19 Questions From Our Amazon Sponsored Products Strategy & Analysis Course – Answered

Since revamping its targeting capabilities in August of 2014, Amazon Sponsored Products has quietly become one of the most profitable and influential levers to drive Marketplace performance.

Last week, CPC Strategy’s Pat Petriello, Head of Marketplace Strategy dove into how Sponsored Products work, how CPC Strategy been successful in using the program for their clients, and why the program represents a huge market opportunity for Amazon sellers.

There were a lot of questions we didn’t get a chance to touch on, so here they are now with answers from Sprigley Allan, Marketplace Channel Analyst at CPC Strategy:

Q: How much do you take Amazon’s suggested bid into consideration when bidding?

A: Very little, but it’s a good barometer for how competitive that target is.

Q: Which vertical have you seen the most competition in?

A. Any vertical that deals in commodities, especially Home goods.

Q: Would you recommend Sponsored Products for a brand manufacturer with just a couple products (ie. 10 or less)?

A: As long as you have product margin, take a stab at Sponsored Products.

Q: Can you see Sponsored Product’s impact to organic ranking?

A: Absolutely, 100 percent. But it is not immediate, it is a virtuous circle.

Q: Since there’s no quality score, what factors in order of priority are taken into account by the algorithm in determining which ads to show and in which order?

A: The sellers track record and the sellers history along with the bid levels.

Q: I sell my own brand, and I try to set up Sponsored Products, but in all the products I select it says not in Buy Box, what can I do?

A: Submit to the brand registry program which may help win Buy Box share.

Q: How much of this applies to Vendor Central accounts as well?

A: Vendor Central is very different and this is hopefully the topic of a future webinar.

Q: Can I use Sponsored Ads even if I don’t sell on Amazon?

A: No.

Q: In a manual campaign, does Amazon serve up the ads by product relevancy based on product detail or evenly among all ads in a particular ad group?

A: In a manual campaign ads are served on keyword(s) and not the relevancy of your product content.

Q: If I have an auto campaign and see terms in my report that have a lot of impressions but very few clicks, might that mean that I should remove those terms from my listing?

A: Yes, because the product may not be relevant for that search term.

Q: I didn’t see Apparel as one of the available categories, is that closed currently?

A: Yup, as of right now Apparel is closed.

Q: Is there any way to splice out orders (and order ID’s) for orders that came through sponsored ads only in Seller Central?

A: Yes, run a pivot table on the campaign performance report found in advertising reports.

Q: Should I start with automatic targeting with low bids such as $0.03 or $0.05?

A: Sometimes, although the more competitive verticals may not get any clicks.

Q: Is Amazon adding negative keywords to Sponsored Products?

A: Not to my knowledge.

Q: Does Amazon punish you for having low CTR rates for keywords in your manual campaigns?

A: No.

Q: What is the difference between Amazon vendors and Amazon sellers?

A: Amazon sellers sell on the Amazon Marketplace directly to consumers while Amazon vendors sell inventory to Amazon.

Q: If your product is already at or near the top of the SERP is it still worthwhile to run ads?

A: Yes.

Q: Tips for success running ads in a highly competitive field?

A: Monitor campaigns on a tri-weekly basis, set advertising budgets to avoid overspend and avoid generic search terms.

Q: Is it worth having both Vendor Central and FBA ad tools running concurrently?

A: If you have that ability, take full advantage of it.

About the AuthorTara graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Journalism / Business. Her passion for creative publishing and quality reporting landed her work opportunities at several companies in Massachusetts, New York and California. She is a leading voice behind CPC Strategy’s Blog. See all posts by this author here.