Whether you advertise on Amazon or not, you probably hear about it on the news every day. In Q2 2020, over 50% of Amazon sales were driven by third-party sellers — and over 2.6 million sellers compete to make those sales.
How can you gain a competitive edge?
An Amazon agency.
In the Amazon Agency Buyer’s Guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about choosing the right Amazon agency for you. We’ll cover:
Table of Contents
Today, Amazon is rapidly maturing all aspects of its business, including content, inventory, search advertising, display, targeting, video, and reporting. It can be overwhelming if you’re just starting out on the platform — and that’s where an agency can help.
Here’s a breakdown of the opportunities, features, and services that an Amazon agency can help you master to make the most of selling (and advertising) on Amazon.
Product Listing Optimization and Technology
Without paying to be a Sponsored Brand or Sponsored Product listing, there’s no guarantee that your product will show up in a particular place on an Amazon search result page. Amazon listing optimization helps you get your product in front of more shoppers without paying for a sponsored listing.
“If your products are not being found it doesn’t matter how compelling your offer is, it doesn’t matter how good your images are, and it doesn’t matter if you’re using FBA.”
– Pat Petriello, Director of Amazon Strategy at Tinuiti
Most shoppers search for products, so it’s important to develop optimized product titles and descriptions to stand out on Amazon’s search engine results page and rank against competitors.
According to Amazon, “The number of views for a product detail page can increase significantly by adding just one additional search term – if it’s a relevant and compelling term.” Amazon SEO services can help you figure out which keywords to include in your listings — and Amazon copywriters use their expertise to make sure your product listings sound great and rank well in Amazon product searches.
Other factors such as price, availability, selection, and sales history will also help determine where a product will appear in the search results. Using an Amazon listing optimization tool or Amazon listing optimization service can help you make sure that your Amazon listings are optimized to show up in front of as many shoppers as possible.
With more competition than ever and the increased prominence of paid ads on Amazon, an Amazon agency can help brands become market leaders in an ever-evolving marketplace.
The Amazon Ads landscape includes:
- Amazon Analytics for Sellers: Amazon’s Brand Analytics feature offers “valuable insights to empower Brand Owners to make informed, strategic decisions about their product portfolio and marketing/advertising activities.”
- Amazon Display Advertising: Amazon Sponsored Display Ads (formerly known as Amazon Product Display Ads) are Amazon’s self-serve display advertising solution that allows brands to target and retarget shoppers both on and off of Amazon with auto-generated, product-focused ads.
- Amazon Sponsored Brands: Amazon Sponsored Brands Ads (formerly Headline Search Ads) are one of Amazon’s flagship ad types that can feature brand imagery, messaging, and a product carousel to engage people at the beginning of their shopping journey.
- Amazon Demand-Side Platform (DSP): Amazon DSP — also known as the demand-side platform — enables advertisers to programmatically buy video and ad placements. Programmatic advertising uses data to decide which digital advertising spaces to buy and how much to pay for them. Amazon DSP targeting spans the entire marketing funnel: lifestyle segments, in-market segments, and retargeting segments — all based on Amazon’s first-party shopper data.
(…and Amazon creative, which we’ll discuss below.)
When you work with an Amazon agency like Tinuiti, you have access to proprietary technology that takes your Amazon advertising to the next level.
Amazon Operations Strategy and Management
Success as an Amazon seller requires close monitoring and management of your Amazon operations. Too many brands let inefficient processes, lack of oversight, and poor inventory management affect their success on Amazon. Amazon operations management is key to improving purchase orders, buy box percentages, chargebacks, and advertising performance on Amazon.
Working with an Amazon agency can help you identify areas to improve operational procedures. Agency expertise and Amazon seller tools give you the data and analytics you need to help your business master demand forecasting, purchase orders, and more — all to drive growth across your Amazon catalog.
Amazon is making a concentrated effort to empower brands with the creative tools and features they need to establish their brand equity and promote shopper loyalty.
Amazon Creative includes:
- Amazon Enhanced Brand Content (EBC): Amazon EBC lets brand sellers modify the product description field of branded ASINs to incorporate high-level creative, including a unique brand story, enhanced images, and text placements.
- Amazon A+ Content: A+ Content integrates detailed product descriptions, rich images, charts, and narrative copy to help customers make informed buying decisions. Amazon A+ content is available for first-party (1P) vendors on Amazon. A+ content better conveys the value of the product through the use of multimedia.
- Amazon Stores: What is an Amazon Store? “Amazon Stores” is a free premium content offer on Amazon that vendors can use to exclusively showcase a curated collection of products. These stores provide an enhanced brand-centric shopping experience on Amazon for both desktop and mobile platforms.
Not only do these creative features help to improve the aesthetics of brands on the Marketplace — they also provide new opportunities to drive traffic to a brand’s entire catalog and increase detail page conversion rates. An Amazon agency that specializes in Amazon Creative can help you take your brand to the next level.
How can you find the best Amazon agency for your business? Not every Amazon ad agency is created equal — just like every Amazon merchant has different needs and goals.
The right Amazon advertising agency for you will help you:
- Optimize and manage your ads and listings— without having to manually optimize individual SKUs
- Invest in branding and creative, including A+ content, EBC, and Amazon Stores
- Make your brand and products stand out from the competition
- Stay up-to-date on Amazon policy and technology changes
- Handle tedious daily operations — and win back time to focus on overall business growth and product development
- Combine technology and human touch for a best-in-class Amazon strategy
- Save you time and money — and prove it via reporting
- Monitor your account and make sure things are moving up and to the right
Finding the right Amazon agency for your business will help your brand succeed in a competitive environment.
Pro-tip: An agency that can provide comprehensive services is significantly better than an agency that just provides one service.
Before you sign on with an Amazon ad agency, make sure you have the answers to the following questions. Having this information on-hand for your agency will help them figure out the best strategy, goals, and metrics for your business.
Questions might include:
- What parts of the Amazon business have been a challenge? Operations? Creative? Product listings? Advertising?
- What metrics do you use to evaluate the Amazon business? What does success on Amazon mean to you?
- Are your products listed on Seller Central, Vendor Central, or both?
- What are you spending or planning to spend on Amazon Advertising? Having a budget in mind will help your agency find the right solutions and advertising mix for you.
- How is the channel currently managed? Do you run it all on your own, or do you have employees, a consultant, or a different agency in place?
- What technology or 3rd-party tools do you use for the optimization of the marketplace?
- On average, how much have you invested in Amazon per month over the last 12 months? This includes ad spend on and off Amazon, 3rd-party tools, product listing optimization services, and more.
- For Vendors, are you open to an agency’s Amazon team evaluating your operational performance? Giving an agency a full 360-degree view of your operations lets them make more customized, actionable recommendations.
- How much of your total revenue is driven by private label vs. brand vs. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) products?
- What fulfillment methods are you using for your Amazon orders? Are you an FBA merchant? Do you fulfill orders in-house (FBM)? Or do you use a 3rd-party fulfillment service?
- How many products do you currently have listed in your Amazon storefront? Are you looking to increase your catalog size in the next quarter?
“Successful Amazon strategy means tightening your operations, building your brand equity with creative content, and leveraging Amazon’s advertising tools to reach your customers on and off the Marketplace.”
– Nancy McLaughlin, Senior Manager, Marketplace Channels at Tinuiti
With over $350 million in managed Amazon ad spend, Tinuiti is an ecommerce-focused digital agency providing brands with the knowledge, resources, and technology to fully realize the revenue opportunity Amazon presents. Tinuiti has a dedicated team focused explicitly on Amazon across operations, creative, Amazon Advertising, and Amazon account management. Many members of the Tinuiti team have Amazon experience that gives them an insiders’ perspective on the unique challenges, benefits, and nuances of selling on Amazon.
Our team has a close relationship with Amazon’s advertising team, giving us early access to advertising products, APIs, and tech-enabled performance advantages. These relationships have powered our in-house Amazon advertising technology that gives Tinuiti clients an edge. Working with our Enterprise Self-service DSP Platform allows for smarter investments in display advertising — without Amazon-managed minimums.
Tinuiti’s Amazon agency services span from operational management to creative and branded content.
Our Amazon agency services include:
Ad Console Management
At Tinuiti, we’ve developed our own programmatic ad management platform specifically designed for Amazon Ad Console. Our Amazon experts use CAPx to drive ad performance and effectively execute on performance trends at scale.
We drive measurable ROI and brand awareness through data-supported keyword, product, and category targeting. Our Amazon Ad Console management strategy and technology help you scale for long-term success by reducing wasted spend and identifying areas where your catalog is most successful to scale for long-term success.
We generate maximum scalability for your Sponsored Product and Sponsored Brand campaigns by building out a granular campaign structure based on account and catalog objectives.
Amazon DSP Management
Amazon Demand Side Platform (DSP) gives sellers the unique opportunity to promote targeted display ads across Amazon’s data-rich network and ecosystem. Based on your goals, Tinuiti can help determine whether this program makes sense for your business.
For brands looking to increase market share or build brand awareness, leveraging Amazon’s DSP and audience segmentation capabilities can be powerful methods to target audiences en masse on off-Amazon sites. You can use customer lists to retarget shoppers and past purchasers both on and off Amazon.
Our creative team is dedicated to understanding, executing, and managing all aspects of the Amazon Creative submission process and will serve as your main point of contact for Amazon. Tinuiti offers the following Amazon creative services:
- A+ Content and Enhanced Brand Content Design: Enhanced Brand Content allows Brand Registered Sellers to showcase the unique value proposition of their products through enhanced images and text placements. Tinuiti will work with you to add optimized, beautifully designed EBC to your product detail pages — which can result in higher conversion rates, increased traffic, and increased sales.
- Written Content and Product Detail Page Image Optimization: By continuously tweaking and optimizing your Amazon product listings, you can stay ahead of the competition in an increasingly competitive marketplace. For written content, our team will rewrite and optimize listings for search. For product detail page image optimization, we’ll help you update and improve the 8 images for your product by adding text overlays, callouts, and specifications to increase conversion. Tinuiti can help you rank for your main keywords, improve your click-through rates and conversion rates, and grow your profits.
- Brand Store Design: At Tinuiti, we believe your Amazon Store should be a powerful, immersive virtual shopping experience that exclusively showcases your brand and products. Amazon Stores not only help to improve the aesthetics of your brand on the Marketplace – they also provide new opportunities to drive traffic to your entire catalog and increase conversion rates.
Operations Management, Strategy, and Consulting
Tinuiti’s team of Operations experts works with you to identify areas to improve operational procedures with all available data and analytics to help your business master demand forecasting, purchase orders, and more to drive growth across your Amazon catalog.
Most agencies focus on simply keeping up with the rapid changes of Amazon — Tinuiti’s services make sure you stay ahead, including:
- Promotional Strategy: From coupons and Deal of the Day to Lightning Deals and Prime Day, you need to know what does and doesn’t make sense financially for your brand. The Tinuiti has the experience and expertise to help you plan your Amazon promotional strategy so that you can take advantage of these sales and events without hurting your bottom line.
- FBA Training (3P/Seller Central Only): We teach brands how to pick, pack, and label for Amazon FBA.
- Seller Central Launch Consulting (3P/Seller Central Only): We teach brands how to create and manage their own Seller Central accounts. Our services include training, walkthroughs, weekly calls, and more — all with Amazon experts.
- Feedback Management Strategy (3P/Seller Central Only): We’ll review how your brand is reaching out to those who ordered your product. Feedback management means optimizing your outreach so that you can get as many reviews as possible — which makes people more likely to buy your product.
- Operations Consulting (Amazon 1P Only): Our Amazon experts will train your in-house teams on best practices within Vendor Central, including forecasting, competitive intel, chargebacks, purchase order management, catalog management, and more.
Mobius — Technology That Closes the Loop on Your Marketing Performance
We know firsthand how interpreting results and making decisions based on incomplete data is bad for business. That’s exactly why we set out to build Mobius — to empower you to truly understand every data touchpoint to make smarter decisions that make your marketing dollars go farther than ever before.
Mobius is a marketing intelligence and media activation suite made up of three distinct products designed to help unify, optimize, and activate your marketing data, unlike any other platform.
“Mobius is smarter marketing intelligence brought to you by Tinuiti. It empowers you and our internal teams to truly understand all of the data touchpoints and what comes next. At a high level, Mobius is three different products designed to unify, optimize, and activate all of your data.”
— Andrew Richardson, Senior Vice President of Analytics & Marketing Science at Tinuiti
Each part of Mobius was developed by Tinuiti to empower different parts of your business — MobiusOS, MobiusX, and Mobius Apps.
- MobiusOS is the core of the technology, which collects and connects all of your channel data into one place, providing unified, always-on marketing insights — an operating system for marketing data.
- Mobius Apps uncovers growth opportunities with targeted analytics solutions customized to any business or marketing challenge. These products work across multiple verticals — ecommerce, B2C, Lead Gen, B2B, CPG, seasonal businesses, omnichannel, and more to unlock your next best move.
- MobiusX activates ecommerce marketing channels for maximum growth. Originally built-in 2014 for Amazon’s unique closed-loop system, this AI-enabled technology drives campaign and vendor performance at scale. MobiusX can process over 150 million product feeds daily across Google, Facebook, and other feed-driven channels to allow strategic optimization at scale.
Clients We Work with on Amazon
Keter Increases Amazon AMS Sales 290%
Keter is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of resin-based household and garden consumer products. With a focus on innovation driven by consumer insight, Keter provides an impressive range of furniture, storage and organization solutions. Keter teamed up with Tinuiti to scale their Amazon Vendor operations. Since joining, Keter was able to significantly improve their online advertising efforts through Amazon Marketing Services, increase sales by 290%, and lower ACoS.
How Franklin Sports Lowered ACoS on Amazon
Founded in 1946, Franklin Sports is the home of the official MLB, NFL, MLS, NHL & college sports gear, sporting goods, indoor games & more for athletes & sports fans of all ages. In recent years, they’ve successfully transformed their family owned & operated business to accommodate for the eCommerce revolution – with a major focus on Amazon. Today, they offer thousands of products on Amazon and their digital advertising playbook continues to rapidly expand every year. Franklin Sports joined Tinuiti at AdDiego to discuss their Amazon Advertising Console strategy (Amazon’s Advertising Console is formerly known as Amazon Marketing Services).
Seventh Generation Increases Amazon Sales by 441.41%
Based in Vermont, Seventh Generation sells cleaning, paper, and personal care products designed with human health and the environment in mind. Seventh Generation teamed up with Tinuiti to scale their Amazon Vendor operations. Since joining, Seventh Generation was able to significantly improve their online advertising efforts through Amazon Marketing Services, increase order volume and lower ACoS.
ONE Brands Scales Advertising Approach Using DSP
ONE Brands, formerly known as Oh Yeah! Nutrition, was founded in 1999 by Ron McAfee. With roots in sports nutrition, ONE has always been a high protein snack bar pioneer with a singular mission: exceptional taste, texture, and ingredients with zero compromises and even fewer regrets. Today, ONE Bar is one of the fastest growing protein bars in the US across any platform, both in retail sales as well as on Amazon.
Evenflo Leveragings Mobius to Develop Robust Marketplace Channels
Evenflo—an industry leader and manufacturer in baby safety products—wanted to scale visibility and sales through Amazon advertising. They were looking for more granularity in their reporting so they could formulate insights and develop thoughtful optimizations.
Evenflo partnered with Tinuiti in 2018 to use our MobiusX proprietary technology to develop a robust and holistic Marketplace presence. By partnering with Tinuiti, Evenflo grew their Amazon presence and increased ROAS ~2X through utilizing MobiusX bid strategies—which informed its profitable advertising strategy.
This success prompted them to branch out on Walmart Marketplace. Growing their presence on Walmart yielded the following increase in ROAS by +231% and decrease in CPC by -22%.
Other clients we work with include: Under Armour, Muscle Milk, Reckitt Benckiser, Brother, New Balance, and Columbia.
FAQ About Amazon Marketplace Performance
The Tinuiti Amazon Ads Benchmark Report Q1 2020 is based on anonymized performance data from Amazon programs under Tinuiti management, with annual Amazon ad spend under management totaling over $400 million. Samples are restricted to those programs that have remained active and maintained a consistent strategy over the time periods studied. Unless otherwise noted, all figures are based on same-client growth. The trends and figures included are not meant to represent the official performance of Amazon advertising or the experiences of every Amazon advertiser.
Q. How much did advertisers spend on Amazon in Q1 2020?
Amazon DSP advertisers increased spend 4% quarter over quarter, despite the fact that Q1 is often a slower time for many advertisers than the busy Q4 holiday shopping season. CPM declined meaningfully, going from down 11% quarter over quarter in Q4 to down 26% in Q1 2020.
Amazon Sponsored Products spend grew 24% year over year in Q1 2020, a modest deceleration from the 30% observed in Q4 2019, as sales driven by the format grew 19%. Clicks grew 14% in Q1, and CPC growth decelerated for the first time in three quarters, going from 12% in Q4 to 9% in Q1.
Sponsored Brands spend grew a staggering 47% year over year for the quarter, representing a significant rebound from the 27% spend growth seen in Q4 2019. Sales attributed to the format grew even faster at 57%
Q. Is selling on Amazon worth it?
The good news is with the right products, sophisticated marketing tactics, tools, and seller support – brands selling on Amazon can absolutely be successful. Although the competition for almost every category on the marketplace is fierce, there are still plenty of opportunities for brands to thrive.
To be a successful Amazon seller, you should:
- Research potential niches before deciding on the products you want to sell.
- Understand pricing, costs, and fees. This can include manufacturing costs, shipping, packaging, selling fees, and more.
- Ensure your business operations including inventory management and forecasting are in good shape.
- Acquire expert knowledge of marketing, branding, and advertising. We recommend partnering with an agency that specializes in Amazon advertising.
- Leverage cross channel promotions. Thanks to recent tools like Amazon Attribution, brands can measure the impact of their marketing efforts across multiple platforms and channels.
- Avoid complacency. Brands who rest on their laurels will be crushed by emerging competitors.
Looking to partner with an award-winning agency with expertise in selling on Amazon? Get in touch today.
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