Ecommerce

Pay Per Click advertising is a great way to generate leads and sales, especially for new e-commerce businesses. It can help you get instant results, whereas something like an SEO strategy can take months. Some of the benefits of PPC advertising are:

  • Targeting prospective customers precisely based on location, demographics, interests, etc.
  • Tracking ad campaign goals is simple. 
  • It is easy to test what produces the best results quickly. You can A/B test keywords, headers, descriptions, etc.
  • Paid ads provide a wide range of formatting options compared to SEO through ad extensions.

As an e-commerce brand, you can maximize your ad spend and improve your conversion rate through proper PPC campaign management. The challenges and roadblocks e-comm companies face are distinctive from B2B companies or brick-and-mortar retailers. To help you improve your e-commerce PPC management approach and get the best performance marketing results possible, we have put together some optimization tips to support your efforts:

Tap into Targeted Dynamic Ads

Google allows you to target specific website pages that reflect the search intent of your users. Google does this by crawling your website for things such as text phrases, headlines, descriptions, and other custom labels. These are called dynamic search ads.

If you are an e-commerce website with many product pages, a blog, and landing pages for your downloads or newsletters, you might want to set up targeted dynamic ads.

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Google can crawl your website and automatically match the content to the PPC ad. Additionally, having an alternative to AdSense would help you set up dynamic ads based on different target types, custom labels, page types, content, or target URLs. An example of custom labels for different page URLs is shown below.

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Remember that you can upload an excel sheet with all your custom labels and other product tags. With dynamic search ads, you will generally want to stick to demand gen ads focused on accelerating sales and leads. 

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You should also split-test your headlines and descriptions to see which previews are best. For example, the image above shows a preview test of two different product descriptions.

Focus on Product Page Optimization

A product landing page for your paid search campaign is primarily designed to convert a lead. Your product pages should align with your PPC ads to reduce bounce rates and optimize conversions. 

On top of that, you’ll need social proof, compelling CTAs, and a fast-loading product page to convert most of the traffic coming in.

Let’s take the example of a keyword search for “IT solutions company,” and the Google ads pop up below. We click on the second “Freshservice” ad.

 

Clicking on this ad result takes us to the landing page in the next screengrab. This landing page does something effective; it provides social proof of the product (“trusted by global brands”) and has a strong CTA (“Get Started for Free” or “Request Demo.”)

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So, how do you optimize your product landing page? Here’s how: 

  • Use strong headlines, prominent call-to-actions, and an attractive design
  • Make your landing page mobile-friendly and easy to navigate
  • Add visuals showcasing your product
  • Utilize social proof on your landing page

The use of relevant keywords is encouraged on your landing page. But make sure to maintain optimal keyword density to avoid Google treating your content as spam.

Leverage Google Shopping Ads

Shopping ads appear at the top of organic search results, but they pack a little something extra. Shopping ads are more visual and can also be enriched using ad extensions. 

Both Google and Bing offer shopping ads. An example of Bing shopping ads is shown below.

Numerous industry case studies support the effectiveness of Google Shopping Ads in driving traffic and boosting conversions.

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You can optimize your Google Shopping Ads by applying the following useful tips:

  • Fill out completely your Google Merchant Center shopping product data feed - this should include descriptors like product ID, description, category, type, availability status, sale price, etc. 
  • Create different ad groups if you have a wide array of different products.
  • Create a separate ad group for your best-selling items.
  • Add promotional text to your shopping ads, such as “Get the Winter Sale Discount” or “Free shipping for all orders above $100”.
  • Use HD pictures and use catchy titles and descriptions for your ads.

You have a greater chance of moving products quickly with shopping ads. For example, if you are dealing with products with a shelf life, you can pull an inventory aging report for all your products and list at-risk products on Google or Bing shopping ads.

Choose Keywords That Align

Most PPC campaigns focus on growing leads and sales since this is where you get the most ROI for your advertising budget. Thus, you should conduct keyword research that aligns with the campaign that you are running. You might want to identify target transactional or commercial keywords for a sales campaign.

Some tactics you can use to identify and implement rich PPC keywords include:

  • Targeting long tail keywords with transactional search intent and low competition. 
  • Targeting affordable branded keywords of your competitors.
  • Conducting competitor analysis to identify their target keywords.
  • Create ad groups for your selected group of PPC keywords.

You can use tools such as Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs to get keyword ideas for your campaign. 

In the example below, a business is targeting the keyword “espresso machine.” From Ahrefs, it’s possible to know metrics such as the monthly search volume, long-tail variations of the keyword, etc. 

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Important metrics to note as you do your keyword research include CPC (cost per click) and CTR (click-through rate) for each keyword.

Finally, include negative keywords in your campaign to eliminate similar but irrelevant or non-performing keywords that could impact your ad spend.

Improve the CTRs of Your Ads

Click Thru Rate refers to the number of people clicking on your ad from the total number of impressions. 

For example, a CTR of 5% for 100 impressions would total five clicks. This might seem small. However, for an e-commerce click that costs, say, $1 per ad, a return of $20/item can be considered a good ROI.

You can employ several tactics to improve your CTR:

  • Use ad extensions to showcase additional information. You can use extensions like site links, product reviews, features, and structured snippets.
  • Use relevant keywords for your headlines, product descriptions, and captions. Adding relevant keywords is good for both your PPC and SEO campaigns.

Here is an example of a well-done e-commerce PPC ad utilizing ad extensions (price, reviews) and keyword-rich product descriptions and captions. 

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Finally, don’t forget to improve the quality score of your ad keywords continually. For example, you can test the same ad with slightly varied keywords and analyze them. High-quality scores will result in lower CPCs and better ad positions.

In Closing

E-commerce PPC management  that is streamlined, easy, and effective offers numerous benefits to your business by saving you time, headache, and precious internal resources. Make your life easier by automating parts of the PPC campaign management process, such as ad targeting, attribution tracking, budget pacing, and reporting.

To effectively carry out an e-commerce PPC campaign, use methodical strategies such as setting up dynamic search ads, doing intense keyword research, optimizing the product page, leveraging Google Shopping Ads, and improving your CTRs.

Most importantly, your business must have a clear e-commerce PPC management strategy in line with your business goals. Track your business metrics and campaign performance constantly using MarinOne, Google Analytics, and other tools. You can also hire e-commerce PPC management services or a digital marketing agency to help you make solid gains.

Matt Diggity is a guest contributor to Marin Software. He is a search engine optimization expert and the founder and CEO of Diggity Marketing, The Search Initiative, Authority Builders, and LeadSpring LLC. He is also the host of the Chiang Mai SEO Conference.

On December 6th, 2022, we'll be offering a comprehensive webinar on budgeting strategies for the new year featuring Forrester. Anu Adegbola, an account director of paid media with Marin, and guest speaker Brett Kahnke, a principal analyst with Forrester, will cover how to approach your marketing budget for 2023 while also giving tips on how to adapt your budgets as needed ongoing. 

To get you started before the webinar, we've put together a "too long didn't read" guide on Forrester’s approach to budget allocation and what steps you should take when planning a long-term fiscal strategy. To get all of Forrester’s insights and tips, you'll need to download Forrester's report directly (available to Forrester subscribers or for purchase) and attend our webinar event, but this quick overview should help you start moving forward.

Summary of Forrester’s Strategic Budget Allocation Process

In the Forrester report, Kahnke explains how marketing teams are tasked with executing marketing and maximizing results while also dealing with a murky set of objectives. As a part of this process, execution teams must work with business priorities to find the best course of action. The Strategic Budget Allocation Process can be used by the central, regional or country-based field marketing teams or as a second business within an organization. The complete guide by Forrester outlines the benefits of creating a marketing program plan that aligns spending with business, marketing, and campaign objectives. Kahnke also highlights common mistakes that can lead to disconnected or habitual marketing.

The Five Steps of Forrester’s Execution Strategy Phase

Step 1: Review Budget Allocations And Prepare Guidance

Check if team goals align with campaign budget allocations; include campaigns, sub-campaigns, and targeted segments in your analysis.

• Review the top-down and bottom-up budget distribution.

• Define execution guidelines for marketing teams.

• Provide regular feedback on successes and failures, especially in communication with leadership.

Step 2: Layer on Specific Program Allocations and Ensure Totals Stack Up Against Strategic Targets

Step 3: Define Programs You Absolutely Need Within Your Marketing Strategy

Step 4: Identify the Right Tactics for Your Team at this Time, Build the Calendar, and Finalize Allocations

The program manager's primary deliverable in this step is a program calendar. This summarizes the duration of each program and its related tactics in a production schedule and includes the correlating spend for each tactic. 

Step 5: Check your Bottom to Top Overview, Get Endorsement, and Share the Plan

It’s important to communicate the priorities of marketing campaigns to other departments within the business. Confirm that your final plan is still aligned to the organizations needs in terms of objective, campaigns, and program allocations. 

We look forward to sharing more with you in December and hearing directly from Brett how the execution of this strategy will give you the best marketing plan for 2023 possible.

In case you missed it, Amazon announced a second Prime Day this week! The “Prime Early Access Sale” happens October 11 at 12 a.m. PDT and runs through October 12 in 15 countries: Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the UK, and the U.S.

Amazon is also introducing a Top 100 list with deals dropping on ASIN’s throughout the event across categories including electronics, fashion, home, kitchen, pets, toys, and Amazon devices. Of course Amazon will release their annual Holiday gift guides and Amazon’s Toys We Love list as well. 

Prime Day in July was Amazon’s most successful to date with 300 million items purchased and $11.9 billion in sales, an 8.5% increase over 2021. But ecommerce is slowing as inflation continues to increase and shoppers become more wary of stagflation or a looming recession in the not so distant future. 

So needless to say you do not want to miss out on a second opportunity to get your products in front of eager consumers just before the holiday shopping season starts! Check out Amazon’s Prime Day guide here, and for detailed info on how to maximize sales during the entire holiday season, Marin’s got you covered with our Amazon 2022 Holiday Playbook

Happy Selling!

We all have a fundamental need to belong. In fact, this is not unique to humanity; some animals only survive or thrive in groups as well. The foundation of a community is built upon support from acquaintances or family, as well as shared interests or backgrounds. Churches, schools, clubs, neighborhoods are some of the primary ways people get a sense of community or togetherness. Brands can create a community using the same methodology: a group of people that are all passionate or interested in a central topic.

Why Should Community Marketing be Important to Brands?

Community marketing's primary objective is to help companies engage with members of their target audience through their products, creating an engaged and long-term audience of customers. A key component to true lifecycle marketing, creating an active brand community can keep the same customers coming back to your brand again and again. It is a pillar of brand loyalty

Community marketing leverages the power of social media or other online platforms to build meaningful relationships with consumers. Many consumers want to get the "brand perspective" on various topics they are interested in, and this can impact how the community members interact. Many companies underestimate the influence they may have to start meaningful conversations online. Fitness, beauty, and lifestyle brands often do this quite well as consumers of these products are addressing needs that are quite personal, like their appearance or health, and they crave a safe space to discuss those needs. Organizations doing community marketing well are hosting and owning that safe space for discussion.

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What Goes Into a Successful Community Marketing Plan?

There are a few crucial aspects to establishing a healthy community marketing strategy. One component of this involves creating messaging that focuses on everything your target consumers love doing. Look at the broader universe surrounding your product and the problems it solves. 

Savage X Fenty did this successfully when they set out to have a unique discussion around body positivity and inclusivity in the lingerie space. Their approach in setting up email lists, and Facebook groups, and community boards, all added to that sense of togetherness where many people of different backgrounds could connect on feeling "on the outside" with other lingerie companies marketing tactics. The result of this harmonious messaging resulted in incredible growth for the brand. Making your company mission about more than just a set of products brings customers or prospective customers together, getting them psyched about what they already have a genuine interest in.

Advantages of Initiating and Running a Brand Community 

If you still have doubts about using community marketing for your business, here are some benefits that might help you make up your mind.

  • Improved customer experience for your prospects. By constantly interacting with the community, you get first-hand information about customer satisfaction. In turn, you can use this info to upgrade your products to suit their needs.
  • Increased customer retention and brand growth. An effective program seeks to build loyalty in customers who buy from your brand severally. The goal of every business is to achieve loyal relationships with their customers.
  • Instead of monitoring your brand reputation like an eagle overlooking an expansive landscape, with community marketing you're more like a deer living within the environment, overhearing what is being said and interacting with the other creatures in your brand forest. Your company becomes an integral part of the conversation. The opportunity to answer questions, redirect customers, and have ownership over public opinion in this way, especially if there are any questions being thrown your way from a PR standpoint, is invaluable.
  • New members of the community easily become your customers. Although a larger following does not always translate to more significant sales, you get new customers from the brand awareness that comes through your existing customers interacting and enjoying the community. 
  • The business grows organically. Thriving communities have people willing to share their good experiences with the world. These advocates can result in tremendous growth, and this kind of engagement becomes a great funnel and natural segue into ambassador, influencer, or affiliate marketing strategies.
  • Customers can feel the product's authenticity. We all know that advertising can sometimes be a bit fabricated. Community branding brings out honesty and transparency, resulting in an authentic feel to your product and brand.
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Misconceptions Surrounding Community Marketing

Even with many benefits to businesses that use community marketing, the lack of clarity in some areas has led to misconceptions surrounding it. Let's look at a few that are the most common.

  1. An extensive community is always the best.
  2. Communities can only spring up naturally.
  3. A product can only have a single community branding.
  4. All the members should be customers.

Best Ways to Start and Run Community Marketing

If you are starting or want to better your strategy, brace yourself and put your best foot forward. You do not want your audience feeling too much pressure, coercion, or any form of spam. Here are some tips to get you started without coming across too "salesy."

  • Interact with the members of the community on general topics surrounding your industry. Start with an internal brainstorm session to have a full list of ideas that you can refer back to whenever in doubt. Remember too that you're facilitating conversations, not lecturing. No need to stand on a pulpit and declare things–ask questions and let the community bring their ideas to you. The community will tell you what they care about and want to discuss.
  • Exercise your expertise in the specific field. If you strike your followers as an expert, people will start coming at you with questions and seeking clarification. Seek more knowledge in the niche and focus on helping your audience build their expertise. Positioning multiple employees as thought leaders and including them in the engagement process also builds authority for your company and humanizes the interactions that take place.
  • Be reachable. Group participation alone is not enough. Show up regularly, respond to direct messages, and avoid ignoring reactions. After all, you want followers to see your brand as authentic and human.
  • Be consistent. If it has been a while since you created a community and no one has shown up yet, or you can only hear cricket noises, don't lose hope. Keep sharing, and in time, the audience will gain confidence in your products and their ability to contribute in a meaningful way.
  • Engage with the audience. This is the surefire way to quickly learn what your community values and what they appreciate, between plain posts and videos. If you can also do a poll, that would come in handy. Sometimes simply liking, commenting, or tagging community members is enough to make people feel they are important to the company.

Conclusion 

Community marketing contributes significantly to accelerated growth and a positive brand reputation. Incorporating this channel as a tactic can help keep company goals in line with the audience's wants. Identify the best platform for building your community based on where you believe your existing target market spends their time online.

Once your organic social media strategy is inline, MarinOne can assist in continuing to drive brand awareness, revenue growth, and holistic omnichannel analysis. Our tool provides an all-in-one place to see how all your campaigns are performing against each other, and how organic channels are assisting paid channels. Speak to our marketing team of experts today to learn more about cross-channel paid media management.

The global e-commerce market reached a value of $13 trillion in 2021—and is forecasted to rise to $55.6 trillion by 2027. What are some of the major factors that led to this growth?  There was an explosion in demand for smart devices like smartphones and tablets, making it easier than ever for people to shop online from anywhere. COVID was another big factor: when stores closed, consumers  all went online—and they liked it.

In this article, we'll share some of the benefits of the current e-commerce landscape, then give you some tips on getting your e-commerce site to perform at its best this year and beyond.

Reasons to Ramp Up your E-comm Presence

There's no doubt that online sales are more important than ever, regardless of your company structure. With a growing population of e-comm shoppers and a marketplace that's constantly expanding, it's essential to have a strong e-commerce presence if you want to stay competitive and meet customers’ demands. Here are five reasons you should focus your efforts on e-commerce: 

Meeting Consumers Where They Are

Since the onset of the pandemic, consumer behavior has dramatically changed, shifting more towards digital shopping habits. A study done by Pew Research states that 79% of U.S. consumers shop online, indicating that this new habit is here to stay. And for good reason: it’s far more convenient than having to step foot in any physical retail store. It saves time, gives consumers the flexibility to shop for the best prices, and allows them to choose from a wider range of products.

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Unrestricted Store Hours

Having an e-commerce site means your store is theoretically open all day, every day. With 24/7 access consumers can browse whenever they want, be it 1 AM or 1 PM. Not only does this make digital shopping more appealing for customers, but it also increases sales opportunities. 

Manage Your Business From Anywhere

As opposed to a traditional brick-and-mortar storefront, using an e-commerce site allows you to run your company from anywhere. Whether you prefer to sit in an office, work from home, or even your local coffee shop, you can watch your business grow without being tied to a physical space. 

Extend Your Reach

As an e-commerce company, your number one priority is to get the word out about your products and services. It is possible to advertise in different ways and improve traffic to your site. However, this is easier said than done. It's always hard to get noticed online with so much noise and competition shouting their message out. By honing in on the right niche messaging for your target demographic, and utilizing an omnichannel marketing approach with SEM, email marketing with proper authentication protocols, influencers, and more…you can "find your people" on a global scale. Once the right brand message is identified, the opportunity to extend your reach to a wider target audience is virtually limitless.

Reduce Your Costs

If you were at all hesitant to start an e-commerce site because of the cost, think again. Launching a site is more affordable than owning a store, and it minimizes infrastructure, communication, and other overhead costs. 

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Tips for Creating a Profitable E-commerce Site

Follow the Latest Trends

With e-commerce best practices constantly evolving and changing, it’s vital to keep your e-commerce site current and your business competitive. By keeping up with the latest trends, you'll find new and innovative techniques that will offer your business huge value, while identifying the tactics that may not be suitable for your specific company needs. To determine which trends are worth pursuing, know your customers and competitors well so you can make the right move. 

Understand How to Optimize your E-Commerce Presence

Adopt advanced conversion tactics and push your organization to improve your baseline goal. Routinely examine bounce rates, exit rates, click-through rates, and average session durations. It is also wise to invest in e-commerce tools that can help analyze your current conversion rate issues. Some other strategies for boosting conversion rates include using high-quality images and videos on your product pages, providing limited-time coupon codes, and tweaking your store checkout process. 

Develop Strategic Shipping Policies and Options

Offer your consumers free shipping on orders over a specific amount and offer expedited delivery options like three-day shipping or two-hour delivery windows for customers who need their items immediately. An effective product delivery strategy will help to differentiate your business from competitors.

Include Customer Reviews on Product Pages 

Without a storefront, customers can’t physically experience an item before purchasing it. Give them the confidence they need to make informed decisions about products by providing them with easy access to online product reviews. By helping them navigate your business’s digital space, you maintain a positive reputation and a strong brand name, leading to happy customers and returning business. 

Create Social Media Profiles for Your Brand 

Having a social media presence allows you to connect with existing customers and reach out to potential new ones. Statista data indicates that users spend an average of a whopping 147 minutes per day on social media. Using social media to market your e-commerce store allows you to reach shoppers directly, advertise new products, or engage them with attractive promotions. According to BigCommerce statistics, businesses with an active and unique social media presence have at least 32% more sales than those without one. 

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Integrate your Point of Sale and Inventory Management Systems for Best Results 

Consumers prefer a seamless shopping and purchasing experience, with expectations that their products will arrive at their doorstep as fast as possible. Backend integration can help streamline e-commerce operations like inventory management, so that your customers remain satisfied and get what they want, when they want it. Integrating inventory management allows your organization to track its stock so you can balance the quantity of products on hand while meeting customer demands. By being able to analyze trends and sales patterns, you can also successfully maximize sales margins. 

Make your Site Mobile Friendly

Making sure your e-commerce site is mobile-friendly is the key to driving more sales and ensuring a smooth customer journey. A mobile-friendly design leads to more page views, stronger customer loyalty, increased online purchases, and many more benefits. 

Site Speed Matters

The last thing you want is a slow-loading website that will irritate your visitors. If your site can’t move fast enough for your customers it will negatively impact the user's perception of your brand, increase bounce rates, and encourage buyers to look elsewhere. In fact, studies prove that if a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, 40% of users will quickly give up and leave.  

Conclusion

Not only is centralizing your business to an e-commerce website cost-effective, it’s also been the preferred way for customers to shop for several years now. To stay competitive, it's essential that you get your website running like a well-oiled machine.

Not sure where to start? MarinOne can help by streamlining your advertising efforts and give your website a jumpstart in sales and traffic. This will buy your team time to get the web backend exactly how you want it while we build your front-end brand through advertising on marketplaces, paid search, and social. With MarinOne, you can gain an edge over your competition, maximize performance across all channels, and utilize impactful retail marketplace advertising features to set your e-commerce site up for success. 

Learn more about how MarinOne can help. Get in touch and speak to one of our team experts or schedule a free demo today.

Online grocery delivery has grown exponentially since the start of the pandemic and retailers are fighting to secure their place in the online shopping world. Retail advertisers are eager to get in front of hungry customers at the moment of purchase and have discovered that Instacart is one of the best ways to do that. 

Since 2020, Instacart has experienced a 500% increase in order volume. To keep up with this escalating traffic volume and successfully reach customers, advertisers are quickly realizing that they need to spruce up their e-grocery advertising campaigns. 

In this guide, we’ll explain the basics of Instacart advertising and explore Instacart ad inventory and the different ad types to help you find out which is right for you. We’ll also look at various campaign structures and keyword strategies, your bidding options, and some advanced tactics for optimization. 

How To Determine If Instacart Advertising is Right for Your Brand

Instacart advertising is the perfect way to extend your brand’s presence into the digital world of e-grocery shopping. 

Instacart is designed to give shoppers what they want, when they want it. They can do so because they leverage a huge number of brick-and-mortar retailers. Instacart’s ability to help advertisers maximize brand reach and consumer awareness makes it a suitable option for brands of all sizes. 

With brands reporting very good ROAS, the platform’s advertising is destined to become even more crowded than it already is. Research shows that more than 45,000 stores participate on Instacart. 

The Basics of Instacart Advertising

Retailers can create “Featured Product ads” through Instacart’s grocery pick-up and delivery services. The purpose of the ads is to reach prospective buyers on Instacart who are using specific keywords while browsing. Featured Product ads are typically displayed in areas of high visibility across the platform and can appear in two different categories: Search or Non-Search Ads. 

  • Search Featured Ads or “Self-Serve” Ads

These ads appear in a shopper’s search results and are a powerful tool to help amplify your brand’s visibility. In fact, 40% of all clicks on search results are on the top 1 to 3 products that populate a results page. 

  • Non-Search Featured Ads

Unlike Feature Ads, Non-Search Ads pop up in various places on Instacart and are not restricted to specific search keywords. They commonly appear in one of four placements including the home page, your items, item details, or department. 

Campaign Structuring

Keywords and products on Instacart can be grouped in two different ways: 

  • Similarly-Priced Products

As its name indicates, this type of campaign structuring refers to grouping products together that fall into a particular price range. 

  • Like Products

These are products that share more than 70% of particular keywords. 

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Keyword Strategies

Understanding the differences that keywords can make will help you create effective Instacart ad campaigns.

  • Category Keywords

These keywords present a large opportunity for Instacart growth. Because Instacart has a low volume of advertisers, Cost Per Clicks will be lower than what you would get on Amazon. If shoppers purchase your item using these keywords, it’s likely that they will make repeat purchases via your item section. 

  • Branded Keywords

Typically, branded keywords have the highest ROAS and lowest CPC. However, when using branded keywords, it's wise to allocate only a small portion of your budget to them because you want to ensure that your ad spend remains incremental. 

  • Competitor Keywords

“Conquesting” or bidding and winning your competitors' keywords can be a tricky strategy. While your CPC for these keywords is always more than that for category keywords, it can be ineffective and costly, and can also result in low conversion rates. Competitor keywords are best suited for items that are frequently purchased since the lifetime value of a shopper can help offset the initial high cost of the bid. 

Bidding Options

With the platform’s second-price auctioning system, advertisers' Cost Per Click (CPC) will be $0.01 more than the next highest bidder whenever they win an auction. 

  • Keyword Override Bids

Specific keywords you want to target can be used when launching your campaign. To make sure you secure the most efficient bid price, you can make always-on optimizations yourself or by using a third-party service. 

  • Default CPC Bid

These bids can be used for non-keyword traffic or by Instacart for new keywords that were harvested automatically. 

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5 Advanced Tactics for Optimizing Instacart Ads

Instacart has revolutionized the way consumers buy groceries and it’s clear they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. To ensure your campaigns are successful, consider using these suggested tactics:

  1. Consistently Update Product Details and Images

It’s crucial to ensure that your product inventory and your UPCs are accurate. Plan carefully and make sure products are in stock—Instacart will not promote products that are not.

  1. Separate Campaigns

When setting up your campaigns, apply paid search best practices. Dividing your campaigns by sub-brand or product category will make them easier to manage and optimize. You can also take it one step further and separate them by product type at the Ad Group level.

  1. Take Advantage of Your Instacart Ad Team

Instacart’s ad teams provide outstanding customer service to committed customers, with your brand’s success in mind. By joining forces, you can improve your Instacart presence. You can also utilize the platform’s reporting features and deep insights to help you make more informed buying decisions. 

  1. Focus on Relevancy

Use keywords that are relevant to your campaign and pay close attention to default keywords that Instacart may have added automatically. Keywords that are indirectly related do not perform as well. 

  1. Monitor and Test Frequently

Consistent monitoring is key to a successful campaign. When the campaign begins, gather as much data as you can and prioritize your budget. Run tests so you can see what’s working and what’s not so you can reallocate your budget quickly. 

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MarinOne Can Optimize Your Instacart Ads

With advanced automated bidding solutions and our powerful reporting, MarinOne can optimize your Instacart ads. Our platform works seamlessly with Instacart’s platform so your bidding strategies perform at their peak on each retail marketplace. Read about this in more detail here

Want to significantly improve the performance of your campaigns? We’ve got you covered. We make it easy by building out campaigns for you automatically, alerting you when there are changes in performance, and proactively identifying opportunities for you so you can achieve top results. To get started, simply connect your Instacart account.

Don't have an Instacart account or want to learn more about how we can help? Reach out to us at info@marinsoftware.com and one of our account representatives will be in touch.

E-commerce has had a long hot summer, but some experts say that winter has finally arrived. We’ve seen stock valuations for major retailers plummet and layoffs increasing in frequency, leaving businesses wondering if pandemic-era predictions for permanently changed consumer behavior might just fall flat.

The e-commerce expansion initially came as a necessity in 2020 during the onset of the pandemic: retail locations closed or reduced hours, bread-winners spent more time at home, and everyone spent more time on their devices. E-commerce businesses saw unprecedented growth, and those that cashed in without dedicating time to a long-term game plan saw subsequent declines the following year.

A recent study by store equipment supplier Raydiant showed that 48% of customers prefer to shop in-store when given the choice between in-store and online. And 51% said that they spent most of their money in physical store locations. Now as we navigate surging inflation and economic uncertainty, businesses must adapt yet again to a changing landscape.

TL;DR: In-store shopping isn’t dead, and e-commerce businesses need to adapt to survive.

If you’re looking for adaptation inspiration, here are a few ideas:

Retain your Current Customers

One of the first things I look for in an advertising audit is some kind of retention strategy. While often overlooked in advertising, customer retention can be incredibly valuable. 

If you’re on the fence, consider these stats from Outbound Engine:

  • Acquiring a new customer can cost up to five times more than it does to retain a current customer.
  • Increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits from 25-95%
  • The success rate for selling to a customer you already have is 60-70%, while the success rate of selling to a net new customer is 5-20%

Implementing a customer retention strategy can be simple and impactful. Some examples include:

  • Reminding customers about upcoming product releases
  • Implementing some cornerstones of Social Commerce such as engaging with customer content and creating high quality content
  • Exclusive offers for current customers

Don’t Leave Money on the Table

Did you know that 73% of shopping carts are abandoned on desktop and 86% on mobile? Your business could be missing out on a lot of cash in those carts.

Some options to address cart abandonment include:

  • Retarget these users in digital advertising, email automation, or even SMS. Your customers added these items to their carts for a reason, sometimes they just need an extra nudge.
  • Consider your shipping options. Multiple studies show that offering free shipping is a win for retailers, even if that shipping cost needs to be baked into your product pricing. If you have a brick and mortar location, consider offering free in-store pickup for online orders (Also referred to as BOPIS). 

Add Value (Outside of your Product Offering)

This may sound counterintuitive, but in today’s highly competitive e-commerce environment brands are expected to deliver more than just goods. Consider alternative on-brand ways to drive value for your customers (and be sure to capture their emails along the way).

For example, a cookware brand might email recipes that can be made using their products. An apparel brand might offer a quiz for new customers to find their perfect fit. An outdoors company might host an adventure giveaway. All of these examples serve the dual purpose of customer engagement and the opportunity to capture a contact.

The work isn’t done once you receive that email address though. Consider leveraging customer emails for digital retargeting strategies, email lifecycle marketing, and additional ways to add value to continue tending to your customer relationships.

Optimize your Ads 

Lastly, make sure the ads that you are running are driving conversions. There are many ways to do this, so we’ll list a few here:

  • A/B testing - try out some different creative and messaging options to see what resonates with your customers.
  •  Audience targeting - keep good records on your customers in your CRM system and use your first party data to retarget current customers while finding new customers with lookalike audiences.
  • Cross-channel bid optimization - where are your customers finding you? Google? Amazon? Social channels? Analyze your performance data to see which channels are working best for you and you may want to allocate more of your budget to those platforms. 

An ad tech platform like MarinOne can help you to integrate your data, analyze your performance, and optimize your ad spend for the best possible results. Reach out for a free consultation and we’ll show you how!

There’s no denying the popularity of Amazon. Amazon is a major player in the world of ecommerce and one of the biggest online marketplaces. With over 300 million customers worldwide, 2.3 billion sellers on the platform, and over 100 new advertisers daily, competition is fierce. Countless brands battle for shoppers around the clock. In the race to be successful sellers, advertisers are aiming to win first place—or at least the best position when it comes to getting their products seen. The trick? Amazon bidding, with a combination of effective strategies to increase sales that will put you on top and set you apart from your biggest competitors. 

What is Amazon bidding?

Amazon bidding is an auction-based system that allows sellers to place bids for keywords or products with the goal of showing their ads to potential buyers. When a shopper clicks on their ads, an advertiser pays for the bid. This is known as cost-per-click (CPC) advertising.

How does Amazon bidding work?

Amazon has access to a vast amount of data that helps them calculate the probability of a shopper clicking your ad and converting.

  • When creating Amazon pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, advertisers bid on specific keywords that could make their product appear when a buyer searches for that word.
  • Buyers type search terms in the search bar and scroll through the search result pages driven by the keywords selected by sellers. 
  • Winning the keyword primarily depends on a combination of a seller's bid, the relevance of their product, and the quality of their product listing.
  • If you win the bidding auction, Amazon’s PPC algorithm uses a Second-Price Auction, resulting in your winning bid being lower than your original bid. 
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3 Amazon bidding strategies

Amazon Dynamic Bids, down only

Amazon reduces bids by up to 100% if a click is unlikely to result in a sale and is less likely to convert. This option is automatically applied by default to all existing campaigns. 

When to use it: This is a good option for a profit-driven strategy. Dynamic bids help you preserve ad spend for conversions that are unlikely and help to ensure that you don’t overspend on advertising.

Amazon Dynamic Bids, up and down

For first-page search result placement, Amazon raises bids by up to 100% if a click is more likely to convert. It increases bids by 50% for all other placements, and will reduce a bid by up to 100% if a click is less likely to convert.

When to use it: This option is recommended if bids happen to be highly variable in your market because up and down dynamic bids are more flexible. Up and down are perfect for existing campaigns that are well-optimized. 

Fixed bids

Amazon will not dynamically adjust a bid based on the likelihood of a conversion.

When to use it: Fixed bids are great for an impression strategy and are ideal for raising brand awareness. Using this strategy, however, will most likely cause you to overpay for a good amount of your clicks. Why? With fixed bids, Amazon applies your bid to every single placement—regardless of the likelihood of conversion. The silver lining is that they allow you to exercise complete control of your sponsored ad campaign budget.

How to calculate the optimal bid

To calculate the optimal bid, use the formula below.

  • Bid = Max. CPC = Avg. Order Value x Conversion Rate x ACOS Target
  • Alternatively, the equation can be understood as:

Bid = Max. CPC = (Ad Sales / Ad Orders) x (Ad Orders / Ad Clicks) x (Ad Spend / Ad Sales)

  • Additionally, the formula can be simplified like so:

Bid = Max. CPC = (Ad Sales / Ad Clicks) x (Ad Spend / Ad Sales)

While these formulas are there to help you with the Amazon bidding process, the goal is to maximize your profit while simultaneously decreasing your spend. 

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4 tips to increase sales

Fine-tune keywords

Keywords influence the chance of conversion and the amount you need to bid. They are key to determining the search results that your campaign will target. To identify the most profitable and relevant keywords, consider using an Amazon keyword tool or reverse ASIN search. 

Improve your product listing

If your listing is impressive, attractive, and enticing enough to draw a potential customer’s attention, a click is more likely to result in a conversion. Make sure to use clear and informative descriptions, include high-resolution photos, and improve your Amazon feedback rating. 

Get on Amazon Prime

Shoppers like it when their Amazon products arrive as quickly as possible. There’s no doubt that Amazon’s same-day or next-day deliveries are a huge appeal for customers —especially when there is no extra charge for it. In fact, 83% of shoppers favor free delivery so much so that more than half (54%) of them will abandon their carts if they have to pay a delivery fee. Take part in Amazon’s fast shipping program by getting the blue Prime badge or by qualifying for Amazon Prime via Seller Fulfilled Prime or FBA. 

Follow an advertising strategy

Determine the outcome you’re trying to achieve in order to decide which bidding method is best for your campaign. Develop a strategy so you commit to your goals by selecting the bid that’s most appropriate. 

Amazon Bidding Key Takeaways

Amazon bidding is a big determinant in the success or failure of your Amazon campaign advertising efforts. Regardless of how much target-marketing research you conduct, it’s still a challenge to truly know what shoppers want and why. Amazon’s algorithm does a good job of analyzing and predicting success, so with a detailed understanding of how Amazon bidding works, you can still implement winning campaigns to ultimately achieve your business goals.

How MarinOne can help

Getting your products seen among millions of other Amazon sellers is no easy feat. 

If you're not yet up to speed with advertising on Amazon, MarinOne can help. Our automated bidding tool can be used to manage bids for Amazon Advertising accounts directly within the MarinOne platform. 

MarinOne also manages keyword-level and target-level calculated bids for Amazon Advertising accounts:

  • For manually targeted sponsored products
  • Auto-targeted sponsored products
  • Sponsored brands
  • Sponsored brand video
  • Sponsored display

To learn more about other Amazon Advertising management functionality in MarinOne, check out our Amazon Advertising article.

If you're new to MarinOne's automated bidding, learn more about our automated bidding tool from our Bid Strategy article.

Interested in learning more? Try a free trial today.

Amazon receives over two billion visitors a month. With such a large audience frequently visiting its platform, it’s no wonder the number of marketplace sellers has exploded over the last decade. The volume of online shoppers is making it harder than ever for sellers to make an impression and grab the attention of customers. If your goal is to expand your reach and attract new customers, Amazon’s Demand-Side Platform (DSP) may be the answer. And there is no better time than now. Why? Amazon DSP is on track to make $17.6 billion from advertising this year and is expected to reach a staggering $46.6 billion by 2025. 

What is Amazon DSP?

Amazon DSP enables programmatic buying and selling of display, video, and audio ads. The demand-side platform allows you to reach audiences both on and off of Amazon and across leading publishers’ sites like Twitch.tv, IMDb, Audible, Zappos, and others. The ads often appear not only on Amazon and Amazon-owned websites, but across Amazon-owned apps, Amazon devices, and affiliate websites and apps within Amazon’s network. Through Amazon DSP, you can create more brand and product awareness to encourage shopper re-engagement and retarget lost or potential customers. 

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The 4 Amazon DSP Ad Types

Dynamic E-commerce Ads

Dynamic ads automatically optimize which ad to display based on your campaign goal. Using machine learning, Amazon DSP can feed audiences relevant ads based on predictable behavior—delivering coupon code strategy tactics to incentivize impulse buyers and generating ads with customer reviews in them to engage customers who prefer to read reviews before purchasing a product. Since dynamic ads only direct to an Amazon product listing page, they are not a viable option if you use DSP to promote your direct website. 

Static Ads 

Unlike dynamic ads, static ads feature a call-to-action and a simple image. They can lead customers to an Amazon product listing, an Amazon Brand store, or directly to your website. 

Video Ads Through DSP

In-stream or out-stream video content can be displayed both on and off Amazon. Your video ads can link directly to your website or to a product detail page on Amazon. Video ads through DSP help you leverage Amazon’s audiences to target the right shoppers. 

Over-The-Top Video Ads (OTT)

These ads, displayed as full-screen videos on TV, allow you to create brand awareness in a separate medium. By using OTT, you can expand your reach to millions more people and target specific Amazon audiences. Keep in mind though: with OTT ads shoppers have no way to click and take action. 

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Amazon DSP Targeting Options

With Amazon DSP’s thousands of customer segments and its insights into shopper history and intent, it can help support many of your advertising goals. Here’s a glance at the different targeting options available.

Behavioral Targeting

Behavioral targeting is often used for brand awareness purposes and enables you to set any number of triggers so you can target shoppers further down the funnel. 

Lifestyle Targeting

With Lifestyle targeting, relevant ads are served to people who buy from a particular category habitually. This type of targeting allows you to target customers who share similar characteristics with your current customers or are interested in brand-relevant categories. 

Demographic Targeting

You can target ads based on gender, age, income, or location.

Device Targeting

Target your ads based on specific end-user devices including Android or Apple phones, different operating systems, desktop users, or other niche devices such as the Amazon Fire tablet. 

In-Market Targeting

By using in-market targeting, you can build brand awareness and increase sales. Audiences who are “in-market” are those who have high intent with a greater likelihood of purchasing your product or services.

Contextual Targeting

Serve ads to users based on what they are browsing right now. Contextual targeting is a great option to encourage impulse buys and drive conversions quickly. 

Remarketing Targeting

For consumers who are on the fence about buying a product or a competitive product, remarketing targeting can help. The different types of remarketing targets include Pixel-Based, ASIN, Purchased ASIN, Brand Halo, and Similar Product remarketing. 

Audience Lookalike Targeting

Audience Lookalike targeting hones in on customers who share similarities with your existing customers. With this option, you can take advantage of Amazon’s unique data combined with its collaborative filtering that can create detailed consumer profiles. 

Advertiser Audiences 

Amazon DSP allows you to leverage third-party data so you don’t have to solely rely on the first-party data that Amazon provides. Through the use of pixels, CRM data, and/or DMP audience transfers, you can reach customers who have previously engaged with your brand. 

5 Reasons Amazon DSP Is a Powerful Tool for Advertisers 

By using Amazon DSP, you can take your campaign performance to a whole new level and achieve your programmatic advertising goals. Here’s how:

Audience Insights and Analytics 

One of the greatest benefits of Amazon DSP is that advertisers can tap into Amazon’s first-party shopper data. Every search, view, click, purchase, and other shopper action along the customer journey is tracked. With Amazon DSP’s robust data capabilities, you can glean more information about how, what, when, and why customers buy what they buy. You can also gain access to key performance metrics such as total purchases, product units sold, add-to-cart rates, and more to help you determine what’s driving results and what’s not.

Retargeting

Retaining your current audience is not only critical to sustaining your company’s success but is also a more cost-effective way to spend your ad dollars instead of attracting new customers. Using Amazon DSP, you can retarget potential customers who have already engaged with your brand or products. 

Dynamic Targeting

Targeting shifts over time. Amazon DSP allows you to adjust your strategy accordingly so you can move your ad placements, reroute your creative spending, or reposition your domain ads to reach customers who have expressed interest in your product.

Extended Reach

With Amazon DSP, you can expand your audience reach across a vast range of sites. An attention-grabbing display ad or video campaign can improve your brand perception and increase awareness by being displayed on a large number of websites simultaneously.

Time Savings

Amazon DSP enables you to have your campaigns up and running in just minutes so you don’t have to spend time playing phone tag, negotiating, handing off creative tasks, reconciling billing, and settling up payments.

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How MarinOne Can Help

Looking to take your Amazon DSP to the next level? 

MarinOne integrates with Amazon DSP to help you better understand your customers on Amazon. Our platform goes far beyond what Amazon provides with a comprehensive suite of tools that activate and amplify your entire Amazon advertising campaign portfolio. 

With MarinOne, you can analyze paid search and social advertising as well as other retail media, shipping campaigns, and marketplaces, giving you a cross-publisher and cross-channel view of performance. 

Our alerts provide real-time updates on changes in activity so you can always be in the know and never miss an opportunity to improve performance. Use our marketplace signals to link your DSP performance to reviews, ratings, inventory status, price, and more. In addition, MarinOne features Amazon metrics like detailed page views and new to brand.

Ready to find out more about how MarinOne can help with your Amazon DSP campaigns? Get a personalized demo today.

Getting Started with Amazon Live

Visibility is the key if you are aiming to succeed as a seller on Amazon. Keeping up with platform changes and new features is a great way to stay ahead of the competition and have more visibility on Amazon for your brand. One such feature your company ought to be utilizing is Amazon Live.

Since the inception of Amazon Live in 2016, it has slowly but surely grown in status and notoriety. What initially seemed cheesy to many brands has now become a highly profitable revenue platform. As Prime Day 2022 numbers have improved year over year, being able to engage users already shopping on Amazon offers up audiences who are more likely to convert right away. 

This is great news for individual influencers as well as major brands. Most of the users active on Amazon Live view shopping as being highly therapeutic or personal in some way. So with an ever-growing audience of highly-engaged active shoppers, the question arises ‘How can my brand use this too?” Here’s a playbook on how to get started.

What is Amazon Live?

Amazon Live is regarded as one of the most successful initiatives launched by Amazon in the form of a live streaming platform. Sellers can create videos and tutorials as a way to market new or unique products. Creators can host live streams on their Amazon Live to advertise their product to their customers and followers. The live streams come in a myriad of formats: from direct interactions between seller and shopper, to giving product demos, offering promo codes, and holding Q&A sessions, all amounting to the creator earning commission from sales produced by their streamable content. 

Amazon Live has been made customer and seller friendly, as both parties can access the platform on desktop as well on mobile. There is also growth potential from a global perspective for brands, as the website and mobile app versions of Amazon Live are available across many countries. 

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What are Amazon Live influencers?

Social media influencers have been an integral part of the entire concept behind Amazon Live. Amazon’s foray into live shopping with this QVC style shopping stream changed the influencer landscape at large as thousands of streamers have taken advantage of a new place to sell their products in an interactive way. 

The Amazon Live platform also offers the Amazon Influencer Program, where individuals with an existing social media following can re-direct that following to the influencers' favorite Amazon products. Using tagged codes and links, the influencer in turn receives a sales commission for those product purchases from Amazon. 

By developing a unique Amazon Storefront, influencers can choose and promote any product on the platform on this layout to generate a permanent income stream. Based on the type of product, total influencer sales, etc., the commission for influencers is set up in the range of 10% of all revenue. 

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Developing great Amazon Live content as an influencer

Amazon Live offers the influencers a chance to showcase a products' features in real time while answering questions and engaging with shoppers, much like Facebook Live and Youtube Live. Developing content for live streams is as personal as any other content an influencer may create. If you're a content creator looking to produce a unique streaming experience on Amazon Live, don't be afraid to wear your product, use it, and flaunt it the way you want…just as you would on any other social media platform. (So long as you're within Amazon's guidelines of course.)

Keep in mind that shoppers want to see:

  • How the product works
  • What sets it apart from other similar products
  • Why you recommend it as their trusted influencer.

You can sign up for the Amazon Influencer Program in order to live stream products here. All you need to apply for the Amazon Influencer Program is your YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account information. It takes 3-5 days to get the application approved and setup your account. 

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Partnering with Amazon Live influencers as a brand

Just like other forms of influencer marketing, there are several benefits to working with influencers on Amazon. For brand owners looking to use Amazon content creator relationships as part of your omnichannel marketing strategy, a few objectives you could set as part of an Amazon influencer program are:

  • Exposure to new audiences and brand awareness
  • Authentic, top of funnel content creation
  • Reputation boosts through influencer trust
  • Optimization of your Amazon product listings
  • Increased sales and conversion

When done correctly, influencer marketing has been shown to drive qualified traffic that will not only deliver an immediate return on investment but also provide momentum for Amazon listings. This helps increase Best Seller Rank, organic rank, and ad visibility.

Remember, in influencer marketing, authenticity is #1

Keep in mind that content creators prioritize their own brand identity and authentic voice above all else. So to have success, you must find the right partnerships that are a fit for the company and the influencer. 

In a recent interview with Amazon, popular influencer Trisha Hershberger described her early experiences as a content creator, and how she was met with resistance by the industry to be herself. Many brands only wanted to collaborate with her if she changed her appearance to what they considered the "typical" gamer look. 

“I was told, ‘you can't wear a dress on camera and talk about video games, no one's going to take you seriously, you have to wear a graphic T-shirt.' I was told often that I didn’t look like the gaming type,” she says. 

Hershberger shared that she was adamant about her point of view despite the pushback she had received. Her reward for this fortitude came in the form of seeing audiences respond positively to her individuality. Viewers are wanting to connect with creators who are being true to themselves and their interests. By sticking to her guns and presenting the image she wanted to portray, Hershberger managed to help shape a culture of communication and openness between herself and the brands she promotes. 

She believes the stalwart attitude she and other influencers have had has helped to create more diversity in online content at large. “With more diverse creators coming forward with different backgrounds and interests, there is something for everyone,” she says.

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Connecting Amazon Live and Amazon influencers to your omnichannel marketing strategy

Amazon Live has the potential to be another powerful asset in the digital marketers' toolkit, just like many other platforms, tools, or features that have come before it.  You've most likely already tackled Pinterest advertising, TikTok content, programmatic ads, and many other unknowns in the past…so don't be afraid to get bold here too. Amazon Live is simply another opportunity to dig deep and get creative, scaling your marketing initiatives to new heights. Some low hanging fruit for omnichannel applications we would suggest include:

  • Repurpose Amazon Live content on other social media channels
  • Extend your Amazon Live influencer collaborations to include promotion on their other content platforms
  • Use Amazon Live as an opportunity to test new product launches, or get passive market feedback on existing products
  • Create community and ongoing dialogue amongst the Amazon audience by driving them to other forums where your brand spends time

Managing Amazon Live budgets and campaigns with MarinOne

While some of the execution to an Amazon Live campaign may be distinctive to other campaigns your brand is running, what will be consistent is the need for clear audience tracking, insightful data analysis, and accurate attribution. Marin Software is prepared to help you do just that with our all-in-one paid media management platform. Our tool integrates directly with Amazon Ads so you can see how a multitude of campaign types are performing all at once, against one another. It's also one of the only tools available that offers true omnichannel budgeting across nearly 30 publisher platforms, so you'll know whether to put more or less engine spend toward Amazon, Facebook, TikTok, or anywhere else your ads are running. Let our team set up the infrastructure for your team to make the best advertising decisions possible. Get a consultation from one of our digital marketing experts today.

Is your business struggling to make a digital impact despite having a fully developed and designed website? The problem could be that your website is not as dynamic as it ought to be with UX-driven software and plugins. Whether you are dispensing information or selling goods and services online, marketing automation beyond your basic CMS is necessary to bring your audience to your website the first time and keep them coming back for more. 

Here are some of the best integrations you should be using for a functional website that captures your audiences' attention while giving your marketing team the transparency needed to reach those audiences ongoing.

Lead Generation

Instapage

A quick way to identify lead quality is by having customized landing pages for every type of lead coming into your sales funnel. With Instapage, you can develop unique landing pages quickly and efficiently for every client category you serve. Its compatible nature enables you to connect with other software and applications to funnel the generated leads to your CRM, and you can plug LPs into your CMS and domain without much hassle.

Instapage has also taken some of the guesswork out of landing page design; as they have provided hundreds of high-converting templates, ready for you to test. You can customize the template as you please with Instapage's drag-and-drop functionality; and with easy-to-use duplication, a/b variant, and mobile-friendly editing tools…you'll have dozens of great landing pages in no time, without ever touching raw code directly. Pricing starts at $199 per month, or you can contact their biz dev team for a custom quote, depending on the needs of your website.

MailChimp

There is no thorough lead generation campaign without email marketing. To enable a winning strategy, you will require an email marketing automation platform. While there are many behemoths in this space, such as Marketo and Pardot, for those just starting out…our recommendation would be MailChimp. The software is great for novices, it has a surprising number of drip funnels ready to go, and it easily integrates with dozens of other tools and platforms. 

Depending on your needs and existing contact list, MailChimp offers both free and paid subscriptions to their service. You can send emails to up to 2000 contacts for free; beyond that point, there is a sliding scale of premium plans ranging between $9.99 for 500 contacts and $299 for 10,000 contacts. Like so many others, they also offer enterprise account quotes through one of their sales consultants.

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Support

Intercom

If you want to keep potential customers entering your website engaged, incorporate conversational marketing into your website experience. Intercom is an excellent tool for ensuring current and potential clients get a live and personal touch. The application is fast, and you can set it to ensure customers are directed to the right pages for their needs, with various triggers based on multiple choice responses or keywords. It can also track return customers and create a more natural experience for them with different messaging. When needed, the site visitor will be routed to a live individual who can answer their questions in real-time as well. The monthly rate for Intercom varies quite a bit depending on which of their packages your business needs, but to test out the chat functionality only you can get started with just $74 per month.

Helpjuice

For knowledge base software and FAQ directories, there is no better option than Helpjuice. This highly-rated software helps you organize help articles, user tutorials, and more into categorized, functional workspaces for your customers. If the support section of your website is taking over the marketing content that actually leads to new business, you need to make a shift in the balance of power and make that help-related content digestible and simple to navigate. Helpjuice can make that possible. Their packaging starts at $120 per month for 4 users, and goes up to $499 per month for unlimited users.

Data & Analytics

Marin Software

While we may be a bit biased on this one, it is undeniable that Marin has been an industry leader in cross-channel advertising management and data analysis for almost two decades, which is about three times longer than most of our competitors have even been in business. As one of the pioneers of the modern digital data space, we have one of the best analytics tools available for people seeking comprehensive omnichannel summaries. The product development team at Marin is constantly re-designing and elevating the software to focus on what’s essential, so your team can be focused on innovation, not number crunching. We work hard to simplify data into insights while simultaneously hiring the best marketing consultants in the world who can help you turn those insights into action. Pricing is customizable according to your unique business needs.

Google Analytics

This is the go-to web analysis tool to understand your user behavior, source, demographics, etc. Google Analytics is excellent in providing user segmentation, website optimization, and key website metrics like the number of visitors and average bounce rate. It has influential audiences you can use to boost ads campaign and intelligent user tracking and privacy features. When paired with a paid media management solution like MarinOne, your ability to know who your audience is, where they're coming from, and what they want is virtually limitless.

Payment & E-Commerce

PayPal

One of the reasons businesses are turning to online operations is to increase transaction efficiency. PayPal is a great tool for this as it is almost universally accepted as one of the safest and most user-friendly digital payment platforms. Both business owners and consumers like PayPal as it is easy to use on both sides of the transaction. For brands, it seamlessly integrates with dozens of online shopping carts and e-commerce platforms. On the customer side, PayPal offers quick payment options that put the user in charge of their security preferences. This tool is safe, tested, and popular across the globe, making it a reliable choice for almost any business.

Shift4Shop

While Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce are certainly the leading powerhouses in the online checkout market, what is sometimes limiting with those platforms is how inherently tied they are to your website's CMS. Shopify and Magento are all-in-one solutions, meaning your entire site needs to build on those platforms directly. WooCommerce is a great plugin but is primarily paired with WordPress sites. So if you already have a CMS on anything besides WordPress, and you don't want to go through the trouble of rebuilding your entire site, Shift4Shop is your next best option. They are considered a top choice due to the tools' ability to transact and retain data on the customer, invoices, and other financial transactions. Notable benefits include a smooth UX for the shopper, order transparency for administrators, and ease of integration with other business software applications.

Customer Relationship Management

Bitrix24

If you are hoping to enhance communication and collaboration among your employees, Bitrix24 is an excellent choice. The tool has top-notch data management and cloud storage abilities. Automating marketing and sales processes boosts teamwork, thus enhancing customer care through service delivery. 

Whether you want a digital assistant to handle your project management or want to just catch up on the day's tasks, this is a great tool for overseeing productivity and task management. All the features you need to start your own project are available on Bitrix24 in the free version. The paid plan, starting at $43 per month for 5 users, includes advanced functionalities and customization for bigger companies with bigger needs While Bitrix24 comes with many features, here are some of the best task management tools for increased productivity.

  • Create tasks, indicate the priority level, and evaluate your progress.
  • Bring all your team's interactions and projects into one single shared space.
  • Automate tasks to save time and grow faster by centralizing your workflows. Doing so allows you to eliminate repetitive tasks and focus on the big picture.
  • From a central access point, you can get to all of your files and documents.
  • Share directly with others with real-time collaboration, discuss in forums, and make use of a variety of communication options.
  • You can set plans for short-term, medium-term and long-term deadlines and make sure you don't miss any of them.

Nimble

A relationship-focused CRM for your entire team, it is best known for customer prospecting. With Nimble, you enjoy reduced data storage costs, low business risks, optimized business performance, and easy integration with other software apps. Besides, Nimble can “scale up” and “scale out,” thus enhancing performance capacity. It's easy to use; and it works in your Outlook/Gmail inbox, social, web. You can tap into every part of your contact's interaction history, so you don't miss anything the team does when you step away. You can also make comments on a record, update deal status, and keep an eye on social handles. Nimble starts at $19 per month per user, and it's value is well worth the cost.

In Summary

Even if you’re not a professional web developer, many CMS tools combined with the right plugins, have made it easy enough to get the results you want. No matter what you're looking for in terms of business goals, it's important to have a website that attracts your audience. Refer back to this list as you refine and revise your site to keep testing new integrations and determining what would be most compatible with your particular setup.

Once your business starts to get solid footing with a fully optimized site, our Marin team of paid media experts are ready to help you launch things to the next level with digital advertising. 

Reach out when you’re ready to get started promoting your now streamlined and well-functioning website.

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What’s the difference between Amazon CPC and vCPM cost models?

It’s important for brands to measure their digital marketing metrics, including comparing CPC vs vCPM (cost per thousand viewable impressions). CPC is based on the number of actual clicks the ad receives, while vCPM is based on the number of times an ad is viewed, regardless of whether shoppers click on it or not. Sponsored Display vCPM adheres to the MRC definition for an ad view: at least 50% of the ad should have been in the shopper’s view port for at least one second for it to be registered as a viewed impression.

CPC = Total Spend / Total Clicks

vCPM = Total Spend / ((Total impressions * % in-view) / 1000)

vCPM is often used for advertisers focusing on brand awareness or delivering a specific message, because this pricing model is more focused on exposure as opposed to a cost-per-click model. 

In Marin, brands can use both metrics, considering the implications of each, for a more comprehensive view of the performance of their ad campaigns. This information will help advertisers better understand the impact of their Sponsored Display campaigns, regardless of whether you are using click-based (CPC) or view-based (vCPM) attribution.

How does Amazon’s vCPM cost model work?

Conversions and Revenue for Sponsored Display vCPM campaigns are an ESTIMATED value that is attributed to BOTH viewable impressions AND clicks (because the cost type is based on viewable impressions - vCPM). To put it simply, alongside the actual Conversions and Revenue generated via the vCPM campaign, Amazon is also including estimated Conversions and Revenue when someone VIEWs your Sponsored Display Ad, but does not click on it.

It's also worth noting that the vCPM Conversions and Revenue are attributed to your brand sales and not the products in the campaign. For example if you run an 'Advertised Product Report' from Amazon you'll notice that the orders and sales do not match what is being displayed in Amazon's UI at campaign level. See below screenshot from a Sponsored Display Advertised Product Report:

 

  • The 14 Day Total Orders (#) and 14 Day Total Sales columns reflect the Cost Type of a campaign
  • The 14-Day Total Orders (#) - (Click) and 14-Day Total Sales - (Click) columns are based on click attribution (CPC Cost Type), regardless of whether your campaign cost type is set to CPC or vCPM
  • Campaign A has parity across all 4 columns - because it’s campaign Cost Type is set to CPC
  • Campaigns B to M, unlike Campaign A, differ because their campaign Cost Type’s are set to vCPM - the (Click) columns are your actual Orders and Sales, whereas your non-click columns are a combination of actual Orders and Revenue as well as Amazon’s estimated Orders and Revenue based on your ad being ‘viewed’.

Example

Campaign C generated 8 orders with a total revenue of £112.96 and to identify the estimated view Orders and Revenue, you subtract the (Click) column away from the regular column;

207 [14 Day Total Orders (#)]  -  8 [14-Day Total Orders (#) - (Click)]   =   199 estimated ‘view’ Orders

£2,564.39 [14 Day Total Sales]  -  £112.96 [14-Day Total Sales - (Click)]   =   £2,451.43 estimated ‘view’ Sales

How does this impact reporting of Amazon Sponsored Display campaigns in Marin?

Regardless of the cost type that you specify when creating your Sponsored Display Campaign (CPC or vCPM), Marin is able to report on both attribution models against that campaign.

For example, if you create a Sponsored Display campaign with vCPM as the Cost Type, Marin is still able to show you the Conversions and Revenue generated from the ad being clicked on (CPC Cost Type), alongside the ‘estimated’ view Conversions and Revenue (vCPM Cost Type) that Amazon is providing, and vice-versa. 

In the screenshot above you can see that, regardless of cost type, for a Sponsored Display campaign Marin is able to report on both traditional Conversions and Revenue (click based) and also the ‘view’ Conversions and Revenue - which is the combination of both actual and estimated Conversions and Revenue set by Amazon.

The table below shows the Conversion Types available via the MarinOne column selector that you can bring into view alongside your Sponsored Display campaigns.

How should I bid on this activity?

The decision is entirely yours. In Marin you have the option to either bid based upon actual clicked Conversions and Revenue or use the estimated ‘View’ Conversions or Revenue to target a CPA or ROAS goal - regardless of the cost model you’ve chosen to set up for your Sponsored Display campaign.

If your goal is performance (CPA / ROAS) Marin’s recommendation is to optimise towards actual clicked Conversion and Revenue and not ‘View’ Conversions or Revenue (even if your campaign is set to vCPM) because this is the actual performance of your Sponsored Display campaign and not an ‘estimated’ number of Conversions or Revenue. 

If you've used Marin's automated bidding tool to manage Bid Strategies for other publishers, then managing bids for Amazon Advertising accounts should be pretty familiar. Marin manages keyword-level and target-level calculated bids and supports all ‘performance’ Goals for your Amazon activity:

  • Maximise Conversions to CPA
  • Maximise Revenue to ROAS

If your goal is awareness advertisers and registered sellers in CA, DE, FR, ES, IT, IN, JP, UAE, UK and the US can set up an “Optimise for Viewable Impressions” strategy directly in the Amazon Ads UI to help create product awareness.

If you have any further questions related to the above please reach out to your Account Representative.

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.

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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):

  • April 29

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)

Prime Day:

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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.

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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.

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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.

In Conclusion

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.



We at Marin are excited to highlight Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives by the publishers we support.  You can find the link to apply for this program at ads.instacart.com or see additional details here. Instacart also offers $100 in advertising credits to advertisers getting started with Sponsored Products.

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.

These investments have paid off. Target added 12 million multi-channel customers in 2020, and same-day services grew by 235%. Online sales grew 145% last year, driven in part by the pandemic, but they continued to grow by 12.5% in the first half of 2021, even as many consumers returned to shopping in-store.

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.

The automation tools in Marin make it easy and efficient to manage Target Product Ads.  MarinOne’s unified optimization suite helps identify optimal levels of spend while MarinOne Bidding delivers the best possible performance.

With the addition of Target Product Ads, MarinOne offers a complete growth solution across search, social, display, and eCommerce advertising, delivering the maximum return on investment.

Click here to get started with Target Product Ads today.

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...

2021 Predictions

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.

Ready to get started with MarinOne and Criteo? Talk to your account manager or reach out to our sales team today.

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.

Ad Formats


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.

In part two, Top tactics for a successful Prime Day 2021, we expanded upon the key levers and focused more on best practices and optimization techniques for promotional periods such as Prime Day

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:



  1. Awareness - Utilize category targeting, Amazon Audiences, and Views remarketing to grow the total audience of Amazon shoppers who are aware of your products.
  2. Consideration - Utilize Views remarketing, Amazon Audiences, and product and category targeting to help maximize purchase intent by telling your brand's story.
  3. Purchase - Utilize Views remarketing and Product targeting to help stay visible when shoppers are ready to buy.
  4. 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.
  • Review our earlier blog post, Video Ads on Amazon, Do I Need to Get Involved?, for Marin’s top tips and insights on running Sponsored Brands Video ads.
  • 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.

Don’t worry, Marin Software has got your back!

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:

Targeting


  • 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.

Who Are the Big Four?


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.







What’s New with Marin + Amazon Attribution?


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
  • Purchases
  • Units Sold
  • Sale Revenue


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.

Ad Creatives


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.

Optimization


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.

Communication


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.

Conclusion


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:

  1. Dynamic product data updates and safeguards
  2. New to Brand optimization
  3. Inventory based bid adjustments
  4. Amazon Attribution
  5. 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.

Learn More


Sign up today to join us on Wednesday, May 20th, at 10am BST.

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

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.

Amazon Attribution



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.



Want to learn more? Drop us a line!

Introduction and Methodology



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.



Wrap Up



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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.


Next Steps


To make sure you hit the January 27th deadline to retain your data and make your ad campaign reporting easier:

  1. Sign up for Marin Go
  2. Link your Amazon account before January 27th
  3. Link your Google and Bing Accounts for cross-channel visibility
  4. Enjoy full access to automated reporting, dashboards, and alerting for free


Good luck and happy/easy reporting!

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