It was an unpredictable second half of the year for advertisers across a multitude of channels due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent events in 2020 forced advertisers to evaluate current media plans and adjust to a new reality. In response, we created a HUB of COVID-19 content to offer guidance to our clients and readers.

The global impact of Coronavirus also expedited the adoption of online shopping due to the reduction of in-store purchases. According to reports, there’s been a +129% year-over-year growth in U.S. & Canadian e-commerce orders and an +146% growth in all online retail orders.

It was a whirlwind for the retail giant to say the least.

Although we can’t be sure what to expect in the new year, we asked our leading industry experts what trends they predict will shape the Amazon Marketplace in the near future. Take a look at their responses* below. Whether you agree or disagree – please share your thoughts in the comments section!

*Note: All predictions and responses listed have not been confirmed or denied by Amazon.com. 
 

Amazon Advertising Predictions for 2021

 

1. Future success will require a nimble and diversified strategy.

“Many businesses, both large and small, found themselves on their heels in 2020 amidst the rapid marketplace changes. From Chinese manufacturers shutting down to Vendors suddenly not receiving PO’s and maxed-out FBA centers delaying incoming shipments, it has become clear that future success will require a more nimble and diversified strategy.”

 
“Putting all your eggs in one basket is risky in any endeavor and operating on Amazon is no different. Having backup fulfillment, product sourcing, and additional sales channels will be key to weathering future unforeseen changes in the marketplace.”

Dylan Verburgt, Senior Specialist at Tinuiti
 

2. Online shopping demand expected to continue.

 
“Due to COVID-19 and the closing of brick-and-mortar stores, more people are shopping on Amazon. I expect this demand will continue even as the pandemic improves. Amazon may have struggled in the past to acquire shoppers in the Boomer age range, but this has changed as many consumers started shopping on the marketplace in 2020. These shoppers will likely continue to browse and buy on Amazon. Additionally, (post-COVID) I believe there will be a large portion of the population that continues to work from home into 2021 and beyond. If you have products that can fit a work from home lifestyle, 2021 is the year to really push the gas.”

Courtney Macfarlane, Senior Specialist, Marketplaces at Tinuiti
 

 

3. Brands need to leverage creative to attract and retain customers.

 
“Businesses have to get more creative in retaining customers on Amazon as more marketplaces evolve and grow. (For example, Walmart and Instacart are now competing with Amazon Fresh). Brands that currently offer products via Amazon “Subscribe & Save” should increase their Subscribe & Save discounts (and the frequency of those discounts) to attract consumers to their brand. From there, it is important to nourish those customers so they stay on Amazon to make their next purchase.”

Tanya Zadoorian, Senior Specialist, Marketplaces at Tinuiti

 

 

4. Why it’s time to adopt a sophisticated targeting mentality.

 
“As customers continue to shift in the way they consume content, advertisers on Amazon will need to adapt and evolve their targeting mentality. With more online marketplaces than ever (and more coming in 2021), utilizing Amazon’s unique data and awareness capabilities (think OTT, Competitor Conquesting, and Video) will ensure you grow as a brand and reach the level of sophistication that customers expect.

Evan Walsh, Strategist, Display, Marketplaces at Tinuiti

 

 

5. Expect new ad betas [Heads up early adopters]

 
“Amazon is continuing to create more ad types and advanced targeting strategies. I predict that they will continue expanding their Sponsored Brand and Sponsored Display offerings to enable brands to more easily create awareness for their brands and products. As Amazon gets more saturated with brands every day, it’s important to be early adopters of new ad betas and targeting abilities to own as much of the search results page as possible. The earlier you adopt, the better.”

Courtney Macfarlane, Senior Specialist, Marketplaces at Tinuiti
 

6. New opportunities to build brand equity on the horizon.

“Amazon continues to emphasize and release opportunities for brands to tell their story and build brand equity across their platform with content (Video in Sponsored Brands, Sponsored Brands Custom Image (beta), Brand Stories (A+ Content), Amazon Posts (beta), OTT, etc.). With this comes the introduction and adoption of New-to-Brand metrics and the beginning of tracking the impact of these efforts.”

 
“Coming into 2021 this tracking metric will inevitably need to continue to expand (currently not available for Sponsored Products, Video in Sponsored Brands, Sponsored Display, etc.) as brands become increasingly interested in understanding the impact their advertising/creative strategies have on attracting new consumers to purchase.”

Zak Semitka, Specialist, Marketplaces at Tinuiti
 

7. Prepare for self-serve and retail price compression.

 
“Amazon will continue to create an unfriendly environment for small and mid-level Vendors/Brands to succeed due to pushing these Vendors to self-serve and retail price compression. Success on the Amazon Marketplace in 2021 will require Vendors to have an overarching ecommerce strategy of catalog management/differentiation, pricing, and distribution.

Nancy Hebert, Marketplace Operations Specialist at Tinuiti

 

 

8. Set MAP policies and police closely.

 
“As eCommerce as a whole is growing at higher-rates than originally expected, I anticipate that more sellers will come into the market to sell products without adhering to minimum advertised pricing (MAP) policies. We see this today and I only anticipate it to get more fierce as sellers are competing for the buy-box.

“It will be even more important to set those MAP policies, if not already, and closely police them so brand owners and/or authorized resellers have more control of the buy box. Without buy box control, you will not be able to move through inventory.”

 
Tanya Zadoorian, Senior Specialist, Marketplaces at Tinuiti
 

9. Better reporting capabilities for creative expected.

 
“Amazon will continue to improve store insights and add additional store traffic and customer engagement metrics to increase brand store traffic and adoption rates (clickpathing, page insights, “follow” a brand). Amazon will also release additional self-service advertising options in order to capitalize on brand store traffic (retargeting visitors with Sponsored Display or DSP).”

Jordan Gisch, Senior Strategist, Marketplaces at Tinuiti

 

 

10. Amazon Posts becomes the destination for browsing.

 
“I envision Amazon Posts will have a dedicated scroll feed similar to Instagram of brands you follow. This will be one of many moves Amazon is making to shift Amazon from primarily a demand capture and conversion platform to a destination for browsing. Begin dedicating resources now so you can start testing your creative messaging and be well-positioned when Posts are given more prominent placements within the platform.”

Dylan Verburgt, Senior Specialist at Tinuiti
 

11. Amazon expected to strive for a .com experience.

 
“With the influx of new shoppers that 2020 has provided to Amazon, I believe they will continue to make it easier for brands to focus on targeting these new consumers on, and off Amazon. Through Amazon’s DSP, we’ve already seen them roll out new-to-category audiences but I think these will continue to get more narrowed in on specific categories. I also believe Amazon is going to continue to strive more for a .com experience. Storefronts will be used as a .com for Brands that don’t want to invest heavily in other channels and Amazon will continue to make it easier for brands to drive off-site traffic to Amazon Storefronts/Detail Pages.”

Tony Heuer, Senior Specialist at Tinuiti

Got a prediction to add? Share in the comments below!

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[From The Experts]
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