On Amazon, over 70% of shoppers never view page 2 of the search results. With over 12 million items listed, utilizing Amazon advertising is essential to ensure your products appear in front of the most relevant shoppers.
In an ideal world, advertising budgets are limitless and are scalable as sales are driven. But what do you do when advertising budgets are limited?
Here are 4 things to consider when you have a limited Amazon advertising budget.
Often advertising budgets and goals go hand in hand. It’s essential to build an advertising strategy and goals around what budget is available, and you have to take costs into account, especially in new markets.
Ad budgets can be compared to buying a new car. Buyers consider multiple factors to ensure the car fits all their needs and wants. The two key things buyers often look for are the features and the price of the car. Although a moonroof and heated seats may be features on their wishlist, these are merely wants and not necessarily needs. The buyer must decide whether or not their budget supports these additional add ons.
Advertising works the same way. While winning top of search placements for general category terms like “Vitamin C” may be your goal, it’s important to consider the cost of the strategy.
As an example, one of our advertising partners has strategically advertised heavily on the category term “Theracurmin” at the top of the search results. Through this strategy, the partner has seen significant lift in market share by owning the space. However, it’s come at a high cost due to the competitiveness of the keyword. While owning the space on such a highly competitive term, the CPC has averaged upwards of $14.60.
While advertising heavily on broad category terms can drive substantial lift, it’s important to weigh the costs against goals. On the other end of the spectrum, utilizing a long-tail keyword like “high absorption curcumin” which has lower search volume can drive high performance at a lower CPC of $0.43. While long-tail keywords may not drive immediate and substantial lift in market share they serve as a great option when budget is limited.
Realistic advertising goals that factor in budgeting constraints drive successful advertising strategies. Starting with budgeting and goals is a crucial first step in determining a strategy.
When launching advertising with a limited budget, it’s important to narrow the product mix being advertised. Selecting a strategic list of products will mitigate against advertising turning off during the day due to budgeting restrictions. Advertising can often be spread thin across a wide range of products which will ultimately throttle success.
As an example of this, 100 products out of your catalog are chosen to be advertised with a budget of $600 a month. The daily advertising budget will only be $20 when averaged out across 30 days. If the average CPC is $0.50 advertising efforts can drive 40 clicks a day (daily budget / CPC). Spreading 40 clicks across a set of 100 products will leave at least 60 products without a single click every day.
However, if a limited set of 5 products is selected each product will receive an average of 8 clicks per day (40 clicks / 5 products) which will drive a more substantial impact.
Strategic product selection increases potential ad spend per product. By limiting the number of products advertised, more data will be gathered per product leading to more informed optimizations.
Targeting selection is a key factor in maximizing budget. Often keyword lists can be too broad by focusing on top category terms that are highly competitive. Long-tail keywords serve as a great alternative when budget is limited. Despite these terms having lower search volume, they are typically less competitive which allows for advertising to drive higher performance.
To ensure targeting is optimized, utilize negative keywords to narrow in on top-performing search terms and limit inefficient advertising spend. Negative targeting will ensure that advertising will not serve on a list of terms or products that has been deemed irrelevant or drive poor results. These can be determined by analyzing search term reports and filtering for terms that have shown subpar performance.
Additionally, being mindful of bids and goals is crucial to success. Ensuring CPCs remain competitive without being too high is essential to keeping spend at a reasonable level. When bids are too low, traffic will be limited. But on the other hand, when bids are too high, the cost will outpace performance. Budget can be maximized by finding an equilibrium point for each bid. At Pattern, we use rules-based advertising to optimize ad spend and performance.
Automatic campaigns serve as a great starting point for an advertising strategy by driving learnings on what targeting, bids, and placements should be used. Automatic targeting is often used to gather new and long-tail keywords that can later be added in manual targeting campaigns. Long-tail keywords generated from automatic campaigns will often not be discovered in other keyword research methods.
If budget allows, long-tail terms can then be moved into a manual strategy where bids can be optimized strategically on a granular level. Allowing Amazon to select what targeting is used is a great tactic for experimentation on what advertising avenues drive the best results.
By thoughtfully allocating each dollar of a limited budget to an advertising strategy, products on Amazon can find relevant customers and drive noticeable results.
Unsure how to grow your brand on Amazon through advertising? Reach out to a Pattern representative below to see how a Pattern partnership could grow your sales, or download our Experts' Guide to Advertising below to learn more about our advertising technology and capabilities.
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Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces.
Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.
So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.
Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products.
An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.
An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.
Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.
At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services.
It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.
It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.
The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.
Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces.
With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.
Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.
If you’re interested in expanding your brand internationally, you’re probably familiar with Tmall. Tmall is Asia-Pacific’s (APAC) largest marketplace, and indisputably the biggest ecommerce powerhouse in the world. It represents a huge opportunity for many brands, but entering the space is also a big challenge to take on.
At Pattern, we recommend brands looking to enter international markets should first focus on dialing in their domestic presence. Once you’re satisfied that your brand is well-represented and optimized locally, you’re ready to think about tackling new regions, like APAC, and launching on marketplaces like Tmall. Our top advice for entering Tmall is to understand and strategize around its three most important metrics: service, delivery, and content.
Service, delivery, and content ratings are the three elements that make up Tmall’s Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) score. Each component is scored on a scale of 1-5 that is displayed publicly on your brand’s Tmall flagship store page. This is meant to help consumers decide whether or not to purchase your products.
DSR scores are important because they’re highly influential in driving conversions—customers see DSRs as a way to quickly understand if a brand is trustworthy and worth buying from. They also matter quite a bit to Tmall itself—they monitor these scores and will take action to close flagship stores with low scores.
Let’s go over each element of the DSR score and some steps you’ll need to take to achieve high ratings.
Service is a huge ecommerce component in APAC marketplaces. In most other regions, product listings are static, and consumers use content and reviews to make a decision about what to purchase. On Tmall, consumers want to interact with your brand and test its validity before buying—each transaction takes at least one human interaction to convert.
So, to get a great service rating, you’ll need to have a large, established customer service team dedicated to Tmall sales that can offer real, human touchpoints and very fast response times. To get an idea of the speed your agents should be capable of producing, in our Tmall benchmarking exercise, 92.5% of brands’ customer service agents replied to queries via live chat within 30 seconds, 5% replied within one minute and the remaining 2.5% of brands took longer than a minute. So, look for a Trade Partner (TP) that has enough resources to compete with those numbers, support your sales, and maintain a good DSR score.
Another thing you’ll really want to focus on is a high-quality delivery experience for consumers. As in other regions around the world, Tmall consumers have high expectations for their delivery experience. In our Chinese consumer polling report that targeted consumers buying from Tmall Global, we found that 6% expected same-day delivery, 15% expected next-day delivery, and 46% expected 2-5 day delivery.They want to receive their products fast and they want the products to be undamaged and pristine upon arrival.
So, to achieve a high score for your delivery capabilities, we highly recommend partnering with a TP or ecommerce accelerator like Pattern (which serves as a TP) who has the ability to facilitate your distribution. Make sure your TP has the right infrastructure in place to support high-quality logistics experiences for all of your consumers—they should have an established, well-oiled delivery process in place and the capability to fluidly add you to their current fulfillment system.
As in every digital marketplace, content is a huge component of the decision-making process for consumers on Tmall—they can’t touch your product with their hands or see it in person before buying, so it’s important they’re empowered to make a good decision on whether or not to purchase based on the videos, images, and copy.
The goal is to make all of the content and relevant information on your flagship site easily-accessible—consumers should be able to visit your page and make a decision about whether or not to buy without navigating to a new site/page and taking their conversions with them. Images with text and extensive product details are a great way to do this, as well as making sure your service team can speak to all aspects of your product with any consumers (via text or chat).
As the world’s foremost brand partner for ecommerce acceleration, Pattern truly understands the significance of international expansion. With regional offices around the world, Pattern knows how to successfully launch and grow brands on Tmall and other marketplaces, with the data, insights, and marketplace intelligence to build the metrics that matter.
It’s important to have a fantastic brand presence, a knowledgeable guide, and a clear go-forward strategy for your best chance at success. With our in-country resources, expert teams, and extensive experience in growing brands around the globe, Pattern can help you get there.
Set up a call to get your international expansion strategy in motion.