NOTE: This post was updated on 9/30/2020
For the first time, using Amazon Attribution, brands can measure the impact of display, search, social, video channels, and email-based on how consumers discover, research, and buy their products on Amazon.
Amazon has long been the retail destination of choice for most U.S. consumers, but until now it has been very challenging for brands to analyze the effectiveness of outside traffic sources on Amazon.
“Amazon Attribution changes this by giving brands that sell on Amazon the data needed to invest more heavily in advertising off of Amazon to drive sales. We at Tinuiti are very excited for what this means as it opens up the opportunity to create full funnel, multi-channel marketing campaigns to support sales goals for our clients across the board.”
– Nii Ahene, Chief Strategy Officer, Tinuiti
What is Amazon Attribution?
Amazon Attribution is a new beta measurement solution that provides brands that sell on Amazon with sales impact analysis across media channels off Amazon.
With on-demand reporting, Amazon attribution allows advertisers and brands to uncover the insights needed to optimize their media campaigns and grow product sales. According to Amazon, this new feature also provides a comprehensive view into how each marketing tactic contributes to a brand’s shopping activity on Amazon.
How To Use Amazon Attribution
To use Amazon Attribution, you must be:
● A US Amazon vendor with active vendor code(s) or a US Amazon seller brand owner (brand registered)
● Advertising in channels outside of Amazon
● UK and EU expansion coming soon!
Amazon Attribution (Beta) allows reporting of both orders and revenue for traffic originating off of Amazon. It can measure traffic brought directly to Amazon, as well as traffic to a site, which later converts on Amazon.
Amazon Attribution can measure traffic from nearly any source (including impressions for rich media and Paid Social channels such as Facebook / Instagram). Through creation of orders and line items, brands can create unique tracking templates, and performance can be measured to any desired level of granularity.
Pro-tip for Advertisers: Amazon Attribution is 14 day last touch (inclusive of impressions).
Brands Can Use Amazon Attribution to:
- Measure: Gain insight into advertising channel effectiveness through Amazon sales impact analysis
- Optimize: On-demand attribution reporting allows for in-flight optimization
- Plan: Review channel performance and relevant Amazon audience segment insights to help plan future marketing strategies that can maximize ROI
Amazon Attribution provides insight into conversion metrics including:
- Detail page views
- Purchase rate
- Add to cart
- Total Sales
Why Brands Should Be Driving Traffic To Amazon
In today’s digital age, brands should be asking themselves two questions:
- Roughly half of shoppers start their journey on Amazon, how can we reach the other half on channels such as Google, Facebook, and Instagram?
- How do we quantify the contribution of my ecommerce site to eventual conversions on Amazon?
Amazon Attribution provides a solution by allowing brands to:
- Increase their Amazon sales velocity
- Reach customers wherever they choose to browse and direct them to a highly converting detail page or Store backed by Amazon Prime shipping and customer service benefits
- Generate new demand through social and prospecting channels (Facebook / Instagram)
- Endemic platform controls facilitate brand safety control
- Deploy consistent, brand differentiating creative assets across digital platforms and drive customers back to a custom Amazon landing page or Store
- Increase pool of potential shoppers to re-engage with DSP retargeting
- Product launch support
Amazon Attribution can track paid traffic to site which later converts on Amazon. Especially for Amazon Vendors (this doesn’t apply to third-party sellers) advertisers can buy Google Ads and send that traffic to the brand’s website. Thanks to an Amazon Attribution tracking parameter on ads, advertisers can track the Google Ads traffic from the website to Amazon (where it converts).
“As advertisers, that’s something we’ve always known happens throughout the shoppers journey but thanks to Amazon Attribution this is the first time we’ve been able to quantify it. Having this knowledge informs our ecomm site investment, and in some cases this has enabled us to spend more on traffic to the site by using a blended revenue number which then lifts revenue volume on both direct purchases and ecomm site-assisted conversions which finalize on Amazon.”
– Josh Brisco, Senior Director of Growth Media, Tinuiti
New Program Updates (September 2020)
1. Bulk Operations Now Support Facebook Ads
According to Amazon, bulk operations for Facebook ads enable advertisers to automatically generate up to 8,500 Amazon Attribution measurement tags by uploading a single file containing campaign information. Once these tags have been generated, advertisers can download the file containing the tags for easy implementation, quickening the process for creating campaigns across Facebook, including ads on Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network.
“To this point, it has only been available with Google Ads. Having a more simplified way to create tags, not only makes for a more efficient granular campaign set up but also better facilitates making more informed optimizations, making the tool all the more powerful. Advertisers with robust social campaigns should find this update particularly enabling.”
– Josh Brisco, Senior Director of Growth Media, Tinuiti
2. Enhanced In-app Social Measurement
Amazon has also improved their capabilities for social in-app measurement, allowing advertisers to report on conversions that occur for ads or posts clicked within an in-app social environment, as long as they happen during the standard 14-day attribution window.
Now Amazon Attribution-tagged mobile ad clicks within Facebook and Instagram will give users the prompt to open the destination within the Amazon Shopping app vs. opening within Facebook’s browser.
“We had long thought that Amazon Attribution was not capturing all conversions generated via Facebook and Instagram, as the user flow of logging into and then purchasing on Amazon via the Facebook browser, was an inferior experience to simply being directed to the Amazon Shopping app where ease of purchase is greatly heightened,” Brisco says.
“We expect this shift to increase conversion rates for mobile social traffic (which accounts for the vast majority of mobile traffic – probably a newer source somewhere too), thus making social to Amazon traffic more attributable and easy to demonstrate value. This has long been on our wishlist from a features perspective, and we are actively A/B testing the new capability to see if our hypothesis on CVR holds up.”
3. Attribution API (beta)
Amazon Attribution is now available in the Amazon Advertising API, enabling brands to seamlessly view Amazon Attribution measurement within their tool provider’s familiar interface. This launch improves the experience for our advertisers by providing:
- Streamlined operations and campaign set up.
- A comprehensive and quantifiable view of on-Amazon performance for non-Amazon marketing campaigns, all within one familiar console. Advertisers can now view upper-funnel engagement metrics, like impressions and clicks, alongside lower-funnel metrics likes Add to Carts, detail page views, and sales on Amazon.
- Automated optimizations to help improve return on investment (ROI).
According to Brisco, the API capability will ease the manner in which Amazon Attribution is set up as well as reported on by allowing users to execute Amazon Attribution tasks within the tool provider or self-built interfaces.
“This is another great update to the Amazon Attribution toolkit, and what is most exciting to me is that through API integrations, it is possible for advertisers to view data and make optimizations based on that data in one central location, vs having to create combined or custom reporting.”
Best Practices & Off-Amazon Traffic Generation Strategies
Here are a few reasons why brands may want to consider implementing an off Amazon advertising strategy today:
Could Prove Access to More Potential Customers: By utilizing channels outside of Amazon to drive traffic to your Amazon product listings, you are expanding your pool of potential customers.
Advantage Over Competitors: By driving external traffic to Amazon, you gain an advantage of competitors. You don’t have to compete with other products on the Amazon Search Engine Results Page; you send traffic straight to your listing or store.
Amazon May Reward You: Many sellers also believe that Amazon rewards sellers for driving external traffic to Amazon.com, by sending sellers even more traffic. While it hasn’t been proven, it does make sense. When sellers direct outside traffic to Amazon, they help Amazon gain more customers and make more money which can potentially lead to better organic positioning for the brand / product.
Here are a few best practices our team recommends including:
– Set up unique Orders per traffic channel at a minimum.
– Include all products in Orders to capture maximum exposure.
Pro-tip: Can only track a max of 1000 products per order, so if your catalog is larger, use the ‘total’ purchase metrics which encompass the entire catalog. Or just use this metric to start with since it doesn’t require you to stay on top of products being added or subtracted.
– Use line items to segment your tracking to mirror how your ad campaigns and targeting is set up (ie by channel, B vs NB, targeting tactic, etc). Use KW level tracking for maximum granularity.
If you’re interested in learning more about Tinuiti’s advanced campaign management strategies, we’re currently testing multiple Attribution tactics for Off Amazon Traffic Buying including:
- Non-Branded Demand Capture (for Google/Bing Non-Branded Text Ads)
- Branded Demand Capture (for Google/Bing Non-Branded Text Ads)
- Demand Generation (for Display and Paid Social Channels like Facebook, IG, Pinterest)
Amazon Attribution Success Stories
One example of an Attribution success story is Premier Nutrition (a line of nutrition products to power athletes) who tailored its advertising strategy in Q4 2017 to drive sales growth on Amazon.
After implementing Amazon Attribution, the brand was able to optimize its cross-channel media strategy, resulting in a 96% quarter-over-quarter growth in sales and a 322% year-over-year growth in sales for its Premier Protein products on Amazon.
At Tinuiti, we’ve also seen success with several brands across a variety of verticals including:
- Luxe beauty vendor who recently discovered 9% of their Google Ads revenue converts on Amazon.
- CPG brand (Home & Kitchen Supplies) who discovered 30% of their Google Ads revenue converts on Amazon.
- Travel accessories brand who recently discovered 150% of their Google Ads revenue converts on Amazon.
“This data point led us to invest more heavily in purchasing site traffic as a way to boost not only site sales, but eventual sales on Amazon. This is a great example of a vendor who’s site drives more conversion on Amazon than on the site itself, and this data allowed us to expand our Google marketing investment,” Brisco says.
- A protein bar brand (with no cart functionality on their D2C site) implemented a Prime Day promotion via Facebook / Instagram prospecting campaigns to Amazon. As a result we saw 1,026 orders, $26K revenue, 3.1% Conversion Rate, $0.39 Avg CPC, and a 9% Click-through Rate.
Q&A With The Experts
Because Amazon Attribution is new to many advertisers and brands, we often get questions from our clients about how it works and why brands should be using it to evaluate their marketing strategy.
Here’s a couple of questions from our audience as well as responses from Tinuiti’s leading team of advertising experts:
Q: If I’m running paid ads to my ecomm site, why would I want to send to Amazon also, where I do not get customer data and/or the chance to re-engage?
A: The ideal client does not also have an ecomm site, but if they do, in the vast majority of cases we do want to focus our efforts towards an ecomm store. However, in the case where a brand does have its own D2C presence as well Amazon, the off Amazon traffic is intended as supplementary to D2C traffic. The main goals are to capture customers who skew towards purchasing from Amazon to begin with, to own as much of the SERP as possible, provide higher visibility into non-branded traffic Amazon buys, to maintain SERP brand messaging, and control the landing page for branded searches leading to Amazon. Setting up Amazon Attribution tracking on existing campaigns allows zero-risk data collection, and provides the ability to finally know how much of site traffic ends up converting on Amazon.
Q: If Amazon is already bidding on ad placements to drive traffic for our clients, isn’t that essentially free traffic? Why would we want to compete with those placements? Wouldn’t we be replacing these ad spots but with our own?
A: It comes down to customer experience, and mitigating demand loss to competitors’ ads. By bypassing the Amazon SERP, which is where Amazon’s own ads land, we can limit exposure to your competitor’s products and ads. A typical Amazon text ad will land users on a results page where a competitor could own the top and side ad placement, and inevitably other similar products will be shown in organic listings. In these cases, we are possibly losing out on conversions from people looking for our product that get swayed by the ads. Lastly, this is a good way to drive traffic for non-brand terms that do not have a strong organic ranking on Amazon.
Got more questions for our team about Amazon’s latest Attribution feature? We will be updating this post as more information becomes available. If you would like to learn more about how Amazon Attribution can impact your advertising strategy, please visit Tinuiti.com or comment below!