In 2019, Amazon surpassed Walmart as the world’s largest online retailer and reports suggest that around half of all online product searches now begin on the Amazon platform. However, savvy sellers know that, whilst good, Amazon isn’t everything.
Particularly during high stakes periods such as the upcoming holiday shopping season, sellers must consider how branching out from Amazon could have a positive and significant impact on sales on the platform.
And this year, the stakes are higher than ever. Despite the global pandemic, online holiday spending is expected to grow by one third in 2020, making this festive season an event that no seller will want to miss out on. But with fierce competition, sellers must look at how to optimise their approach, maximise their impact and retain sales momentum to really derive the most value from the season.
The reason that Amazon isn’t everything is all down to buyer behaviours. Google refers to omni-channel shoppers – those that utilise a range of channels across the buyer journey – as ‘an emerging retail reality’.
Recent reports suggest that around one third of all shoppers prefer to buy direct from brands after researching and comparing using other sources.
Omni-channel shoppers can be highly valuable, demonstrating a 30% higher customer lifetime value (CLV) than single channel shoppers, which is why many sellers are already using a range of channels to market and promote their products such as social media networks, search engines and video platforms.
The problem, however, is that many sellers are failing to connect their off-Amazon marketing efforts with their on-Amazon sales. And it’s easy to see why.
According to Amazon, more than 50% of sellers believe that cross-channel measurement and attribution activities take up most of their time. But by overlooking the need to connect the two, sellers aren’t deriving the most value from their efforts. Marketing and sales are very disjointed.
And during periods of exceptional opportunity, such as the holiday shopping season, sellers should be working to better align the two in an effort to fully utilise off-Amazon data to optimise on-Amazon performance and drive more sales.
The secret to connecting off-site marketing with on-site sales? Amazon Attribution.
Amazon Attribution automates cross-channel measurement and attribution allowing sellers to access and utilise this key information without allocating large amounts of time and resources to analytics and performance tracking. It allows sellers to maintain a strong focus on core operations by delegating analysis tasks to the innovative tool.
What is Amazon Attribution?
Amazon Attribution – currently in Beta – is a tool available to Amazon vendors in the UK, as well as across some parts of Europe and North America. Rooted in analytics, the tool monitors and measures off-Amazon marketing efforts across various channels, integrating this data with Amazon to provide greater insight into how off-site efforts drive – or hinder – on-site sales performance. Using this data, sellers have a unique opportunity to adapt their on-site approach to optimise impact this holiday season.
The buyer journey is no longer linear. For example a sale may initially start with a Google search where PPC ads drive traffic to a brand website.
Whilst on this website, a user may sign up for an email newsletter which in turn provides a link to a social media post. The aforementioned post may direct visitors to Amazon.
In this single example, there are five distinct touch points that have all contributed to the sale. However, in most cases, attributing a sale to these touch points is tricky. That’s where Amazon Attribution comes in. Amazon Attribution collects data from all touch points throughout the buyer journey, allowing sellers to optimise their approach to deliver an improved experience.
Ultimately, Amazon Attribution does three things:
- It measures Amazon marketing performance across various online channels
- It offers insight to allow sellers to optimise Amazon campaigns for specific audiences
- It highlights which activities deliver the highest ROI for future campaign planning
Together, these three aspects all come together to help Amazon sellers boost their sales performance, not only during the holiday shopping season, but across the year.
Initially launched in 2018, the tool underwent some serious updates at the end of 2019 which are set to help sellers get even more from Amazon Attribution this holiday season.
One of the biggest changes was a shift from post-campaign feedback to real time reporting. This will enable sellers to identify off-Amazon performance and engagement trends more rapidly, and respond quickly to maximise return on investment as well as reducing wasteful impressions that can drain advertising budgets.
How to Get the Most From Amazon Attribution This Holiday Season
In an especially challenging economic landscape, being able to attract and engage audiences when they’re in a position to buy – during their ‘micro moment’ – is key for boosting sales. There are a number of ways Amazon Attribution can help:
Allocate Budget & Resources Effectively
Understanding which channels drive the largest amount of high quality leads to Amazon is a critical factor in ensuring that small businesses are allocating their time, budget and resources into the most effective activities.
This subsequently enables greater effort to go to the highest impact platforms. Amazon Attribution not only collects data from various sources, it also analyses this data, making it easier to identify key performance trends across all your marketing channels.
For example, Amazon Attribution could demonstrate that email is performing better than paid search, allowing sellers to focus on developing their email campaigns to deliver more traffic to Amazon products.
This year in particular, businesses have needed to do more with less and optimising the approach to prioritise high impact activities is one of the best ways to achieve this.
Understand the Impact of On-Site Communications
Amazon Attribution works to provide in-depth insight into how off-site messages across different marketing channels perform which then enables sellers to tailor their on-Amazon messaging to better engage and resonate with this year’s holiday shoppers.
By using variations of a single message across the different platforms – some highlighting special offers while others incorporating holiday keywords, for example – the attribution tool analyses data to determine which type of message has the greatest impact on audiences. Amazon communications can then be adapted as needed to drive more sales on-site.
There are many different messaging variations to consider. Along with keywords and deals, also consider aspects such as urgency and imagery. Understanding which language engages your audience is critical to driving conversions.
Engage With the Right Audiences
While you may already have a pretty good idea of what your target audience looks like, remember that the COVID-19 outbreak has massively shifted the sales landscape. The pandemic’s impact on the target audience – and the lifestyle changes experienced by other segments – may mean that the people most interested in buying your products this holiday season don’t quite look like you imagine.
By understanding more about who is interacting with your brand off-Amazon, you can tailor your on-Amazon strategy to reach these specific audiences and drive more sales.
Amazon Attribution analyses engagement levels across segments to determine which audiences are demonstrating the highest on-Amazon sales rate. This sort of insight makes it easier to adapt your Amazon advertising campaigns to better reach those specific audiences
Deliver a Personalised Experience
Assessing the impact of off-site landing pages can help sellers to better direct Amazon users to the most suitable destination – whether that be a product page or brand page – to create personalised shopping experiences based on where each user is in their own buying journey.
For example, in cases where a product-specific landing page has sparked action from the prospect – perhaps downloading a demo video – it can be assumed that this prospect is towards the end of their journey, has researched products and is now justifying their decision.
Directing this prospect directly to the product on the Amazon ecommerce platform can encourage conversion. However, for those that engage more closely with generic branded landing pages, directing these prospects to an Amazon Storefront can help them find more information about that brand.
Seeing the Full Picture
Omni-channel shopping behaviours were already rising prior to the pandemic. However, the shift has undoubtedly been accelerated by growing financial uncertainty with shoppers caring more about where they’re spending their money and willing to spend more time researching and comparing products across different channels.
Social, search, display and video channels are becoming increasingly important in the buyer journey; rather than ignoring these channels, it’s time that sellers embraced them. If they’re valuable to buyers, they’re valuable to sellers.
If you’re already marketing your products across various channels, then you already have the data. Use it. By incorporating cross-channel data into Amazon strategies and campaigns, it becomes easier to see the big picture and squeeze the most value from the data you hold by using it to optimise your approach in a bid to better engage with today’s audiences and drive more sales. Amazon Attribution brings all your online efforts together to give you a competitive advantage when it really matters most!