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.