eCommerce Deep Dive

with John Ghiorso

Amazon News & Trends: February 2022

Episode 59
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In this episode of eCommerce Deep Dive, Nathan Hogle, Senior Director of Client Data and Resource Management from Orca Pacific covers Amazon news & trends for the month of February 2022.

He discusses Amazon’s updated brick-and-mortar strategy, new advertising functions and optimizations with bulk operations, the addition of a long-awaited feature in Sponsored Ads portfolios, new Brand Story A+ module, and much more!


Episode Breakdown: 

Amazon is constantly renovating their processes for optimization and reshaping strategies for Amazon sellers. As a seller, keeping up with these changes proves to be successful to stay competitive. Already, February brings in a lot of noteworthy updates, which we’ve compiled below along with insights on the impact it has on brands.


Amazon Sues Fake Review Brokers
Last month in their news blog, Amazon announced they have sued a list of ‘fake review brokers’ that have profited off of the platform by creating false, misleading, and fraudulent reviews in exchange for money or free products. The target of these lawsuits are two major fake review brokers, AppSally and Rebatest, who have misled shoppers on multiple digital retail platforms in addition to Amazon. Amazon strictly prohibits incentivized review aggregation and fake reviews, and has an army of machine learning technology alongside skilled investigators whose sole responsibility is to detect, prevent, and remove them. Amazon has more than 10,000 employees around the world protecting its platform from fraud and abuse, including fake reviews, and receives on average around 30 million reviews per week. This recently announced legal action demonstrates the determination and resources Amazon has allocated to these efforts in maintaining integrity on the platform, and has won dozens of similar injunctions in the past. 


Amazon Advertising Passes $30B Annual Run Rate
It was announced last month that during Q3 2020, Amazon Advertising surpassed a $30 billion annual run rate and saw $9.7B in ad revenue during Q4 alone. To try and frame the size of Amazon’s advertising arm, at this scale it is 8x the size of Snapchat’s entire business and nearly 7x the size of Twitter. The size and rate with which Amazon Advertising has grown can be attributed to Amazon’s position as the go-to starting point for online shoppers looking to make a purchase, perform product research, or to simply browse the digital shelf. This shopping behavior was exacerbated by the ongoing global pandemic, which acted as a catalyst in 2020 spiking traffic and, thus, the number of advertisers looking to convert. With this ever-increasing flow of traffic, more and more advertisers are competing in an attempt to capture shoppers’ attention with complex paid search strategies. This increase in activity and competition drives up CPC rates, and thus revenue for Amazon increases at a similar rate.


Amazon Transparency Feature to Provide Customer Return Data
Brand can now get detailed insights into customer returns through a new feature in Amazon’s Transparency service. Returns Analytics provides comprehensive customer return data about enrolled products at the manufacturing batch level or lot level. This information can help identify supply chain trends and address issues that affect customer trust. Transparency provides product serialization to help manufacturers authenticate and protect their products against counterfeit and fraud. 


Amazon Brand Story A+ Module
Last month, Amazon announced a new feature within the A+ content builder titled ‘Brand Story,’ which allows sellers to set up a single version of brand-focused content and publish it to all ASINs within your brand. This feature allows the customer to learn about your brand through engaging visual content, which can be added by choosing from four pre-formatted layouts, one of which can link directly to your brand’s store. The module is also designed to provide an optimized experience on both desktop and mobile devices, and can easily be used as a means to create consistency across an entire brand presence on the platform.


New Scale Advertising Functions and Optimizations with Bulk Operations on Amazon
Amazon releases further functionalities to their new bulksheets beta program allowing advertisers to create, manage, and optimize a large grouping of campaigns at once. Bulk operations can be a major time saver for advertisers with the ability to upload thousands of campaigns and optimizations in one upload. The new functions will vary by each ad type; for Sponsored Brand campaigns new added features include campaign creation and product targeting. For Sponsored Display campaigns you will see audiences, product targeting and bid optimizations added. For all ad types, you will be able to edit campaign and ad group names at scale. Amazon has also put work into improving upload speeds for bulk operations. As Amazon has become a much more competitive marketplace to advertise on, advertisers are going to find that they need to spend more of their time building their strategy and less time making timely manual changes. Furthermore, we should continue to see Amazon investing in providing more tools to help save advertisers time and energy in managing their campaigns. 


Amazon Sponsored Display Campaigns Now Included in Sponsored Ads Portfolios
A long awaited feature within portfolios has been finally released by Amazon. Now advertisers can add Sponsored Display (only CPC-based) campaigns to their new or existing portfolios. The portfolios feature allows advertisers to bucketize campaigns and budgets by determined dimensions; some common ones include product category, product line, brand, seasonality, and/or bidding strategies. In addition to being able to classify campaigns, the budgeting features within portfolios is a meaningful tool that allows advertisers to easily control and manage budgets at scale. Budgets can be set at the portfolio level and will automatically shut off when a determined budget threshold is reached – you can also select custom date ranges or a recurring monthly timeline on budgets. There is no better time to utilize and maximize the capabilities that come with Amazon’s portfolios feature now that all Sponsored Ads campaign types can now be added. This feature is available in the following marketplaces: United States, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, India, Japan, and Australia.


With new Amazon trends rapidly unfolding, new opportunities for optimization and innovation are created. Let us help you navigate these changes, contact our team today.


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