Sponsored Ads Updates Within Seller Central
We’re keeping you in the know with sponsored ads updates, and the most recent campaign manager features within seller central. How can you better understand how to best utilize them all? We’ll show you. Coming up in this episode of the Amazon Seller Podcast.
Nathan: [00:30] You’re listening to the Amazon Seller Podcast. And as we get into some updates on Amazon and campaign manager, I want to remind you to head over to amazingfreedom.com/training. And opt-in to get notified when our private label training series goes live. We’ll be releasing several videos here soon. As well as holding a couple of live webinars and private label “asked me anything” sessions that will be full of really great information.[00:57] My name is Nathan Slamans is joined by Liran Hirschkorn. And we’re going to be talking about some of the sponsored ads updates and campaign manager within seller central. Before we do that, just wanted to give a couple updates from our Inner Circle group. A lot of great information going through that group. A lot of wins for many of our members going through that group. Especially during this Q4 time where a lot of people are high on sales. And it’s a really fun time to be an Amazon seller for most of us.
Inner Circle Group Updates[01:31] I just want to kind of highlight Lori. This year really made it a goal of hers to expand internationally. She actually mentioned that the countries, spending the most for her are the UK, Germany, and France. So I just wanted to highlight that because I know that international expansion is something that’s kind of on all of our minds as private label sellers. But it’s one of those things that for many of us always gets pushed to the back burner. You know, you say, yeah, I want to expand internationally. But you know, there’s all these steps to set up, right? So you kind of put it on hold and usually say something I’m going to get to it. And then before you know it, months or years can go by and you’re still saying that.
So, she also mentioned here that the taxes and accounting part of it is actually easier than the US. Right? So I think that’s one of the biggest hurdles Liran. Maybe you can go into that a little bit? Maybe just talk about, that’s probably one of the things most people are scared about when it comes to international expansion.
Fear of the Unknown
Liran: [02:29] I mean, I think the biggest things that hold us back are the fear of the unknown. For me, when I first started doing private label, I shipped everything by air because a boat Shipman and freight forwarding and customs bonds all sounded really complicated. But for those of you that are regularly doing it say that it’s really actually not complicated at all. And it’s just a matter of getting it set up and going through the process and it’s actually very easy. And I, it could be the same thing going into Europe or going into another market with Amazon. There are just some steps that you need to take. Like getting registered, creating a shipment into the warehouse, setting up the account.
Now I’m going through the process of getting brand registry in Europe. So, Amazon kind of gave me the step by step process on how to bring my existing brand registry over. So it’s really just going through the process and knowing that yes, it’s okay to be scared of the unknown. But it’s actually, once you do it once, it’s really not a, not a big deal. And then it seems like why did I think this was so complicated? It’s actually fairly easy to get set up. So I think it’s just having the confidence to do it. And go through the process. And know that, there are so many sellers, selling internationally and if they all could figure it out and get it set up, it’s really not that complicated.
Nathan: [03:55] Yeah, makes sense. And this is actually a topic we’re planning to do a Webinar in our inner circle group. So I know it’s something we’ll talk about more a heading into 2019 on the podcasts as well, international expansion. Just as we talk about that more and as you experience it more yourself as well.
Negotiating Skills, or “Guanzhou”
Another way that actually comes from Andy who’s not with us here today. But he told the story just in the group today actually about how he was recently negotiating with a new supplier for a product he’s really excited about. The supplier was one that he actually met at the Canton Fair when he was just walking around. He wasn’t even looking for this product. It just caught his eye. One of the benefits of attending the Canton Fair, right? Or going to China or some kind of trade show is sometimes you do stumble upon products that just looked good.
He’s really excited about this product. He’s been working on it. However, one of the challenges that, I’m sure many of our listeners have run into. They told him one price, he’d been negotiating with them and getting ready for a month. Has had the sample here and tested it. Asked for the purchase order and is getting ready to wire. And all of a sudden they send the purchase order. And of course, they say, ‘oh, actually it’s going to be, $15 more a unit because we had to make these changes.’
Well, I mean, $15 a unit. It’s a big deal, right? Even though it’s a more expensive product. And so it kind of threw him off guard. And then he had to spend a couple of days going back and forth. Then he pulled out some of his, kind of keywords that he’s taught in the group before, some Guanzhou, I think is how you say it, right? And he kind of threw out those keywords and was able to get this supplier to agree to go back to that original price. Even though they are making modifications. Even though it is a more complicated product.
Product Review Tracking
Nathan: [05:51] And then our third topic I want to talk about before we get into the sponsor ad changes is something that we’ve seen a lot of questions, both our inner circle and our main amazing freedom group. And this is about product review tracking. We’ve covered this on the podcast in the past. Liran, maybe you can just update us on this. Because it seems like Amazon continually getting more clear and aggressive about how they want review tracking or really the lack of review tracking.
Liran: [06:19] Yeah. So Amazon and, I think it’s understandable is firstly and mostly concerned with the customer and protecting customer privacy. Which means really they’re not looking for us to contact customers who are writing negative reviews. Or just contacting customers really in general, outside of automated emails that customers have the ability to opt out. But they’re not looking for a customer who writes a one-star review. It’s got a message from the seller and saying, Hey, can you change it or can we fix it or whatever. They’re not looking for that.
They want the customer to reach out to you if they have an issue. So we’ve seen this year how they’ve removed the profile ID from certain from the, you were able to go and inspect the code, the back end of the coding on a page, be able to see the profile id of the reviewer and be able to kind of match it to an order. And, there was software that can help me do that.
We then saw that eliminated. But now there are some software tools out there, some feedback quizzes. They were at least trying to search for the name of the customer in your orders. And then kind of match that to the review. They’ve stopped doing that because Amazon is basically saying we’ll remove your access to the API if you’re offering any type of review matching. Or trying to help your customer base. So obviously Amazon doesn’t want you to do that.
Sponsored Ads Updates
Liran: [12:09] Yeah, so let’s talk about a few different changes. And then we can kind of go into each one.
#1 Sponsored Ads Updates – You have a new portfolios feature that’s now available in seller central
#2 Sponsored Ads Updates – You also have new auto-targeting, auto-targeting within obviously automatic campaigns and sponsored ads.
#3 Sponsored Ads Updates – Then we also have the product targeting beta.
If you’ll go into your seller central, you’ll see on the lefthand side, an option for portfolios. So what does this allow you to do? What portfolios are, it allows you to group campaigns together in under one portfolio view.
So let’s say, for example, you have a headline ad setup. You have an auto campaign set up for that same product. You have a manual campaign set up for the same product. And you might have a product targeting campaigns set up for the same product. And maybe you have other campaigns. You can take those and you can group them under a portfolio.
It allows you to see your budgets, in that one view for each one of those campaigns. Maybe based on how you can see those four or five campaigns together. And you see the different ACoS and budgets you have. You might want to shift some money around to the better performing campaigns.
You can also do other things like you can set a portfolio campaign budget. So maybe across those, five campaigns you want to spend no more than, $50 a day. You can set that as a portfolio level budget and then after that $50, all those campaigns will stop running. Even if they, even if one of those hasn’t reached its own daily budget so there are some cool things you can do there.
Auto-targeting, auto-targeting within automatic campaigns and sponsored ads:
Liran: [17:13] Yeah. The auto group, targeting. I think it’s something that you can actually utilize more too, for our profitability and for optimization. Up until now, if you wanted to set up an auto campaign, you set it up and then Amazon chooses the different keywords that they’re going to target. And Amazon also chooses the particular ASINS where they’re going to show your ad on. Those pages as in the line that says sponsored products related to this product. Amazon chooses to put your product on a competitor ASIN, but we never knew sort of what is the formula that Amazon chooses to. Or what some of the things Amazon is actually targeting within a campaign.
So if you’ve recently set up an auto campaign, you’ll notice that you have a new targeting feature. Now, this won’t apply to your existing auto campaigns. And so if you like this and if you see a benefit to it, you might want to create a new ad group within your auto campaign. This might populate there. Or you might need to set up a whole new campaign. And if you do that new ad group or new campaign, you also want to transfer over all your existing negative keywords. That’s very manual. You can probably download an export of your negative keyword to a CSV copy, paste them all and bring them in. You can have a VA do it yourself.
So it’s interesting Amazon rolls this out there. Only rolling out that for new campaigns and it’s not there for your existing campaigns. So check if you set up some new auto campaigns recently, click on the actual ad group. Then you’ll see in the targeting that there are four options there.
You can choose to turn them off, turn them on. And there’s some additional optimization you can do there. So basically what amazAmazonshowing you that they are targeting four types of products or four types of products in the sense to target your auto ads.
The first one is called a close match. So let’s give an example. Let’s say we have our good old barbecue glove. The closest match is going to show your ad to shoppers who use search terms closely related to your products. So that’s probably taking things from your title, your bullets.
The next one is a loose match. So that is Amazon will show your ad to shoppers who use search terms loosely related to your product.
The next category is substitutes. So that is Amazon will show your ad to shoppers who view the detail pages of products similar to yours.
Then the last category is compliments. So that is a amazon will show your ad to shoppers who view the detail pages of products that compliment your product.
The benefit of this is that you can now see each of these particular targeting options. You can actually see your spend, you can see your sales or a cost. And what that allows you to do is you can actually optimize your bid specifically based on how a campaign is doing.
Nathan: [23:49] I think this is going to help a lot of people because I feel like many sellers just kinda set it and forget it when it comes to automatic campaigns. And like you said, for most people that aren’t digging into the search term reports and everything/ As long as that global ACoS you’re mentioning isn’t ridiculous. If it’s maybe 30 percent or less, most people are just like, ‘whatever, I’m just going to leave it.’
And now they might be able to go in there and say, well one category, one’s 10, one’s 100 percent ACoS, like you said. And just turn that off. It will be much easier for the average seller to optimize, I think.
Now, what would be your recommendation to people who have an automatic campaign setup that has been performing well for them? Should, if they want to do this feature, should they set up the same exact thing and just transfer over the negative keywords to this new one?
Liran: [24:36] Yeah, I think you can test it. I haven’t tested that myself. But I would try to create a new ad group within that campaign and see if that gets the new feature. Or if it requires you to create a completely new campaign. That’s something I could test them. We can probably report back on.
Nathan: [24:51] Right, because then you wouldn’t have to necessarily redo all the negatives.
Liran: [24:55] Well, it depends. So if you set your negatives on the campaign level, you won’t have to. But if you say your negatives on an ad group level, you probably wouldn’t infuse software to add negatives. It’s usually on an ad group level. So you’d still probably need to transfer them over. But at least you’re not creating multiple campaigns.
Your budget’s still going to be within that campaign. And then you can see how that ad group kind of performs. Maybe you can shut off your one ad group turned on that one and see if you still get that good performance, which I think you should. And sometimes, I’ve, I heard that as, the longer you have campaigns a better optimizer and Amazon understand them better.
So I think that’s what I would try first, go in, create the campaign and then, and then come back into it a few minutes later because it takes a couple minutes for these targeting things to show up. And that’s why I didn’t see them at first when I set up all the campaigns. You won’t see it on the setup, you’ll see it after you set up a campaign.
Product Targeting Beta:
Nathan: [26:13] Alright, makes sense. And then that third one, as you said, is that product targeting that we recently talked about. I think we covered that pretty good in that recent episode. Anyone that wants to go back and listen to that, we do think those are definitely good to check out. Especially to see how you can implement them a lot to test and mess around with those.
And, don’t forget for all of our listeners, if you’re interested in getting help with your sponsored ads, with your PPC, etc. We do have PPC management as part of the Amazing Freedom services that we offer. You can go to amazingfreedom.com/ppc. Check out if you want to either set up new campaigns in your account. If you don’t have enough time to optimize your current campaigns, or you’re just looking to increase sales or lower ACoS. All the things that you can talk to us about and see how we can help you.
And also don’t forget to go to amazing freedom.com/training. We’re going to be releasing our private label training series coming up in just a couple of weeks. And we’re going to have a lot of great information there.