd and MarinOne, advertisers always have accurate and transparent real-time campaign performance available at their fingertips and have the flexibility to make adjustments and improvements based on robust analytics. Click here for more on CitrusAd’s integration with MarinOne.
It is that time of the year again! For many people, November means shorter days, colder weather, and a countdown to the holidays - but for marketers and retailers, it's the busiest time of the year and there's a lot to do between now and the New Year. In this blog, we're looking back at last year's holiday shopping season and sharing our predictions for what's to come in the weeks ahead.
Looking back at 2020
Despite unprecedented challenges, consumers and retailers demonstrated incredible resilience throughout the 2020 holiday season. Faced with rising transmission of the virus, restrictions on retailers and heightened political and economic uncertainty, consumers chose to spend on gifts that lifted the spirits of their families and friends and provided a sense of normalcy.
Black Friday and Saturday 2020 saw tremendous growth in online activity. For the first time, the number of online Black Friday shoppers passed the 100 million mark, up 8 percent over last year. Overall, online-only shoppers increased by 44 percent for the entire weekend, spending a total of $95.7 million*.
Over 40 percent of holiday shoppers said they started earlier than they normally would in 2020, according to the annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
So what were people buying? Last holiday season saw year-over-year gains in six out of nine retail categories, led by double-digit increases for building materials, sporting goods stores and furniture. Let’s take a look at how 2021 may compare...
From rethinking the holiday shopping timeline to reimagining traditional sales events, retailers are actively planning ahead to ensure they are ready to meet consumers’ 2021 holiday shopping needs - despite the supply chain issues impacting the industry.
According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales for 2021 are expected to increase by 8.5-10.5% compared to 2020, generating between $843.4 billion and $859 billion.
Last year saw extraordinary growth in digital channels as consumers turned to online shopping to meet their holiday needs during the pandemic. While ecommerce will remain important, households are also expected to shift back to in-store shopping and a more traditional holiday shopping experience. Plans to shop online are down 3% from 2020, up 1% from 2019 (pre-pandemic) and it’s still the largest destination for consumers to make purchases this holiday season.
Over the last decade, consumers have been kicking off their holiday shopping early in order to spread out their budgets and avoid the stress of holiday shopping. This year, shoppers started earlier than ever, with half (49%) beginning to browse or buy before we even hit November. With the prospect of consumers seeking to shop early, inventories may be pulled down sooner and shortages may develop in the later weeks of the shopping season. However, if retailers can keep merchandise on the shelves until Christmas, this season could potentially shatter previous records.
To understand how MarinOne can help you scale your effort during key retail periods, reach out to your account manager or our sales team today.
*Source: National Retail Federation calculations based on U.S. Census Bureau data as of April 2021 NRF holiday spending is defined as the months of November and December.
Amazon is, of course, the leading online sales marketplace, with more than half of all eCommerce sales completed on their site and app. It’s no surprise that many Amazon sellers take advantage of Amazon’s Sponsored Products, Brands and Display formats to lead customers shopping on Amazon to the buy box. But Amazon has a large offering of advertising opportunities on the open web as well.
What is Amazon DSP?
Amazon’s Demand Side Platform (Amazon DSP) is software that provides automated, centralized media buying from multiple sources including thousands of publisher partners and data exchanges in addition to Amazon’s own sites, apps, and devices.
Amazon leverages billions of first-party consumer insights to help advertisers reach consumers who are in-market for specific products. With this data, brands can deliver customers relevant ads in display, video and audio formats. And you don’t need to sell on Amazon to benefit from DSP ad placements. These ads can link to product detail pages on Amazon or on a brand’s own website.
Amazon DSP + MarinOne Reporting
With the addition of Amazon DSP, MarinOne customers now have a comprehensive suite of tools to activate and amplify their entire Amazon Advertising campaign portfolio. MarinOne’s advanced analytics tools provide advertisers with intelligent dashboards and customizable reports. Automated insights identify opportunities to improve performance, and alerts provide real-time updates on changes in activity.
MarinOne supports 140 DSP metrics including detailed page views and new to brand metrics. Advertisers can use marketplace signals to tie their DSP performance to reviews, ratings, inventory status, and price. And MarinOne never deletes data, allowing for simple year-over-year or quarter-over-quarter analysis.
Holistic View of Advertising Performance
In addition to viewing Amazon DSP results alongside Amazon Sponsored Products, Brands and Display Ads, MarinOne customers can also analyze paid search and social advertising as well as other marketplaces, retail media, and shopping campaigns, delivering a cross-publisher and cross-channel view of performance.
To start gaining the benefits of MarinOne reporting on your Amazon DSP account, reach out to your account manager or our sales team today.
Did you know that 2 out of 3 online product searches start on retailers’ sites? Are you reaching high-intent shoppers at the point of sale?
Brands now have the unique opportunity to promote their products directly on leading retailer websites and apps. Don’t miss our upcoming webinar on Thursday, September 23rd | 10am PT - 1pm ET for a chance to listen to a panel of industry experts shed light on how to expand your eCommerce advertising reach this holiday season.
We’ll be joined by three fantastic panelists:
Morgan O’Hara, Director, Brand Partnerships at Instacart
Michael Greene, VP, Growth Portfolio at Criteo
Jeremy Brown, Customer Success Manager at Marin Software
In this panel, our three experts will discuss and debate:
Tips for advertisers getting started with Retail Media
What types of products is Retail Media most effective for
How can Retail Media complement your cross-channel ad spend with search, social and other eCommerce
Will consumer privacy concerns have a negative effect on retail media as well
What are some things you can do to prepare for Retail Media campaigns for the upcoming holiday season
This webinar is a “must-attend” for every digital marketer interested in Retail Media, Sign-up now!
With the unprecedented growth of eCommerce in the last few years, it’s no surprise that advertisers are rapidly increasing their digital marketing allocations towards this channel. Some estimates predict global retail ecommerce sales will exceed $6 trillion in 2023, an 84% increase over just 4 years. It’s clear that you must be able to navigate eCommerce in order to stay competitive going forward.
Marin Software customers now have another tool to drive eCommerce performance with the recent integration of Criteo’s Commerce Media Platform. Criteo leverages commerce data and intelligence so advertisers can deliver relevant ads to the right audience at the right time. With a full product suite including Marketing Solutions and Retail Media, Criteo helps brands connect with customers at the top of the funnel and leverage signals of intent to stay with them through conversion.
Increase Conversions with Marketing Solutions
Criteo’s Marketing Solutions enable display ads across thousands of the best publishers on the open web. Using data insights, brands can leverage dynamic retargeting to engage shoppers across publishers, deliver tailored video and display ads, and bring shoppers back to your site to purchase. All this adds up to better performance and more sales and profitability.
Own the Digital Shelf with Retail Media
Criteo’s Retail Media solutions give brands the ability to execute retail advertising campaigns at scale, promoting your products on hundreds of the world’s leading retailer websites and connecting with customers at the digital point of sale. With first-party data behind your campaigns, you’ll be reaching high-intent shoppers with relevant ads to boost product sales.
MarinOne + Criteo
It can be tough managing your commerce media spend across multiple products and retailers. MarinOne makes it easy for digital advertisers to manage, measure and optimize eCommerce campaigns with a comprehensive view across publishers and simplified reporting to view overall performance. Automated Insights help identify opportunities to deliver growth and improve return on investment, and sophisticated bidding tools help plan, pace and optimize campaigns to hit targets.
With access to Criteo’s suite of Commerce Media products, MarinOne helps you run campaigns against the world’s latest set of commerce data. And the MarinOne platform unifies commerce advertising with paid search and paid social campaigns to measure holistic, cross-channel performance all in one place.
Raise your hands if you shopped on Instacart in the last year? Keep your hands up if you advertised with Instacart last year? Well, if you’re a CPG brand I’m sure you’ve still got your hand up.
Instacart is the leading online grocery platform in North America. The company has partnered with more than 600 beloved national, regional and local retailers, including unique brand names, to deliver from nearly 55,000 stores across more than 5,500 cities in North America. Instacart offers self-service and managed ad services for more than 2,500 CPG brands, including 100% of the Top 25 CPG companies.
Instacart launched self-service advertising in May 2020 allowing advertisers to promote products to appear at the top of their search results and throughout their buying journey. And now MarinOne is here to help.
Our self-serve MarinOne platform unifies lower-funnel Instacart advertising with paid search and paid social campaigns to help generate additional demand. Marketers can align their efforts across channels to ensure they are working seamlessly across the customer journey.
The flagship Instacart Ads offering, Sponsored Product, helps advertisers secure premium digital shelf space across several discovery surfaces throughout the online grocery shopping journey. Consumers discover sponsored items, much like they would in store by being on the right shelf, on an end cap or in the checkout lane.
Sponsored Product placements mirror these in store opportunities and more – whether consumers search, browse and discover, or buy again, Sponsored Products puts relevant products in their sightlines.
One notable difference with Instacart is the geographic considerations: your ads will only be shown to users if there are stores selling your product in that user’s area.
MarinOne is Here to Help
Starting a new ad platform is a big task and it takes a while for the tools to manage and optimize campaigns to mature, especially for larger advertisers with lots of products. That’s where MarinOne comes in.
With Instacart supported in MarinOne, advertisers have the advanced reporting, automation and optimization capabilities we have been refining over the last 15 years. Interactive analytics let you ask questions of your data, flexible charting helps you spot trends or change in your account.
MarinOne’s Insight module automatically identifies opportunities such as Product A/B Testing in your account with estimates of potential value and easy implementation.
The automation tools in Marin make it easy and efficient to manage Instacart Ads campaigns. The optimization tools help identify optimal levels of spend while MarinOne bidding delivers the best possible performance.
Talk to your account manager today to get your Instacart Ads account linked to MarinOne or reach out to our sales team with any further questions.
Welcome to part three of our Amazon Prime Day 2021 three-part series.
In part one, Are you ready for Prime Day 2021?, we took a look at last year's performance, noted key deadlines for retailers, and highlighted some top-level levers to get the most out of Prime Day, before, during and after the event.
Prime Day starts today, so in part three we’ll talk through some of the strategies to keep the momentum going during the period after Prime Day (2+ weeks):
For at least 2 weeks after the 2 day Prime event, you should focus on reengaging with your Prime Day audiences that continue to visit Amazon to browse and shop products. During this time, consider promoting complementary products to your existing audiences and even reach new audiences who viewed your products but didn’t purchase them during Prime Day.
A lot of Brands decide to cut their spend significantly right after Prime Day has ended or even pause campaigns entirely, which is an oversight. Continuing to invest in a strategic approach is crucial. According to Amazon, it takes on average between 6 and 7 days before a shoppers initial browse on Amazon and making a purchase. In addition, a shopper makes 14 average detail page views before making a purchase. Because of this it's very likely that a shopper is still considering your brand/products, even after Prime Day, but has yet to convert - making the period after Prime Day the perfect time to re-engage with those audiences. Brands that continue to advertise after prime Day will remain at the forefront of shoppers’ minds, while those that don’t could lose the brand awareness that has been built during the lead up to Prime Day and the event itself.
Below we’ve put together some strategic opportunities to help Brand reap the rewards during the period after Prime Day;
Review Prime Day sales performance
Some of your products may have sold better than others during Prime Day. The differences between them may be as transparent as budget issues but it could also be as small as targeting the wrong keyword. Use this data to refine your ASINs and hopefully improve impressions and conversion rate during the period after Prime Day.
It is highly likely that shoppers saw your brand during Prime day via your Sponsored Ads campaigns and may be considering your products but have yet to convert. They need to be reengaged.
Focus on top selling products
Focus on increasing visibility in all stages of the funnel, especially on branded terms to help upsell your products
Increase budgets for your top-selling products to maintain higher spend levels and engage with shoppers looking for deals
Keep increased top of page bids for ASINs that helped to drive Prime Day sales
Re engage with new-to-brand shoppers
Review your new-to-brand performance. You might discover that a high number of new-to-brand shoppers ended up purchasing a particular product
Boost bids on Sponsored Brands ASINs that have the highest new-to-brand sales to drive loyalty
Create custom-built remarketing audiences in Sponsored Display based on new-to-brand engagement.
Create new Amazon audience campaign with top selling new-to-brand products and assign higher bids to help increase scale
Consider adding views remarketing segments to your ad groups in your new campaign(s) to manage efficiency in your NTB efforts. For example, you could create a custom-built category audience to remarket a top selling product to audiences who have previously viewed related detail pages of highly rated or Prime-eligible detail pages
Continue to offer deals
Following Prime Day, shoppers are still budget-conscious and want to find the best deals. Because of this, consider continuing to run deals, coupons, and promotions during the Prime Day lead out.
Products don’t have to be discounted as steeply as they were during Prime Day. But even smaller discounts could make a product more tempting to a shopper and will help to combat the slower nature of the first few weeks after Prime Day has ended.
Coupons are a great way to entice a shopper to purchase, as the coupons badge will appear on the ad in search results and product pages. These badges signal a good deal to shoppers and will help to improve your click-through-rate (CTR) and conversion rates.
If using coupons you have the choice of selecting a percent or monetary value coupon. Our recommendation is to use a monetary value. There’s nothing wrong with percent coupons, but how much is the actual discount? People don’t want to do this kind of math when they’re trying to decide if they even like the product or not.
Remarket to existing audiences
Re-engage customers who viewed your products but didn’t purchase your products during Prime Day
By adding audiences to your Sponsored Display ads, you can prioritise customers more likely to add your product to their cart
Use audience controls to customise campaigns based on key detail page attributes, such as product category and price range.
Co-sell and upsell with product targeting
Use Sponsored Display Product targeting to reach new or existing customers on any product detail page or category on Amazon – even outside of your own category. Reaching new customers outside of your category allows you to help inspire shoppers to consider products that might be relevant to them
Review Amazon’s Market Basket report, which shows the top 3 products most frequently purchased at the same time as the Brand Owner’s products - Use this data to create ads that show up in the “Sponsored Products Related to this Item” carousel on Amazon
Target detail pages for top selling competitor products that relate to your products. Review the Item Comparison Report which shows all the different ASINs that were viewed and compared against your ASIN. These are your competitors and provides you with an indication of which products you should target.
Play defensive and target closely related / complementary products in your own catalog to make sure shoppers who land on your product detail pages do not see competitor products
If you are interested in learning more, click here to connect with a sales representative or, if you’re an existing Marin customer, reach out to your Marin Customer Success Manager for more information.
Welcome to part two of our Amazon Prime Day 2021 three-part series. In part one, Are you ready for Prime Day 2021?, we took a look at last year's performance, noted key deadlines for retailers, and highlighted some top-level levers to get the most out of Prime Day, before, during and after the event.
Since our last blog, Amazon announced that Prime Day 2021 will kick off at midnight PDT (3 AM EDT) on June 21 and run through to the end of June 22.
There’s still some lead up time to the event, so in this blog we’ll expand upon the key levers and focus more on best practices and optimization techniques for promotional periods such as Prime Day:
Experiment with Sponsored Brands creatives
Create ads that showcase your top products and also products featuring deals.
Forgo generic ad copy and use custom headlines that relate to the products you are featuring and your audience strategy.
Try out new headlines and different collections of products to see which outperform the others.
Review new-to-brand metrics, which can help you to measure the number of first-time customers or total first-time sales your brand acquired.
Use Sponsored Display for the the lead up to Prime Day
Product targeting and audiences for Sponsored Display can help you to reach more audiences before the Prime Day event, and it will also help with brand awareness during the lead-up too.
Review new-to-brand metrics to help determine whether an ad-attributed purchase was made from an existing customer or one buying your brand’s product on Amazon for the first time.
Adjust budgets, add more ASINs, and broaden your reach prior to the Prime Day week. These three steps, according to Amazon, drove an average 3x sales lift and +45% better ROAS during Prime Day 2020.
Sponsored Display is a great way to reach shoppers at every stage of the shopping journey:
Awareness - Utilize category targeting, Amazon Audiences, and Views remarketing to grow the total audience of Amazon shoppers who are aware of your products.
Consideration - Utilize Views remarketing, Amazon Audiences, and product and category targeting to help maximize purchase intent by telling your brand's story.
Purchase - Utilize Views remarketing and Product targeting to help stay visible when shoppers are ready to buy.
Loyalty - Utilize Views remarketing and product targeting to drive repeat orders and engagement with your Amazon Stores.
Drive shoppers to your Amazon Store
Engage shoppers with curated pages that showcase your deals and top products
Use product detail page placements to showcase your brand to shoppers viewing related categories, and direct them to your store.
Sponsored Brands Store Spotlights let you feature Store pages in your creative, along with a customizable headline, sub-page image, and label (US Only).
If your SB campaign is targeting product keywords around products that are found in a specific page in your store, you should link directly to that specific page.
Creating separate campaigns for each keyword strategy will give you visibility into how each strategy performs. For example, if you’re targeting keywords that contain a competitor’s brand name, separate them into their own campaign to see how well you’re able to drive a competitor-related search to your Store.
According to Amazon, linking Sponsored Brand campaigns to a Store delivers +29% better return on ad spend when compared to linking to a product list page.
Schedule your Store updates
Scheduling enables you to build out Prime Day updates for your Store to showcase your promotions and offers ahead of the Prime Day event. Aim to have a Prime Day version of your store created by June 14.
Showcase deal ASINs in your Store, including on special deal pages. Leverage the Featured Deals Widget within Stores to showcase Prime Day-specific deals and discounted items or promotions - and choose between Lightning Deals (when available) and Deals by Category.
Drive discovery and engagement with Sponsored Brands video
Use Sponsored Brands video to stand out in desktop and mobile shopping results and help shoppers discover your brand and products as they shop on Amazon during the leadup to Prime Day.
According to Amazon, Sponsored Brands video campaigns have, on average, shown 127-267% higher CTR compared to product collection campaigns.
Keep your ads discoverable to shoppers
Boost your daily budget to help ensure that your ads serve throughout the Prime Day event. Amazon recommends a 200% increase on your average daily spend.
For the budget-conscious retailers, consider using Marin’s Amazon dayparting / ad scheduling solution where you'll be able to increase or decrease your keyword bids not just on a certain day, but also by a specific hour – as precisely as 15-minute increments. For example, if you know historically you saw a 20% increase in revenue/clicks between 1PM and 3PM, you can set a 20% boost to increase your bids during those specific hours.
Improve campaign performance
Pause low-performing campaigns, and consider moving the budget to high-performing campaigns
Use negative targeting to restrict how your ads appear, which is especially important for broad match keywords.
Consider using Marin’s machine learning bidding algorithm to help raise ACOS and improve ROAS Marin was able to increase exposure by 79% for Buyagift (a leading provider of gift experiences in the UK) by optimizing bids with our leading ad management platform. We were also able to increase click volume by 36%, with a 7.4% lower cost-per-click than before. The campaign grew awareness and engagement, and ultimately helped Buyagift boost revenue on Amazon by 17%. See the Amazon case study for more information.
Use Amazon Budget rules to automatically adjust budgets based upon performance or seasonality.
Use Product Targeting to increase your market share, defend your brand and drive more sales
Hijack the detail pages of competing high-performing products to increase your impression volume if you are trying to launch a product in a competitive space.
When targeting competitor products, make sure the product is a similar product to the one you are selling to make sure you have the best chance of a conversion to take place.
Consider targeting complementary products that go well with yours. For example, if you are selling a foundation makeup brush, place your product on the detail page of a liquid foundation for the face.
Defend your branded space by targeting your own products to combat the risk of a consumer navigating to your detail page and then clicking on a competitor’s ad.
Get on board with Amazon Attribution
Amazon Attribution provides visibility and insights into how non-Amazon digital marketing (search, social, display, video and email) impact shopping activity and sales on Amazon. Without the Marin + Amazon Attribution integration, you will not be able to connect the cost from a paid search or paid social click to a resulting Amazon conversion metric (such as page views, add to carts, and purchases).
Gain an accurate measure of your ROI by seeing cost and revenue data together.
Utilize Marin’s automated bidding against total revenue, including Amazon Attribution revenue data and event metrics.
According to a survey, 52% of shoppers are more likely to buy an unfamiliar brand on Amazon vs any other store.
Create Google Sitelinks with the messaging “Buy Now on Amazon” that take visitors directly to your Amazon Store, or an Instagram ad that takes visitors directly to the Amazon product detail page with an “Add to Cart” button.
AccuQuilt was able to increase revenue +213% while improving ad clicks by 154% and average order value by 17% using the Marin + Amazon Attribution Integration. See the case study for more information.
Bidding for success
Make sure that your bids are competitive, even after Prime Day has ended. Amazon’s research shows that it’s between 6 and 7 days from when a shopper browses to when they actually make a purchase, and an average shopper makes 14 detailed page views before making a purchase. With that in mind, there's ample opportunity to improve performance for the period after Prime Day has ended.
Take the strain out of manual bidding by using Marin’s machine learning bidding algorithm to automatically calculate bids based upon your targets and goals.
Use Marin’s automated bidding in conjunction with our Promotional Bid Modifier optimization. This automatically draws on your historic Prime Day performance data to optimize bids based on your promotional calendar. The algorithm uses your historic data to generate keyword-level boosts based on each keyword's performance during previous Prime Day promotions.
Use Amazon Dynamic Bids “up and down” - If a click is likely to convert, Amazon will raise your bid up to 100% for placements at the top of the first page of search results and up to 50% for all other placements. This is fully compatible and works in conjunction with Marin’s bidding algorithms.
It may seem like that’s a lot to take in, but as with any digital marketing activity there are numerous optimization strategies to help improve performance. The ones mentioned above are some of the key levers available to get you the best out of Prime Day 2021.
Look out for part three in our series, which highlights some of the strategies to keep the momentum going during the period after Prime Day. In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more, click here to connect with a sales representative or, if you’re an existing Marin customer, reach out to your Marin Customer Success Manager for more information.
It’s that time again. Over the past few years - typically around mid-July - Amazon has launched Prime Day for its Prime members to shop new deals and discounts. Although last year’s shopping event was delayed to October due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Amazon’s first quarter results call, the company announced that Prime Day will “take place later in the second quarter” of 2021, which means we’re likely to see Prime Day hit sometime in June.
The Prime Day page is up and reads “Prime Day is coming,” although as of this publication no “official” announcement has been made to confirm when Prime Day will actually take place in Q2. However, as the last shipping cut-off date and FBA inventory cut-off date is June 13th (shown below), we’re betting that Prime Day will take place sometime between June 14th and 27th.
Looking Back: Prime Day 2020
According to Amazon’s press release, and SimilarWeb’s research, Prime Day 2020 was a record-breaking event worldwide with an increase in sales of nearly 60% from the prior year and amazing deals across a variety of categories from small businesses to top brands. Some of the key takeaways from 2020 Prime Day are shown below:
These results represent a staggering growth opportunity for any retail company. So if the numbers above aren’t enough to persuade you to take part in Prime Day 2021, bringing with it the potential to reach a colossal number of shoppers, then what will?
Getting the most out of Prime Day
Although Prime Day is officially a one- to two-day event, retailers should consider the lead up to the event and also the period after to be just as important. You should consider separating your activity into three phases: before, during and after.
Prep for Prime Day - Key dates for retailers
MAY 20 - JUNE 13: Inbound shipping cutoff for vendors. Deal inventory must be in transit:
May 20: the United States and Canada
May 30: India
June 1: Australia and Mexico
June 6: the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
June 13: Japan
MAY 28 - Deadline to submit coupons in the United States, Canada, Mexico, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Australia.
MAY 30 - JUNE 13: FBA inventory cut-off date for sellers. Make sure your shipments arrive at Amazon well in advance of key shopping dates. Inventory should arrive at Amazon’s fulfillment centers by this date to ensure your products are available for customers during Prime Day:
May 30: India
May 31: the United States and Canada
June 1: Australia and Mexico
June 6: the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Turkey
June 7: the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
June 13: Japan
In part two of our Amazon Prime Day 2021 blog series, we’ll go into greater detail about our recommendations and techniques to boost your Prime Day performance with key strategies to maximize returns.
In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more, click here to connect with a sales representative or, if you’re an existing Marin Software customer, reach out to your Marin Customer Success Manager for additional information.
It’s time to switch from “work from home” to “celebrate at home.” Although for many of you, this time of the year is also “peak season” at work. Rest assured that Marin Software has put everything in place to provide above-and-beyond customer service, particularly during the critical Black Friday and Cyber Monday events.
Our focus is, of course, our customers in the retail industry that usually reach their highest shopping spend during this exciting time of the year.
Some of the key service enhancements include:
Weekend and holiday on-call support: Technical support will be ready to assist via tickets to answer your most pressing platform questions and ensure your holiday campaigns are running smoothly
Increased account team availability: Account teams will be available to review setup, strategy and bidding needs specific to your peak seasonality plan
Additional application operations: Application monitoring and alerts are in place to ensure timely and accurate data and reporting
Custom integration alerts: Data integration checks that confirm conversions and revenue are consistently available and reliable in the application
We want to wish a happy Thanksgiving to all our US-based advertisers! This year has been very challenging and we all deserve some quality time with family and friends, whether via Zoom or together around the dinner table.
This is our final blog post on Prime Day ahead of the day itself, and here we’ll focus on the practicalities of getting the most out of the Prime Day opportunity.
Learn From the Past
Have you been advertising on Amazon for more than a year? Then review what worked for you before and incorporate it in your strategy for Prime Day 2020:
Which products performed best?
What verticals saw the largest increase?
What promotions worked out well for you?
Go beyond ROI/ROAS and take into account products with positive reviews, but also have a look at how your current stock compares to what you have historically shipped on Prime Day. Take into account all factors that contribute to winning the Buy Box in getting your campaigns ready and your products selected.
It’s easy to focus on products and categories, but you should also investigate what messaging has previously worked in your Sponsored Display activity in particular.
Because Prime Day focuses a lot on increasing sales, it is also important to investigate what has historically not worked. The Prime Day marketing environment is really different from the everyday, so your normal top performers might not be the products you want to put forth for Prime Day.
Marin Software is a great place to start this process, as we aggregate data from many sources to surface details about your advertised products. Marin allows you to see an overview of all your products, targets, and keywords across all accounts, so you don’t have to drill down into each campaign/group to see product performance.
Assure your Presence
Prime Day means an incredible increase in volume of impressions, clicks, and sales, not only on Amazon, but on other channels as well. While it is important to be present on each of these channels, you need to be tactical to get the most out of your budget. Here are some tips:
Identify your top performing products and ensure that budget is allocated to those top products in your Sponsored Product and Sponsored Display campaigns.
Be tactical and budget-aware:
Leverage product targeting to target competitors, either to win their customers by promoting your own products, or cross-selling with complementary products. Go very specific by targeting specific ASINs.
Leverage Marin’s Keyword Expansion to identify both keywords to add to your targeting, as well as negative keywords.
Use macro figures to identify categories to aim for, with the goal of being present where most volume is expected. As we wrote previously, while Electronics is the main category, Toys and Games along with Beauty & Personal Care are expected to see a rise in volume in 2020.
Ensure your Product Detail Page is updated to drive relevancy for advertising on certain targets and keywords.
Budgets & Bids
Increase your budgets to avoid lost impressions and sales due to budget constraints
Increase bids across the board: Amazon estimates that simply maintaining your visibility might require bids that are twice as high as usual. Marin allows you to do this very easily, and come back to your usual levels quickly post-Prime Day as well
Capitalize on Intraday Bidding & Ad Scheduling: Prime Day means Lightning Deals! Make sure you get the most out of those opportunities by temporarily increasing your bids even further.
Set up automated rules based on inventory, making sure you only put your budget where you have a good amount of stock. Learn from the past, as the sheer volume of sales means low stock will be very different on Prime Day than almost any other day of the year.
Next up in this series, don't miss our upcoming webinar Delivering for the Holidayswith Amazon Attribution. Join Amazon and Marin to get ready for a challenging Q4 Retail season.
Prime Day is a great example of a “rising tide” lifting all retail “ships” - if you are focusing your Prime Day activities exclusively on Amazon Advertising you are likely missing out on a lot of great traffic.
Google search trends highlights how customers are not always starting their Prime Day shopping on Amazon. Instead, we see a healthy amount of people who are still using Google as their starting point - even if they end up converting via Amazon.
Retailers should be ready for an increase in their search impressions as consumers are executing Prime Day focused searches on channels like Google. To take advantage of this increase in traffic, retailers should enable Marin’s Amazon Attribution feature. This feature allows our advertisers to easily see the advertising impression and cost information alongside the purchases that occur on Amazon. This insight allows Marin customers to explore some Prime Day tactics that would otherwise be impossible to measure.
Consider sending non-branded search terms directly to Amazon
During normal time periods, consumers are more likely to buy a product on Amazon.com than on another eCommerce site. Our advertisers have seen this even more strongly during Prime Day for New to Brand shoppers. With Marin and Amazon Attribution configured you have a full view of the search costs and Amazon purchases tied together in MarinOne. Take advantage of the increased search traffic and the “ready to buy” attitude of a Prime Day shopper to achieve higher ROAS on these non branded terms, even after accounting for the higher fees of selling on Amazon vs your site.
Advertise your Prime Day deals on social channels
Highlight your sales, coupons, or lightning deals via social media and retargeting. Prior to Marin’s Amazon Attribution support this tactic would have resulted in social expenditures but zero visibility into the return. Now our advertisers can take advantage of Prime Day buzz and proactively drive customers to their deals and track every step of the way!
Add Prime Day Sitelinks
For Branded terms, advertisers might not want to direct all traffic directly to Amazon, however a Prime Day specific sitelink could be a great opportunity to allow consumers to self select if they prefer to go directly to Amazon. Consider directing the sitelink to your Amazon Store for a more brand focused approach.
Prime Day 2020 is a great opportunity to think outside the box - now that advertisers have access to Amazon Attribution in Marin there is no excuse not to experiment with your search and social traffic on Prime Day.
In the past, Prime Day served to increase demand during an otherwise uneventful buying season, but in 2020 Prime Day is so much more. This year Prime Day is - Prime Day, Back to (in person) School Shopping, a prelude to Cyber 5, and the beginning of the retail holiday season.
That is a lot to pin on an event that has just been officially announced on October 13th and 14th.
With so much uncertainty in the world and around this event, let’s focus on a few things we know for sure:
Prime Day 2020 will see an increase of traffic on a wider range of products than in a normal year.
In previous years, 49% of Prime Day shoppers said they were planning to use the event to shop for the holidays. However as Prime Day is now nearly 3 months later than it was in 2019, retailers should expect that percentage to increase. An increase in gift focused shopping will lead to a shift in the type of product categories that traditionally fare well on Prime Day.
In a typical year Electronics are the biggest seller but in 2020 I would expect some of the lower categories like Toys and Games along with Beauty & Personal Care to move up the ranks as shoppers are buying less for themselves and more for others.
RankBrandPurchasesYoY Growth1Electronics4.43M–2Home & Kitchen3.72M+15%3Health & Household2.80M+28%4Amazon Devices2.789M+26%5Beauty & Personal Care2.05M+27%6Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry1.73M-8%7Sports & Outdoors1.56M-4%8Tools & Home Improvement1.52M+19%9Toys & Games1.16M+18%10Grocery & Gourmet Food897K+26% Source: Hitwise, US. www.amazon.com. July 15-16 2019 vs. July 16-17 2018.
Tip - To ensure you are prepared for the traffic increase on a wider variety of products, use Marin’s Amazon Keyword Expansion feature to ensure complete coverage prior to Prime Day then be sure to use again after the event to bulk up your targeting for the rest of 2020 shopping or to add negative keywords to increase efficiency of your campaigns.
Prime Day Success is Not Measured in Same Day ROAS
Prime Day will obviously increase sales for many advertisers, however this year more marketers are moving away from measuring success in terms of ROAS. The unique timing of the event is resulting in many brands willing to target a lower ROAS in exchange for expanding top of funnel reach in preparation for Cyber 5.
Tip - Amazon suggests increasing bids significantly (they recommend up to 2x) in order to remain competitive during Prime Day. This can be a labor intensive process in the Amazon Console and requires you to manually execute the adjustments. In Marin you can easily achieve this result with a few clicks and reverting to the previous level is even easier.
Prime Day this year will not be the usual “Buy in July” but it will be seen as the official start of the 2020 Holiday Buying Season. Take advantage of this timing to look beyond Prime Day performance and instead use it as a building block for your future Cyber 5 and Holiday activities.
The digital marketing landscape has become more and more consolidated into “The Big Four” publishers — Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google.
These entities have a vested interest in keeping each other at arm’s length and they will continue to silo their data from each other. This means if you are relying on publisher-owned tools (Like Facebook Ad Manager, or SA 360) for your digital marketing management and bidding optimization, you will not be able to connect the dots for activities that jump from one silo to another and will be missing conversion data as a result.
Marin is able to work with, and across, all technologies in the space. This allows us to create cutting-edge features — like our Marin + Amazon Attribution feature, in order to provide advertisers a consolidated view of their Search, Social, and eCommerce activities alongside conversion data — regardless of where that conversion occurs.
If you have any tracking challenges or want to discuss how Marin can ensure you are effectively reporting and optimizing to a complete ROI for all your digital marketing initiatives — don’t hesitate to reach out today to speak with a Marin Expert.
We’ve discussed Amazon Attribution in the past, and in the last few months, we have been working with some key clients to help them answer the question — how much of my paid (non-Amazon) traffic ends up converting on Amazon? Answering this question has allowed our customers to achieve a more complete view of their ROI and optimize bids accordingly.
The one downside to this feature was that it required the advertisers to manually create the tracking tags in the Amazon Attribution platform prior to the tracking being appended in Marin — but no longer!
Marin is proud to announce that we are one of the first companies that will have access to the Amazon Attribution API — this means we can now offer our customers an automated, scalable solution to programmatically implement Amazon Attribution across their paid initiatives no matter how many ads or keywords require unique tracking.
Who Can Benefit From Marin + Amazon Attribution?
Amazon Vendors or Sellers who sell on Amazon.com or Amazon Vendors who sell on Amazon.co.uk
Any Paid Search or Paid Social advertiser — you do not need to be using any Amazon Advertising to be eligible
Any advertiser that would benefit from a more complete view of their paid digital media ROI, including the ability to optimize bids based on this information
The following Amazon conversion metrics will be available in Marin alongside the corresponding publisher metrics (Cost, Impressions, Clicks, ect). Marin Bidding is able to incorporate any of these metrics into your bidding algorithm.
Detail Page View
Add to Carts
Amazon Attribution is one of the many ways that advertisers are using Marin Software to better report, manage, and optimize their digital marketing — contact us today to discuss your specific needs and learn how Marin can help!
For many of us, our shopping habits have been forced online. The stay-at-home orders, radical shifts in demand, undersupplied distribution channels, and difficulties with supply chains have disrupted our usual behaviors and required us to shop in new ways, and away from brick-and-mortar locations. .
Even before the dramatic changes from COVID-19, online shopping was overtaking a major part of retail. With the introduction of a global pandemic, home delivery has become a serious competitive advantage, and brands all over the world are searching for ways to enhance this game-changing strategy that will most likely continue – perhaps even flourish – long after this crisis is resolved.
While many marketers may see home delivery as purely operational, primarily for a company’s logistics and supply-chain teams, there are ways that advertising technology can help and contribute to a more ideal user experience for the end-customer.
Inventory Data & Integrating Business Intelligence
The most powerful weapon performance marketers have is their own data. For eCommerce advertisers, specifically tied to delivery and operation logistics, inventory is a pivotal data point that should be ingested into all aspects of digital programs. The inclusion of inventory data allows for the changes of creatives and bid adjustments to align with the availability of certain products.
This can support the quest for seamless home delivery through the ability to sunset campaigns for certain products that are running low in inventory and will sell organically. As consumers, we all know there is nothing more frustrating than clicking an ad only to realize the product is out of stock, or that delivery will take an additional few weeks to complete.
Marin Software is an open stack platform so we can take full advantage of all your available data sources —including your inventory, CRM, data warehouse, publisher data, and additional third-party signals. Marin’s SmartFeed product automatically activates or pauses your campaigns based on inventory levels. Furthermore, it also automatically compares your optimized feed with actual converted search terms, so that you can see missing words from the title and split test to improve performance.
Estimated delivery time is set to become a unique selling point and competitive advantage, particularly as smaller, independent retailers try to compete with Amazon Prime. A simple way to convey your delivery times is within your ad creatives. By structuring your programs with geography in mind, you can control the information within the ad creatives to indicate an estimated delivery time to the user.
Additionally, creatives should include delivery cost and/or any import duties a consumer may need to pay, in order to keep it entirely transparent with potential customers (this also helps with brand loyalty in the long run). If you can, include inventory too!
With Marin’s Dynamic Campaigns, you can automatically build keywords and creatives from a product feed and campaign template, so that all the pertinent information we just covered is seamlessly populated.
As many advertisers shift their attention from acquisition to retention, securing any revenues they have, the user experience is becoming an increasingly important element for purchase consideration. For many businesses, it’s possible that certain products or geographies can’t render as competitive a delivery service. It’s important to use this logic in your optimization and budget allocation strategies across your digital activity.
In the areas you are more competitive, be aggressive with your bids and budget allocation--you’re a champion in this sphere. This can be done easily through applying modifier logic within your AdTech tool, or leveraging a partner like Marin Software, whose platform has built-in forecasting and budget allocation tools to do the work for you.
Once an order has been made, the fulfillment experience begins. As customers, we all like to know when our purchase will arrive, thus communicating fulfillment progress is pivotal. The integration of order fulfillment and email marketing technology is an important component in this process.
Offering services such as free tracking and text updates is a great way to keep customers up-to-date. As we focus on retention and customer experience, these regular updates demonstrate that your operation is a business that cares about more than a simple transaction.
One, perhaps extreme, example comes from the mainstream pizza delivery brands like Dominos, which have an order tracking app to keep customers informed of each stage of their pizza’s journey to delivery. Updating regularly through order-received, including the preparation, cooking quality control and out for delivery, the platform makes sure customers stay up-to-date on exactly when their meal will arrive. This, of course, is a level of detail that not all brands will need, or have the resources for, however it shows what can be achieved.
To summarize, ad tech can support your quest to champion online delivery by automating the ad creatives to dynamically update per the user’s specific criteria. Within your creatives, your customer should clearly be able to understand the delivery time, cost and terms straight off the bat. Furthermore, you should leverage first-party inventory and shipping data, combined with audience data, to give you the biggest advantage over your competitors.
Should you want to have a conversation on how Marin Software can help you champion your online delivery strategy, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our account management team by scheduling a demo today!
Digital technology is available in its many forms to help you work faster. For marketing in particular, technology can improve the quality of your marketing output and ultimately help you generate more revenue and leads.
With that said, today’s unprecedented shift is creating the urgent need for brands and their partners to think outside the box and pivot quickly. Furthermore, it also surfaces a time to evaluate different tech stacks and see which tools can help increase their performance and efficiency.
Evaluating the right advertising technology for the job will come down to many factors, and reaching the best decision for your organization will take considerable time and effort that will likely involve you engaging in substantial research in order to get it right.
It’s important to ask yourself the right questions so you can narrow down your search. Think about questions such as:
What level of visibility or reporting does the product provide for forecasting versus actual results? Is it able to integrate with any of the advanced data visualization tools that I use on a day-to-day?
Does the vendor support multiple channels? Does the platform integrate with all major search engines and ad exchanges?
What support does the vendor provide for audience activation, and for which channels?
What level of integration does the solution have with our organization’s current technologies? How does it integrate with different data feeds or analytics solutions?
Does the platform enable dynamic delivery of personalized ads for the end-customer?
What level of support would they provide for any account escalations or questions?
Once you’ve answered these questions, and the answers are suitable to your company’s needs, it’s time to trial your options. Going back to the dawn of humankind, when it comes to problem solving, trial and error has always been one of the fundamental methods. Cavemen would test which weapon would kill Benny the mammoth most efficiently, while our old friend Julius Caesar would stage many different kinds of gladiator fights in order to see what the Roman people enjoyed most.
Full-service tools can get expensive quickly (even if you’re just trial-and-erroring), and most digital marketers are limited on budgets. Luckily, there are many instances in which you can get a free taste of what a product can offer (also known as the freemium model). There may be limited usage of the product, but you’ll likely get a solid understanding of its core value and if it addresses the needs of your business.
At Marin Software, we offer Marin Go, which helps you experience the power of MarinOne (our flagship product), without committing to a platform fee. You can then upgrade to MarinOne at any time.
With Marin Go you can:
Aggregate data from multiple channels into a single comprehensive dashboard. Marin Go can link up to accounts from 10+ publishers, including Google, Bing, Facebook, Apple Search Ads, LinkedIn, & Amazon. You can schedule reports to be collected, curated, and sent straight to your inbox in CSV format (or linking back to the platform).
Track budget pacing for the month and preview capabilities from our premium tool, MarinOne, including automated budget allocation and machine-learning bid optimization.
Ask questions of your performance using powerful, interactive reporting with change columns, flexible date ranges, saved views, and more.
Automate the preparation of polished executive-level and client-ready PDF reports.
Improve campaign performance with actionable suggestions and insights from our Account Performance Audits.
Automatically A/B test creatives.
If you are interested in trialing an enterprise-class reporting tool for free, and evaluating a tech stack that can incorporate data from all your different marketing channels, sign up now with Marin Go! We believe every advertiser should have the tools to break down publisher silos. Simply link in your accounts to start enjoying the benefits today.
Due to COVID-19, many businesses have been forced to suspend operations or drastically shift their models to endure. With government officials now talking about re-opening the economy, marketers are starting to think about what that “new normal” might look like and how it’s going to evolve in the weeks ahead.
What marketers should be doing now differs from what they should be doing when economic activity restarts. In this webinar, we’ll explore both sides - during and post-pandemic - to equip you with short-term practical tips to address your current challenges as well as best practices to consider when your business returns to growth.
Five Successful Strategies
In our webinar, we’ll cover on the how-to’s and benefits of each of the following advertising tactics:
Dynamic product data updates and safeguards
New to Brand optimization
Inventory based bid adjustments
Automated bidding and Dayparting
We’re excited to share with you the means and methods being used by some of the world’s largest brands to drive success in digital commerce.
We’ve recently decided to do an experiment to see whether an On-Demand webinar would attract more viewers than the typical approach of picking a date and broadcasting the webinar live.
Marin regularly hosts “live webinars” and we typically get thousands of participants, but only about half the viewers attend the live session, the rest view the webinar when we send out the recording. In a Netflix world, our hypothesis was that people would prefer to have the content right away and by offering immediate access to the webinar, we would get better results. So we decided to do a test.
During this tough time for everyone, we wanted to share our results as they might be helpful for you to engage with your audience by hosting webinars while most of us are working remotely and self-isolating. Now is probably the best time to create more digital content to reach out to your customers.
Evaluating Engagement Metrics
First and foremost with a test, you want to define how you measure success. We have two goals for webinars: 1) Generate new leads who might be interested in our digital marketing platform 2) Build our position as thought leaders in the market by presenting amazing content that delivers actionable suggestions for digital marketings.
With these two goals, the key metrics are registrants and attendees. Moving forwards, two more important metrics are “Audience Retention” and “Audience Engagement”. In order to really measure the success of our webinar, we firstly view how many people started watching our content and how many dropped off during the session. Finally, did the audience engage with us during the Q&A session?
The test methodology was straight forward, we split our audience randomly into two groups, half received a series of emails inviting the users to a live webinar approximately three weeks from the first email. The second group received the same emails, but the call to action was to view the webinar on demand at their convenience.
Which One Wins?
We pulled out the results and here is what we’ve got:
So more registrations, more attendees and deeper engagement with the content for the live approach. We were shocked, clearly our hypothesis was wrong and people are more attracted to a live event. While the test was done in a pre COVID-19 world, we would expect the results to hold up as people are looking for opportunities for social interaction to break up their solitary days at home.
Ready to learn more?
Whilst we are all at home in isolation, now is the perfect time to get free training on Digital Advertising content. Marin has a list of webinars with the best practices in Digital Advertising, starting from Outsmart Smart Bidding to Amazon Advertising to Developing a Successful Marketing Strategy with Instagram Stories. Get Started Now!
Are you looking for better performance out of your Amazon Advertising campaigns? We recently added a few new features designed to deliver results. We’ve teamed up some of the world’s largest brands to solve their retail challenges -- if you’re interested in learning how we can help you out click here.
Automated Dayparting for Sponsored Products
Does your performance vary over the course of the week? Are you running out of budget too early in the day? Dayparting empowers our customers to apply bid modifiers by hour of day and day of week to automatically allocate budgets for Sponsored Product campaigns to the highest performing windows.
Some example uses include setting different bid schedules for weekdays compared to weekends, increasing bids in the afternoon when competitor budgets run out or bidding down lower-performing overnight hours. This unique Marin feature is a must-try for any Amazon Advertiser. .
Full Campaign Management for Sponsored Display
The Sponsored Display ad sets itself apart from Sponsored Brand and Sponsored Product Ads because its ads can be displayed both off and on Amazon.com. Advertisers can increase their product awareness and demand across the web by reaching the right audiences for their business.
Marin offers full reporting capabilities for Amazon Sponsored Display ads and also provides campaign management. We also support scheduled actions to pause or activate campaigns on specified dates/times.
Do you know how many of the customers you are reaching with Google and Facebook ads are converting on Amazon? With Amazon Attribution you can. Amazon Attribution is a powerful solution for tracking on-Amazon sales driven by off-Amazon sources (search or social ads)).
Marin connects the Amazon revenue with the publisher cost to present the full picture together. For example, where previously a Google sitelink pointed to Amazon would only show cost and no sales, Marin will link the revenue from Amazon Attribution and tie it back to the object, allowing for powerful reporting and optimization automation -- eliminating the guesswork and enabling optimization through revenue-targeted bidding.
The 2020 holiday season is still a ways off, but an understanding of what happened last season will give you a solid foundation for making this year’s plans. This article highlights some of the key trends we noticed in eCommerce advertising including a shift in ad spend between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, higher ROAS through mid-December, and highlight lower costs-per-click for advertisers through the 2019 season.
While reading, keep in mind the 2019 holiday shopping season was about a week shorter than 2018 due to a late Thanksgiving. In 2019, the window between Black Friday and Christmas day was 26 days compared to 32 days in the previous year.
eCommerce advertising data, led by Amazon Advertising, was indexed across Marin’s customer base for 2019 and 2018. Our methodology takes the October average for each metric and uses that as a baseline (100) for the rest of the data that year. Data in the graphs show whether any day was higher (100+) or lower (100-) versus the baseline of its respective year.
Black Friday Outspends Cyber Monday
In 2019, our customer base spent slightly more (+2%) on Black Friday compared to Cyber Monday. This marks a shift from 2018 where Cyber Monday outspent Black Friday by nearly 40%.
So why the change? Potentially with the increased confidence in mobile shopping, Black Friday can be seen as another “online holiday” as shoppers find similar deals shopping on their own as opposed to lining up at the stores.
Strong ROAS Gains Through December
Cyber Monday and Black Friday are by far the best days in the holiday season when it comes to overall sales, but increase competition drives CPCs higher and pushes down ROAS. The good news is that ROAS rebounds through the rest of December, peaking at the shipping cut-off dates. One theory could be that many of those December sales were influenced by strong Black Friday / Cyber Monday advertising which “primed the pump” and led to a later-date purchase.
This ROAS growth illustrates where advertisers find their wins throughout the entire holiday season, not just its biggest volume days.
Better eComm CPCs for Advertisers
eCommerce CPCs saw less upward pressure in 2019 compared to 2018 making it a more stable environment for advertisers. The trends follow a similar pattern in each year, ramping up and peaking during the “Cyber Five Day” then leveling out through December, but the indexed CPC numbers were closer to the October baseline for all of December 2019 as opposed to being closer to 1.5x the baseline in 2018.
This could be the result of gained experience in the space, better planning, and better bidding decisions throughout the 2019 holiday season.
Now is the time to revisit your results from last year while it is fresh. First off, make sure you have a means to store your Q4 2019 data for reference when 2020 holiday season rolls around. To solve for that, Marin now provides a free reporting solution to store and access your performance data for eCommerce, Search, and Social. Also, start thinking about how aggressive ad spend on one day might influence increased sales weeks later, and the general “flywheel effect” with eCommerce. Last, consider new ad types, run tests, and implement workflows that will save time and put you in a better place through 2020.
With 2019 in the rearview we’re excited to partner with brands to help them hit their 2020 targets and will share findings and opportunities as we analyze Marin customer data through the year.
As you may know, the leading eCommerce publisher only retains performance data for the most previous 60 days on a rolling basis. This means that you will not be able to see 2019 Black Friday data after January 27th 2020. But how am I going to make year over year comparisons of peak seasonal periods, you ask. We’ve got the answer.
Introducing Marin Go
Marin Go is our free enterprise-class reporting tool that will automatically preserve your eCommerce, Search and Social data.
Marin Go is perfectly suited for eCommerce advertisers who need a robust, cross-channel solution to pick up where publisher reporting tools fall short. Marin Go allows advertisers to report on performance down to the keyword and creative level with flexible reporting, charting, and dashboard capabilities—at absolutely no cost.
Seize the Data
Although time’s running out for you to save your 2019 Black Friday/Cyber Monday data, you still have a chance to successfully forecast your 2020 initiatives and perform year-over-year comparisons. Simply act now to secure your data and head into the rest of the year with confidence..
Remember the date: January 27th. And, be sure to use Marin Go to make the process easier. In addition to data retention, Marin Go provides a variety of benefits for eCommerce advertisers at any time of the year:
Flexible Reporting. Go beyond publisher-specific metrics like ACOS, and easily create custom reporting columns that match your business needs across all publishers. These columns can include your own prescribed calculations making it easy to connect all ad spend and attribute revenue uniformly.
Cross-channel dimension reporting. Slice and dice your reporting any way you want. Easily roll up category performance to see valuable trends and insights outside of your normal campaign structure. Dimensions are completely flexible and can be configured to reflect how you need to see you data aggregated for optimal reporting and analysis.
Budget forecasting. Our budget tool takes into account known temporal effects such as day of week, day of month, month of year and day of year seasonality. This comes in handy when you’re looking to estimate your 2020 holiday spend.
Advanced option for qualified candidates (Amazon attribution). For advertisers using Google Search to drive traffic to your Amazon listing, Marin can integrate the Google Spend data with Amazon Sales data to provide a streamlined view of performance. If you’re interested in using this feature, please reach out and we can evaluate the request. Note that this feature is normally only available to full Marin customers.
To make sure you hit the January 27th deadline to retain your data and make your ad campaign reporting easier: