9 Auction-Based Merchandising Insights for Holiday 2016

In the US, 44% of people starting their product search on Amazon and 21% initiate a search on other retailer sites. Search behavior continues to expand outside of the search box, which is why we believe it’s important to have a thoughtful strategy for auction-based merchandising. Headed into the holiday season, we suggest you consider these nine key insights and recommendations for two of our key partners in the space: Amazon and HookLogic.

Amazon Insights and Recommendations

Insight: In 2015, Black Friday and Cyber Monday had bigger sales days than Boxing Day (December 26) in Canada.

Recommendation: Make sure you have appropriate budget coverage on those days. Daily caps are now available, so be sure to adjust appropriately.

Insight: 200 million items were shipped globally on Amazon Prime.; they shipped to 185 countries, with only a few domains.

Recommendation: Look at ASIN prime availability and the ability to ship to other markets.

Insight: This year, Amazon has increased their free shipping threshold from $35 to $49 in the US, and from $25 to $35 in Canada.

Recommendation: Identify if the ASINs that sold well last year will be affected this year, where the price is now making the ASIN not eligible for free shipping.

Insight: Competitor bidding still converts well and can grow category share.

Recommendation: Ensure you have appropriate headline search ads to defend your category share and a well-defined conquest strategy of your competitors.

Insight: Understand that top-selling products can change between Christmas and Boxing Day. Gadgets and toys are replaced with best-selling items for fitness and health related ASINs as consumers gear up for a healthier new year.

Recommendation: Be prepared for sales of candy and Christmas items to drop quite drastically. Similarly, don’t wait for the New Year.

Image: Estimated CPCs by format

HookLogic Insights and Recommendations

HookLogic retailers include Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Toys R Us, Staples, Newegg, Sears, Costco, Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl’s, Wayfair, Rakuten, Kmart, Peapod, Overstock, HSN and others.

Insight: Site traffic peaks the week of Thanksgiving and conversion peaks around Cyber Monday.

Recommendation: Ensure appropriate coverage the week leading up to Cyber Monday as this traffic will convert on Cyber Monday.

Insight: Actual traffic versus estimated traffic last year was quite lower than HookLogic recommended.

Recommendation: Have a backup plan ready, ideally with a fluid budget between Amazon and HookLogic, just like there would be for SEM, with a fluid budget between Bing and Google.

Insight: Black Friday and Cyber Monday affect other retailers as well with spikes seen at the same time as Amazon.

Recommendation: Make sure that appropriate budget coverage is available for these key days and be price elastic. Often an Amazon price can be beaten on other retailers.

Insight: Attribution around the holiday period is important. Anything between 5%-20% of added value can be associated.

Recommendation: Speak to iProspect and HookLogic about attribution between retailers in the network before the campaign ramps up.