Conversion

In The Trenches: Amazon Clients Driving Revenue During COVID-19

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Since its ascension to becoming the most relevant online e-commerce platform on the internet, Amazon has been a company business owners everywhere need to take a stance on.

Business owners everywhere are asking questions like, “what percentage of my target audience is being lost to competitors on Amazon?” “If we start to sell on Amazon, will we cannibalize our own website’s sales and have to deal with the less than ideal margins of Amazon?” “If we sell on Amazon, how will we deal with the loss of conversion data stemming from people converting through this channel?”

With the pandemic putting many business owners in a do-or-die mindset, it has never been more important to get these questions answered, so we sat down with Amazon Marketing Manager Yoni Steinschriber to get business owners the information they need to adapt.

Host: Today we’re going to be talking about a health and holistic supplement brand that focuses mainly on superfood powders. Specifically, we’re going to discuss how Hawke helped them break through the revenue ceiling they’ve been hitting for about a year and a half now. Yoni, can you tell me a little bit more about the situation at hand and what you did to help the client reach their goals?

Yoni: Absolutely. This client came to Hawke with revenue growth being one of their top goals. They had hit a revenue ceiling at about $75K-$100K monthly on the platform and wanted to know what they needed to do to take the next step. In my initial research I found that a lot of their revenue was coming from branded campaigns, and the ceiling they were hitting was mostly related to the amount of brand awareness they had in the market. Then in their non-branded campaigns, where a lot of new acquisition happens, they were focusing mostly on detox-related keywords. I saw an opportunity to expand the operation to start bidding on this superfood holistic health supplement market, and that’s when we really started to see a bump up in sales.

Host: Just for the audience at home that may not be aware, can you briefly go over the difference between a branded and non-branded campaign?

Yoni: Of course. I’ll use a fairly large company as an example. Say someone is looking for LEGOs on Amazon. If they search specifically for LEGO, they’re going to have a very specific idea about what brand they want to purchase from and therefore are going to be advertised to by a “branded” campaign. LEGO is going to put a lot of effort into curating the ads that are shown to them and also spend a lot of money capturing those conversions because the intent to purchase is a lot stronger than if someone searched for something like building blocks. If someone searches for building blocks, they’re going to be more exploratory looking at different brands in the product category, so LEGO would approach that campaign as a new opportunity to get that searcher as a customer.

Host: Great. Thanks for that insight. So getting back to this supplement company, what has performance been like since the emergence of COVID-19?

Yoni: Since this brand is in the holistic health space, we saw an immediate spike in conversion rate. I created several COVID-19 related campaigns specifically emphasizing the immuno-boosting attributes of our product, and that really helped us. On a more macro level, cost per clicks are way down as many businesses have pulled back from marketing, and that has helped us as well. I think it’s important, especially with the market fluctuating so frequently, to look at data in larger view-back windows. It is only going to help you make better decisions for your business.

Host: That’s a really great point. I know a lot of supplement companies struggle with the question of whether or not they want to focus just on Amazon or also have a direct to consumer channel as well. What is your perspective for what the split should look like between Amazon marketing dollars and dollars driving to a brand website?

Yoni: Absolutely. This company is particular is fairly large and doing about $150K monthly on Amazon, but they do approximately $250K monthly on their website as well. Obviously, there’s room to market for both and Amazon can work in harmony with the Google and Facebook ads of the world. One of the more exciting things that has come out recently in a beta called Amazon Attribution that essentially allows you to view the performance from various different digital platforms from a blended KPI perspective. We’ve used the tool to specifically target consumers that have been driven to the client’s site through a Facebook or Google campaign and added to cart but haven’t converted, and then we try to use Amazon as a platform to break down that intent barrier and get the sale. Now that we have the attribution technology in place, we can attribute credit to the original campaigns that played a role in the sale, and what we’re left with is a more extensive and accurate view of what’s going on in the consumer journey and the knowledge to execute on a multi-platform marketing funnel effectively.

Host: Yes, I know that the loss of marketing data due to the presence of Amazon has always been a tough problem to solve for a lot of brands. Would you say that you’re seeing more brands lean into Amazon even if they already have a fairly successful direct to consumer strategy in place?

Yoni: Absolutely. I think the biggest worry I see from clients is that they’re afraid that if they start marketing on Amazon, they’ll start to cannibalize their own traffic. What I can say from my experience, is it is much more common for us to see market growth. It seems like there is a certain portion of your target market that is only going to buy on Amazon because of the trust that the brand has built and the benefits it gives its customers with fast delivery times, streaming benefits, etc. and these consumers are fairly brand agnostic and looking for products that are going to work for them and fit their lifestyles. I am a big believer that there is a lot more opportunity out there than the average business owner realizes and an entire new revenue stream to open up with Amazon.

Host: Are there any other unique methods that you’re able to speak to about how you are able to identify new markets through keyword research?

Yoni: Absolutely. What I did for this brand in particular was create a reverse asin based on the brand’s top competitors. Basically what that does is give us insights based on where our company’s ranking in terms of top keywords within Amazon. Based on the insights I was able to get based on where other brands were having success, I was able to build out broad funnels to test these new keywords. It really helped us find the right path to deviate from the norm of branded campaigns that were causing the brand to hit a revenue ceiling.

Coronavirus has fundamentally changed the way we do business and Amazon is a huge part of the equation. With nearly half of all advertisers achieving at least a 700% return on the platform, it is becoming evident that Amazon users may have some of the strongest purchase intent online right now. If you’re interested in learning more about if Amazon Marketing is right for your business fill out the form and one of our strategists will give you a call.

This article originally appeared in the HawkeMedia blog and has been published here with permission.

About the author

Steve Hutt

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. In the early days of online commerce, he achieved Power Seller status at eBay, which then propelled him to become a founding partner of VisionPros.com, a contact lens, and eyewear retailer. After a successful exit from his startup, he embarked on his next journey into agency work in e-commerce and digital strategy.

Currently, Steve is part of the Merchant Success Team at Shopify Plus, where he is a Strategic Advisor helping brands continue to grow and scale with the Shopify Commerce Platform.

To maintain his competitive edge and life of learning mantra, Steve also hosts and produces a top-rated weekly podcast show, eCommerce Fastlane, where he interviews Shopify partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, platforms, and must-have apps, to help Shopify brands build and scale lifetime customer loyalty.