Originally published on August 25, 2016, updated July 29, 2020
As competition heats up in the eCommerce merchant space, it’s important to have some tools to help you differentiate your business and products. That’s where sponsored ads and campaign optimization come in. But how do you get started?
Wes Grudzien, founder of ezonomy and co-founder of Lullaby Lane, sat down with eComEngine to talk about Amazon Sponsored Product ads and advice for advertising on Amazon.
(Note, Wes is now the founder and head of Marketplace Ninjas - check them out on our Partners Page!)
It’s no secret that many online shoppers begin their product search on the Amazon marketplace. In the same survey, 75% of consumers responded that the Amazon platform knew them best among online retailers.
Learning how to define and communicate with your target audience can increase your success on the Amazon marketplace, whether you’re a private label seller or a wholesaler.
We recently hosted a webinar about making the most of the Amazon Sponsored Ads program with eCommerce expert Wes Grudzien. Under his expertise, private-label brand Lullaby Lane went from 0 to more than $7 million in annual revenue in under three years.
In this post, we’ll share some of Grudzien’s insights and explore how you can use Amazon Sponsored Product ads (and FeedbackFive) to build a better buying experience for your customers.
How can you stand out from top competitors? According to Wes Grudzien, the answer lies in taking the time to truly understand your audience. A variety of keyword and market research tools are available to help you gather (and make sense of) data related to your customers. The Amazon advertising model is centered on product discovery, so employing the right keywords can make your product sales soar.
Before creating your first Amazon Sponsored Product ads campaign, it’s helpful to take a look at best practices. Use sales tools such as MarketScout to get an understanding of the market and your competition. Once you know what you’re up against, determine how you can set yourself apart in the eyes of your target audience. Then use that knowledge when writing your product description and other details for your item listing.
You may be tempted to take a breather and let the Amazon Sponsored Product ads platform do the work for you once you’ve set up your initial campaign. Keep the momentum going by closely monitoring your ads to make sure they are performing well and attracting quality leads.
Continue to keep tabs on the data available through your market research and keyword tools. Tweak your ad wording, test changes to the item listing, and explore other ways to reach your target audience both organically and through paid advertising. Ideally, you want to spend as little cash as you can to reach the right people. That’s why it’s important to understand your customers and what they are looking for.
Colleen: Okay, so again, hello everyone. Thanks for joining us for our webinar today on Amazon sponsored product ads. My name is Colleen Quattlebaum and I'm the customer success manager for eComEngine. I'm joining you from Richmond, Virginia, and our featured presenter today is a highly successful Amazon seller and advertising expert Wes Grudzien, and he's joining us from just outside of the Toledo, Ohio area. So again, welcome everybody and thank you for joining us. I do want to go ahead and just ask everyone a big favor, if you could complete a one question poll for us so that we could just gauge your experience level with sponsored product ads as that will help us to tailor the presentation a little bit better to the needs of everybody on this call. So I'm going to go ahead and launch the poll. So you should have received a popup screen that asks you about your experience level with sponsored product ads. So you can choose that you have no experience, very little experience. Maybe you're currently running ads, or you're an expert.
Wes: I appreciate you having me. And being able to speak today. We appreciate you guys doing this. It's really helpful because sponsored product ads, Amazon advertising in general can get really technical depending on your level of skill. And so the talk today, I really want to tailor it towards the folks that are here. I don't want to get too technical if it's a somewhat of the beginner crowd, but I also don't want to stay too basic, quite a few people that currently only have.
Colleen: All right, it looks like a lot of people have completed the poll already 82% have voted. All right. And Wes, are you able to see the responses there on your screen?
Colleen: Okay. I think I just need to close the poll, so we'll give it about 30 more seconds and then we'll close the poll so we can take a look at the results. Okay. So I will go ahead and close the poll and it looks like we have. I went ahead and just shared the poll results there. So we have 14% to have no experience with Amazon sponsored product ads, 14% have very little 67% the vast majority are currently running ads and 5% are an expert.
Wes: Perfect. Perfect. Yeah, that'll be excellent.
Colleen: Okay. All right. So now we'll go ahead and just jump into the agenda before I turn it over to Wes, but thanks again to everyone for completing that poll. And here are the topics that we plan on covering today. So Wes is going to share the basics of advertising on Amazon, as well as the different types of advertising. So for those of you who have no experience or very little experience, I think these first few slides will be pretty helpful for you.
Colleen: Then he's going to explain the difference in advertising private label items versus wholesale. And then he'll explain how to launch, optimize and grow your advertising campaigns on Amazon. And we will discuss the importance of product reviews in the organic search and how matching buyers to product reviews can help as well. So then at the very end, we will open it up for questions. So feel free to put any questions in the Go To webinar panel there on your screen. If you think of any questions throughout, we may go ahead and answer them throughout the presentation. But if we don't get to your question during the presentation, we'll definitely take a look at those questions and make sure to answer as many as possible at the end. And please stick around because we do have some special offers from both eComEngine and from Wes at the end.
Colleen: And I'll be sure to send a followup email to everybody who's registered so that you have a link to this recording. And you can feel free to watch it again, share it with anybody, and then I'll also be sure to include all of those special offers in the email as well. So without further ado, I will go ahead and see, make sure that I'm showing my screen here. I'm going to go ahead and flip the screen to Wes so that he can go ahead and take over.
Wes: All right, we can you see my screen there, Colleen?
Colleen: Let's see. Not yet.
Wes: Right. Okay, then.
Colleen: Yes I can.
Wes: Perfect. All right. Excellent. All right. So yeah. Again, thanks for having me on and our conversation today regarding sponsored product ads before we begin, I wanted to tell you guys a little bit about myself, and my experience and, hopefully why it's relevant to you when you're creating your fronting project campaign. So I am the co founder of Lullaby Lane, a small baby boutique in northwest Ohio. And about four years ago, Amazon contacted us directly and said, "we think you guys should be a seller on Amazon." So we said, "All right, well, let's give this a try." And our first weekend, we about tripled our store sales and said, "Huh, this is very, very interesting."
Wes: And so, over the last, like I said, four years, I've really dedicated my life and time and energy specifically to the Amazon sales channel. And we've, had a lot of success last year. It was just under seven million in sales on Amazon. But I do have also three partners in this business. And because of that, they somewhat run the day to day of that aspect. And it's allowed me to really focus on one of my passions, which is education and business development for other companies.
Wes: So, as a coach, as a consultant, I've had the opportunity to work with many, many different wholesalers and private labelers and brands. And I would really consider private label and brand of the same thing, because, it's your name and it's your product that you're buying and you're putting out there on Amazon. So I may use those terms. I interchange them over the course of the presentation here. So one of the areas that I've focused on specifically is search engine optimization and pay per click services.
Wes: And the reason that is, is because there's been a dynamic shift in the market within the last four to five years, our recent studies show that Amazon is the number one search engine for consumer goods, 44% of all online shoppers start their product research directly on Amazon. So they bypass Bing, they bypass Google, Amazon really is the number one search engine. And so I feel that that while Paper Click and sponsored product ads are somewhat in their infancy they're definitely going to continue to just grow over the next number of years.
Wes: So just real quick, maybe for you that are true beginners, everything's going to, Amazon is basically around product discovery. There's two ways your product and show up one is organically. And then obviously the second is through sponsored product ads and other advertising means it's a bid based system, which means within the Amazon backend, you put a price that you would like to pay for certain search term or keyword when a customer enters it.And then if they click on your ad, then you pay for that. And there are multiple options to advertise on the Amazon sponsored product ads, which would be ads that show up on the right side of the search results.
Wes: And within the search results, if you're using a program called Bid Plus, that program is for seller central companies and vendor central and better express companies. So whether you're selling to Amazon or you're selling on Amazon, that option's available. I had mine search is other types of advertising the on right on above the search results for certain keywords. That is only for vendor express and vendor central companies and private display, same thing. It's only for vendor express and vendor central, and it's about seven or eight different areas that your ads can show up. But the big one is on a specific ASIN.
Wes: So you can target a certain competitive ASIN or whatever you're using, advertise your product or complimentary products. And I want to focus on sponsored products because obviously that's going to be the majority of the folks that are here today and, moving forward using the services. So typically when people think about advertising, maybe they think about it just for private labeling, but I did want to touch on wholesale as well, because it can be a great tool. So for any of you out there that are wholesalers, is this I think is, is pretty relevant. No, when you're creating a new listing, your son, your product, if you're creating bundles that are branded products, customers are going to be searching for those types of products.
Wes: So for example, if you have the ability to sell a Callaway golf line, right?You want to sell a bundle of the Callaway golf club or the driver and the head cover, you can create that bundle and then use sponsored product ads to show up top of the search results for someone that is say, just searching for the driver. So that's a great opportunity.
Wes: Second opportunity is from a relationship standpoint. Reality is that a lot of manufacturers don't see the value in having a ton of Amazon sellers. And that's just the truth. That's the way that it is because home is laid out. Obviously, our main weapon is when the Buy Box is the price. So what happens is you create this race to the bottom, and it says last five cents less, and devalues the products that these brands are trying to sell. And so one of the ways you can set yourself aside from other wholesalers or other Amazon sellers is through your knowledge and your use of sponsored product.
Wes: Again, you go to the manufacturer and say, "Hey, we're not like everyone else. We run ads. We actively try to market and advertise your product." That will set you aside, and it could lead to better opportunities for that relationship. But I did want to primarily focus on the private label I'm seeing is the advertising program is five box based. And so obviously you have 100%, normally you have 100% control the Buy Box when you're using private labels when it's your private label from. So understanding that I want to go over some of the best practices for using sponsored product ads.
Colleen: And Wes before we go further, if you don't mind, we've had two people mentioned that they're having a hard time hearing you, if maybe you could just get a little bit closer to your mic.
Wes: Sure. Is that a little better?
Colleen: I think so a little bit better. Yeah.
Wes: Okay. I'll figure it out even a little more. All right, here we go.
Wes: Yeah. What I want you to go through is the best practices of a step by step process of creating your sponsor product ad campaign. And so, before you even create your first campaign that you really want to use the market research tools that are available to really understand what's going on. And, there's really two kinds of the tools that I would say use one is a sales tool. And so you have companies, or excuse me, sales options, like a unicorn smasher, three jungle scout, other kinds of tools that tell you, okay, who's the market leader within your space, within your product. And understanding that he may not have some of the keywords that they're using in their titles and their descriptions.
Wes: Now, you definitely don't want to copy the top competitors, because obviously this is your product. You want to set yourself apart. You definitely don't want to be a mean too, but it can be a great space to key you in on some of those words that customers are using. A second set of tools would be keyword tools. So tools like a matching word, which is paid, or a keyboard that IO, which is a free service those give you any insights into keywords and other variations of keywords that people are using, when searching for your type of product.
Wes: One of the things to know is that with matching words, in some of these other services, they do it gives the monthly average search volume by keyword. You want to ignore that because that, because that is only a guess, Amazon does not publish those rates. And so though, I talked to the founders of some of these companies and really they're like a placeholder. So you can ignore those actual search bonds. Well, what is accurate is the order in which those two, the popularity in which those words show up. So, you use this data, use the tools that are available to create a clear picture of the market and what you're selling.
Wes: So once you get that and put those into the title and the backend search results after my basic optimization, then the first thing you want to do in terms of campaign is actually run just an automatic targeted campaign. And the reason that is, is because you're doing this more to test that Amazon understands and the relevancy and the content within the product. So, in other words, if you're selling, I don't know again there are special or something and the results show that people, the search terms that you're showing up for are not related to your product.
Wes: And we've got some work to do in terms of modifying search terms, not modifying the title. That again, that first campaign is really just to verify that, okay, Amazon understands your product and is showing it to the correct type of customer. So once you run that, which typically we do for, I'd say seven to 14 days pending on the popularity and the type of product.
Wes: Obviously, if you're signed something that everyone knows about you can quickly, there's a lot of search on quickly understand whether Amazon understands your product. If more of your product, you're going to want to have a little more time, to take a little more time to collect that data before you can really, understand what the relevancy and the customer base in Amazon, is just showing it to, excuse me. So third step would be once you've had a chance to create that automatic campaign understand that Amazon showing it to the right customer base, then you want to take all those keywords that you have from your market research, take the keywords that have come and shown in the automatic campaign and drop them into a manual campaign.
Wes: So continue the automatic campaign as well, but drop the bid price down to a lot lower, because the point of the automatic campaign, once you've created your manual campaigns, really just to continue to identify new keywords, create new opportunity. So keep it going, but drop the bid price pretty significantly once you've created that main word campaign. So while you're testing those things, you are just go ahead and again, let that wait about seven to 14 days, build that data up, and then, get into that and enter the keywords into the search term and really looking at what keywords the customers are using and what results are coming back.So this takes us to the next step.
Wes: Once you've had your manual campaign, and once you've had your automated campaign, and you start looking at the data, understanding, who the customer is, what keywords are using building an idea of who your customer is. That's really the next key is understanding who your target audience is. So with understanding where your target audience is. Again, we want to use that search term report that I mentioned that that's going to be, because it's the best tool that you have for seeing the exact search terms that customers are using and helps you better understand who your target audience is.
Wes: And I think understanding who your target audience is, is a key that a lot of private label sellers and a lot of sellers that are using sponsored product ads, are missing.They're just missing that aspect of it. most private label sellers really base which products they decide, which products they choose to sell it. It's based on opportunity, or market gaps. Now, there're courses out there, obviously that teach, okay, built into the top 100 products per category and find out which ones are being sold and which ones are being sold. And identify which ones you can come in through Alibaba different sources and then sell them at a lower price, right? It's all market gap and market based. It's all opportunity based.
Wes: Well that's only half of the story. The other half is once you have that product, you still need to understand who is buying the product and sponsored product ads are a great tool for that. So use that search term report to identify those real specific terms that your customers are using to buy your products.What are the highest converting keywords? What are the highest search bond keywords is really gaining that, analyze that data. I try to identify specific terms your customers are using, and then you can go ahead and modify the content to speak to that target audience. So, again, it's about using the data and continuously looking at, in crafting and modifying the product detail page to represent, that type of customer that you're going after.
Wes: So the second way to optimize the optimizing campaign is through keyword match types. Once you've identified the relevant keywords in different matched... you add them and different match types and try to see how they perform. I'm not mentioning it, but there's three types of keywords. One is broad, which is the words at near, and your keywords show up somewhere within the customer's search term there's match, which means the exact terms keywords show up in the order that they are somewhere in the within the search term and finally exact match, which is the words specifically that you use are the only words that the customer has used in their search term.
Wes: So play around with your top performing keywords in a different type of match types to see how they perform, sometimes a broad match may work, but an exact match may work, but the phrase it doesn't work for one reason or another, depending on the market. The point is just to use the tools that are available to you, use the different options that are available to you and test always continuously be testing trying to optimize, trying to do better than last week or last month with your campaigns.
Wes: Same thing with bid type testing. You may have a great word that has a really heavy click through rate for you. But if you have to pay a dollar per click or that certain word to show out, and your product only costs 15 or $18, your profitability, you can be losing money and not even know it. So, in a case like that, take that dollar and then just drop that price down to maybe 75 cents or 60 cents, and just continually drive it down to a place where you're showing up enough where you're able to make money by the clicks that you get. But you're not showing up too much where you're overspending on that certain keyword.
Wes: So again, it's just really about continually optimizing and continually trying to refine your campaigns. So once you had opportunity to start your campaign, build your base of keywords, and then optimize your listings. Our next step is to just try to grow that business. Again, use the tools that we talked about earlier on the keyword that IO and the merchant words, and when you identify your top performing keywords, throw those, keywords back into those search terms tools.
Wes: Understand other long tail keywords or other, modifications or different ways that those keywords are used. And we can throw those back into the campaign, and just continuously add words.And that are your testing and take words out that are under performing for you or modify those words that are under performing. But the point is to really continually add words, try to get new market share in new areas once you've established that base in those few words.
Wes: Once you've had a chance to do that, keyword recycling and deep diving into other opportunities, then you want to look at actually modifying the content within the product detail page. So I kind of, I mentioned before, when you have to identify your target customer keywords they use that is really the point besides just showing up and installing products when you really want to identify who you're selling to.
Wes: And so once you've done that, and once you've identified the keywords that those customers are using, go ahead and use it to your advantage, put those keywords, whether it's in the title or it's your images or through search terms, you want to really use those search terms to speak specifically to your target customer. And from that, you need to build a customer profile. So the goal is not to try to be all things to all people, you're not going to sell to all these different customer types. To be successful in this, you identify that target and target that key customer and understand who they are. Refine that message. Ultimately, you don't want to appear for all the different words you want to really appear for the words that people are using to buy your product.
Wes: Now that is the goal spend as little as possible on sponsored product ads to get in front of customers, have your sales and identify who your target customer is.So because ultimately, those certain keywords that are people are using actually buy your products. Not only do you want to show up organically for them, or excuse me, through ads, you want to show up organically. Amazon's search algorithm is based on three main factors and only one of them is content. The other two are sales volume. And the third one is the number of product reviews and the quality of those product reviews. And that's what I wanted to... with that, I want to transition over to Colleen because I know she wants to talk through the new opportunity that you guys have, you really actively manage those reviews. I will change that to you Colleen, to take over.
Colleen: Okay, thank you Wes. Right. So as, as we all know, consumers evaluate products and make buying decisions, using information shared in the product reviews. So the more positive reviews that you have the better. So especially if you're a private label seller and you're advertising, some sponsored product ads, and you're trying to increase the sales as you're increasing your sales from that advertising. You also want to make sure that you're promoting as and soliciting for product reviews as well. Because the quality and quantity of product reviews can really impact your appearance in organic search as well. So again, it's crucial that you're soliciting, tracking and managing your reviews very closely.
Colleen: And I wanted to share with you that FeedbackFive can now help you to get the reviews that you need to keep your products selling successfully.And I'll show you a little bit about how you can how you can use our new product review management feature to help you with that. So FeedbackFive allows you to automate email solicitations for product review requests, and you can create custom email campaigns for each skew. You can include a photo of your product along with a link that makes it very easy for buyers to leave a product review and just one click. So as shown in the email example here, you can see the graphic of the item that they purchased the Five Stars with a link. So it makes it really easy when they receive that email to just click on it and leave that review for your product.
Colleen: We have a lot of flexibility with our email timing rules. One example is that you can choose to send product review solicitations only when positive seller feedback is received.Among many other rules that we have as well. And we have multiple settings for dealing with repeat buyers as well. So if you have a product that you tend to get repeat buyers for, you can set a rule to never send an email to repeat buyers, or maybe you only want to send them an email once or twice, or to always send your repeat buyers emails. And you can opt in to receive an alert by email or text when a negative review has been left on a product that you're monitoring the reviews for. And this is important, so you can address it right away.
Colleen: So just like seller feedback, if somebody leaves product review on a product that you're monitoring, that was related to one of your orders, it's important that you address that. And so to share with you a little bit about how FeedbackFive allows you to monitor product reviews you can monitor reviews, not only for items that you're currently selling, but also items that you're not selling. So for items that you are selling, some sellers like to monitor product reviews, maybe because it's a private label item of yours or other items that you're selling, even if it's not your private label or brand.
Colleen: But as I said, you can monitor product reviews for items that you're not selling. Some of our users like to monitor competitive products. So if you're a private label brand and you want to monitor some of the competitive brands and see what reviews they're getting, you can certainly do that.And maybe you want to monitor reviews on items that you're considering adding to your inventory. We have a lot of customers taking a look at ASINs that they're considering adding to make sure that they're getting good reviews, because if they're getting a lot of negative product reviews that could lead to negative seller feedback. So again you can monitor product reviews on any ASINs for whatever reason that that works best for you and your business. But all FeedbackFive plans include the ability to monitor to ASINs for free, including our forever free light plan. But many of our users are monitoring hundreds and thousands of ASINs for just a few cents per ASIN.
Colleen: So it's, it's very easy to monitor Asians and you can change them out as often as you want. But when you are monitoring ASINs and you log into our tool, this is a brief piece of the screenshot that you'll see that shows the data that you would receive.You'll see the total positive and negative reviews over the last two day and 90 day period, along with the average rating, the number of orders for that item and when the last review was received. So you can filter and sort and analyze that data, how you wish. Then you can also click on some of these links and actually read the reviews and a little bit more detail.
Colleen: So and then the piece about matching the reviewers to buyers. Of course, once you see a review, how do you even know who wrote the review? Amazon doesn't match reviewers to their orders as of right now. So it can be frustrating when you see a negative product review and you can't easily identify if that buyer was yours, or if it's your private brand. And you know, you're the only one selling it, and you know it was ordered from your store.But it's hard to match who that buyer was. It can be a very manual process, but FeedbackFive will match product reviewers to the actual buyers on an account by looking at the items, purchased the reviewers names, the order dates and other pertinent data. So we have proprietary algorithm that's working behind the scenes to match. And so we will identify if there's a match on your account to who the reviewer is, and you can then review the match results and opt to contact the reviewer by clicking on the send an email button and once clicked, it will display a popup screen that will allow you to compose an email and send it to the applicable buyer through the buyer seller messaging service. And it's as easy as that.
Colleen: And a lot of people ask, is it okay to send emails to people who left product reviews?Is that okay? Can we ask them to remove the review and just know that, according to Amazon, solicitations that ask for only positive reviews or that offer compensation are prohibited, and you may not ask buyers to remove negative reviews, but you can certainly have a conversation with them and they may be willing to update their review.
Colleen: So if they had originally left you a negative review and maybe you resolve that, they may update it. If they walk away with a better experience after talking with you about the product. And then of course, you can always just write through our tool. You can click on the review as well, and just make a note directly there on the Amazon. So you're commenting on the negative review that they left. So other buyers will see that you're trying to resolve that problem, or maybe you have a better explanation for why they left a negative review.So that's another convenience with our tool to be able to answer it right there.
Colleen: But again, Wes talked a lot about how to advertise through sponsored product ads on Amazon. So we knew we'd have a lot of private label sellers probably on this call and people interested in promoting products. So once you're promoting those products just want to make sure you're continuing to keep up positive product reviews. So we'd be happy to tell you more about FeedbackFive and how that can help. But here's just a brief review of few of the items that we discussed and we wanted to certainly allow a fair amount of time for questions so we can really answer what's most important to you since we do have our expert on the phone. So it looks like so far we do have a couple questions here. So Wes, I'm not sure if you've had a chance to review any of those, if you want to go ahead and jump in and start addressing a couple of those?
Wes: Yeah, absolutely. And appreciate Colleen and the more questions that people ask, the more we can get down into and really understand what you guys are looking for. So please never hesitate to fire off as many questions or any type of questions that you have, because that really helps spur the conversation on. Sure.
Wes: So one of the questions that was asked was, could you please share more specifically, how do you use keywords identify who you are targeting or what customers you're targeting? That's a great question. And I want to use an example of a client that I'm working with currently. She actually is the creator of a product called the Shelfy and the Shelfy is a bathtub shelf that basically keeps water from splashing out of that tub.
Wes: Now the problem early on for us was that her product is unique. There's nothing else out there like that. She's not trying to do a slightly better version of another product, which there's nothing wrong with that, but that's the reality of where we work. So we identified early on that there was basically three target customers that we thought maybe interested in this product that we wanted to market towards. One was people that are looking to buy bath toys, because again, this product sits on the edge of the bathtub shell went toys on it and it keeps the water from splashing out, right?
Wes: This is a problem that a lot of moms... pretty brilliant product, frankly that a lot of moms come up with. But so one of the three target areas we looked at was people that were buying bath toys. Another area that we looked at were people that were looking for bath safety products. And then the third area that we were looking to have where people that were just looking specifically for bath trays. And so we cast a very, very wide net different make sure that the top keywords of each of those three types of consumer bases were in the backend search terms.
Wes: And when we got out in front of a ton of people, and what we found was that pretty much the only people that were really clicking or not only, but people that are clicking through the bath and that were buying the product or specifically people that were looking for bath toys. And now, I mean that, that makes sense and it's obvious, but until you actually get in there and verify that information, you really don't know. And so again, what we did was we used sponsored product ads and dug into that data and understood what keywords people are actually using the search for and what ones they are clicking through and buying on and identified.
Wes: And it was people who were buying bath toys. Okay, they're going to buy the toy when they're looking for bath place. So we then modify the content to really talk less about the product as a safety item, as the safety feature, but more as a fun thing that the kids can rest their toys on when they're playing that time. And since then, we've seen a significant increase in sales. So, from there, we use that data to help. So I hope that answers that question. How many do you want it? You want to know in, and maybe, and for the next ones, while I look over some of these other questions that would be awesome.
Colleen: Sure. Looks like we do have a couple of questions about FeedbackFive. So I'll certainly answer one or two of those and why Wes is looking at some of the other advertising related questions. So we have one question about, can FeedbackFive integrate with Amazon Vendor Central orders? Just the quick answer to that is no, not currently. And then can you talk about best practices for addressing a bad product review? What we recommend is to write to the reviewer and ask for more information, but do not ask them to remove it.So, as I mentioned you may not ask buyers to remove negative reviews, but you can engage in a conversation and you could ask them to update it. If you ended up, coming to an agreement on that the product was actually a little bit better than maybe they originally anticipated for whatever reason, if they just didn't understand that. But we just recommend to write to the reviewer, ask for more information about why they rated it negatively so that you can learn and maybe better prepare the person who's ordering the item, either in your listing or in an email conversation. But Amazon does prohibit you from asking them to remove the review. And Wes, do you want to answer another one or do you want me to go ahead and do another one?
Wes: Absolutely. So someone asked me when you find your target audience, what is the most important change you can make to your listening to catering in that argued SEL? I think of the product detail page in some ways as a sales letter. And so, first thing that a customer does is enter their search term and then they asked spike you're at any of the picture or the title. So those are the first things that they're looking at. They click on the ad and immediately read the title and look at the image. And then the bullet points, they work their way down this process of understanding what the product, and obviously they go to product reviews as well.
Wes: But I would say that there's not really one most important change. It really depends on the situation and how far away you are from what your target audience is.I would say it's more the little changes, change your title and then test it and see where you're at. Change your image, your main image, and see where you're at, as it's a continual process to understand, who your target audience is, and it just continually modifying and adjust. It's like advertising in any other sense, like with Google ad words. It's called AB testing, which means you run one ad and you see how it does, and then you run another ad and see how that does. And then whichever one performs better, keep that one. And then you create a third ad. It continually AB tests until you really understand specifically what your customer is looking for. And it's just ongoing continual process.And I don't want to cop out and all that. There's not one wounded one within, but it really is a sign of product by product basis.
Wes: And, understanding again who your target customer is. The other question was in terms of advertising often, do you suggest checking the reports? So we do it like this when we first started off and we run that on that campaign, we usually let it run about seven to 14 days. Once we've done that and we pull that data and out of the automatic campaign and out of the other market research that we've done and dump that into manual report, let that run again for another, maybe seven to 14 days. And then, observe.We typically look at, I'll just go in and run a report maybe once or twice a week excuse me, once a week or once every few weeks to really pull that data. Again, it's really product specific, but that was the initial timeline maybe, once a week, once every other week, depending on how far along in the life cycle of the product we are.
Wes: So the earlier we're on, the more frequent want to check that data, and then you get a better sense of who your entire customer is, who you're selling to you, then, you can let it extend out more.
Colleen: Okay. And I'll go ahead and jump in and answer a couple of questions, while Wes reviews a few more of the ones that just came in. So one person that said I'm currently using FeedbackFive to send emails to customers. How do you put the product pictures and reviews stars in the email? When you're in the email wizard, there is a check box, or if you were on the pro plan or higher than any advanced email editor, you can use the shortcut tags. So there's a blue link that says shortcut tags, and then the drop down, it says product review link with image or product review link with stars. And if you need more explanation from that, feel free to reach out to me after this call. And I can certainly give you a brief demo or walk you through that a little bit more detailed.And then one other person asked if we could explain the difference between seller feedback and product reviews and how they impact Amazon's algorithm. So basically seller feedback is for you as a seller. So it's based on your seller, your store. Product reviews are based on that individual item. So how do they impact Amazon's algorithm is that product reviews impact the search results and feedback impacts the Buy Box. So, so that's the simplest way, I think to understand that, unless there's anything else that you want to add there, Wes, about like organic search?
Wes: No, that makes sense. I honestly, I was somewhat beating some of the questions.
Colleen: And again, product reviews that impact search results and feedback impacts the Buy Box. So both are very important.
Wes: Yeah. Yeah. Nailed it. Absolutely. Yeah. Your searchability is going to be way higher rated towards there, but from my understanding, they really almost don't factor your customer feedback nearly as much into it as the reviews and how your reviews are trending and your sales and how your sales are trending, play a major role, which is why sometimes we may see someone, a product with 1000 or 1200 product reviews on it. That's not near the top or whatever the number is near the top of page one, because what happens is they got all those product reviews in the beginning, and gain a bit of sense of decrease in those. And so Amazon trends, how frequent you get product reviews and the score of those product reviews and that the frequency is weighted almost as heavily as the total number of reviews that you've received. So can you hear me still, Colleen?
Colleen: Yes, I can.
Wes: Okay, perfect. So another question that someone asked was I'm running sponsored product ads through seller central, but heard about Amazon marketing service platform. So I think you're talking to you at Amazon marketing services AMS, and what that is for vendor central. So if you supply to Amazon or vendor express that you supply to Amazon, those were... Early on, I talked about the three different ways you can market through sponsored products through headline search and through targeted ads specific instance. The second two are only available through Amazon marketing services and you have to sell to Amazon as opposed to on Amazon to have access to those. And they're not synced together. So unfortunately do start selling on Amazon and wanting to run your sponsored product ads through Amazon marketing services, you would start over from you, but, there's a whole way more into that.
Wes: And then just the sponsored product ads, because how the data is called and how it's shown on the product detail page. And, when you switch from selling as seller central as a third party to a supplier Amazon pulls different data and uses different data. So if you have a high performing product that you're selling directly yourself right now, and you want to sell through vendor express, just be very, very wary. There're tons of very bad experiences, not because Amazon is bad or because whatever the reason is how the data is displayed on the product. Each of agent, how the data is pulled and used in their search algorithm, the data that Amazon dumps into the system is higher. It was much higher weighted than the data that you're putting into the system, even if your brand registry and all.
Wes: So you just have to be very careful when you're, if you want to look at switching over to selling at be supplying Amazon, as opposed to selling on Amazon.Another question was about downloading top converting search terms and using a competitive brands in your search terms. That's a good question. A one of the things I didn't touch on yet is that Amazon and sponsored product ads and now their marketing platform is really, really young. And it's small compared to other marketing platforms like Facebook or Google ad words.
Wes: Some people say that Amazon sponsored products and marketing is like Google was 10 years ago. It's somewhat of a rudimentary system or a basic system compared to the other two. And so what's happened. And what they're doing is they're continually changing modifying the algorithm, changing the system, changing the platforms. Usually there's probably about one, maybe two major changes a month, and there's a bunch of small changes that occur over the course of the time.And so what's happened is that early on, particularly the end of last year, beginning of this year, you were able to target competitive brands as search terms and show up for those terms.
Wes: What's happened is, as Amazon has become more savvy and try to really protect the buying experience, the customer experience. One of the things that they limited was the brands that you can actively target. So they have this ongoing list basically of major brands that if you put them into your backend search terms, you're, you're not going to show up for those and the rest of the search terms within that field. You could be risking not showing up for it. So that's why I say it's always changing. It's always ongoing. And you have to really be careful, but specifically to those, competitive brands, it's a lot less effective tool than it used to be. I jump in and read a couple more while you're answering Colleen?
Colleen: Yes, you can. Sorry, my calendar invite just popped up. Go ahead.
Wes: Yeah. I would say you could answer a couple more as I read more here.
Colleen: Oh yeah, sure. Let's see. So we had a couple of FeedbackFive users asking again about how to use the product review management tool. And we would be happy to account reviews with anybody at any time, either through live chat, phone, call, or email. So I know that there's a few users on here. I will make sure that we reach out to you. One specifically said that they tried adding ASINs to my product review monitoring, however, the ASIN list that FeedbackFive gives is a little outdated. How do I refresh it? We do update the catalog regularly, so they will show up soon. Hopefully, within just a couple of days, if not sooner, but you can also add any ASINs by just using the copying and paste feature or just manually entering in the ASINs number. And then it should show up. And just in case, it's not showing up in your list of cataloged ASINs.
Colleen: And I'll answer one more. It says somebody else asked if, if someone uses Amazon customer as the pen name or their handle, as they're writing a review, then is it impossible to find them as a match? We do use several criteria and are constantly improving our algorithm for the buyer match. So there will be times that we can make a match, even if it appears to be very vague. Because we do look at the order dates the emails that you've sent, and if they've clicked on that email, we look at a lot of pertinent data to try and match if they were the person who wrote that review. So it's, it's certainly we, we might not find a match every time. But a lot of the time we are finding a match. So it's definitely much easier than if you're just doing it manually because of the algorithm that we have running behind the scenes.
Wes: I think I can pick up a couple of questions now.
Wes: One of the questions was also, do you know if the advertising search algorithm are the same for.com and .co.uk? Well obviously Amazon does not publish their search algorithm. I have clients that sell on both platforms and we pretty much use the same tactics. I don't do a bunch and I go to .uk, but they're the information that we provide. They implemented on their .uk page within a private deal and they do find success similar to what we got in the dotcom. So plus, Amazon is such, it's just a massive automated system that there're some positives and negatives of it, obviously, you're going to pretty much get the same results with each of their different platforms.
Wes: Obviously, there're some tweaks, but the meat and potatoes are going to be the same because that is their business model, as opposed to scaling and massive side size based on an algorithm it's all day, it's all numbers.There's not much in the way of changing.
Wes: Our next question is what do you do with keywords that drive clicks, but not conversions drop what's week? So he has a great question is keywords that drive clicks. It really isn't if but fewer basis. But what I'll do is I will, if I find a keyword that is doing well in terms of clicks, I may drop it into its own campaign and play around with it there to see if there're different versions or long tail versions of that, or, just trying to understand, okay, my customer is using this word, but I'm obviously missing it. What, am I missing? How am I doing this?
Wes: So I would create its own campaign and possibly even advertise in all three match types and advertise in broad in braids and in exactly what happens from there, drop us the words maybe again, back into the different keyword tools, research tools, virtual words, and fewer that IO and break down other options, just trying to get as much insight as possible into that specific keyword.
Wes: So, and then obviously, if you find that there are certain keywords within, or if you find that once you've done and you found why that certain keyword maybe it's completely, off, like if it's if someone's looking for, I'm trying to make this up blue shoes but there is a book called blue shoes, whatever diary, and you're using the blue shoes and when you break it down and really analyze it, and they realize, "Oh, okay, well, that's that, they're missing it, or I'm missing it. I have to get rid of it." So then you negate those keywords out or just modify it, but just really be a scientist. That's the whole goal with sponsored products is there's so much information and so much data available to you through a search term report or other reports.
Wes: However, it is, think about yourself again as a scientist and how you analyze what's what's going on. Also, the next question is if you have 100 plus views, all of the campaigns that we nearly impossible continues to modify campaign pages, what do you use as benchmark to determine on a product detail page and campaign are fully optimized and another great question. And that's a great point. You're right. You can't continuously, modify and tinker with all those products.
Wes: But what I would say is that, do that early on if you're doing it, or if you have a virtual assistant put the work in early on to really understand and build a profile of your customer. Once you build that profile and you're comfortable with who you're selling to, and your sales have gotten to a certain point, and you're advertising your eight year average cost of sale is where you want it to be, you'll just get an idea that, okay, this product's pretty much capped out. It's really on a product by product basis, but put the work in to understand who that customer is. And then that question, and will somewhat answer itself. You'll feel more confident.
Wes: Once you have confidence in the data and what you're doing, then you'll be confident to know. Okay. I really can somewhat put this on cruise control, but again, the opposite side of that is that Amazon is always changing their algorithm and always changing. So walking I've used stubborn that change when one of your campaigns, make sure to modify that in any other campaigns that you've previously worked on, that you're in someone who's in control.
Colleen: Good. Well, I know we're getting close to the two o'clock time, so I'll go ahead and just share the special offers that we have. We do have quite a few questions that we did not get to today. So due to the sake of time I have documented all of these questions and I can see who submitted the questions. So between Wes and I over the next day or so, we will be sure to respond to you by email to make sure that your question is answered. So thank you all for being engaged in this presentation today. We certainly appreciate you attending, and we'll be sure to send the recorded webinar out, along with the links and information about these special offers, but basically Wes is offering a free 30 minute sponsored product ads consultation. So again, I will send you a link that will actually help you to take advantage of that special offer. And then eComEngine has a few coupon codes that give you an extended free trial. So we were talking about the product review management, that is a feature within FeedbackFive. So if you want to give that a try, then you would just sign up for the 30 day free trial using that coupon code there. And and then you could use the product review feature within that. And then we have two other tools RestockPro, and MarketScout by that we did not touch on today. One is an inventory management tool. The other is a market intelligence tool, and you can check out the website if you want to learn more. But Wes, is there anything else that you want to share here?
Wes: I just appreciate you having me. I'm letting me talk somewhat about sponsored products and my experiences again, so thank you so much.
Colleen: Sure. Thank you Wes for joining us today and on behalf of eComEngine and Ezonomy, we thank you all for joining us and we wish you great success with your business this year, and we will be following up with you soon. Thank you all.
Wes: Thank you.
Originally published on August 25, 2016, updated July 29, 2020
This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.