2022 Is Here: What Should Be Prioritized In Your Amazon Business

Feb 22, 2022 3:00 pm4:00 pm EST

Summary

Everyone is talking about the ever-evolving changes to the Amazon platform as we kick off 2022. We’ll take a deep dive into what exactly these changes look like and how Amazon businesses and teams can best leverage new tools and capabilities to grow in 2022.

This discussion will cover topics across A+ content strategies, staying ahead of out of stock scenarios, and new advancements in audience targeting and retargeting.

BWG Connect & Orca Pacific invite you to participate in an interactive discussion with your peers.

As always, there will be no sales pitches and there is no cost to join.

Discussion Topics

  • Leveraging changes to the Amazon advertising structure in 2022: more detailed targeting and retargeting to increase engagement and loyalty
  • The do's and don’ts of storytelling and lifestyle imagery content for your Amazon page: dialing the right primary images, essential content, and A+ Content
  • Managing out of stock scenarios. How to best anticipate outages and plan advertising accordingly
  • Top questions everyone should be asking their Amazon Advertising Agency and discovering the right team for your business

Event Partners

Guest Speaker

Bhupinder Singh

Bhupinder Singh

Associate Director of Sales at Orca Pacific

Bhupinder Singh is the Associate Director of Sales at Orca Pacific, a Media.Monks company. He has over 20 years of experience in the wireless and technology industry and is skilled in B2B SaaS sales, cloud and private network security, project management, and more. Before joining Orca Pacific, Bhupinder was an Account Executive at Amazon and the Business Development Manager at Ideoclick, Inc., a full-service Amazon agency.

Lance Henderson

Senior Content Strategist at Orca Pacific

Lance Henderson is the Senior Content Strategist at Orca Pacific. Prior to joining Orca Pacific, Lance worked at Amazon for eight and a half years, was a Program Manager at IMDB, and was a Senior Content Manager at Custom Cones USA. He also has a background in journalism. 

Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Mike Battista

Senior Advertising Manager at Orca Pacific

Mike Battista is the Senior Advertising Manager at Orca Pacific, a full-service agency focused on eCommerce solutions for Amazon. He has worked with several agencies on account and sales teams, honing his expertise as an Advising Account Executive for Amazon and an Account Executive for Yelp. He graduated from DePaul University with a bachelor’s degree in communications advertising and a minor in screenwriting.

Event Moderator

Bhupinder Singh

Bhupinder Singh

Associate Director of Sales at Orca Pacific

Bhupinder Singh is the Associate Director of Sales at Orca Pacific, a Media.Monks company. He has over 20 years of experience in the wireless and technology industry and is skilled in B2B SaaS sales, cloud and private network security, project management, and more. Before joining Orca Pacific, Bhupinder was an Account Executive at Amazon and the Business Development Manager at Ideoclick, Inc., a full-service Amazon agency.

Lance Henderson

Senior Content Strategist at Orca Pacific

Lance Henderson is the Senior Content Strategist at Orca Pacific. Prior to joining Orca Pacific, Lance worked at Amazon for eight and a half years, was a Program Manager at IMDB, and was a Senior Content Manager at Custom Cones USA. He also has a background in journalism. 

Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Mike Battista

Senior Advertising Manager at Orca Pacific

Mike Battista is the Senior Advertising Manager at Orca Pacific, a full-service agency focused on eCommerce solutions for Amazon. He has worked with several agencies on account and sales teams, honing his expertise as an Advising Account Executive for Amazon and an Account Executive for Yelp. He graduated from DePaul University with a bachelor’s degree in communications advertising and a minor in screenwriting.

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Event Information

Feb 22, 2022 3:00 pm - 4:00 PM EST

Event format

Roundtable Layout
Featuring 20+ executives, where everyone can contribute, ask questions and learn from peers
On-Topic Discussions
Q&A format, moderated by BWG Connect with group interaction throughout
Make Connections
Opportunities to network before and after

BRINGING TOGETHER INFLUENTIAL EXECUTIVES AND SENIOR PROFESSIONALS

What is BWG Connect?

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.

Key Discussion Takeaways

Are you struggling to make your Amazon business a success? What tried-and-true strategies can help you prosper in 2022?

Having a thriving Amazon business is not as difficult as you may think. When you want to connect with more customers and increase sales, you need to know what should be prioritized on Amazon. Should you utilize paid or unpaid advertisements? Should you have an Amazon agent manage your business or an in-house person? Ultimately, you want to put yourself in the shoes of the customer to build brand loyalty. Prioritizing re-targeting strategies, investing in A+ content and custom video imagery, and leveraging DSPs on and off Amazon can help you scale your brand and focus on what really matters.

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant sits down with Mike Battista, former Senior Advertising Manager at Orca Pacific, Bhupinder Singh, Associate Director of Sales at Orca Pacific, and Lance Henderson, Senior Content Strategist at Orca Pacific, to discuss successful strategies for your Amazon business. They talk about content creation on Amazon, advertisement tactics to increase customer engagement and sales, and how to manage out-of-stock scenarios on Amazon.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

 

  • How to generate Amazon content to connect with more customers
  • Tips on creating video content to increase sales on Amazon
  • What is A+ content and how does it aid your brand?
  • The new advertisement tactics to increase engagement with customers on Amazon
  • How much should you allocate to the advertisement for both hero products and new products on Amazon?
  • Effective ways people are utilizing DSP to target shoppers on and off Amazon
  • Ways to drive traffic to Amazon PDPs and DTC sites
  • How to manage an out-of-stock scenario
  • How companies should structure their Amazon departments

Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant  0:18 

Happy Tuesday everybody. My name is Aaron Conant. I'm the Co-founder and managing director here at BWG Connect. We are a networking and knowledge-sharing group of thousands of brands. And we do exactly that. We network and knowledge share together to stay on top of the newest trends, strategies, pain points, whatever it is that shaping digital. We're going to host close to 300 virtual events like this in a variety of formats, sometimes zooms, sometimes GoTo, it just turbo bridge. It's nice to go old school and not have to worry about a camera coming on. But we're also going to be doing close to 100 in-person small format dinners this year. So if you're at any of the top eCommerce shows that are out there, IRC detail east or west shop talk, please shoot us a note, we'd love to meet you in person. Those are 15 to 25 people around the table, just cocktail hours on either sides of the network and knowledge share on a single topic. So we'd love to have anybody if you're going to those events. Or if you're in a tier-one city, or at this point in time, maybe even tier two, we have enough people working remote. So with that, also, I'm talking with 30 plus brands a week to stay on top of those trends and the knowledge share as a whole. Tons of people on the line today I've talked to in the past, I'm going to follow up with everybody. But even if I haven't chatted with you in the past, we'd love to have a conversation, it's where we get the ideas and the topics for these events that we're doing so we can stay as relevant as possible. If you have any pain points whatsoever, don't ever hesitate to reach out, more than happy to jump on the phone and discuss them with you. If ever need any kind of partner recommendation, we utilize this network to vet out the top service providers across the board everything from Amazon, to direct to consumer. And that's everything in between from international expansion to drop shipping to SEO, SEM, whatever it might be. So don't ever hesitate to use the network in that manner as well. A couple housekeeping items as we wrap up here and get ready to get started, at any point in time, if you have any questions, feel free to hit star five, a hand will go on pop on the screen here, we can unmute you and bring you in. We want to get as many questions answered as possible. The other thing is, we're starting this at three to four minutes after the hour. And just so everybody knows we're going to wrap this up with three to four minutes in the hours to go as well. We're to give you plenty of time to get out to your next meeting without being late. With that I want to kick this off lots of questions around Amazon right now, how people should be prioritizing their business. And that is because a lot of people are looking at it and they're taking a step back saying, "Wow, Amazon is now this huge portion of my budget, much bigger than it was two years ago trying to understand how it fits into everything. How do I feel growth, not over indexing and pay media spend or whatever it might be." And so we've got some great friends partners, the network over at Orca Pacific, come highly recommended from a ton of brands across the network as a whole. They're all around great friends partners have been supporters of ours and the brands the network for four and a half, five years now. And so I'm going to kind of kick it over to Mike first. Mike Battista, if you want to jump in, intro on yourself in Orca Pacific would be awesome. I now you Bhupinder on a line and Lance as well. But if you want to give us a brief intro on yourself in Orca, that would be awesome. And we can kind of jump into the content as a whole. Sound good?

 

Mike Battista  3:34 

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you really appreciate it Aaron. Mike Battista here guys hello, I hope everyone's doing well. A little bit about me, I am a former Senior Advertising Manager here at Orca Pacific, have been for a number of years here and recently moved over to the business development team where I'm helping support the team in subject matter expertise manner in terms of advertising. I have quite a bit of experience prior to that it came directly from Amazon Advertising in Seattle, right before Orca Pacific as well. And was pretty much knee deep in the campaign here for most of my career at Orca. So really excited to be here and speak to that a little bit. And a little bit about Orca Pacific is we've kind of been born and bred within the eCommerce space. We've been around for about just under 14 years here in Seattle, about two blocks away from the Amazon campus, portion of our employees are either X-Amazonians or have a really terrific experience in either managing campaigns or understanding kind of the Amazon ecosystem and how that fits into any business's repertoire these days and increasingly so that is becoming the case here. We handle everything from advertising management to content management and account management and that's the overall strategic strategy here. So, Bhupinder if you'd like to say hello here. Bhupinder is our Associate Director of Sales and has quite a bit of experience on the Amazon platform himself as well.

 

Aaron Conant  5:13 

Yeah, Bhupinder do you want to jump in just for a quick intro, and we'll jump over to Lance. And we'll kind of get into the topics.

 

Bhupinder Singh  5:18 

Yep, I'm sorry, I was on mute. So I'd be happy to make a quick introduction, and I'll kind of add a couple of other things about Orca's background, if that's okay. So a little bit about myself, I'm the Associate Director of Sales, here at Orca Pacific. And prior to Orca Pacific, I've worked at another agency for about a year and a half. And prior to that, I worked at Amazon for about a good four and a half years. And while my time at Amazon, I spent those on the 3P side, so I was recruiting brands to start selling on Amazon and increasing their sales. And then my last year at Amazon was on the 1P side, where I managed the three main brands on the Home and Kitchen category. So in terms of Orca Pacific, as kind of Mike touched on, we've been in business for about 13 years. We are born and bred literally in Seattle, and our office's located two blocks away from Amazon's campus. So we specialize in anything related to selling on Amazon. And we can handle a number of different platforms in commerce, such as Walmart, Target, and Instacart. But our main focus has always been the Amazon ecosystem. The large majority of employees working here are kind of like Mike and myself. They're either former Amazon employees, or they are very industry experts. And we're proud to say probably have a strong relationship within the Amazon organization. Currently, our portfolio consists of over 150 clients who are selling across all major categories. And we're currently managing over a billion dollars in sales on the platform itself. We've worked with brands who are new to Amazon, as well as who are well established brands and have been selling on Amazon already. And so what we typically do, we work to grow their sales and incremental revenue, as well as to better understand and fix some of the main issues related to content optimization, advertising, and inventory planning plus demand. So we help with the overall strategy, consulting and execution to maximize potential on the platform. So I'll pause here, and let Lance introduce himself as well.

 

Aaron Conant  7:35 

Yeah, Lance, if you want to jump in real briefly. And then I want to jump into I've got a bunch of questions that have come in as well as just ones that I've documented from brands around content. But Lance, if you want to just brief it, you jump in, yeah, you and your role, and then we can jump into content. So I'm good.

 

Lance Henderson  7:49 

Yeah. Can you hear me?

 

Aaron Conant  7:50 

Yep. Loud and clear.

 

Lance Henderson  7:51 

Okay. So my name is Lance Henderson, I'm a Senior Content Strategist with Orca Pacific. I have a background in journalism. When I first started out, and I pivot over to working with Amazon, I worked on Amazon for eight and a half years. I started in jewelry and watches category in the content realm, and then moved over to working with help content for FBA and working to support third party sellers. And yeah, worked across IMDb as well in the entertainment space. So yeah, but I spent about eight and a half years there, transitioned to doing some consulting after that, and then really wanted to work a top flight place with large clients. And so I've been working with Orca Pacific for about six months now.

 

Aaron Conant  8:37 

Awesome. Love it. And that might be a great segue. So here's things that have come in that I want to make sure that we cover. One is around content, another round managing out of stock scenarios as a whole, big questions coming in around advertising, and the last one is, what do staffing look like for organizations for Amazon at this point in time? Those are key things that have been coming up though and make sure that we get into. Just reminder, if you have questions, email them into me aaron@bwgconnect.com or hit star five, we can unmute you. A hand will go up on the screen here, we just unmute you and bring you in, you can ask directly. So with that, Lance I'm going to keep this on you and others can jump in as well. Content has been coming up a ton right now. Would love to hear some strategies that can be employed, everything from imagery to wording, whatever it might be. People are looking to tell a brand story at this point in time. There's so many eyeballs starting with the search on Amazon. Love to hear your thoughts around that. Maybe it's imagery first and then a little bit about how important is getting the right number of characters and the title, the bullet points, either some things that used to come up, they kind of faded, but now, you have to be doing everything perfectly at this point in time to win, so we'd love to hear your thoughts.

 

Lance Henderson  9:55 

Yeah, absolutely. We get a ton of questions on what's a good strategy and then also what are the assets that I create to backup a strategy for sales on Amazon? And so what we end up connecting with clients a lot that where they get really get excited about their opportunity for Amazon content is around connecting with customers through eCommerce storytelling. And so basically, a good story has lots of parts, like we know, there's a beginning where we're doing some character building, some descriptive bits, the middle where working all the plot starting to crescendo, and then we have a climax, and then the ending. And so if we think about eCommerce content, like a story that we're trying to tell, this brand story, it can be easy to see Amazon content requirements as part of that stories all have a role to play in the overall content relate to the customer. And then you can back to this into the aspects that you need to want to create and the strategy that you want overall. And so essentially, if you look at the needs of content, then you can try to tell a story and then use those requirements as the tentpoles of that story. And so for example, when it comes to feature images, the images above the fold, some of the first things that you see when you go on to Amazon. So we have seven images and a video to play with there. And so there's a couple things to think about is Amazon requirements. So first off, there's no copy allowed on that first image, the product image. And so we see this as the unfettered, loud and proud if the product standing by itself on a white background, right. So this is the way we kick off, and then we do some character building. And then from there, you have a six images, or a five images to show different orientations of that product, while having a little bit of copy on the bottom third, that goes through the value propositions of that product. So for example, while we have it straight on, and on the white black background for the first image, the second image, maybe we have it at a 45 degree angle, with the first value proposition, the most important thing that we want people to know about this product. The second one is a different angle, and then another value proposition. And then we have a couple images we can bring in that we move beyond features to show benefits, which is the lifestyle image. Let's see this product within someone's life, let's put the product on their kitchen counter, let's put the vacuum on their floor. And then we also have the opportunity to have a video and 360 video within that Amazon visual carousel. And so if you're doing a video, it's really important to make sure that that video is optimized for having a sound off. Some people or you're shopping in the dentist's office, and they want to be able to watch that video, see the product in action and understand the benefits without having to turn their volume on. And so making sure that it's optimized with subtitles. And it is like those images very quickly trying to go through the value propositions and the benefits of that particular product, so it's a quick video 30 seconds or less optimized for no sound. And that is sort of very linearly going through the different values of that particular product. And so, another thing that we also want to do is consider the audiences and the platforms that we're on. Mobile has to be a large consideration for our content. And so when we think about the stories that we're trying to tell, we think about the journalistic inverted pyramid, which is we're trying to get the most important information out first in the most concise way possible. And then we work down that in a disk in a descending order. And so that really helps out with mobile optimization, because when you go to an Amazon detail page on mobile, the first two bullet points within the essential content that's beneath the title, those are the only ones that show up. And so we really need to make sure that those two counts in a way that gets out the most information in a concise way. So if this was the first line of a news story, it's really telling you what happened to who, what, where, when, in a relatable way so that we are getting that stuff in above the fold within mobile.

 

Aaron Conant  14:22 

So really quick, a question comes in, how important is video? And I'm going to just extrapolate on a little bit because it cost money. If you have a large number of SKUs, is it worth doing just a branded one that covers, I get asked this question. We're doing a branded one that just covers the brand and all the items in it, or is it better to do a specific one for each product and at the end of the day time, effort money is the juice worth the squeeze to do a video?

 

Lance Henderson  14:52 

Yeah, I think there's a tiered way of looking at it. I think the first thing if you're looking at video that you should look at is 360 video. 360 videos it'll be becoming available on Walmart. So there's more platforms that can be leveraged on. And then from there, it's really giving the 360 view, it's really just the main value proposition and look, and it's a cheaper video to produce. And so if we're being cost conscious, it can be a lot more cost effective, and can get a little more bang for your buck to go the 360 video and spread them across your different SKUs on Amazon and Walmart. I really think there's a lot of power and value in being benefit driven, as opposed to feature driven, we're looking at how this is going to make your life better, not the features that it has in order to accomplish that. And so it's really videos, those powerful tool to do that, lifestyle imagery can help but showing the product in action and in places and cleaning up messes or accomplishing tasks that are relatable to the customer is very, very valuable. That's how I would approach that.

 

Aaron Conant  16:05 

No, awesome. Yeah, so another thing comes in. So if we're looking at then this evolution from, I mean, not benefit driven, but like a product specific driven to benefit driven, the next place around A+ content, because looking back two, three years ago, A+ content was the main thing to go after, the assets in it don't show up in search. But the fact that you have it helps it raise in search ranking as a whole. How are you looking at A+ content today? We need more and more and more content, there's only a limited amount of people and time and effort out there. How do you leverage a-plus content, is this important as it used to be? Are you recommend it for everything and then Lance, go ahead, would like to hear your thoughts.

 

Lance Henderson  16:52 

I think you touched on it. When it comes to moving up in in sales rankings, consistently that's what we see across the clients that we work with is they invest in A+ content for first skews where it makes sense. And when I say makes sense is additional technical detail, can demonstrate the value of $5,000 watch over a $50 watch over a $500 watch that type of thing. And so where a-plus can really come in to help the customer to convert in those cases. And so that's where it can be really valuable. And so when, you know, our clients tend to invest in A+ content, that's when we start to see them move up within the rankings, because they are showing a lot of relevant content. And people are spending time on those pages, and then also moving to convert, because that's the way I really see A+ content is it's that opportunity to really show the value of why you should buy this particular product, you've got to see a product on Amazon. Why this one in particular. And I think most people, especially when they don't know exactly what to buy or preparing and providing content that makes it easier to compare, which is easier to cross sell into price match, that type of thing, all that adds value to the customer. And the more they see you as bringing value and being a resource, the more likely they are to purchase your product. And so, we're a big believer in a-plus. I was one of the first people to realize A+ within the jewelry and watches categories. And it consistently brought value to any product that we featured in terms of more conversions when we kept the consistent baseline. And so again, this is an opportunity for more storytelling that can kind of make the muddy water clear with what we do with A+. We're giving each of these modules a job here, where the top one can kick off with a little brand building, reminding customers who you are and why they buy from you. And then moving into a little bit more feature driven content that really shows some of the different technical specifications, but then you go big on the benefit driven content and how it's going to change your life. That can be some products, comparison tables, and then leading from there to cross selling opportunities, accessories. That's a real thing, where it's possible that you might not invest in A+ because it's an accessory, you can maybe go with something basic or not at all. But I think that we're big believers in A+ here, and we think that there's a real opportunity.

 

Aaron Conant  19:32 

Yeah, awesome. Love it. So as more people have joined, we're doing kind of this look at 2022, what should be prioritized on Amazon. And right now it just kind of poured through content. And we're at this point where now it's past digital 2.0 as digital 3.0 where you can't just do the checkboxes anymore, and how you tie everything together and just, that was kind of a great rundown on content that we need, whether or not we need videos, how to use them, telling the story, how to handle the images, and then A+ content. The next question that I want to get into. So there's a couple things that come up, but they kind of go hand in hand on the back end, managing out of stock, but then also advertising. And I want to talk about advertising first, because I want to see how that blends into -- I think a lot of people have dealt with out of stock over the past couple years here. I want to go through advertising best practices, and I want to have that bleed into managing out of stock scenarios. So let's start off. If we take a look at, Amazon is pretty much as competitive as ever these days because everybody's jumped on and started selling. Are there new tactics to increase engagement with brands as a whole? How are you guys working with brands? Or what are you seeing as new ways to kind of win as we get into digital 3.0? That's beyond just, a I've got, I'm old school AMS and in DSP setup, but paid search and DSP, we'd love to hear your thoughts on an advertising side.

 

Mike Battista  21:08 

Yeah, absolutely. Amazon continues to try to iterate on the products that they're already offering, whether that be from a an ad product specific iteration, from sponsored display, being able to reach new people who are consistently looking within that category, or being able to engage them through content. I think this is a great follow up question after content because advertising and content these days are so inextricably linked. We have to remember that the Amazon shelf space, there will always be another option to go to, especially as a new to Amazon grant, be able to sort of make your mark and get your foot in the door with new shoppers there. So being able to use new tactics that are being rolled out by Amazon, whether that be using custom video imagery within your sponsored display ads or within your sponsored brands ad to really stand out on that detail page amongst your competitors. That is increasingly important, being able to make your mark and tell your story quickly. Again, when shoppers are coming on to the site, you have to put yourself in the shoes of the shopper and I'm sure most of you if not all of you are pretty avid Amazon shoppers here. You're going to look at a variety of different products, people are not coming to Amazon just to buy right away, but they're coming to Amazon to compare prices, to look at reviews. So a couple different things that they kind of rolled out from an Amazon perspective here. So again, especially if you're new to Amazon or competing with larger brands, one thing here is exploring subscribe as safe and offering discounts for multiple orders. So really great for CPG brands, consumable brands. But if you don't have a product that shoppers are going to define on a regular recurring basis, then there are several new ways to increase touch points or impressions, with sponsored display, and with DSP targeting. Now that retargeting comes in the form of sponsored ads, and on a cost per click basis, when before we were going on a cost per 1000 impressions basis, and it's not cost effective for every single brand. It makes it a lot easier to reconnect with those shoppers who have already shown interest in your brand by landing on your detail pages and not buying. That is the essence of retargeting, building up that pool of shoppers who, through their customer behaviors on Amazon shown interest in the product, right? This is what we call the lowest hanging fruit. So exploring Subscribe and Save there to build brand loyalty over time is one way. I think another way here is that again, kind of on the subject of retargeting here, another great way to reengage the shoppers through their behaviors on Amazon is, again, who have already shown that purchase intent. For example, we know that each shopper has a unique way of shopping. And in our case here, I know that Bhupinder for example, only looks at listing results by filtering for companies that have prime, which by the way, further supports using FBA to get that prime badge. We see higher conversion rates, sales velocity with those sellers depending on the category but in any case, shoppers are quickly all over the place right on detail pages and in the brand store. Amazon has now recently added some capabilities there to where we can retarget anyone who has landed not only on your detail pages but in your brand store as well. So if you haven't tried retargeting because maybe you're new to Amazon, or the budget isn't quite there yet, the sales velocity isn't quite near that, or maybe you've tried DSP retargeting and didn't see the high traffic that you're expecting with retargeting, this only adds more shoppers into that retargeting pool. And it gives you guys more opportunities to serve messaging to high value targets. In addition to that, another thing we can do here is target Whole Foods shoppers, which unlocks a potentially massive new audience to message to. So anyone in CPG, or grocery that isn't getting enough traffic should definitely consider taking a look into that, calling us to understand sort of new ways to make this targeting effective. And if you're not in CPG, or grocery, we can definitely still target those new pool of shoppers, and come up with strategic methods to reach those shoppers with like items, similar items. So the content is there, the targeting is there too.

 

Aaron Conant  26:12 

Yeah, couple of questions that come in, one is around kind of a higher level, what percent should be dedicated to advertising, I want to break that apart into new item launch versus a product that's been up and running for a while. What percent should people be dedicating to it, just because it should be going up, I think, by numbers actually should be going up because more people are in there, and the bids are getting higher. And yet, the same time brands are trying to balance hey, do I really want Amazon to keep doubling year over year. And so in some cases, they're dialing back that overall percentage that they're reinvesting back into Amazon. So we'd love to hear kind of like strategy and thoughts on that. And the other one that comes in is around, how do we target competitors, but not sacrifice return on adspend? So a couple of different questions that came in there.

 

Mike Battista  27:02 

For sure. So first question, let's tackle first, in regards to how to allocate dollars between your hero products that have already been serving on Amazon for quite a while, and then new products. It's going to depend on some of your goals here. If we have a thin margin, we know that profitability sort of needs to take the wheel, when it comes to our advertising strategy here. If we have a little bit of room to play with the margin, and we want to add additional net new customers to the brand and incremental revenue to the brand, remember, it costs a little bit more to message customers that don't know who we are, then we have a little bit of extra budget to be able to allocate here for new products to get additional new eyes on our brand store page. As the whole, we want to be investing between six or seven and 10% of what we're bringing in on either vendor or seller central here. So lately we're kind of pushing that number a little bit closer to 10% just because of the volume of competition and the CPC average rising within the last two years. But when you kind of break it down for new products to hero ASINs we typically want to do about at least 20% to 25% on those new ASINs, because we obviously want to get exposure to this new ASIN. And again, I think this is going to depend on your inventory position on your hero ASINs or any new products that you might be launching. But to keep profitability healthy, we always want to make sure that best practices are employed for those hero ASINs which is 70 to 80% ensuring that we're really owning keywords within that space having a pretty narrow target when it comes to those hero products, and again, that kind of sloughing off profitability there. 20 to 25% on those new ASINs and again, depending on the inventory there. So with that, it's really important to consistently have someone be looking at this account, looking at your demand planning in your inventory forecasting so that we know before the next month comes up exactly how much we should be investing on an ASIN to ASIN basis on within your multicol strategy on Amazon.

 

So that would be number one. The second thing here, Aaron is how do we target  competitors and that sacrifice row ads. We get this question quite a bit and I always kind of go back to the drawing board here. Competitive strategies should not be row ads focused totally right. But they are absolutely crucial to be adding net new customers to the brand, getting into more American households or wherever country that you're operating in. And of course, adding incremental sales to the brand, ensuring that we are launching advertising to people and triggering sales to shoppers who probably would not have bought without that advertising being launched. So there are other key KPIs here within competitive strategies that we can help you identify and track for success based on engagement, click through rate, we'd like to take a look at a lot. And just going back to the video aspect, click through rates absolutely been skyrocketing on those video ads. So really, really strong engagement there for adding that new customers. But these other key KPIs really important to identify and track for success when trying to reach more people. And when you're casting a wider net. Another way to help preserve your conversion rate on your own detail pages, is of course, across merchandising. So as all of you know, your competitors are advertising on your detail pages. And hopefully, you're kind of trying to steal a little bit of market share by doing the same thing. And they're using product targeting, they're using sponsored display to be able to do that and take up that space on your detail page. So a way to block them out, essentially, is to advertise on your own detail pages with similar products. So this one blocks to stay with competitors trying to steal the share. And two, give an opportunity to promote more of your brand's products. This is another great way to promote new ASINs on your hero products, detail pages. So you couple that with using sponsored brands, banner ads in the right way, really showcasing the brand well, and you have more tactics to steal back some of that market share really, really great and crucial for new to Amazon brands too.

 

Aaron Conant  32:07 

Awesome, one next question that I want to get into managing out of stock scenarios, including advertising as a whole. But just to kind of like round off this one, just a reminder, all of those who have questions, keep submitting them to me, aaron@bwgconnect.com. Or hit star five, we can unmute you and bring you in. Are there any new ways to target shoppers with DSP? So DSP launched, and everybody thinks it's just a replacement for AMG, but there are just tons of different ways to leverage it. I guess I'm going to divide this into a couple questions. What are the most effective ways that you see people utilizing DSP both on Amazon owned and operated as well as off? And then the other one is, are there any new ways to target shoppers with DSPs as everybody looks to grow shares overall?

 

Mike Battista  33:01 

Yeah, absolutely. just going back to just a few minutes ago, here, being able to target these Whole Foods shoppers, and being able to draw on Amazon's 1P data about Whole Food shoppers is quite new and very, very exciting here. Again, this is a very large pool of people. And to be able to integrate the whole foods 1P data with the already wealth of data that we're able to get from our Amazon advertising expertise here, has just been really phenomenal. So far, we're really kind of bullish about the capabilities being built out even further in the targeting segments being able to get even more granular within that subset of shoppers. So being able to target those people who have very specific customer behaviors on Amazon and on whole foods is really great. And then, the other thing I mentioned just a minute ago is being able to retarget anyone who has landed within your brand store. So if you're like me, you're not only going on to the detail pages, but you're being able to see that byline link, the jargon that we use for that link at the top of any detail page that says visit brand X's store and you're able to click on that link, come directly to the store and be able to see a variety of products, not only let's say the sneaker, the gym shoe that you were looking at, but maybe some workout shorts or some other things that are kind of related to exactly what your goal is by shopping on Amazon. So those retargeting pools being a little bit more robust, makes DSP a little bit more profitable of adventure here. Again, that DSP targeting isn't always row ads focus we have lot of other key KPIs that are pointing to success in being able to use that, driving more people back to the detail pages, getting more engagement, serving more touchpoints and reminding shoppers who your brand is before and during peak seasons. So, having a robust retargeting pool, especially when you're new to Amazon, and you really haven't had that much time to garner a lot of views, is really, really important when you're looking to kind of take that next step with DSP. Additionally, we can take a look at audience band targeting as well, with DSP, which just allows further segmentation of your core customers and kind of provides additional insight into what else they're possibly looking at. And further insights into what customers for a like item or a like categories could benefit from targeting. There's somebody that's kind of consistently looking at, let's say, sport water bottles, for example, and you have a sports speech short, we can build a certain audience bands to be able to increase the amount of impressions, if we've kind of felt like we've reached the ceiling, with how many shoppers that we're reaching, and that just opens up a whole nother realm of shoppers that could be interested in product.

 

Aaron Conant  36:33 

Yeah another question that comes in, what have brands found as effective ways to drive traffic to Amazon PDPs, or the brand store from off the platform, then maybe they're using DSP for that now? And how are folks balancing that with driving traffic to their DTC site? I mean, you have to be engaging with a ton of brands right now that are trying to balance that right. Like, how much do I drive to my direct to consumer site? How much do I drive to Amazon, and different levers that people are pulling to do that? I would love to hear your thoughts there. And then we can kind of jump into managing out of stock scenarios as well.

 

Mike Battista  37:08 

I really like to kick this to Bhupinder, who has some experience in understanding what Amazon's profitability requirements are between your DTC website and between Amazon, maybe a couple of different ways that we handle that.

 

Bhupinder Singh  37:27 

I would say, in my experience, well, when I was working at Amazon, the majority of the people prefer to drive traffic to Amazon, versus DTC like to their website, because of that whole factor of people are comfortable purchasing from Prime or from Amazon, maybe because they're a Prime member of whatnot. So they typically are more lenient to driving traffic back to their websites, or back to me their brand listings on Amazon. I've also seen people utilizing, I forget the name of the program, but it's where you can direct from your actual website, back to your Amazon listing itself, where, again, people just feel comfortable purchasing from the Amazon platform itself.

 

Aaron Conant  38:09 

Yeah and I think we could probably stretch that into an entire call. It's not a dinner. I think it's a good one. Yeah, Lindsey, awesome, awesome topic. And I'll follow up with you for sure if you will have a conversation on that. And then we'll put together a call and or a dinner on that one, for sure. Because I think a lot of people are saying, yes, it  feel more comfortable buying on Amazon, right? I mean, everything set up, they know they're gonna get it in a day or two days. But a lot of brands now are looking to also own that customer as well. And Amazon has gotten to be such a huge portion of their budget, they're almost like, you have the ease of Amazon but I don't want them to keep doubling year over a year is usually the conversation I'm having with brands is, if they keep doubling, then they're huge or too big, right? Too big of a piece of the pie. So awesome.

 

Bhupinder Singh  39:09 

The program that just came to mind is called the affiliate program where you're driving from your site to Amazon's on site and you also get a kickback like a commission for each purchase that you drove from your site to Amazon site. 

 

Aaron Conant  39:23 

Yeah. Awesome. So let's jump into managing out of stock scenarios. What's a good way to manage your out of stock? There's different moves on this we'd love to hear. Yeah, go ahead. 

 

Bhupinder Singh  39:38 

Yeah, it was good, especially with keeping in mind on with your advertising strategy as well. So a great way to manage out of stock scenario especially for like FBA items for fulfillment by Amazon items without hurting your advertising strategy campaigns would be to also have a FBM fulfillment by merchant strategy in place. So some may not know this, but you can actually have the same ASIN set up as a prime ASIN, which is FBA. But you can also have it set up as a backup for FBM. So in case your FBA strategy, let's say sells out, and you weren't able to get your products into the Amazon warehouse, in a timely fashion, then essentially listing is not going off of Amazon, your listing still stays live. Now, it's just now moved to FBM. So this allows your products to stay live on Amazon and the advertising campaigns to continue as well. So this way, you're still driving traffic to your listings. Something to keep in mind about Amazon's whole algorithm, how it works in order to have your products show up on page one organically, it comes down to the algorithm takes into account. One, how many of your ASINs are 3.5 stars or higher, two, how much traffic are you actually driving to or like people are actually clicking on and arriving to your product detail page? And in three, how often are they actually purchasing the product? So all these three things take into mind are kicking the Amazon's algorithm and the Amazon flywheel as well as like keep the flywheel spinning. So in order to keep that Amazon flywheel spinning, it's important that your product stay in stock. So it's always good to have that FBM strategy as a backup. So your detail pages are still getting views and converting to purchases.

 

Aaron Conant  41:30 

And really quick if anybody needs recommendation on like, a highly efficient one that comes recommended from tons of brands of backups, shoot me a note, that ability to drop ship anywhere in the US in one to two days comes up all the time. We're going to have multiple events on it coming up. But if you need a connection to somebody who can do that, if you can't do it on your own, shoot me an email aaron@bwgconnect.com, more than happy to kind of connect you with somebody else in network. But yeah, I agree, like they didn't pull the trigger and you ship it, it never really goes out of stock. So a question though, this is what kind of comes up is if you're going out of stock, do you dial back to spend? And if you do go out of stock, you ship those dollars someplace else? Or do you pull the dollars back up so that when you come back into stock, you have a bunch of cash you can dump that trying to get the search relevancy back up?

 

Bhupinder Singh  42:29 

I would add one thing, Mike, before you jump in on the advertising part, I would say if you know that your inventory is going to be out of stock, let's say the manufacturer is not getting it to you in time, then I think it makes sense to take those finances and shift them to maybe some of your other top selling ASINs that are not out of stock at the time. But Mike, I'll let you add in on the advertising aspect of it.

 

Mike Battista  42:52 

Yeah, I would totally agree. Pooling funds, in hopes of being able to kind of build that search relevancy up is not the first tactic that we would recommend. So if you have any new products that you have recently launched that maybe need a couple more reviews on them, that need a little bit more sales velocity on them or if you have as just as Bhupinder was just speaking to have some other products that also have some strong sales history, absolutely, we want to keep that relevancy steady, as long as we possibly can. And we call that the Evergreen strategy, keeping ads on for all of the day, ideally and all the year, ideally as well, just so that we never have to build back up on that search relevancy. Because if you're not building on that search relevancy constantly, you can bet your bottom dollar that your main competitors are. If it's not every single one of them, someone is, not only bidding on your keywords, but they're obviously still bidding on those category keywords, which are very, very crucial for growth on the platform. But I would agree with reducing bids, for sure on some of those. If, let's say one of your key ASINs is going out of stock, and you're not going to see that come in for a while, you can reduce your bids a little bit and then save some of that extra money to re allocate. If you don't have any other ASIN, probably the next best thing would be to ensure that you are taking those extra advertising dollars that you have allocated and reinvesting them at a future date as soon as you possibly can to maintain that relevancy. The real estate on page one and page two are absolutely crucial to take on Amazon as much as you can.

 

Aaron Conant  44:51 

Awesome, love it. Another question that that that comes in and is one that I get a lot right now how are companies structuring their Amazon departments? This has changed drastically over the past two years. And there's tons of movement across the board, people, as the great resignation right now, everybody's looking for alternatives, the best in class companies that you're working with, what does that look like as a whole? And then, we'd love to hear your thoughts of what you're seeing there as a whole? And then how do you guys kind of, like augment that as a whole? Looking for the best way to set up an Amazon department at this point in time.

 

Mike Battista  45:40 

Sure. From my experience, and speaking to these kind of even larger brands, it's a balancing act, right? Because, as you so rightly pointed out Aaron that there is a lack of experience sometimes when really trying to find that perfect candidate to bring in house to manage your advertising campaigns. So if you're a little bit of a larger brand, and you can afford to bring somebody in, we are absolutely seeing that. We're seeing that Amazon piece of the pie grow little by little every single year when it comes to kind of carving up your marketing initiatives, and your selling initiatives. And so it has been beneficial for companies to bring in account managers or managers who can kind of have boots on the ground of fact, to consistently look at that inventory position, especially if you're kind of iffy with your supply chain at the very moment. But it's also very important that we've seen a lot of companies continue to ensure that they maintain their agency relationship and kind of outsource what they can. We don't look at ourselves as an outsourced agency, just in terms of Orca Pacific, we look at ourselves as a team partner. So we are on the ground, we are communicating with our clients on a daily and weekly basis here, and we understand their business almost as much as they do themselves. So, I think that at this point, companies are still trying to figure it out and figure out what the balance is, on what tasks they can handle themselves, and what tasks they really do need a tried and proven experts in handling on a monthly basis. Advertising and content, probably being the top two that they're still using agency services for.

 

Bhupinder Singh  47:43 

I would add that, depending on the size of the company, a lot of times, companies will have their own in-house team that's managing their entire Amazon ecosystem, however, they lack, or they don't have access to the right tools to provide strategy in order to be successful on Amazon. So then they're out there looking for other agencies, they like Orca Pacific on becoming that, like Mike said, becoming a partner, or becoming an enhancement of their team to help drive their sales, even though they do have their own in-house team. So it just depends, a lot of the companies out there, they lack the knowledge on how to become successful on Amazon. And so also, considering listing when you are out there looking at other agencies, some things to keep in mind is what questions should we be asking these agencies to make sure that we're a good fit? So some that come to my mind, one is like, okay, what kind of direct relationship do you currently have with Amazon if I think it's a good one? Just to better understand their experience, their expertise of Amazon itself. And then the second one would be, do you provide any services or just the data that I need to be profound good on Amazon? Because certainly, there are agencies out there that say, "Hey, we know Amazon really well, we understand that. And we actually have the data to move your sales." But they don't do anything, they just give you the data. And then you have to rely on your in-house team to go in and implement that data or implement that strategy. Versus there are companies out there that say, "Hey, we know Amazon, we can tell you how to be successful." But they're doing it based on their experience, or them managing previous Amazon campaigns and whatnot, but they lost the data. So it's really good to find when you're interviewing other agencies or looking for agencies to find that balance, whereas they that that company has the data, that agency has a data, Amazon data access to Amazon data, but they can also go ahead and implement those changes on your behalf in case you don't have your in house team working on Amazon.

 

Aaron Conant  49:45 

100%. I mean, there should be multiple things you're asking for, right? They shouldn't be around, hey, not only the data, who are they using to pull in the data, whether it's proprietary or they're outsourcing, it doesn't matter. But also on the paid media side Because at this point in time, if you don't have ad tech on the back end, you're throwing money away, right? I mean, you have to be able to daypart the ads that you're doing. It's just gotten so complicated over the past two, three years, that it needs to be plugged in, and they need to be using something on the back end. So those are great questions to ask, as you're interviewing is like, "Hey, who's your ad tech partner? What is the data?" I don't know if there's other ones as well. But that one stands out, as routinely missed, just conversation I'm having is, you have these ad tech at this point in time. So I see we're getting really close to the end here. And I kind of kick it over to you, Mike, for key takeaways as a whole. I do want to say a quick thank you to everybody who sent in some awesome questions. Again, look for a follow up email from us. I would love to have a conversation with you. We don't sell anything here at BWG Connect. We're a giant networking group of thousands of brands, and it's through the one on one conversations that we get the topics where our call. So Wendy sending a great one today, we'll get that one set up. Also we're able to share a bit for the upcoming events, including in-person events, if you're open to in-person events, especially if you're at any of the upcoming eCommerce conferences, if you need connections to any service providers across the landscape, we use this network of thousands of brands to vet out the top ones. It is drop shipping, it's paid media, it is international expansion, its multi channel marketplace listing tool, and then obviously in the Amazon agency space. Like the team here at Orca Pacific has been great friends, partners and supporters to tons of brands, the network has just been a great partner, supporter the network over the years now. So look for follow up email connecting you with them as well, if you need help 100%. We're setting some aside 30 minutes to chat with them and their team. But Mike, the last minute here, kind of key takeaways as we wrap up, thoughts as a whole for people on the line.

 

Mike Battista  51:56 

Yeah, absolutely. Thoughts as a whole is that Amazon has consistently tried to iterate on their products to make it a little bit easier to break through right to break through this extra competition that we've seen come on the platform within the last two years. And so really, really great opportunities for retargeting on a cost per click basis here. Really great opportunities to reformat how you're marketing to new shoppers using DSP, traditionally, again, not a row as focused ad products here, but becoming increasingly available for strong profitability there. So there's a lot to dig into with that. So lots of new ways to be able to target those shoppers on sponsored ads on Amazon. And then with DSP, on and off of Amazon. And any new tactic to be able to increase additional engagement with your brand, with reformatting that content and ensuring that A+ on every single one of those detail pages to put your best foot forward when someone is landing on that detail page. It's going to be crucial for success in 2022.

 

Aaron Conant  53:14 

Awesome. Well, thanks again. Lance, Bhupinder, Mike today, thanks for being such great friends, partners, supporters of the network's. Everybody in line, thanks for attending. Look for a follow up email from us. You need any questions? You want to attend future events? Just let us know. With that, we're going to wrap up. Hope everybody has a fantastic Tuesday, a great rest of your week. Everybody, take care, stay safe and look forward to having you at a future event. Thanks, everybody. Thanks again. Take care now. We'll be in touch already. Bye bye.

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