Ads up! Get your Sponsored Products ready for the shopping season


The shopping season has started, and this is not only the time to sell more products but also the time to sell much more Sponsored Product Ads!

The holiday season doesn’t really start in December – It starts right NOW! According to a September polling by SessionM, about half (48.1%) of internet users planned to have started their holiday shopping by the end of October.

This quarter will be responsible for a disproportionate share of your annual revenues and according to the NRF (national retail federation) for some retailers, the holiday season can represent as much as 30 percent of annual sales!

This will have much more effect this year as most of the consumers think the economy is doing better today than a year ago, and as a result, more than 80% of the consumers are planning to spend the same amount or more on gifts.


Ads up!

During the holiday shopping season, from October through December, advertisers are obligated to spend a disproportionate amount of money on advertising.

According to Kissmetrics, during the holiday season ad impressions typically increase by 50%. In addition, CTR (click-through rates) rise 100%, direct traffic increases by 150%, the average order value grows by 30%, and conversion rates grow by 60%.

The increase is well felt in Sponsored Product Ads as well!

Last year we saw an increase of 100% in the Sponsored Product Ads impressions! The conversion rate of the Sponsored Products ads on Black Friday was 33% higher than the average and so was the average purchase order (GMV).

On mobile, the conversion rates and the average purchase orders were even much higher than the average.

Although the PPC (price per click) went up because of the competition, the ACoS (advertising cost of sale) for the brands and sellers was almost 50% lower than the average. That means that every dollar that was spent on Sponsored Products during Black Friday generated twice as much sales than in regular days. The results were even better for Sponsored Product ads on mobile devices.

Needless to say that the increase in the CPC and the number of impressions and clicks contributed directly to the incremental revenues of the stores Sponsored Product Ads.

So what can you do to make sure you are getting the most out of your Sponsored Products offering at this time?

Here are 5 tips:


#1. Creative Bundling

As shown in the last several years the brands and sellers get great ACOS even when offering discounts and running big Sponsored Product Ads campaigns during the shopping season.

As a retailer this is a good time to think of creative bundles that will get your brand partners and seller to engage with your Sponsored Product Ads offering.

It can be a bundle of retargeting campaigns and co-ops for their products, special discounts prices, display ads, reduced fulfilment or delivery rates etc.

Think of all the benefits and the Points of Tangency you have with your sellers and brand partners that can be somehow bundled to get them more engaged with your Sponsored Product Ads offering and with your store in general.


#2. Add touch points

Your fill rate at this time is going to be very high (especially in high competition categories such as consumer electronics, toys and smartphones). The easiest way to get more impressions and clicks is to add touch points to your search results pages, category pages and product pages.

Wether it is at the top of the page or at the bottom, if you add more products to the page or that the Sponsored Products replace organic results – Allow your sellers and brand partners to get more exposure (in relevant pages) and generate more clicks and revenues.

As long as your sponsored product ads are relevant to your shoppers’ queries and can actually help them find what they want it is a win-win-win for everyone and highly effective.


#3. Take care of your weak spots – Fill in all your categories

While some of your product categories are filled up with competing sponsored product ads campaigns, there are still some that aren’t.

Towards the shopping season we send our retailers reports presenting the low fill rate categories and a list of the potential sellers and brand partners who should be promoting their products in these categories so that the retailers can approach them and offer special benefits and incentives for running Sponsored Product Ads at this time.


#4. Keep the strongest stronger

During the shopping season the leading products are sold faster and getting quickly out of stock, meaning that if they are running Sponsored Product Ads, their campaigns can probably end before it runs out of budget.

To exploit all the budget, make sure they have enough products in stock and that you have substitutes for their products.

Not sure who are the strongest? Check out this list of leading spenders on Amazon’s Prime day and make sure they are also on your list:


#5. Be kind – remind

We all know that for brand manufacturers and marketplace sellers the best marketing channels in terms of ROI is the store itself, especially in the shopping season, as the competition and prices of the other channels (like Google and Facebook) rises (mainly because the stores are fighting to get shoppers into their store and compete for traffic on the same keywords as the brands).

It doesn’t mean you don’t need to repeat it in the ears of your sellers and brand partners.

This is a good time to send them emails and notify them that Sponsored Product Ads are their best marketing tool this time of year.

Take this opportunity to send emails to those who have never done Sponsored Products on your site before (inviting them to start now with a special incentive maybe), to those who run small budget campaigns (encouraging them to exploit the shopping season boost in traffic to raise their budgets) and to those who are already running big budgets (reminding them that this is the time to spend even more and get their campaign ready).

Feel free to get some ideas for your emails from these posts:

11 Reasons Why Advertisers & Online Sellers Must Do In-Store Promotions

How effective are Sponsored Product Ads on Black Friday?


Happy shopping saeson!