Amazon Bid Optimization Feature - More Control
Recently, Amazon has made some much-needed improvements to its advertising platform. At the beginning of 2019, new Amazon bid optimization feature with reporting was introduced for Amazon Sponsored Products campaigns with the goal of providing advertisers with enhanced performance, control and insights.
So, What’s New?
As a part of these on-going advertising optimizations, Amazon has introduced:
Placement bid adjustments
Placement performance reporting
The first update is a new bidding optimization setting for Amazon Sponsored Products campaigns. With this beta feature, advertisers can choose to have Amazon adjust their bid up or down in real time by up to 100% based on the likelihood of conversion.
As part of this enhancement, advertisers can now choose from three different bidding strategies designed to help boost performance and give advertisers more control over their campaigns.
What is it? Advertisers who want to manually control their own bids can select the new “fixed bids” option. With a fixed bidding strategy, Amazon will only use your exact bid and will not increase or decrease your bids based on the likelihood of a conversion.
Who should use it? Amazon recommends this strategy for campaigns with awareness goals. With this approach, your campaign will not be optimized for conversions, but you are likely to get more impressions.
Dynamic Bidding – Up and Down
What is it? Dynamic bidding – up and down – allows Amazon to instantly increase your bids for clicks that are more likely to convert and decrease your bids for clicks that are less likely to result in a sale. Amazon will use machine learning to determine the probability that an ad click will produce a conversion and adjust the bid accordingly by up to 100%, either positively or negatively.
Who should use it? Amazon recommends this strategy to advertisers who want to maximize the efficiency of their bids. This strategy may result in more conversions than the other approaches since it adjusts your bid up and down based on the likelihood of a conversion.
Dynamic Bidding – Down Only
What is it? Dynamic bidding – down only – allows Amazon to instantly decrease your bid for clicks that are less likely to result in a sale. This approach differs slightly from up and down dynamic bidding as it does not allow Amazon to rise above the set bid. Any Amazon Sponsored Products campaigns created prior to October 2018 utilized this strategy.
Who should use it? This approach will not produce the same efficiency as the up and down strategy, but it will help achieve more conversions for your money than the fixed bidding strategy. This is a great happy medium for budget-conscious advertisers who want to further optimize their bidding strategy.
How Do I Get Started? | Amazon Bid Optimization Feature
Placement Bid Adjustments
Amazon recognizes several different ad placements. But before we dive into the new features for each placement, let’s define exactly what these placements are.
Top of search – This is the first group of Sponsored Products results on the first page of search results. This could include anywhere from 2-4 results, depending on the layout of the page and the number of products on each page.
Product pages – These are placements displayed on product detail pages in the “sponsored products related to this item” section. You can locate these placements by visiting any product detail page and scrolling to just below the bullets.
Rest of search – Any ads outside of the first group of Sponsored Product results are referred to as rest of search placements.
Out with the Old, In with the New
Prior to Amazon’s recent updates, advertisers managed their placement bids through Bid+. Here, you could programmatically increase your bid, at most 50%, in an auction-esque format.
With the retirement of Bid+, advertisers can now control their own maximum bid increase percentage for top of search and product page placements. You can even set a unique maximum bid increase percentage for each placement!
While advertisers were previously limited to a bid increase of 50%, you can now set bid multipliers between 0% and 900%. When your ad is eligible to appear in these placements, your bid increases by your set percentage, making you far more equipped to compete for those placements.
How Do I Get Started?
- Create a new Sponsored Products campaign
- Choose manual targeting
- Select the products you wish to advertise
- Choose a placement bid adjustment for top of search, product pages or a unique bid for each
- Enter up to a 900% increase to your base bid to better your odds of securing the placement
Placement Performance Reporting: Then
- Were restricted to just 60 days of data
- Had no freedom to customize date ranges
- Couldn’t access product-level data from downloaded reports
- Had no access to metrics regarding ad placement performance
Until now, Amazon’s ad reporting was limited, to say the least. Prior to the release of placement performance reporting, advertisers:
To truly understand the performance of their campaign, advertisers had to do much of the heavy lifting on their own. Just to see account level data, advertisers had to download reports from every individual campaign and manually collect and evaluate the date externally. For brands with a vast inventory of products, this task was a complete nightmare.
Placement Performance Reporting: Now
Luckily, with new placement bid adjustments come new performance reporting features. These revised reports aim to solve many of the problems presented by prior reporting pitfalls.
A new and improved placement report, located beneath the new Placements tab in the UI, shows where your Sponsored Product ads were displayed and includes performance metrics for each placement. You can now see unique metrics for your top of search page, product page and rest of search placements.
These revised reports are a game changer for advertisers. They are available not only at the campaign level, but at the account level, as well, allowing you to look at both big-picture and small-scale data.
With far more granular data to asses, you can make much more informed marketing decisions to help optimize your campaigns more quickly and efficiently.
So, What Should I Do Next?
With more control over your bids and better data to help you assess your performance, these new optimization features present advertisers with incredible opportunities. But with any transition and improvements, there is a bit of housekeeping that may need to be done to help you take full advantage of these changes.
- Any active Sponsored Products campaigns continue to run as they were before the update and have been moved to dynamic bid – down only. If you wish to operate these campaigns as up and down dynamic bids, you can do so manually from the Campaign setting tab.
- Bid+ has been retired and active campaigns operating under Bid+ have been moved to dynamic bid – down only – with a 50% increase on top of search placement.
A Bright Future for Advertisers
These recent updates are a positive indication of Amazon’s commitment to creating a better platform for advertisers. We expect Amazon to build on this current momentum to better compete with the likes of Google and other more mature platforms in the near future. Yes, with more advanced features could come greater competition, but it’s a small price to pay for what was just recently a cumbersome and sluggish ad platform. If you're looking for help with your Amazon Sponsored product campaigns, contact us today! We are recognized as a top Illinois Digital Marketing Agency on DesignRush!