Editor’s Note: As of Jan. 8th, 2015, Mercent is now CommerceHub
Learn how featured Amazon Product Ads can drive traffic and sales to your online storefront.
Hi, my name is Dan Myers, I’m the Director of Marketplaces here at Mercent in Seattle. And today I would like to talk to you about accelerating your website traffic, sales and revenue with Amazon Product Ads.
As a general overview, Amazon Product Ads is a lightweight, low-cost solution to getting products visible on the Amazon.com website. It’s a program that works like every other shopping engine you’re familiar with — NexTag, Shopping.com, Shopzilla — drives traffic to your site, converts through your cart, and you own the customer. It’s a CPC program. With a Mercent feed and tag in place, you’re good to go.
There are certain components to the feed like SKU and URL and price and descriptions, all things that you would need in any normal feed for any current channel. UPCs are desired but not necessarily required. Mercent handles the categorization, and the pricing is a sliding scale model based on the retail price of the product. It’s a nice alternative way to capture the Amazon customer while retaining some of the customer experience yourself.
Some metrics around the program: Amazon states they are seeing roughly 44 million customers each month in general on their marketplace or on their website. It has a high click-through and conversion rate. For Mercent clients, it’s second only to Google Shopping in terms of traffic. The order conversion is as high as 10-20% for some of our clients. We are seeing millions of referrals to client websites each month. We are also seeing triple digit revenue growth. The Amazon marketplace is roughly 70% year over year, Amazon Product Ads is up well north of 100% close to 120% year over year. And the average CPC that we’re seeing is about 40%.
Here are some use cases for Amazon Product Ads: they provide an array of ad placements and formats across the website, on the detail pages, and within search and browse. There is actually a buy box component to Amazon Product Ads, and then there’s some left hand navigation tower ads that you can see throughout the website. Of all those spaces, the detail page and search and browse are certainly the most important real estate, and they have come up with a really sleek solution for those.
Mercent actively manages dozens of clients on Amazon Product Ads right now, including some major general merchandise and apparel clients, one of which we will show information about in a second here.
So on the detail pages which again is some of the most valuable real-estate on the Amazon website, you’ll see Product Ads displayed slightly below the fold. So in this example the Callaway golf balls, you’ve got an offer here from Amazon retail and in the buy box you’ve got an offer from a third party partner. As the consumer scrolls down the page a little bit below the fold, they’ll see some sponsored content, about a five-pack of thumbnails Product Ads from external websites. These are targeted placements, products that are similar to the product that the consumer is currently looking at. And in fact one case you’ve got a Product Ad seller who is using Amazon Payments as a payments method, so the consumer sees that option. All of these links would click-through to the merchant’s own website.
Here’s an example within search and browse — also valuable real estate on the Amazon website — where you’ve got a general merchandise seller selling some sunglasses. This also happens to be a Mercent client, with their Product Ads being placed alongside Amazon retail offers and a merchant offer. In this screen grab, it’s the third spot in the search result page, and that link again would take you to a product detail page unique to this product. And from there the consumer could link off to the merchant’s own website.
Here’s an example of a buy box placement. So, same product as before that we saw in search and browse where this major general merchandise seller has their own detail page. So it’s their image, their title, and you can see very clear display for the consumer where it says ‘Product Ads from External Websites.’ And in the upper right hand corner, there’s a slightly different looking buy box but the same essential experience where the consumer clicks the giant orange button and goes off Amazon.com onto this merchant’s website.
The left hand navigation bar tower ad example shows targeted items relevant to the items that the customer is currently searching for. Down the left hand side, a little bit of a blow up there where you can see there are three or four items featured as Product Ads where the customer if they are not seeing what they’re interested in within the general search results, can certainly click to the items in the left hand side and be taken off the website to a merchant’s own website.
To recap on some of the pricing, so the cost structure again is a CPC model. It’s category based so there is slightly different rate card for each category. The rates run anywhere from .10 cents to about a dollar, and the average CPC we’re seeing is in the low .40 cent range. I haven’t seen anything higher than that generally. It’s open to most categories, although some are based on approval and we’ll talk about that in a second.
A couple other points: It is possible to run Product Ads alongside your marketplace program. You would need approval, but there are examples of merchants who have both a Product Ads account and a marketplace account with Amazon. The categories which are currently open sort of run the gamut: baby, computers, electronics, health, home improvement, musical instruments, office, pet supplies, sports, toys. There are a couple that are currently gated or that require approval. Those would be apparel, grocery, jewelry and watches. Mercent has had success helping clients with the submissions process and the approvals process, and we are certainly here to help.
To get started, you just sign up for APA through the AmazonServices.com portal. Mercent provides an optimized feed to Amazon, we track activity and performance with a lightweight tag, and the presence and performance is optimized through our retail SaaS platform. There’s also optional support available through our Mercent Performance Services team.