Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS) on Amazon: What it is & Why it Matters

Cassandra Shaffer

March 17, 2021

Advertising is a big part of operating any online business, and Amazon is no different. Your Amazon Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS) is a key metric to understand and measure how well your Amazon Sponsored Products campaigns are working.

What is ACoS on Amazon? How do you calculate ACoS?

Simply put, Amazon ACoS is how much you spend on Amazon advertising in order to generate $1 in revenue from that spend. Similar to Google’s Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), ACoS is a great metric for PPC marketers to see if advertising campaigns are profitable.

Your Amazon ACoS is calculated by taking your ad spend and dividing it by your number of sales. For example, if you launch an ecommerce campaign that generates $300 in sales, costing $84 over a certain time period, you would take $84, divide it by 300, and get your ACoS of 28% cost for every dollar of sales you make. This means you spend $0.28 on Amazon Advertising for every $1.00 of revenue from that advertising.

online advertising

Why is ACoS important?

Your ACoS will help you determine how successful your ad campaigns are on Amazon and how much it costs to be a profitable seller. Of course, you’ll first need to define an ideal target for your ACoS so you can see just how much profit you’re making. To do this, you’ll need to look at the cost (and break-even point) of your products.

What is a good Amazon ACoS?

There is no perfect ACoS on Amazon that you should strive for, it can vary by company, product, and goal! So then how do you determine the best ACoS for your ecommerce campaigns? Ideally, you’ll want to get the highest sales revenue possible, combined with the lowest ACoS possible. Because low ACoS means high profitability and high ACoS means low profitability, sellers tend to push for low ACoS unless they are working on a specific awareness or sell-out strategy. We’ve outlined a few of the factors that can help you understand your best Amazon ACoS below:

  • Know your profit margins

    Ideally, your sponsored product campaigns will be profitable. But this means that your advertising spend needs to be less than your profit margin. Your profit margin represents the amount left after you’ve paid for all general costs, including shipping, production, employee salaries, and any fees. Knowing your current general costs helps you make more informed decisions about how much you can spend on advertising while still maintaining a profit. Knowing your costs is also vital for determining your break-even ACoS.

  • Determine break-even ACoS

    Your break-even ACoS is the amount you can pay for Amazon advertising where you won’t lose any profit, but you also don’t make any profit either. It’s a zero-gain, zero-loss balance that allows your business to keep running, but doesn’t let pave the way for growth. Your break-even ACoS isn’t necessarily the number you’ll use to determine whether your campaigns are successful, but it does help you see whether you’re netting a gain or loss.

To determine the break-even point, start with your ecommerce product and sale prices. For now, imagine your sale price is $10 and Amazon fees are $1. Then, assume that the cost of production is $3. So altogether you are paying $4 before the product is ever sold. Take that $4 of cost from the $10 sale price and you’re left with $6. This is your pre-ad profit, or how much is generated each time you sell your product organically (without any ads). Your break-even ACoS is $6, because if you spend all $6 on ads to get a sale, and you continue to spend $4 in upfront cost, you’re left with none of the $10 for profit.

  • Look at the right metrics

    While your ACoS is hugely important, you also need to look at a number of other metrics to get all the information you need. ACoS is just one factor to determine how successful your Amazon Advertising campaign is. Other metrics to keep in mind include the following:

    Impressions High impressions can suggest that your product is located in a popular category on Amazon. If your impressions are low, Amazon may be displaying your ad often, but your product may not be popular.

    Click-through-rate (CTR) CTR is a metric many PPC marketers are familiar with. If you have a low click-through-ratio, this can mean that your ad may not be performing well, or Amazon users weren’t attracted to click on it. Updating creative, copy, and strategy might help improve your CTR.

    Spend Consider how much you’re spending on your ads and your cost per click. You want to watch to make sure the cost you pay per click is worth the profit you gain from the click. If you spend too much, your profit margin will shrink. Auditing your spend can also help you ensure you aren’t overspending on advertising.

    Sales Look at how many clicks you had, and how many sales were a result of those clicks. If your conversion rates are low, you may need to work on the relevance of your ad to your product. Having the perfect placement and targeting won’t do much for sales if your audience expects one thing from the ad and gets something completely different from the product listing. Your ad should be engaging, but also relevant.

Determine target Amazon ACoS

In the earlier example, if you’re spending less than $6 on Amazon ads, you’re making a profit. If you’re spending more, you’re making a loss. You’ll need to consider all of the above factors, including key metrics like your click-through-ratio, and use this information to determine your target ACoS for Amazon.

To determine your ideal Amazon ACoS, you’ll want to find your ideal profit margin and work backwards. The average ACoS that advertisers strive for is between 15%-30%, but remember that every company, product offering, and marketing strategy is different, and can affect the ideal ACoS.

Want to learn more about advertising on Amazon? Our experts are happy to help. Get in touch today.

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Amazon's Sponsored Product ads
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What Are Amazon’s Advertising Products? Sponsored Product, Brand, & Display Ads

What Are Amazon’s Advertising Products? Sponsored Product, Brand, & Display Ads

Utilizing Amazon sponsored ads can be a smart way for a brand to drive greater traffic to a product listing and start increasing sales. While many brands still struggle to manage their advertising strategies, 30% of Amazon brand sellers increased their advertising budgets in 2022. As ecommerce executives (or even on the nose with VPs of ecommerce?)  approve their 2023 advertising budgets, it may be worth it to take a look at Amazon’s advertising products and the benefit they may have on increasing conversions. 

​​Pattern is the premier ecommerce accelerator with all of the expertise, data-driven insights, and technology brands need to gain control on Amazon and maintain their competitive niche. We know the high value of and how to utilize Amazon’s advertising products to drive the most traffic and conversions to benefit and accelerate your brand.

Here are Amazon’s three main advertising products you should know about in order to drive listing traffic to your products and increase conversions: 

For a brand executive who is selling their product on Amazon, you may not already know the differences between campaign type, so we will walk you through the differences and uses for each of these three ad campaigns.

Sponsored Product Ads

Sponsored Products are a mid-funnel advertising strategy that gives visibility to products above the top organic listings (see example below). This strategy uses custom keywords to get products in front of the consumers who are searching for them, however it can be used to capture new audiences as well.These cost-per-click (CPC) ads require no additional copy or images, but usually receive the most interaction of the campaigns and need to be monitored closely.

As you can see, these ads look just like an organic listing, however they say, “Sponsored,” on them. These types of ads can be especially effective forms of advertising because they tend to blend in with the organic results around them. With Sponsored Products, you can get your products in front of qualified customers who are searching for your product in such a way that doesn’t make them feel like they are being served an advertisement.

Sponsored Brand Ads

Sponsored Brand Ads are a top-of-funnel brand awareness tool and function on keywords. This ad format helps show a customer what they may be in need of and where to get it.  Commonly used to promote product lines or best sellers, a Sponsored Brand ad shows up as a banner above the search results (see example below). This type of ad requires that the brand showcase at least three separate products.

Unlike other campaigns used on the Amazon platform, Sponsored Brand ads require ad copy and a unique logo. These ads also can take customers to a custom landing page, or a page on the brand store, that way they get a clear and overall picture about who your brand is, what other products you sell, and why they can trust your brand

Sponsored Display Ads

Sponsored Display ads can be a tactic for top, middle, or bottom of the advertising funnel due to its varying targeting abilities. Although most commonly found under the bullet points of a detail page, these ads can also show in emails, newsletters, and even more locations off platform.

Unlike the previous ad campaigns discussed, sponsored display ads can target shopping behaviors, like repeat purchasers, similar product purchasers, and even people who viewed the detail page but did not buy. Sponsored Display ads help customers discover your brand, drive awareness, and create loyalty. 

The example above shows just one of the many placements Sponsored Display has.

Accelerate Your Sponsored Products With Pattern 

Rather than competing with each other, each of the three sponsored ad products focus on a different section of the sales funnel, allowing you to target your customers and hit your sales numbers, all while edging out possible competitors. When brands use these advertising campaigns, they can better optimize their ad budget to improve ROAS and build revenue. 

At Pattern, we have all the resources to help your brand build successful advertising and digital marketing campaigns on Amazon so you can increase traffic and conversions, which will in turn increase your revenue

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022
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Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon drives renewable energy push with 71 new projects Amazon is planning to add 2.7 gigawatts of clean energy capacity through a couple of new projects as the company attempts to use 100% renewable energy by 2025. The ecommerce business will soon have a total of 329 renewable energy projects, generating 50,000 gigawatt hours of clean energy, which is equivalent to powering 4.6 million US homes every year. [Read more on Reuters](https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/amazon-drives-renewable-energy-push-with-71-new-projects-2022-09-21/) Amazon launches Prime Early Access Sale Amazon is launching a new 2-day shopping event for its Prime members only, beginning on the 11th of October. Across 15 countries, Prime customers will have access to the shopping event, with thousands of deals on offer globall, ranging from fashion to electronics to essentials. The event has the purpose of giving Prime users the chance to spread the cost of items over the winter months, 6 weeks ahead of Black Friday. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/26/prime-early-access-sale/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopify unveils new localisation tool Shopify is launching a new localisation tool, called Translate & Adapt, which works with Shopify Markets to offer localisation for sellers who are looking to expand into new markets. The tool translates a user’s online store into different languages, including product pages and information pages. Merchants are also able to create different shipping terms for each market using the new tool, which allows international expansion and offers a more localised consumer experience, unveiling new potential. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/shopify-launches-new-localisation-tool/) Etsy is set to invest hundreds of millions into its marketing platform Etsy CEO claims that the company is on route to spend more than $570 million USD on marketing this year. Even during a time of macroeconomic pressure, inflation and rising interest rates, the company is preparing itself and its sellers for the upcoming holiday season and is focused on retaining interest from buyers. [Read more on Yahoo News](https://uk.news.yahoo.com/etsy-600-million-on-marketing-ceo-154054219.html) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Meta looks to cut costs by 10% in the coming months Meta employees are facing job redundancies as the company plans to cut its costs by 10% over the next few months. Meta reported a 22% YoY increase in costs and expenses, totalling over $20 billion USD. The cuts are expected to come in the form of job redundancies as a result of department reorganisations rather than formal layoffs. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/22/meta-to-slash-costs-by-10-over-coming-months/) DHL teams up with Quadient to offer smart locker deliveries in the UK DHL and tech company, Quadient, have partnered to offer smart lockers parcel pick-up throughout the UK. The new contactless, secure locker stations will give recipients more choice and flexibility to receive their parcels at a time and location best suited to them. The partnership plans to install 500 locker stations across the country by the end of 2022. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/21/dhl-partners-with-quadient-to-offer-smart-locker-delivery/) The online fashion market is set to be worth nearly $170 billion USD in 2025 The European online fashion retail market is set to grow 50% by 2025, with an online turnover of $170 billion USD, which is 33% of the retail branch’s total. Cross-border marketplaces prove to be the largest drivers of this growth, with online websites and apps like Vinted largely pushing the market’s online growth. Zalando recently became the largest cross-border fashion retailer/marketplace, responsible for 11.7% of the online market’s share. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/online-fashion-market-worth-e175-billion-in-2025/)

How an Amazon SEO Agency Should Be Serving Your Brand
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How an Amazon SEO Agency Should Be Serving Your Brand

If you’re in the global ecommerce space, you are most likely aware of Amazon, and probably selling your products on the marketplace. With over $470 billion in sales in 2021 alone, Amazon stands as the third largest company in the world based on revenue. The ecommerce giant is a household name in the U.S. and working hard to grow its market share across five continents worldwide.

Having your products available on Amazon and being competitive there, though, are definitely two different things. If you want to really succeed on Amazon, you’ll need specialized insight into how Amazon works and how to make it work for you. So, for many brands, it’s a great idea to work with an Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency.

At Pattern, Amazon SEO optimization service is one of our key competencies. We understand that technology, data-driven insights and expertise  are the most important tools brands can leverage to win top listing spots on digital marketplaces. With expert teams and years of experience, we help brands conquer the Profitability Death Spiral as they compete with other products and sellers online. We offer Amazon SEO agency services as a core solution to brands that need more resources to get ahead. 

What is an Amazon SEO Agency?

An Amazon SEO agency serves brands by improving their products’ rank and listing performance on Amazon. They make strategic decisions about ad spending and placement that lead to higher traffic, conversions, and revenue for ecommerce brands.

A great Amazon SEO Agency partner will:

Prioritize Your Success

Unfortunately, many Amazon SEO agencies profit in unfair ways from your brands’ perceived success based on the ROAS numbers they provide. This is done through including branded search terms in ROAS reports, which naturally skew listing performance

Let’s say, for instance, your brand is called “Annie’s” and you sell lollipops. Your brand has a very high likelihood of winning the top listing spots on Amazon for lollipop search terms that are paired with “Annie’s,” your brand name. So, SEO agencies will spend your ad money on those terms and report a very high ROAS. 

To avoid scenarios like these, it’s best to look for an agency that either calculates their profits on metrics other than your ROAS scores or weighs branded search terms differently in the performance metrics reports. Regardless of your Amazon SEO agency’s cost structure, you should align onbranded search terms before committing to a scope of work.

Provide Detailed Competitive Insight

A great indicator of a high-quality Amazon SEO agency is the level of insight they can provide into your competitors’ listing positioning and how it compares to yours. Data fanaticism is so important at Pattern that we’ve developed proprietary technology to display this exact information with precise detail for every brand we work with. In fact, you can find our free version here to see how you compare to some of your top competitors based on ASIN.

It’s certainly possible to improve your Amazon search performance with blind spending strategies. But a truly great solution will help you to know where your dollars are at their most powerful and competitive.

Reduce Your Ad Spend Over Time

Amazon’s A10 algorithm prioritizes customer satisfaction—it wants to show consumers the best products that align with their search intent to improve conversions and sales. So, the best way to gain momentum on Amazon is to work on incremental wins. 

Improving your performance on more obscure search terms that align with your customers’ search intent is a great way to increase ROAS for the long term. A10 will reward your success with better rankings on higher-volume search terms and the virtuous cycle can help you conquer your most-coveted listing spots. And the best part? This process of gaining momentum, if done right, will naturally decrease your ad spend over time as Amazon recognizes your value and works with you to keep your products at the top of consumers’ search results.

Amazon SEO Optimization and More

As an Amazon SEO specialist, Pattern knows how to help your brand win better success for long-term profitability on Amazon. With our data-driven tools and brilliant teams of ecommerce experts, we help brands with listing management, content optimization, Amazon ad strategies, and more.

Contact us to learn more about our SEO optimization services.