Ensuring Product Performance with Automated Digital Shelf Monitoring

As a brand selling across multiple retail channels, it is crucial that you understand where and how your catalogue is being presented. Incomplete product data can lead to a poor customer experience not only with the retail website in question, but with your brand itself. Inaccurate pricing can directly impact revenue, and missing or incorrect images or product descriptions can lead to unhappy customers, negative reviews, and returns.

Manual monitoring of the above can be extremely time-consuming and costly, especially when it comes to large eCommerce catalogues or multiple retail partners. Digital shelf analytics software helps automate this process, delivering a complete snapshot of your products’ presentation from retailer to retailer – saving you time and money and giving you more control over your brand.

Automating Digital Shelf Monitoring with SKUWITY

That’s why we created SKUWITY – an automated digital shelf monitoring tool that enables real-time reporting, multi-site configuration, easy team management tools, and a user-friendly interface – all in one scalable solution that can grow and change as your catalogue does.

With SKUWITY, brands can track the following key performance indicators for each of their products on each of their retail partners’ sites:

  • Product Availability
  • Product Content Accuracy
  • Customer Reviews
  • Pricing
  • Offers and Promotions
  • Competitor Price Monitoring

Beyond monitoring your own products’ presentation and price, having the ability to track competitor pricing offers even more value. Want to know how other brands or retailers are pricing similar products? A digital shelf monitoring system like SKUWITY gives you an edge when it comes to offering the best price.

How Does it Work?

To get all the benefits of SKUWITY’s digital shelf analytics, simply upload a spreadsheet of product data, including retail URLs. SKUWITY uses this data, presenting a snapshot of how the products appear on each retail site and flagging potential issues. Use this snapshot as you wish – collect, store, monitor and download reports on key product performance data so you can optimize for higher sales. Add team members, measure performance from multiple retail sites, and use insights to craft your eCommerce strategy.

At the present time, SKUWITY monitors eCommerce product data on Walmart Canada, Amazon, Costco, Instacart, Loblaws and Metro. Custom solutions are also available.

Amazon Pay Per Click: How to Launch Your Own Ad Campaigns on Amazon

As experienced eCommerce sellers know, bringing shoppers to your page is not always a simple feat. From implementing quality SEO practices to launching well-researched and engaging Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns, there is work required to gain visibility online. As more and more shoppers turn to Amazon to search for and purchase products, advertising on the platform becomes increasingly important. That being said, it is not enough to simply jump right into the advertising game. Amazon PPC requires preparation and a set of steps to follow to ensure a higher rate of success.

1. Take a Look at Your Product Detail Page

The very first step in crafting a quality Amazon PPC campaign is to self-audit your Amazon basic listing. This includes conducting a review of your entire product detail page, focusing on the following elements:

  • Customer Reviews: How many reviews do I have? What is my average rating? If there are negative reviews, what are the customers calling out? What do customers seem to love about my product?
  • Image Gallery: Am I using all of the images available to me? Is my first image on a plain, white background? Do I have a variety of lifestyle images that reflect the uses and benefits of my product?
  • Optimized Content: Are my Product Title, Feature Bullets and Product Description written at a high-quality level? Is the content optimized with keywords that have good search volume?

Optimized content is critical to the success of your PPC campaign on Amazon. In order to optimize your content, you must perform keyword research using an online tool like Merchant Words, Google AdWords Keyword Planner, or Keyword Inspector to discover what words shoppers are using to search for products like your own. Incorporate those words into your basic listing copy in order to increase your SEO score and show up in search.

Remember that PPC campaigns require you to pay each time a shopper clicks on your ad – so it is important to do whatever you can to make sure a purchase is made.

2. Take a Look at the Numbers

There are two key numeric factors to take into consideration both at the launch of a campaign and throughout the long-term monitoring process. These factors are Budget and Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS). When you are creating an Amazon PPC campaign from scratch, it is important to start with a minimal budget, for example $10 per campaign. Once your campaign becomes profitable, keep increasing your budget as long as your ACoS is under your threshold.

ACoS is determined by the amount of money you are spending, divided by the amount of money you are bringing in (ACoS = ad spend / sales). The maximum threshold for your ACoS should be your profit margin. When launching a new product or campaign, you may spend more for branding purposes. However, try to limit that branding period. With proper optimization and marketing, sales will naturally rise and ACoS should start to even out.

3. Start Your Campaign: Auto or Manual

The easiest way to start a campaign is by choosing to launch an auto-targeted sponsored campaign. With an automatic campaign, Amazon decides when and where to display your product ads based on the keywords used throughout your listing. The advantage to advertising this way is the simplicity of the set up and the fact that minimal keyword research is required. However, automatic campaigns mean automatic bidding, which can sometimes lead to bids placed on low or non-converting keywords.

You may also choose to set up a manual campaign. This route requires some extra work in the form of manual bidding and keyword research. If you have done a good job of optimizing your basic listing, you should already have a list of high quality keywords. From there, you can choose which keywords to bid on, and create a list of negative keywords that do not apply to your product at all. For example, if you sell indoor rugs, you may wish to indicate the words “outdoor” and “patio” as negative keywords you do not want your product to be associated with on Amazon.

4. Expand Your Campaign

Once you have launched your campaign, it is imperative that you continue to monitor it as time goes on to ensure your budget is being properly used and the keywords you’re bidding on are performing well. As you monitor, remember that at least two weeks need to have gone by in order to produce valuable metrics for reporting purposes; therefore, do not make any drastic changes to your campaign until at least two weeks have gone by.

Once you have reached the two-week mark, download your Search Term Report to see what customers have been searching in order to find your product. By sorting out the list of search terms that are converting well, you can find a list of quality long-tail keywords (keywords with three or more words).

To further expand your campaign, create a phrase match campaign using those long-tail keywords and include both generic and exact negative keywords. Using Amazon’s recommended bids, run this campaign for two weeks. After this two-week period, monitor your campaign every other day and based on your ACoS, reduce bids or pause the under-performing keywords.

Now that you know how to get started with Amazon PPC, it is important to continue managing and monitoring your campaigns on a regular basis.

If you need help managing your Amazon PPC efforts, contact us today. Our Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Specialists have the knowledge and experience to help you increase traffic to your products on Amazon.