Bol.com renews Sponsored Products on January 1: How do you make the most of it?
By Thomas Lammers (Newcraft)
Since January 1st all vendors and sellers at bol.com who are still using Criteo’s Sponsored Products can switch to the Mabaya advertising environment. This was already the case for sales partners, but now all suppliers and brands are also switching to bol.com’s new advertising tool. This will create a level playing field and all partners who use Sponsored Products will set up their campaigns in the same tool.
Mabaya is not unknown to companies with experience selling on marketplaces such as Real.de, CDiscount, Mano Mano and ePrice. These marketplaces have been using Mabaya as an advertising platform for some time. Mabaya is very similar to the Amazon Advertising console and its most important feature is that you can target keywords and thus determine which search terms you advertise on.
Mabaya’s technology offers great opportunities for both brand suppliers and sales partners because the Mabaya tool opens up new possibilities compared to the current Sponsored Products possibilities for suppliers. One of the most important changes is the ability to advertise by keywords. This gives you, as an advertiser, more control over what you want to be shown on and you are more in control. In an earlier article we already listed the pros and cons of Criteo and Mabaya. You can find this article here.
To help partners get off to a flying start and gain maximum benefit from this new tool, we have defined a logical campaign approach below. With this article we want to offer you tools to get started in the right way and inform you how to organize your campaigns and of course how to optimize them.
How to advertise more efficiently at bol.com with the renewed Sponsored Products
1: Set a goal and calculate your break-even ACOS
To determine the maximum amount you can spend on advertising costs and make a net profit you first set a target per product or product group. You calculate this by converting the product price back to a break-even Advertising Cost of Sale (ACoS), the maximum amount you can spend on advertising without making a loss, and then subtracting your desired net profit margin from this.
2: Creating a new campaign
When creating a new campaign, there are several important steps to follow.
- 2.1 Name: determine the name of your campaign
If you have a large product range and want to create a substantial number of campaigns, it is advisable to apply a logical structure to your campaign names.
One method you can use is e.g.:
This way you can add all the Miele washing machines that you advertise in NL and make a distinction between the different countries (NL/BE). If you later want to optimize or adjust the campaigns, you can see from the name which products/brands are in the campaign and which country you are advertising in. Moreover, once these campaigns are live it is recommended to split them further into campaigns with best sellers (better converting products) versus the other items in that category. This will optimize your bids and add the popular and most generic keywords to the best sellers.
- 2.2 Duration: here you set a start date and an end date.
- 2.3 Budget: here you can choose between a daily budget and a maturity budget.
Budget per day:
Here you set a budget per day, so you can’t spend more than that amount. The advantage of this is that you don’t spend more than this amount and you can easily adjust if you get too much / too little results from the campaigns.
Total budget (duration): here you set a budget for the duration of the campaign, so that during the campaign you can be sure that you are not spending more than this total budget. This is a commonly used method when working with a fixed marketing budget. Think of the planned marketing costs when launching a new product.
Benefit: you never spend more than this total budget
Disadvantage: if the total budget is low, you might spend your total budget too quickly. Suppose you have 200 euros budget and the duration is 3 months, you might have spent your total budget after 2 weeks and there will be no impressions for the last 2.5 months.
- 2.4 Bidding strategy: there are three different options here, namely:
- Automatic bidding
- Manual – bidding on products
- Manual – bidding on keywords
Automatic bidding: the work is done for you and you let the tool determine how much you bid for a particular display/click. If you are just starting to advertise this method is recommended.
Additional option: “advanced bidding
You can set a (desired ACoS) under advanced bidding. This is very useful because it allows you to set the maximum amount you want to spend. When launching the campaigns we recommend setting the ACoS a bit higher (e.g. 30-40%), so that you give the tool room to collect sufficient data. You can then later determine what a realistic ACoS is for the assortment you are bidding on and lower it so you don’t spend too much money.
Manual bidding: this is where you determine the CPC (cost per click) you want to apply. This is a method that can achieve better results, but it’s also a lot more complex. If you’re just getting started with advertising, we don’t recommend this option.
When bidding manually, there are two options:
Bidding on products: here you choose which product to advertise on. The tool also allows you to set a different bid (CPC) per product. For a product with a higher margin, you can, for example, consider setting a higher CPC.
Bidding on keywords: here you choose both the product and the keywords on which you will advertise. Again, you decide how much you bid (CPC) for a certain search term.
- 2.5 Launch campaigns: Once you have collected enough data from the automatic or manual campaigns, you can start creating manual campaigns. Start by creating manual campaigns for the best performing products of the account and place the best performing keywords in these campaigns. By combining the two campaign types, you’ll have a good mix in discovering new keywords through automatic campaigns and the manual campaigns with the best-performing keywords.
3: Optimizing and adjusting
Through the Dashboard overview in Mabaya you have the opportunity to assess the performance of the campaigns. This gives an overall picture of the performance of the campaigns that are active and helps you get a quick insight into how things are going.
3.1 Metrics: in the dashboard you will see the performance on the metrics:
Impressions: the number of times the ads have been shown.
Clicks: the number of times the ad has been clicked on.
Conversions (# sales): the number of times the product has been sold.
Sales (EUR Sales): the total revenue in Euros.
Note: bol.com works with an attribution model, so this figure can fluctuate during the attribution period.
Example: consumer clicks on the ad today, but buys tomorrow. The sales will then still be attributed to the advertisement.
Cost (Advertising spend): this is the total spend on the ads.
ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sales). This is the ratio of costs (advertising spend) to sales (EUR sales).
3.2 Optimize and adjust: If you’re not satisfied about the results of your campaigns or you’re not meeting the desired objectives, we obviously recommend adjusting the campaign. There are several options at the campaign level:
CPC. By lowering or raising the CPC you can ensure that the average cost of the campaign is reduced.
Daily spend. By decreasing/increasing this you can influence the total amount spent on the campaigns.
Exclude keywords that do not convert. We advise to make adjustments when there are at least 50-100 clicks on a keyword, otherwise there is not enough data to conclude that the keyword does not convert.
Exclude products that do not convert. Of course, it may happen that a consumer is simply not interested in your product. In that case we recommend not advertising on this product either. Again, wait until there is enough data to conclude this. You may also have to advertise on other keywords so that the product does sell.
Adjusting Desired ACoS. When launching an automatic campaign, you can give a desired ACoS as an advanced setting. In the beginning it’s advisable to set this a bit wider, so that you give the tool freedom to collect data. Once enough data has been collected, you can also determine what a workable ACoS is and adjust it afterwards. In this way, you avoid spending too much money on marketing.
Adding negative keywords. In addition, you add negative keywords in both campaigns to exclude search terms that do not produce sufficient results after the data collection.
4: Assess the campaign results again
Again, wait until you’ve collected enough data to properly analyze whether all optimizations are working, look at your ROAS and compare it to the goals you’ve set. It may take some time to reach your desired ACoS or ROAS, but it will improve as you implement more optimizations.
With the transition to Mabaya, bol.com is taking another good step in more opportunities for advertisers. With the tips we have given in this article, you can make sure you get the most out of your campaigns. Keep experimenting and analyzing and make sure you stay ahead of the competition!
Want to know more about how to become successful on marketplaces? Contact Thomas Lammers: Thomas.firstname.lastname@example.org.