Amazon Advertising is one of the best platforms for getting real results, both on and off Amazon itself for retail businesses. In particular, Amazon PPC campaigns have the capacity to help drive sales and boost your online presence.
Yet wasting ad spend is a constant concern for many advertisers and brands, as getting the wrong clicks can be incredibly damaging for your strategy – and keeping bids running at all times of the day and night is just as draining on your budget.
In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at dayparting, and how you can use it to plan and manage your campaigns for optimum effectiveness.
Are you using Amazon PPC effectively?
The principles behind Amazon Advertising are rooted in bidding, with advertisers eagerly competing for ad placements and keywords while simultaneously sticking to their own daily budgets.
The campaign cycle generally runs on a daily system, so unless campaigns are paused manually, they will run for as long as selected. However, there are ways to do things a little differently. Running campaigns which last all day, every day can be a financially unrewarding way to advertise, leading to greater expenditure and poor results.
Thankfully, using dayparting can help you to take more effective steps in your advertising activities.
What is dayparting?
Put simply, dayparting refers to the process of condensing your days into more manageable segments. It is designed to help advertisers decide when to turn off their adverts (and when to turn them on). This process can also be used to help either increase or decrease keyword bids at allotted times.
At present, this capability isn’t available via Amazon Advertising, so if you want to take part then you’ll have to either do it manually or use a third-party tool. The former process can be time-consuming, whilst the latter can be costly – so it is simply a case of deciding where your priorities lie and how far your budget can stretch.
Some advertisers may already know about dayparting, as it is frequently used in other areas of the digital marketing spectrum, such as search engine marketing. However, its application on Amazon is still a relatively new concept, but one which can produce fantastic benefits.
This is the ideal way for brands to make the most of their budgets, and target customers when they are most likely to be looking for their products. While this is a useful strategy, it may not be ideal for all advertisers. In essence, those users who will gain the best results are the ones who are able to note a distinct slow down (and speed up) in purchase activity at key times throughout either the day or the week.
Finding out whether this strategy would work for you is a process of research and elimination, affirming which times and days are most suited to a dayparting methodology.
These are a few key ways to establish whether dayparting would work for you, and implement it with skill:
1. Find out when your target audience is likely to buy
One of the key principles to achieving results with Amazon PPC is simply understanding your customers. Having a clear grasp of the shopping habits of your target audience means you’ll know when they are most likely to make a purchase.
For seasoned Amazon advertisers, this probably sounds like incredibly obvious advice. After all, the more you know about your customers, the more you are able to devise and deploy strategies which suit them. Yet it is only via the use of dayparting that Amazon sellers are truly able to dictate when their adverts should run.
This principle breaks down your advertising into manageable hourly ‘blocks’ and allows you to use your advertising spend more strategically. Using this method, you’ll be able to create a calendar and allocate budget to specific times and dates when your target market tends to be searching for products just like yours.
Scheduling advertisements in this way is the ideal means of limiting wastage and will be helpful not only for brands with a particularly strict financial constraint but for those who would simply prefer to keep their costs low and boost their efficiency.
2. Do your research
Try to ensure that your findings about audience behaviour are rooted in fact, rather than speculation. You may have a feeling or a sense that customers are searching for your products at specific times, but these feelings could easily be wrong.
Thankfully there are ways to put your thoughts and speculations to the test. We recommend creating a few ad campaigns on Amazon which are identical in every way, from the products advertised through to your bidding structure and budget. Then, organise these campaigns for selected times during the day or throughout the week.
In addition, another way of compiling research is to track performance by day of the week. While peak times for sales may vary according to the category your product is in (and a number of other variables), you can look at your sales history and find out which days are most likely to lead to sales. In order to use this particular metric, you will, of course, have to already have a certain number of established sales and a presence on the Amazon platform.
Look out for days that showcase the highest conversion rates, and be sure to use them as the cornerstone of your future activities. This is a pivotal part of the elimination process.
Following the accumulation of sufficient data, you’ll be able to turn your opinions on customer behaviour into real, actionable insights, and will ultimately be able to discover more effective means of enhancing the ROI for each campaign you run – while cutting your costs in the process.
3. Focus on peak times
When you have enough data to work with, you’ll begin to see patterns in customer behaviour, reflecting the times and dates when they are most likely to click and purchase.
The days which people buy are of course important, but the times are every bit as crucial. For daily bidders, there tends to be an early morning ‘rush’, but there is no need for you to join in with this while you are testing your dayparting strategies.
Instead, pause your campaigns between the hours of midnight and 6 am. The results of this strategy can be incredibly valuable, giving you a chance to decrease your ad spend in one simple action. In addition, this move could lead to a dramatic rise in your return on investment.
Don’t be afraid to be very specific with your areas of focus, as this will help you pinpoint with greater precision all those dates and times which will lead to greater conversions. Use the data to find out which times are most likely to gain results, and ensure your adverts moving forward are live during the higher traffic times you have observed.
This is again a fantastic way to limit wasted ad spend and make sure you only pay for the times when your adverts are most likely to convert.
4. Use a bold strategy
Nerve-racking though it might seem, if your data suggests that your adverts should be switched off on specific days, then be sure to do so. The information you have gathered is there to aid you in developing stronger strategies and optimising your activities and can be used to make your ads much more effective.
It is also worth noting that this effectiveness could change over time. Schedule into your plans a few regular checks to assess whether there have been any alterations in customer behaviour, to make sure that your schedule remains just as relevant as is did when you first adjusted your strategy.
5. Opt for lightning deals
Utilising Amazon’s lightning deals is another way to make the most of your campaigns. These are a very effective way to make your campaigns more impactful, and using dayparting you can boost the visibility of your adverts without having to dedicate an entire day of ad spend to promotion.
Another great thing about using lightning deals is that you’ll be able to gain a snapshot of your product popularity during these assigned times. We recommend that you try and assign your lightning deals after a certain amount of initial testing, or they could prove just as wasteful as any of the other money-draining strategies you have previously used.
6. Gather more data
Amazon Retail Analytics premium subscribers will be able to use reporting tools not available to non-premium users. These reports will give you a more detailed view of the dates and times when your products perform at their best.
One of the most impressive things about this data is that it gathers together the results of both organic and paid search, to give a clearer view of the bigger picture. This is a wonderful way to use your insights and will produce great results when implemented as part of your new dayparting approach to Amazon PPC.