Data-Driven Best Practices for Prime Day

May 26, 2021 2:00 pm3:00 PM EST

Summary

This conversation will focus on providing strategies that brands & sellers can use to leverage customer data in order to drive incremental sales on Amazon Prime Day. We'll specifically discuss using data to help identify Amazon advertising products & strategies that will improve ROAS & ultimately enable growth.

BWG Connect & Perpetua 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

  • Looking at the data - what's important and what is not?
  • On platform advertising budgeting tips & strategies
  • Overall platform traffic expectations
  • Keyword bidding & content optimization

Event Partners

Guest Speaker

Michelle Meleskie

Strategic Partner Manager at Perpetua

Michelle Meleskie is the Strategic Partner Manager at Perpetua, a Canadian company that helps build growth infrastructure for eCommerce. They work to help brands, agencies, and sellers grow on Amazon, Instacart, Walmart, and Target through advertising.

At Perpetua, Michelle works directly with clients to help them align their overall corporate strategy with how they set up different eCommerce advertising channels. She ensures clients use the Perpetua platform to the fullest of its abilities while profitably scaling in various marketplaces.

Event Moderator

Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at 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

Prime Day offers Amazon sellers an excellent opportunity to ramp up sales, but only if you know how to win traffic and retarget shoppers days and weeks after. Fortunately, there are no hacks — only data-driven best practices to ensure everyone competes fairly. So, what are the data-driven advertising methods to guarantee success on — and after — Prime Day?

The first step is to increase your budgets on category terms instead of competitor terms because people are converting on those category search terms on Prime Day. Another reason is that shoppers are less likely to click but more likely to convert. What more should you be doing with your budgets, bids, and types of ads to secure Prime Day traffic?

Tune in to this virtual event to learn more about data-driven best practices for Prime Day. Host Aaron Conant talks with Michelle Meleskie, Strategic Partner Manager at Perpetua. They discuss how to vary your ads, budgets, and bids for Prime Day, Prime Day shopping trends, sponsored product versus sponsored brand ads, best practices for DSP, and more!

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

  • Michelle Meleskie talks about what you should be doing with your advertising budget and bids to win traffic on Prime Day
  • Tips for increasing budgets and bids on Prime Day to align with shopper preferences 
  • What should your dayparting strategy be on Prime Day?
  • Prime Day shopping trends 
  • How to avoid getting kicked out of the buy box 
  • Maximizing sponsored brands on Prime Day
  • Driving traffic to stores versus new landing pages: which provides better performance?
  • Best practices for Amazon DSP 
  • How to allocate your advertising budget for sponsored products, sponsored brands, and DSP specifically for Prime Day
  • Liquidating overstocked items on Prime Day

Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant  0:18

Happy Wednesday, everybody. Welcome to what I hope is the most famous event anywhere in the digital landscape today. My name is Aaron Conant, I'm Co-founder, Managing Director of BWG Connect. And we're networking and knowledge sharing group of 1000s of brands to do exactly that we network and now and share together to stay on top of the newest trends and strategies, pain points, whatever it is shaping the digital landscape. Today, I talk with 30 plus brands a week to stay on top of those at startup, the fortune 100. And just all around digital strategy conversation. So we don't sell anything here at BWG Connect. So if you'd ever like to jump on the phone and do a kind of a digital deep dive and get the lay of the landscape that we're seeing more than happy to to network and knowledge share across the board. Also, if you're looking for any kind of service providers, put time on my calendar, don't mind walking through that as well. From the almost 10,000 brands, the network now we're able to kind of do a quick run through of Hey, who's working and who's not. And that's everything from Amazon to direct consumer performance, marketing, SEO, international expansion, digital age three pls as people are trying to figure out, you know, shipping right now, any of that stuff across that don't, don't hesitate to reach out always love a great conversation. The other thing is also know there's a lot of people moving around right now. So if you actually need help with finding new talent, we also have a talent division as well. So don't don't hesitate to reach out. And we can connect you with the talent team over there, that BWG talent team. The last thing is here, where we're starting at three to four minutes after the hour. And just so you know, we're going to wrap up with three to four minutes to go on the hour as well, just to give you enough time to get on to the next meeting without being late. So don't worry about that. Also, you have any questions along the way, we want to get as many answered as possible, drop them in the chat, drop them in the q&a section, or you can always email me Aaron Aaron@BWGConnect.com. And that is it will feel the questions there. That's also an hour after the call tomorrow next week, you you have a question that comes up in the digital space, and you wanna have a conversation on it. always open for a chat, love the conversations as a whole. So, you know, as we kick off this call, as he noted, talking to the 30 plus brands a week and you know, staying on top of those Digital Trends, that's how we come up with the topics for these calls. And so obviously, Prime Day has been coming up quite a bit earlier today, we just had one, you know, Prime Day, and in leveraging that for direct consumer sales, and how you can get that in this case, data driven, you know, best practices for Prime Day as a whole. So, you know, we got some great friends, great partners of the network over at Perpetua and Michelle is on the line today to kind of, you know, guide us on what they see in this landscape as a whole. They're great friends and partners and help a lot of different brands out as a whole. So have a great perspective, but then answer as many questions as we can throw at them. So, Michelle, you want to do a brief intro on yourself and Perpetua. That would be awesome. And then we can kind of get into the meat of the call.

Michelle Meleskie  3:14

Yeah, for sure. So I'll just start with Perpetua. So we build growth infrastructure for eCommerce. We are a Canadian company, a team of over 75 people in Toronto, and we work to help brands agencies, sellers grow on Amazon, instacart, Walmart and Target through advertising. A little bit about our company, our leadership comes from huge companies, they've helped to grow these companies, companies like blend Google Palantir, Facebook, and we actually recently just got acquired, and we're now in part of the essential family. So they have quite a few companies in the digital ad space that we can now work with. So we're super excited about that. So I think that we kind of find and what drives us is that advertising online is a very manual process. And it can be quite challenging to do. When you look at the metrics that you're seeing in those marketplaces, they might not necessarily really show you what's happening. So we focus on making sure that your performance is good and that you understand exactly what that performance is so you know what next steps to take. So I personally am a Strategic Partner Manager at Perpetua. I worked directly with our customers to help them take their overall corporate strategy and make sure that what they're setting up on Amazon instacart, whatever platform it may be, aligns with that strategy that they're using our platform to the fullest of its abilities. So like I kind of mentioned we've got marketplace optimization, we do display advertising, video advertising, and then market intelligence reporting as well. Like I mentioned, we have a bunch Different marketplaces. But obviously today we're talking about Prime Day sell. We'll just be focusing on Amazon today.

Aaron Conant  5:07

Awesome. And just a quick reminder, if you have questions along the way, drop into the chat the q&a or email them to me, Aaron@BWGConnect.com. But yeah, Michelle, we'd love to jump into it a little bit. Is there a few slides after this as well?

Michelle Meleskie  5:21

Yes. So I've got a few topics to cover today. So the first one and this is the most common thing that I get asked about is what you should be doing with budgeting, what you should do with beds and when you should be doing those things. So the first thing to talk about is, you are going to see a significant amount of increased traffic on Prime Day, and you should be adjusting your budgets accordingly. So we do see increases that are higher in terms of spend across all of our accounts on the first day of prime as opposed to the second day of prime. However, these are both pretty substantial increases. And we recommend increasing your budgets at a minimum of 100%. What they usually are to make sure that you're not going dark on Prime Day. Important to note is yes, I have you know, 82% as the increase on day one of prime, but this is an average. So some categories might see much higher increases in spending than this and some might see lower. So keep in mind the category you're in, are you in a category where you expect to see, you know, a lot of people going through your products on Prime Day, and if so you actually might need to increase your budgets more than what I have up here. The other really important thing to note with increasing your budgets is that on Prime Day, we do see a ton of advertisers going dark, just because they're not planning their budgets appropriately. So as the day runs on, you might actually be able to get a cheaper CPC as other campaigns go dark and competition dies off. So two really important reasons to increase your budgets, one capture the traffic and two, don't miss that don't miss out on less expensive traffic later in the day. Now, the next question is, when should you be increasing your budgets. So taking a look at impressions and the change in impressions that we see leading up to Prime Day, we don't see a ton of browsing. So we have this huge spike in impressions on Prime Day. But even the day before, we're only seeing a 19% increase in impressions. So for this reason, there isn't a need to drastically increase your budgets weeks in advance. The exception to this once again, because there's always an exception to the rule is if you're in a category, where you know, there's going to be a longer consideration window, if your product is you know, maybe a very high price point where you do anticipate people are going to be looking and shopping around and then making that purchase on Prime Day. In that case, it might make sense for you to increase your budgets in advance. However, for the average product, you really don't need to start increasing your budgets until maybe the day before Prime Day.

Aaron Conant  8:08

So it just don't want to just jump back there. So when you're talking about increasing budget, there's a lot of times where people are saying, hey, start ramping it up ahead of time to build organic search ranking and relevance to then, you know, do that in a month in advance, and the data here shows otherwise.

Michelle Meleskie  8:27

So in terms of trying to build your organic rank, you shouldn't just be doing this on primary, that should be kind of an ongoing thing where you're always striving to build organic rank. If you have important keywords, those should be things that you focus on year round, you should continue to focus on those leading up to Prime Day. But I wouldn't say for Prime Day in particular, you really want to focus on building your organic ranking, it's definitely going to help you you have a higher organic rank. But that's something that you really should be focusing on year round as opposed to just on Prime Day.

Aaron Conant  9:03

Awesome. Love it. And then I also see here like a couple days after Prime Day that you know it tailors off Okay, awesome. Love it.

Michelle Meleskie  9:13

Yeah, so we see things going pretty much back to normal The day after Prime Day in terms of the amount of traffic on Amazon, people do have a much lower conversion rate the day after Amazon. So I'll get to that in a couple of slides. But there are some things to be aware of the day after Prime Day as well.

Aaron Conant  9:30

Perfect.

Michelle Meleskie  9:32

So the next thing is bids and what you need to do with your bids on Prime Day. So we do see an eight to 10% increase in CPC is on Prime Day. And you may or you may not need to increase your bids. So what I recommend everyone to do is go look at your campaigns and look at your top performing keywords, whatever drives the most sales for you on Amazon, and compare your bid to your CPC right now. If you're bids are 10% or more above what you're paying per click, you're probably fine. Because Amazon operates on a second price auction, you typically will be paying quite a bit less than what you're actually bidding at. However, if you're seeing that your bids and your CPCs are really in line, then you do want to go ahead and increase your bids about 10 to 15% on Prime Day, just to make sure that you're still bidding competitively enough to win traffic on Prime Day.

Aaron Conant  10:32

Awesome. Just a quick reminder for those who have joined, if you have questions, drop into the chat or the q&a, anything around this whatsoever, and we'll get it answered or email it to me Aaron Aaron@BWGconnect.com. Awesome, love it.

Michelle Meleskie  10:48

And then the last thing to talk about in terms of bids and budgets is a cost and performance. So we do see a pretty significant decrease in a cost on the first day of Prime Day, and still a much lower a cost than the previous month on the second day of prime date, which is awesome to see. So even with increased CPCs people are converting at such higher rates. So that does offset, there's also an increased average order value. So you are likely to see a lower eight costs. What I really want to flag on this slide is the day before Prime Day and the day after Prime Day. So I mentioned earlier, if you don't have a product that has a longer consideration window, we don't necessarily really recommend ramping up budgets in advance. And that's because we do see a higher a cost going into Prime Day shoppers are browsing, but they're not necessarily purchasing because they're waiting for those sales. So if you have a product where people need to browse in advance, you know, it might be worth it for you to accept a higher a cost leading up to Prime Day, so that you can really capitalize on Prime Day and push a ton of volume. But if you don't have a product people are going to be researching in advance, you might not want to increase your budgets and bids in advance because then you're just going to be spending more at a worse return. The other thing is the day after Prime Day. So we saw that impressions basically dropped back down to normal on the day after Prime Day. But we do see a significant drop in conversion rates compared to what we typically see in the months leading up to Prime Day, that causes our a cost to be super high The day after Prime Day. So if you are increasing budgets, if you're increasing beds, you want to make sure that you change that back to what you had before, or even decrease your bids a little bit the day after primary just to make sure that you're not continuing to spend when shoppers are no longer looking to shop at the same aggressive level.

Aaron Conant  12:43

Do you think that that's higher because people forget to drop it back down then? And then you have these artificially high bids? Where Hey, you know, prime days One, two, is there any you know, you know, hangover effect, right? That it's bleeding into one more day. So people are hoping and they keep it high. But really the this is showing the payoffs not there to do it.

Michelle Meleskie  13:04

Yeah, so we actually see CPCs go back pretty much to normal. So people are decreasing their bids, it looks like it's that average order value has gone back down to normal, and the conversion rates really dropped off. So conversion rates the day after prime are way lower than what you'd see on just a regular day. And that's why we see this huge spike in a cos. And interestingly enough, if you look at like breath, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, that's where you see the increase in CPCs going after the holidays. But for Prime Day, we do typically see that bids go back to normal The day after.

Aaron Conant  13:42

Well, interesting. I mean, it makes sense, right? Because in q4, you're ramping up towards the holiday season, just Black Friday, Cyber Monday, cyber week, what's now cyber month almost, you know, there's there's that continuing push, but in this case, there's really a drop off. And I think, you know, Amazon moving it up a month from years past, right, they were really seeing July bleed into back to school. So how how much can they move it up and get a real spike? Awesome. So a quick question. A couple questions come in. And so a reminder, you can drop in the chat the q&a or email them into me. Number one, can we get a copy of the presentation? Is that available for handout afterwards?

Michelle Meleskie  14:25

Yeah, we can do that for sure.

Aaron Conant  14:26

All right. Awesome. So we'll connect you anybody wants a copy? It will connect you with Michelle, she can get you a copy of the presentation for sure. The other thing is, you know, you'd mentioned you know, longer consideration products. And the question is, are there any categories that you don't recommend increasing budgets for it and then I want to get down to another topic and maybe we'll get into it is, you know, is there are there tactics behind increasing budget, right and increasing bids? Are there other tactics that levers that we can pull to maximize the spend and In the performance, and I'd say the, you know, the minimization of loss of margin on Prime Day for sale. So,

Michelle Meleskie  15:08

yeah, for sure. Um, so I'll start with kind of your first question on categories, where we don't recommend increasing budgets, we actually don't really have any categories where we think you shouldn't increase spend even products where they aren't running any deals, we see a spike in sales on Prime Day, just because people are in this shopping mindset. A lot of people won't shop leading up to primary because they're waiting for sales, Prime Day happens, they don't see a sale and what they want, they're still going to buy it. So just because they've been holding off on buying it hoping for a sale. So I do recommend increasing a budget regardless of what category you're in. Just because we do see shoppers really eager to convert. On the other note in terms of products with a longer consideration window. That's where I'd say things like electronics, or anything where you're in a very high priced point item, take a look at what you're kind of attribution window is usually for your product. That's a really good proxy. So if you take a look at a search term report, basically every single day for a week period, you can see how your sales rolling every single day and see are people making a purchase the day of the click or are they making it a week out. And that can kind of give you a good idea of what your consideration window is. But for the most part, it's anything that's going to be a higher price point item, that's where we're really going to see people taking a longer time to think about it and have to do some research because it's more of an investment for them, as opposed to a spur of the moment this is on sale, I'm just going to buy it.

Aaron Conant  16:49

Awesome. So one of the things that I like to I really liked there, you know, it's kind of a tidbit is they, if you're if you're not if you're concerned about overall profitability, which everybody shouldn't be, but if you're in a, you know, margin, you know, tight categories, a haul, go ahead and back off on the maybe percentage discount, and push some of that into paid media because people are there to buy. Exactly. Okay, awesome.

Michelle Meleskie  17:19

Yeah, and your other question about other things we can do, I'll just kind of jump ahead there quickly. And I'll get back to this. But another really important thing to note about how people shop on Prime Day is looking at their conversion rates relative to normal and their click through rates. So if we look at how shoppers shop on Prime Day, their click through rates, plummet compared to what we usually see. So like we saw earlier impressions are up a ton, and people aren't doing searches, and then clicking on things, then doing other searches, they're just doing a lot of searches, they're not necessarily clicking on ads at the same rate, they usually would, however, that conversion rates that. So if you can get someone to click on your ad, they do have a higher chance of converting. So it's so so important to make sure that whatever you are displaying, when people see your advertisements, or even as an organic post, that that stuff is optimized. So here you can play with your imaging, you can play with the title, you can play with the pricing of the product, make sure these are as great as they can be. If you have a product that maybe doesn't have as many reviews, that might not be a great one to really focus on on Prime Day, because people are less likely to click on that if there's fewer views or bad ratings. So anything that you can have optimized, is really going to kind of that's the no one advertising piece that you can do for primary and make sure that you're successful.

Aaron Conant  18:50

Awesome, love it.

Michelle Meleskie  18:53

Cool. I'm just going to jump back. Sorry, I just wanted to highlight this, everything on the left here is basically what I just went through. But here's kind of our blanket as a starting point recommendation for changing budgets, bids, etc. So we recommend a 50% budget increase the day before Prime Day, we are seeing some people shop once again, keep in mind if this makes sense for you 100% budget increase on Prime Day or prime days now, the day after prime date taking your budgets back to default, and then doing a 10% bid decrease so that you're still advertising but you're maybe not going after some of the shoppers who are really their shop, and then two days after Prime Day back to default. So this is a great starting point. You might need to make some tweaks to this depending on your specific products. If you're running sales, if you're running sales in a specific day, you might want to have a much higher budget on that day. So take that all into account. Um, one thing in our platform is we do allow advertisers just to click and opt in and automatically have their budgets adjusted and but it If you're not using a platform like ours, you can just go ahead and manually make these adjustments each day.

Aaron Conant  20:05

Awesome. So a question comes in around like day gating day parting? Does anybody use that? Or should it be always on during Prime Day?

Michelle Meleskie  20:14

Yeah, so Prime Day is interesting, just because you can get Lightning Deals throughout the entire day. So shoppers are more likely to be online during weird hours. So it's not necessarily a good thing to try to be super strategic with your day parting there, you don't know when other advertisers are going to have their sales. So you might be able to gain a little bit. However, it's, it's so hard to say there's going to be different things on different times every year, there's no way to predict that. So you're more likely to miss out on sales. And I would say reap the benefits of being a little bit more strategic with day parting during the day.

Aaron Conant  20:58

Awesome love. And just a reminder, if you have questions, more than happy to get them answered, drop into the chat or the q&a or keep emailing them to me, Aaron Aaron@BWGConnect.com. Awesome, I'll kick it back over to Michelle. Awesome stuff here. Neat.

Michelle Meleskie  21:13

So some more Prime Day shopping trends. So the next one in terms of how shoppers shop. So we actually do see a decrease in the percentage of sales that come from top of search on Prime Day. So we are seeing a slight increase in restive search, and additionally product detail pages. So I think resco search is a very interesting one that we're seeing increased traffic here. This just goes to show that people are doing their searches and they're more likely to scroll down that page, they might do an additional search not necessarily click through, but they are more likely to make sales from those lower placements, we're also seeing an increase in sales on product detail pages. So typically, we have people who really want to dominate top of search, this is going to be you know, a slightly more expensive placement than product detail pages or rest of search. And for most of the year, that can be a great strategy. On Prime Day. Just be cognizant, if you have really aggressive top of search multipliers on any of your campaigns, that you are still bidding on rest of search and product pages, because there is a large portion of sales that you can get from those placements as well and you don't want to miss out on those. And then the last thing for what searches we should be doing is if you should be going after category terms, or branded terms. So here we're seeing the increase in these metrics for category search terms and branded search terms. So I'm going to start with impressions. So we actually see an increase on branded impressions. This is shoppers searching for any brand name versus category terms, we see a larger increases in impressions for Brandon. However, the sales are mainly coming from those category terms, that's where we see the largest increase. So you really want to make sure that you're going after category terms with additional budget, as opposed to targeting your competitors and their names, there's going to be a lot of category traffic on Amazon. This is where people are making purchases from. So this is where you should be allocating your budget to if you have extra budget.

Aaron Conant  23:31

Awesome, this is great stuff.

Michelle Meleskie  23:34

Awesome. And then here's my last little general shopping trend for Prime Day. And this is categories that we saw the largest percentage increase in sales. So kind of what I mentioned at the start, you know, that 82% baseline, you might need to go higher or lower depending on what category you're in. Now we see electronics at almost the top of both 2019 and 2020. So you can kind of use this as a gauge to what category you're in. But the thing that I really want to draw your attention to on this slide is toys and kids. So in 2019 Kids products and toys didn't see a huge increase on Prime Day. But in 2020, we saw a massive increase in sales. And our theory on this is that Prime Day was in October and people were doing their holiday shopping at this point. So for this kind of the main takeaway that I want everyone to take is that 2020 was not a normal Prime Day. And if you're using past data to make targets for yourself to plan out your strategy, I really don't recommend looking at 2020 2019 it was in July, we're going to be probably end of June this year is what we're thinking. So those are going to be likely very similar. 2020 is probably not a good thing to benchmark yourself off of and if you saw a different type of increase in sales in 2020 versus 2019. That could have just been the holiday season. So take any of your 2020 results with a grain of salt in projecting for this year.

Aaron Conant  25:09

No, I think that's an awesome point because everybody on the line is participating in Prime Day, you know, there's going to be more eyeballs on it, then there probably was even last year because there's probably more budget being spent. And I know there's a hyper focus on it. But they're going to be looking at year over year comps and wondering, hey, why Why weren't you know, why aren't we up, which is a good reason. If you're in you know, toys and kids, you you may not be up or you may not see the same year over year growth. And that's a great explanation here, as reported out to executive teams and people are really deep dive in and drilling in. Fantastic point here if you compare and specifically Prime Day over Prime Day. So you guys are expecting it to be closer to 2019.

Michelle Meleskie  25:56

We think so we also didn't see the huge pickup in spend in sales that we expected for 2020. Most of our advertisers just they didn't have the Prime Day they were hoping for. And you know, there was the thoughts of always the pandemic causing this. But Cyber Monday Black Friday were phenomenal still. So we think it was just it was so close to the holiday season. People weren't ready to shop primary this year is more like a normal Prime Day. It's that summer shopping holiday because there really isn't one until Amazon made one. So we do think it'll be like 2019 or previous years.

Aaron Conant  26:31

Yeah, agreed. And even from the standpoint of Prime Day was moved three or four times it's hard at that point in time to plan a budget, especially after you've done a lot for back to school. Right. And this fell right here. You know, I'll say back to school, right use the term loosely. But yeah, it's it's really interesting. Last year, how much it blew up? Is this across both one P and three p does it matter marketplace? I know there's there's a lot of you know, restrictions last year on overall space for FBA. You know as well as you know, on the one psi, any issues that you're seeing with it, you know, this year where it might not be as big if people can't actually ship the products out.

Michelle Meleskie  27:17

So nothing like we saw last year. I know last year, almost every advertiser we work with had extreme shipping restrictions, basically throughout the entire year. So I don't anticipate that this year, I haven't been hearing anything from the advertisers that we work with.

Aaron Conant  27:33

Yeah, I know a lot of people over the past year have lined up like a digital age three PL we'll call it not just going with their traditional one, but one of these newer ones that can individually pick pack ship and get it out the door. And it's kind of a backup for merchant fulfilled or FBA, or whatever else it might be so awesome.

Michelle Meleskie  27:51

Yeah, I mean, a big thing to keep in mind too is in terms of merchant fulfilled versus FBA, we do see a significant drop off and conversion rate, the second things go to fbm. I haven't looked specifically at Prime Day data for FBA versus fbm. But I do know generally, when things switch from FB to fbm, we just see conversion rates start to quite significantly drop off, and a cost starts to increase. So it's definitely an option if you can't get inventory to Amazon. But I guess I'm just to be aware of in terms of your tracking performance, and you're comparing year over year FBA versus fbm.

Aaron Conant  28:31

That mean, it's an interesting space right now, for a lot of brands, from the standpoint even on an Amazon site, right, their ability to actually ship stuff out sometimes, you know, even last year in q4, right, the ability to actually have the staff to go out and pick it and ship it. You know, sometimes that pendulum swings, I agree the swings back and forth. Right? Like if they're fully capacity, they, you know, there's some indication that Amazon actually switching and this is not out. So this is outside of Prime Day that Amazon kind of focuses, you know, products and services to, you know, the third party party third party fulfillment options that might be out there merchant fulfilled, you know, seller fulfilled. Now, it's gonna be, it's gonna be really interesting. I think it helps that this is so much further removed from back to school or q4.

Michelle Meleskie  29:21

Oh, for sure.

Aaron Conant  29:22

For a lot of brands.

Michelle Meleskie  29:24

One more point, just to add on to last year is a lot of people didn't know if Prime Day was gonna happen last year or not. By the time they announced it. We weren't sure if it was so close to Black Friday, we just thought they were going to skip over a prime date altogether. So I don't think a lot of people had to your point budgets plan for that. So yeah, 2020 should be the anomaly and not the normal for anyone looking at planning.

Aaron Conant  29:49

Awesome. Well, that means another thing that comes up a lot of times as a whole right is you know, and we just did a call earlier today on it. Just a lot of questions around leverage. Everything we have here making sure all the content is is is, you know up to date and capitalize on your get prepared. And if you have a direct consumer side to capitalize on the increased traffic, if it does go off stock, then if you're offering a similar discount or your direct to consumer side, it's an easy transition over it, especially if you're a well known brand or brand that people are seeking and searching on specifically. So awesome. No,

Michelle Meleskie  30:28

something Sorry, just that brings something up for me, I'm saying be very cautious of Amazon is so strict about if you have a better price offered elsewhere in terms of losing the buy box. So be careful about launching sales on your DTC site, because Amazon can just take you out of the buy box. We see cases where there's no one in the buy box because of pricing issues. So just be very aware of that if you are offering discounts on your DTC site as well.

Aaron Conant  30:57

Awesome. Great point. Yep.

Michelle Meleskie  31:01

Cool. So everything previously was on sponsored products. Sorry, I forgot to mention that. And I wanted to dive into the world of sponsored brands. Obviously, sponsored products are the majority of ad placements on Amazon. So it's easy to focus a lot there. But we do have some opportunities with sponsored brands as well. So comparing sponsored brands versus sponsored products, there's just two main stats I want to draw your attention to. The first is if we look at how many extra impressions we saw on sponsored products versus sponsored brands, sponsored brands didn't see the same increase in impressions. So sponsored brands impressions increased half as much as sponsored product impressions increased. That being said, still make sure that you have the budget for these campaigns. If you're already running out of your full budget every single day, go ahead and increase that. Because sponsored brands drive sales over Prime Day. So if we look at the increase in sales that we see on sponsored brands versus sponsored products, sponsored brands drive 2.5 times more sales on Prime Day than they do on regular days. So it's really important that you have these sponsor brands up and running. A few things to keep in mind with sponsor brands is you have a sponsor brand, with your those three products in it and one of those products goes out of stock, the sponsor brand will still display however, that products just gonna be missing, there might only be two or one products there. And this isn't a great experience for users. So particularly idea like Prime Day where you could have huge stock issues, there's kind of two things we recommend doing the first being if you have a small catalog, and you can really stay on top of that if a product goes out of stock, just switching another one. And that's great, you have a huge catalog, that's not necessarily realistic. So at that point, what you can do is Amazon has a dynamic option for sponsored brands, where you can choose more than three and they can kind of shuffle things in and out. the downfall of that is that it goes to the new product landing page as opposed to stores, which kind of getting into my next point here is we do see better performance on stores. So kind of a trade off that you might need to do there, which one you want to use. This is kind of looking at sponsor brand destinations. And this isn't something that's unique to Prime Day. But something that I think a lot of people don't realize is that stores are the optimal sponsor brand ad destination as opposed to new landing pages. So particularly if we're looking at Prime Day, we're seeing a click through rate that's higher, which is so important. On Prime Day, as I mentioned, our click through rates are going to be low. And then we're seeing a significantly lower ad costs. So if you do have the option of running sponsored brands to product listing pages, or stores, I really recommend going with stores instead.

Aaron Conant  34:03

Awesome, and you beat me to the next. This is exactly the next question that came in was around. Have you seen, you know, performance, better performance around driving to stores versus actual landing pages? Is this is unique because usually you would think that you would want to take them actually do a product page with a discount on it to have them convert right there. But your data says otherwise your data says a for a sponsored brand that they're looking at the brand, they want to be taken to a store and given a bunch of different options.

Michelle Meleskie  34:34

Exactly. So we actually um, there was an email from Amazon. And I don't remember the exact number but it said basically that stores were better than new landing pages as a destination. And we were all really surprised. So we've crunched all the numbers on our side too. And we saw the same thing. So what we're seeing in our data is actually consistent with what Amazon saying. The only thing to keep in mind with sponsored brands Is that any sales from your brand are going to be attributed to that sponsor brand store. So if you are the brand owner, that's not a problem, you might be working with resellers who are selling the product. But if you are selling, you know, if you have the rights to sell certain items of a brand, but you don't have the rights to sell that entire brand, you don't own that brand. If you run a sponsored brand campaign to a brand store, people might purchase other products from that brand store, those attributed sales are going to go to that ad, but you might not be getting that revenue. So that's kind of the one exception where I would say use a new landing page as opposed to a store. But if you're the brand owner, and you don't care if they're buying from you, or a seller that you work with the store is the way to go.

Aaron Conant  35:51

Love it, love it.

Michelle Meleskie  35:55

Cool. And my last topic for the day is Amazon DSP. So with DSP, we do recommend getting additional budget for Prime Day, this is a huge polity, obviously. And you can increase performance for Prime Day and then also the period after Prime Day. So the first thing I want to talk about is purchase rates. So this chart here shows the purchase rate this is looking at Prime Day last year, which I mentioned wasn't the greatest year. So we might even see something better this year, I'm looking at the purchase rate for some different ad inventories. So here we have Amazon owned and operated mobile. And this is what I want to draw your attention to. So we typically see a higher purchase rate on Amazon owned and operated mobile than we do want other ad placements. However on Prime Day it is significantly higher. So what you want to do with your DSP is taking a you know, starting as soon as you can basically at this point, start doing top of funnel activities in market lifestyle, build your brand up, you want to get people to see your ads, engage with your advertisements go to your Detail page. And then what you can do is on Prime Day, you can retarget those customers and capture them when you have this higher purchase. Right. So this is something that we've seen great success with last year. And I know this is kind of different from what I was saying previously in terms of running ads early but the way you have to think about it is sponsored products are typically a very low in the funnel advertisement. And this is why we don't typically recommend launching them earlier unless you have like I said progress longer consideration window. With DSP, you can run those super top of funnel campaigns just focus on building your brand and building that awareness. So we do recommend starting I mean prime is probably coming up soon still waiting on the date to be announced. But as soon as possible to build out that retargeting pool so that you can really go after those customers on Prime Day.

Aaron Conant  38:08

Yeah, I know DSP has been a very hot topic for the past eight to nine months and seeing a ton of performance on it for brands that I'm talking to which is just unique because you look back two or three years right and I have a way throwback to AMG time where you know it was kind of you know, hidden miss a brand Halo You know, this is what your role as is but you know if you consider this brand that you know loosely attribute and brand Halo, you're making tons of money. What do you seen for for DSP? Are you are you as gung ho as a lot of brands are on it right now?

Michelle Meleskie  38:48

Yeah, we're seeing really phenomenal results. It really depends where you want to start. So we see a lot of companies that will typically start with the retargeting remarketing segment, particularly if you're a consumable, and you can get someone to continuously purchase your products. That's a really great way to leverage DSP. I think a lot of things people are scared of with DSP is some cannibalization. So we make sure that we do like exclusions. So we exclude people who if you think your purchase windows 30 days, we're going to exclude people who purchased in the last 30 days. And then once it's past that point where they should have repurchased, then we'll start sending them advertisements. So that's where we see a lot of people starting. And then people often they get so excited about the retargeting role as but that retargeting pool is going to dry up eventually. So that's where it goes into that top of funnel brand building stuff can be really great. We've seen a lot of brands really been able to scale up their growth by leveraging DSP more.

Aaron Conant  39:53

So So a question that comes in is around allocating budget as a whole. So sponsored products by Monster brands DSP on a normal timeframe, what's the breakout percentage wise of a budget? And we'll say $100. How does it just to make it easy? And then how does that change for Prime Day?

Michelle Meleskie  40:13

Yeah, so I guess the biggest thing with DSP is there are spending minimums for DSP. So that does take it off the table, depending on how much you're spending on advertising. So we have a $10,000, monthly spend minimum, it's going to be different depending on the partner that you work with. But if you're not spending, you know, $15,000 minimum a month on sponsored ads, we wouldn't even recommend getting into DSP, just because there's so much opportunity probably with your sponsored ads to still capitalize on. So in usual times, if I just look at the sponsored budget, I would say more than 50% should be going to sponsored product ads. And then we typically recommend 15 to 20% to sponsor brands. And with sponsored display, basically putting as much money as you can there while you still see good returns. Sponsored displays an interesting one, because it has similar capabilities to DSP. So sponsored display, product targeting is where we've seen the most phenomenal results, you're showing up above the fold, either as brandy fence or on your competitors pages. And so that's why we recommend just putting as much budget as you can. The famous sponsored display is that there's less inventory. So you might only be able to spend so much on sponsored display, and then you have to put that money back into sponsored products sponsored brands. As for the split than on DSP, once again, this really depends on your strategy. So we'll typically start with retargeting and then kind of grow top of funnel. So there isn't necessarily a split between DSP and sponsored that we recommend. Although we don't recommend you spending drastically more on DSP than you're spending on sponsored, you can however, be spending a lot more on sponsored than DSP and still see good results, when it comes to Prime Day, honestly recommend keeping these things pretty consistent. The only kind of caveat to me saying that is that Amazon's really invested in sponsor display recently. So we don't have the best data on sponsored display on Prime Day, I can really only speak to sponsored products sponsored brands. So I would say rather than thinking about the percentage split that you want between those at two ad units, just look at what you're currently spending, and just increase your budgets to make sure that you're not going dark. That's kind of the the biggest priority as opposed to saying, Okay, do I have 70% 30%? Just look at what you're doing now look at your A cos on your sponsor, product sponsor brands, and kind of make the judgment call based on that.

Aaron Conant  43:08

Awesome. Awesome, thank you.

Michelle Meleskie  43:12

Yeah, no problem. Okay, and then the last thing about DSP is kind of about looking at the future and looking beyond Prime Day. So another important DSP metric that we look at is your Detail page view rate. And this is the number of people who view your advertisement and then go to your Amazon page. And this might be by clicking on the ad, this might be by later doing a search for your brand and going to that advertisement. And we do see once again, a pretty significant increase when it comes to Prime Day. And the reason that this matters is what I was talking about earlier with DSP is it's so important to build up that retargeting pool. So what you can do on Prime Day is invest a lot more money in your Amazon DSP, more higher level campaigns, get people to look at your products, go visit your pages, and then you can continue to retarget those customers in the weeks or months following Prime Day. So we saw a increase relies on retargeting for, in some cases, months on some of our accounts, just from really going after additional traffic on Prime Day, not just focusing on that bottom of funnel traffic where you're gonna immediately see the return, but focusing on that top of funnel traffic, where you'll see those returns over a longer period of time.

Aaron Conant  44:39

Love it, love it.

Michelle Meleskie  44:42

Awesome. That's kind of the main content that I have for today. I've got like some summaries that we can go over all the different things kind of some key takeaways. I'm not sure if you had any other questions coming in at once go over first.

Aaron Conant  44:54

No, I can show you really quickly. You can jump into these and I'll kind of feel them as they pop in just a minute. If you have questions, you can drop into the chat the q&a or just keep emailing them to me Aaron Aaron@BWGConnect.com any questions on this whatsoever? We can get them answered.

Michelle Meleskie  45:12

Awesome. So just kind of going over the main learnings from today. So the first is increase your budgets on category terms as opposed to competitor terms. Obviously, you know, General times you might want to really go after your competitors. But on Prime Day people are converting on those category search terms. So that's where you want to allocate all additional budget. Another thing is shoppers are less likely to click but more likely to convert. So make sure that everything is optimized in terms of your SEO are your back end keywords good. What's your listing details look like? What are people seeing when they click on the ad, make sure that is as enticing as it possibly can be. This is something that's not going to cost you money to advertise on, but can make a significant difference if you can get people to actually click on your product. The other thing is think about which products really going to push money behind. Do they have a ton of reviews, a ton of ratings, what else pops up when people do those searches, if you have, you know, 10 reviews and all the organic products and that search term has 2000, it might not do as well on Prime Day, if you have another product that has maybe a few 100 or 1000 reviews, that's a great place to focus if you can. And then as for category data, you have data from previous years, look at 2019. Look at 2018. If you have that, we really don't recommend looking at 2020 as a baseline for primary this year was too close to the holiday season. So things might be misleading that way. And I did mention that 100% budget increase, but keep in mind the category that you're in, and if it makes sense for you to increase your budget higher than that. Another really important thing to note about budgets is they're just a cap on spending. So if you're not changing your bids, you're not being more aggressive. Just increasing that cap, it doesn't mean that you're going to spend the entire budget, but you could miss out on sales if you don't increase your budget. So even if you're in a category where you think, oh, no one's searching for me, that's fine. Increase your budget. If no one searches for you, you won't spend anything extra. If people do search for you, you might get sales. So there's not a huge risk in increasing your budgets because it's all about your bids and what people are searching for.

Aaron Conant  47:38

Awesome. So a quick question that comes in with Amazon's recent limits on restocking for FBA. What's your experience with liquidating items on Prime Day so you know, kind of gets into that, you know, experience around liquidating but you know, not the top sellers. But you know, once you overstocked items that you want to move, is there. Is there a difference in performance between Hey, I've got you know, my best sellers, and then I want to move product. So it's a, you know, overstocked item.

Michelle Meleskie  48:07

Yeah, I think the biggest thing to think about is if it's not a best seller is really thinking about price. Um, bottom line, people like Prime Day because there's amazing discounts on Amazon. So if you can't compete on you know, having the best product image, if you can't compete on having the best description, maybe you can compete on price. Another good thing to do would be putting that product on the product detail pages of your bestseller products. So via sponsored display, or SP Pat just getting that in people's faces. Or even if you can create bundles with that products and other products, you make a bundle when you're on the product detail page, it says you know, recently purchased with this, and that's another way just to get it in front of shoppers eyes. And also, like the number of reviews really depends on the category. We do see, you know, higher price point items, that's where those matter the most. If you are dealing with a lower price point item, you might be able to get away with not putting too much of a discount. I'm just really pushing it.

Aaron Conant  49:17

Awesome. Love it the

Michelle Meleskie  49:23

cool onto sponsor brands. So increase your budgets and your beds, we don't see the same increase in spending and impressions that we do on sponsored products. But there's a lot of potential for increased sales. You can get someone to your sponsor brand, the store page via your sponsor brand, there's an opportunity for them to buy a ton of stuff from you. So make sure that you do go ahead and make sure those budgets are not being maxed out so that you can capitalize on that traffic and use your stores whenever possible. And once again, I want to make it clear this is not just Prime Day If you are running sponsored brands, you want to go to your store, if obviously cases where you might really want to focus in a super select grouping of products, but I'd say 95% of cases, you want to go to your store, that's where you're going to see the best performance. And then finally, for DSP, so begin targeting those in market and lifestyle audiences as soon as you possibly can. Like I said, we're thinking primary is going to be the end of June. So we've got about a month to go. So if you can start building up those retargeting pools now, you can really go after them on Prime Day. And then take advantage of building those retargeting pools on Prime Day. I think it's really easy to just focus on profitability on Prime Day, but you want to maintain profitability in the weeks following Prime Day as well. So if you can build up your retargeting pool, and then maybe didn't purchase you on Prime Day, but maybe they're gonna purchase you a month from now or two months from now, make sure that you're taking advantage of that and thinking about the future on Prime Day too.

Aaron Conant  51:06

Awesome.

Michelle Meleskie  51:07

That's everything that I have today.

Aaron Conant  51:10

Awesome. Well, Michelle, thanks for your time today. And I see that we probably have like one minute, maybe a minute and a half left. So we got to almost all the questions that came through if there's another one quick if people want to drop it into the chat or the q&a or email it to me. We'll try to we'll try to get one more in here. But then, once again, you know, thanks to everybody who dialed in, thanks for the great questions that came over. Obviously, Michelle, thanks for your time today.

Michelle Meleskie  51:36

Yeah, of course,

Aaron Conant  51:36

the data, which is hugely important to me, but also all the insights as a whole. Again, if anybody wants a copy of the presentation, just ping us more than happy to connect you. with Michelle, she can get you a copy of it. I think 100% it's worth that. But I also have a follow up conversation with her and the team over Perpetua. They're great friends, partners, the network support a lot of brands and the network as a whole worth that time. And also, you know, if anybody wants to have a follow up conversation with me, always love jumping on the phone, we'd love to connect with anybody who joined here today. I don't sell anything here, it'd be BWG Connect. We're just a networking group. So that would be just a digital strategy conversation. We get topics for next calls as a whole, but also be able to kind of knowledge share what we're seeing across the board. With that, Michelle, any last like key takeaways as we wrap up here in the final minute

Michelle Meleskie  52:24

on key takeaway is increase your budgets. If you've taken anything away from this is that we expect there to be a lot of traffic this year. Please increase your budgets. Don't let your campaigns go dark. That is the number one thing that I cannot recommend enough to everyone.

Aaron Conant  52:40

Awesome. Awesome. I love it. Well, thanks again. Michelle. Thanks for your time today. Thanks for being such a great friend, partner supporter, the network. Once again, hope everybody has a fantastic Wednesday a great rest of the week. Everybody. Stay safe, and look forward to having you at a future event already. Thanks again, everybody. Thanks, Michelle. Thanks.

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May 26, 2021 2:00 pm - 3:00 PM EST

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