Generation Media, a leading independent media agency globally specialising in communications with children, young people and families, considers the role of e-commerce – both amid the outbreak of Covid-19, but also its increasingly important role in the retail sector – and offers its expertise to sellers wanting to get ahead of their competition.
Written by Luke Garden, Account Manager, Generation Media
With the majority of retailers closing stores temporarily, we have seen an unprecedented shift to online shopping in many sectors with Amazon at the helm. Criteo especially, with its significant grocery portfolio including the likes of ASDA, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s, has seen a surge in traffic, resulting in advertisers increasing their spends within the platform as outlined in the below graph.
With increased customer demand comes the challenge of maintaining stock levels and delivery performance in difficult times; however, following on from our webinar: ‘The Growth of E-commerce: Are you ready?’, we’ve summarised this to provide five top tips to improve your e-commerce strategy:
1. Select the best formats to match your marketing objective
Are you looking to increase discoverability and acquire new-to-brand customers? Are you looking to simply drive sales in the most efficient manner possible? Are you looking to increase awareness of your product? Or most likely, are you looking for a blended approach? Depending on your answer to one of those questions, this will ultimately determine which formats you should use.
Although the likes of Criteo and Citrus only utilise Sponsored Product ads, there are many options to select from within Amazon. As 42 per cent of Amazon shoppers never scroll past the first page of search results, Sponsored Brand ads are prime real estate for search visibility as they are the first thing a consumer sees after entering a particular keyword into the search bar. Also, if your goal is to acquire new customers, Sponsored Brand is the only format that enables you to identify if a purchase was made by a new or existing customer. Sponsored Product on the other hand, tends to have higher conversion rates and great sales efficiencies.
Another format, Sponsored Display, uses audience data based upon shopping behaviour to increase awareness of your brand both off and on the Amazon site.
Lastly, Product Display Ads, which features below the buy box on a product detail page are a highly disruptive format that offers an alternative solution to a customer’s purchase decision.
Does one of these fit your campaign objective? Or perhaps a blended approach will result in a greater business effect.
2. Create a brand store when appropriate
Brand Stores enable advertisers to drive brand discovery, where you can create a more immersive brand experience and make a deeper impression on first-time shoppers. However, if you are using Amazon Sponsored Brand to drive advertising sales for a specific product selection, perhaps drive to a custom URL/product list page. This will enable you to remove any visual distractions and focus on closing the sale. But of course, the best way to find out which landing page will drive the most sales is to test this.
3. Plan ahead
Black Friday/Cyber Monday are huge events in the e-commerce calendar and therefore use the time you have currently to really think about how to maximise your investment when it comes to important events/seasons. Do you have strong A+ content? Have you invested in the Amazon Vine Programme? Are you winning the buy box? It’s not all just about Black Friday/Cyber Monday, there are other important industry-specific events you should be accounting for in your strategy. For instance, for the toys and games industry, are you including ‘dream toys’ and ‘how to spend it well at Christmas’ as part of your keyword list during these events?
4. Bid on your own brand terms
By bidding on your own brand keywords, you can present your best-selling product to a user who is already aware of your brand, or alternatively you can showcase discounted products that can compel a user even more so to purchase. There are also upsell opportunities, whereby you can pitch a related high-end product to increase the order value further. However, most of all, it does not take much for competitors to conquest you; bidding on your own brand keywords is low-cost and enables you to win your own territory.
5. There is more to e-commerce than just Amazon!
Google Shopping and Search are another important part of your e-commerce toolbox. However, their benefits do tend to depend on whether third-party retailers are not already promoting your products themselves on Google and whether you are selling products direct from your own e-commerce page. By simply driving traffic to a third-party store, there is a good chance that users will explore other products (at your expense). When discoverability and priority at the top of search results is important on e-commerce sites such as Argos, John Lewis, Very, ASDA, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s, then Criteo and/or Citrus Ads should be a part of your marketing plans. Lastly, social commerce, including Pinterest and Instagram Shopping ads are becoming an increasingly important entity within the e-commerce sphere – keep an eye out for Instagram Checkout when it comes out of closed-beta!
Generation Media is advising marketers to navigate through these unprecedented times and guide advertisers on how to maintain their overall brand strategies for 2020. The company has also launched its Generation Academy sessions, covering a range of marketing topics from e-commerce to influencers, which are free of charge and open for marketers across the industry to join.
For more information on the Generation Academy schedule and how to sign up, please get in touch with Sofia (Sofia.Liandrakis@generationmedia.co.uk) who will provide details on how to get involved. The next Generation Academy session will be held today (Friday 1 May) at 10:30am. The session is titled: If TV is dead, why does it still account for 89 per cent of children's ad spend?