With close to 700,000 brands selling on the marketplace, competition is fierce on Amazon. In a bid to grow their presence, many brands have opted for a wholesale relationship with the platform. Approved vendors have exclusive access to numerous marketing tools to help them build momentum on the platform — but it takes time and effort to build concerted campaigns.
In this post, we’ll look at the advertising options available — and offer some recommendations for ways to get ahead with first-party (1P) marketing.
Advantages of Being a 1P Vendor
- Increased consumer confidence: Having your items sold as 1P through Amazon means that shoppers will see your products as being ‘sold by Amazon’. This gives you a seal of approval you don’t get as a third-party (3P) seller.
- Extra marketing tools: There are many more merchandising options for sellers on Amazon Retail compared to the third-party platform.
You’ll need an invitation from Amazon to join in first-party relationship capacity — after which you’ll be able to access the Vendor Central portal. If Amazon considers you one of the top strategic brands within a major category (e.g., electronics) you stand a good chance of being approached.
Amazon Marketing Services
Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) is an advertising service available for suppliers on Vendor Central and Vendor Express. AMS offers pay-per-click (PPC) ad solutions to help vendors reach new customers and drive sales. In addition to the Sponsored Products offered to 3P sellers, vendors have two other types of ads — headline ads and Product Display Ads.
Amazon Sponsored Products
This PPC keyword-based ad program gives 1P sellers additional promotion. Ads appear on product detail pages as well as alongside and below search results. Shoppers are taken to the product detail page where the offer is listed.
Headline Search Ads
These keyword targeted cost-per-click (CPC) ads appear at the top of the first page of search results on desktop and mobile. They offer vendors increased visibility and a great opportunity to connect with customers at the very beginning of the purchase process. Headline ads can be a good short-term solution if your product doesn’t rank well organically.
Product Display Ads
These product or interest-targeted CPC ads appear on related product pages. As the only type of ad not targeted by keywords, they offer unique benefits. If your target audience’s interests are very specific to the products you sell, these ads could be useful (e.g., if you sell hiking shoes, you can target people with an interest in hiking).
Keyword Strategy Necessary for AMS Campaigns
The following ideas will help sharpen your strategy for AMS campaigns:
- When it comes to generating a strategy, combine your brand name with high level product category items, matching keywords with Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASIN). To help you choose keywords, use of all the channels you have available to you — look at your click and conversion insights from Google AdWords, other marketplaces and your website.
- When bidding, don’t just use automatic keyword targeting — start small and manually add in keywords until you’ve cultivated a good list. This gives you more control. Remember to include relevant misspellings and bid more aggressively than usual to make sure you’re capturing relevant traffic and aren’t losing brand share to competitors.
- Once you’ve ensured you’re showing up in brand search, reach out to new customers by building out a non-brand campaign using non-branded keywords. Think ‘camera’ rather than ‘Go Pro’.
- Promote high-level product categories, rather than niche products, and expand out of Sponsored Products to use Product Display and headline search.
- Start with manual targeting to ensure you’re not spending your budget on keywords that aren’t relevant enough. Use competitor and product terms to acquire non-brand traffic.
- Keep brand and non-brand separate; don’t have branded keywords in your non-brand campaign — this strategy will allow you to optimise going forward.
- Once a campaign has been up and running for a while, dive deeply into your reporting metrics to adjust keyword bids, pause low-performing keywords and introduce better ones. When you’re reviewing performance, don’t look just at keywords, but also analyse ASINs: check they are matching, relevant keywords too.
Other Advertising Options Open to 1P Merchants
- Promotional programs: Examples include Subscribe and Save (Amazon’s subscription service), Deal of the Day and Lightning Deals. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that thousands of brands work with Amazon, so you’re not guaranteed access to these deals.
- Amazon Vine: Your product is sent to top reviewers before it goes on sale — and since consumers are far more likely to trust user-generated content than ads, this could translate into a sales boost for you.
- A+ Detail Pages: More than half of all online shoppers currently use Amazon when they start their searches, so optimising your product detail pages is vital. As a wholesaler to Amazon, you have an advantage over 3P sellers — you can create enhanced content and offer consumers a richer shopping experience.
With A+ Detail, you can create bulleted lists and comparison charts and use attractive images of people using the products. You can also include company logos, embedded video and interactive features to enable you to better connect customers to your brand. Amazon reports that the use of A+ can increase sales on average by 3 to 10% due to improved SEO and the ability to educate consumers about your brand.
Becoming a 1P vendor presents a host of opportunities. However, managing the various ad programs available can be incredibly complex. Luckily, help is at hand. ChannelAdvisor offer a range of services exclusively for Amazon 1P sellers. We can help you drive sales by making optimal use of AMS, from Amazon Sponsored Products to headline search and product display ads. To discuss your options when it comes to selling 1P on Amazon, contact us on email@example.com.