Largely due to the COVID-19 response, some online businesses are experiencing an uptick in traffic and purchases due to a rise in online shopping habits and stimulus checks. According to reports, there’s been a 129% year-over-year growth in U.S. & Canadian e-commerce orders as of April 21 and an impressive 146% growth in all online retail orders.

In March, we created a HUB of COVID-19 content to offer guidance to our clients and readers. Months later, we decided it was a good time to check in with our Amazon advertising experts to find out which Amazon advertising strategies have been the most successful throughout the pandemic.

As advertisers look towards Prime Day (expected in September) we reflect on advertising investments and strategies that are actively driving purchases and how brands can leverage them to succeed throughout the year.

Below we highlight client success stories as well as feedback from our leading experts.
 

Amazon Advertising Expert Q&A: Navigating COVID-19

 
Tanya Zadoorian, Senior Specialist, Marketplaces at Tinuiti shares her take on how the pandemic is impacting businesses on Amazon and what Tinuiti is doing to help brands navigate this time of uncertainty.

 

 

Q. Did you have any concerns about COVID-19 and the impact it would have on businesses selling on Amazon?

 
The main concern I had and still do is product manufacturing and inventory levels at Amazon warehouses. We’ve seen the demand increase on Amazon across most categories with the goal of having sufficient inventory to keep up with the demand.

Of course, it can vary by category (for example, CPG businesses saw the greatest positive impact during the first few weeks due to panic buying of products). Over time, as work-from-home mandates became more extended, we are slowly reaching a point of normalcy – meaning that consumers are making fewer panic purchases.
 

Q. How does Tinuiti work with businesses to navigate a strategy during a pandemic?

 
As we know, each business is different and is having a different experience during this time. I work with each business directly and the advertising strategy has been tailored to meet the needs of each business.

The main underlying goal is to focus our advertising efforts on products that have healthy inventory levels and shipping windows (limit the advertising efforts of a product that has a shipping date two or more weeks out as that can negatively impact conversion rate). 

Below are a couple examples of brands that we are working with that are experiencing growth during COVID-19:
 

International Coffee Brand Increases New-to-Brand Purchases by 48%

 

 
As early as February, an international coffee brand [client name is confidential] started to see a surge in product demand as consumers shifted to bulk ordering products online.

Our Strategy:

We increased our investment in Sponsored Brand campaigns across both branded and category keywords knowing more traffic was coming to Amazon during this time.

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 has expanded the functionality of Sponsored Brands to include new targeting options, placements, as well as dynamic optimizations for ASINs that are displayed within the ad itself.

Here’s how Sponsored Brands work, their new features, and seven ways to optimize your campaign performance.

Why was this campaign a success?

We were readily able to shift investment into Sponsored Brand campaigns to capitalize on the traffic coming to the Marketplace during a sensitive period. As a result, we were able to successfully measure the impact through the metric (new-to-brand purchases). Additionally, because Sponsored Brand campaigns are one of the first ad units that are showcased at the top of the search results page, it was that much more impactful to showcase the available inventory leading to a Store page during this time.
 

Home Furnishing Brand Reaches Highest Amount of Orders

 

 
One day after the government issued stimulus checks (many arriving in the bank as early as April 15th), a home furnishings brand [client name is confidential] saw 3X increase in orders (on average compared to the past 90 days).

Our Strategy:

A general trend we saw across ecommerce was an uptick in purchases on April 15th and 16th.  We associate this with the stimulus checks that were deposited. For products that are typically higher in price point, consumers will generally spend more time making a purchase with proper research and sufficient funds (mattresses are no exception). 

Why was this campaign a success?

We ran both Amazon DSP and Ad Console campaigns during this time. Amazon’s 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.

Advertisers are increasing investment in the Amazon DSP, which allows brands to use Amazon targeting capabilities in showing ads not only on Amazon owned-and-operated web properties.

This campaign was a success because customers who had previously looked at the product detail pages (but did not make a purchase) returned to make a purchase on April 16th. Through our Ad Console and DSP efforts working together, we were able to actively get in front of the consumers and attribute the purchase to the ads that were clicked-on when they were ready to make their purchase. 
 

Q. Can you offer any tips for businesses that are struggling during COVID-19?

 
At Tinuiti, our suggestion is to focus on products/categories that have healthy margins and inventory levels. If anything, COVID has expedited the adoption of online shopping – so I encourage businesses to try and stay top of mind within their respective online channels that have healthy margins and a means to supply the inventory that is being demanded by consumers. 

If you would like to learn more about how to improve your advertising strategy on Amazon visit our recent post, “Next Steps For Amazon Advertisers in Wake of COVID-19

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