When Ultra* first came to us, they had very common issues in their Amazon PPC account. These ranged from search term management, bids, and campaign structure. Our PPC techniques, combined with Ultra’s great brand recognition in their industry, resulted in explosive growth for the Amazon Account. Eventually, their account was handed over to Amazon’s dedicated account services teams for very-large spend accounts. Ultimately, we helped Ultra cross the mythical “7-Figure-Revenue at single-digit ACOS PPC Campaign” threshold, something we’re thrilled to be a part of.
*The client's name has been changed to protect their business strategies.
Before Search Scientists...
Ultra came to us with momentum. They are a shining example of the power of brand building - something most Amazon sellers don’t believe is possible on Amazon. A powerful brand is a rising tide that lifts all ships.
To further amplify their results, they wanted to scale, while maintaining a desirable ACOS.
ACOS is referred to as “Ad Cost Over Sales.” Its calculation is below, and it’s represented as a percentage:
ACOS = (Ad Cost / Sales)
Sample: Spend 33, make 100 in revenue: 33% ACOS
During an initial audit, we noticed a few key areas of improvement.
It all started with an email….
One of the biggest issues in Amazon PPC accounts is the lack of proper bid optimization. By bidding the same across the board, they were limiting our ability to bid more aggressively on high converting items. They were also hurting total ACOS by not reducing bids on lower converting items.
- By increasing bids on high converting items, you increase your profitable sales volume
- By decreasing bids on low converting items, you minimize the impact of a low conversion rate and squeeze our profitable sales from even lagging products
Poor Campaign Structure
In a perfect world, you would have every product in its own Automatic & Manual Campaign. This would provide you with the best opportunity to segment, optimize, and make judgments on that individual product.
As soon as you start crossing over to dozens and dozens of products (Ultra was up to around 1,000 products), we needed a campaign structure that makes sense.
- An effective campaign structure allows us to balance: control, speed of optimization, and data analysis
- We grouped by category and ensured that each major category had an automatic and manual campaign
Good Search Term Management
One of the most arduous tasks of Amazon PPC management is search term management.
The routine task of ensuring that each ad group is appearing for profitable, relevant terms is a slow manual process. With an account this size, we knew there would be errors. We identified terms that had very poor ACOS, which were swiftly added as negatives:
We also identified “winning” search terms, that were added as positive keywords throughout the optimization of these campaigns.
About the Client
Ultra is a retailer that offers a broad range of quality, cost-effective products from categories such as Biking, Fitness, Home Goods, Backyard & Pet Products. Their online store's success made them want to expand fast. And what better place to do that than Amazon, where sales are higher than Best Buy & Sears combined?
Their Amazon storefront constantly displays around 1,000 products. Not the lightest, is it? We know, Amazon store owners, this sounds pretty familiar to you.
Growing in a Competitive, Crowded Market
In the crowded flow of products added each day on Amazon, Ultra needed to get their products in front of interested customers and not spend a fortune on this. This led to the decision to start Amazon PPC.
Finding Customers on Amazon Paid Campaigns
For this Project, we worked with Ultra across multiple campaign types on Amazon, including:
- Seller Central Sponsored Products
- Headline Search Ads
- Display Ads
Goals & Growth
At Search Scientists, when we're onboarding a new client, we hash out the Goal Planning & Strategic Vision Mapping, so that not only the first weeks of the new journey in PPC are transparent and clear. The same goes for long-term growth strategies that ensure expansion after the dust has settled.
The main goals of the electronics, sporting, toys and home goods company Ultra were to:
- Have a month‐over‐month increase in revenue.
- Have someone who could take care of their Amazon advertising account like it was their own, so that they could focus more on high‐quality product supply and on the fast and safe delivery of those products.
- Keep the ACOS under 10% (in other words, Ultra wanted to spend $1 for each $10 sale.)
If we go behind the scenes, Ultra's month‐over‐month revenue looks pretty awesome.
Fighting Back Against Seasonality: Using Amazon PPC
Despite a Seasonal Decrease, Amazon PPC Grew
The Amazon PPC 1-2 Punch:
Take Same Product, Put in 2 Campaigns
You might know there are a couple of different advertising options on Amazon. For Ultra, we’ve focused on Amazon Sponsored Products, which basically allow advertising on the Amazon network by keyword targeting, and serve the ads by using the same product feed that would be used for regular Amazon selling.
A Good Campaign Structure Brings Control
The Search Scientists team took care, first of all, of the campaigns' structure. What's our secret sauce? For the best results, campaigns are split into Auto and Manual targeting.
The Auto Campaigns behave like Google PLA's. Amazon scans the product listing and decides what keywords your ad will appear for. While this is helpful because Amazon casts a wide net, advertisers lose all keyword control.
By analyzing the Amazon Sponsored Products Search Terms Report, The Scientists started regularly adding negative keywords to stomp out unprofitable terms.
How many of them?
Thousands! Here's just an example of 1 out of 200+ auto targeted ad groups, where we've blocked 106 weak terms that were not related to the product and were draining the ad spend.
How does this help?
It first saves money, and it implicitly improves the ACOS.
The Scientists then took the best-converting terms and added them to Manual Campaigns. Plus, always testing and optimizing ads made us increasingly efficient.
How does this help?
You can bid optimize these valuable terms
You get more clicks and volume than competition who don't take this extra step
You maximize ROI
You get more visibility
- You improve the ACOS
What you see above, plus a touch of seasonality, is pretty much the formula that led the Search Scientists team to reach the highest revenue months ever for Ultra's Amazon Advertising account.
Ultra's Amazon advertising account after 12 months with Search Scientists
Why Working with Search Scientists is a Winning Formula
Do me a favor. Run a search on Google for "ppc agencies clients relationship", and you'll see that… it's complicated. About 627,000 results complicated.
Well, this wasn't the case with Ultra. Besides the fact that their campaigns were neat and tidy when we took over them, their knowledge of PPC and their inventory management helped with the communication and with growing the Amazon account.
Working with such a dynamic client, with over 15 products to be added in campaigns each week, helped us build a strong relationship.
But, besides the customized plan of action and the PPC work, the strong relationship was also built with:
Weekly calls, each Tuesday (around 45 meetings in total)
132 emails exchanged
- Twice a month Campaign Performance and SKU Performance reports (~180 reports)
- Monthly performance report at the end of each month
The Next Steps for Gaining Constant Growth
Daft Punk would be proud of Ultra's strategy. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger is where Ultra is aiming.
That's the reason why Ultra began the transition from leveraging Amazon Seller Central’s services to Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) advertising, which, on top of Sponsored Products campaigns, also bring to the table Headline Search Ads and Product Display Ads.
In the meantime, the store gets loads of 5-star reviews.