For those sellers advertising and marketing their product listings outside of Amazon, it can be challenging to measure the impact of those campaigns on their Amazon sales.
While several ad platforms provide sellers with the ability to place a tracking pixel on their website to properly attribute traffic and sales to particular ads and campaigns, these tracking tools can’t be used on their product listing pages and Amazon store.
Amazon has rolled out Amazon Attribution, a new beta measurement solution, to deal with this issue.
Amazon Attribution provides a deeper insight than the typical engagement and media metrics received from other solutions. Using these insights, advertisers are able to quickly optimize their investment strategies in order to generate a higher ROI.
Amazon Attribution is designed to allow brands to measure the impact of display, search, and video channels based on how consumers discover, research, and buy their products on Amazon.
Like Google and Facebook, Amazon is attempting to take credit for the success of ads outside its own platform, whether they’re on a rival or publisher site.
Google has had an advantage over Amazon in that most advertisers are likely using some form of Google attribution to measure not only their Google campaigns, but also their Amazon campaigns. Now, Amazon can have advertisers use its own attribution to measure ads outside of its own sites.*
Amazon wants to leave marketers without any doubt that its ads are better than those of its rivals at driving sales on its sites. This move will encourage brands to drive more ads to Amazon because they’ll have attribution parity.
Only those advertisers that sell on Amazon, rather than through it, are being invited to the beta trial. It is currently available to 1P vendors and brand registered 3P sellers in the United States and has limited availability in the UK.
Amazon Attribution’s unique conversion metrics such as detail page views, purchase rate, and sales, give advertisers a comprehensive view into how each of their marketing tactics contribute to shopping activity on Amazon.
Amazon’s pixels measure impressions and clicks across a seller’s media purchased outside of Amazon Advertising and allows Amazon to attribute Amazon shopping conversions to a seller’s various media channels, campaigns and strategies.**
With on-demand reporting, Amazon attribution allows advertisers and brands to identify those insights needed to optimize their media campaigns and grow product sales.
Advertisers will be able to justify media investments like never before. Advertisers will for example, be able to obtain information that indicates how much better their Amazon product detail pages are converting compared to their own website.
*(Each platform wants to have its own attribution tool because they believe that other platforms can’t be trusted to correctly credit ads outside of their own platform. Google is always going to say its ads are more effective at driving conversions, just as Facebook and Amazon can be counted upon to do the same.)
**(An attribution involves determining which marketing channel and/or campaign to credit for a detail page view and sale. Sellers can use attribution metrics to optimize their ad spend, targeting and placement to improve their overall ROI.)
Amazon tracks attribution differently based upon the platform being used.
Seller Central attribution
Sponsored Product Campaigns – Sales attribution is measured on a 7-day click-through attribution window. For example, if a shopper who is browsing clicks on an ad and then comes back to it up to 7 days later, and buys one of your products from your brand, Amazon will attribute the sale to that campaign.
Sales are attributed only to the last ad the shopper clicked. It should also be noted that Product ASIN targeting attribution works the same way as Sponsored Products.
Sponsored Brand Ad Campaigns – Sales are measured on a 14-day click-through attribution window. Sales are attributed only to the last campaign the shopper clicked.
Sponsored Brand Ads follow what Amazon refers to as ‘Brand Halo’ sales attribution.*** For example, if a shopper clicks on your ad and buys any product whatsoever with your brand name on it (not just the products featured in your Sponsored Brand ad), Amazon will attribute the sale to that campaign.
If you are a brand that has listings with different variations of your brand names, Amazon will attribute any sale from any of those brands, including sales made by anyone on Amazon who sells products under your brand.
*** ( The Halo Effect is the tendency for positive impressions of a brand or product in one area to positively influence a shopper’s opinion or feelings in other areas. It is a term for a consumer’s favoritism toward a line of products due to positive experiences with other products by the same manufacturer/brand. The Halo Effect can be used by advertisers to alter the consumer’s perception of their brand and/or their products.)
Advertising Console (formerly AMS) Attribution
The attribution for the Advertising Console differs from Seller Central, even though many of the ad types are the same.
Every feature in the Advertising Console works on Amazon’s Brand Halo attribution, whereas in Seller Central, only Sponsored Brand Ads work on Brand Halo.
Sponsored Product campaigns – Unlike the 7-day click-through attribution in Seller Central, the Advertising Console works on a 14-day click-through attribution. Brand Halo attribution applies here.
Sponsored Brand ad campaigns – They have a 14-day click-through attribution like in Seller Central. Brand Halo applies here just as it does in Seller Central. It also includes sales from products within your brand when either Amazon ships and sells the product, or other sellers sell your product.
Product Display ads – are measured on a 14-day click-through attribution. Amazon’s Brand Halo attribution applies here.
Amazon Display (formerly AAP) Attribution
There are two types of reporting metrics or values to measure return on ad spend by which Amazon attributes sales in their Display advertising platform. They are:
- Promoted conversions (product sales) – Conversions for a specific ASINs selected by the seller for tracking purposes. There is no Brand Halo attribution applied. Amazon currently has to manually approve each list of ASINs the seller provides to verify that those ASINs actually belong to the seller.The promoted conversions metric is calculated on a 14-day view-through attribution window. This means the ad only has to appear on the screen, it doesn’t actually have to be clicked. Whether or not the potential customer actually looked at the ad, the impression is considered a ‘view’. Effective as of Jan. 1, 2019, only 50% of the display ad needs to be in view for one second or more for a sale to be attributed. Also, only 50% of a video ad needs to be in view for two seconds or more for a sale to be attributed.
It’s important to note that if a shopper views a Display ad, but then clicks on a Sponsored Products ad, the Sponsored Products as would be credited for the sale, not the Display ad.
- Total conversions – Total conversions tracks sales on the ASINs provided to Amazon for conversion tracking and all Brand Halo sales from the brand names included in the tracked ASIN list. It is calculated on a 14-day view-through attribution window. However, if a brand gives a list of ASINs with several different brand names, then total sales would be skewed because Amazon would attribute any sale from any of those brands in that list, even if the seller wasn’t tracking those ASINs.
Another facet of how Amazon attributes sales involves…
Discount Coupon vs. Promo Code Discount Attribution
When there is a special promotion through either Seller Central or the Advertising console, attribution is treated in the same manner.
Any discounts that are applied before the customer enters the checkout phase are applied and taken out of the attributed ad revenue. But if the discount was applied during the checkout process, Amazon still reports the full retail price as the sale.
For example, if a product being advertised costs $150, when it sells, Amazon reports a $150 sale. If the seller has a $20 off coupon as a pre-checkout discount running and the buyer uses it, Amazon will report a $130 sale.
On the other hand, if the seller has a $20 PROMO CODE as a checkout discount running and the buyer applies it, Amazon still reports a $150 sale. In this instance, the discount is not accounted for.
While the jury is still out on to what degree Amazon Attribution will shape how advertisers strategically invest their ad dollars, it does provide brands with the opportunity to:
Measure: Gain insights into advertising channel effectiveness through Amazon sales impact analysis.
Optimize: On-demand attribution reporting allows for proactive optimization.
Plan: Review channel performance and relevant Amazon audience segment insights to help plan future marketing strategies that can maximize ROI.
With that being said, it’s vital that sellers understand not only the numbers, but also the attribution behind the numbers, in order to get a complete picture of how their advertising is truly performing in terms of their specific goals.
Michael Zagare is a serial entrepreneur, a recovering physical therapist, and the founder of PPC Entourage.
Mike has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge in all things Amazon, and loves sharing that knowledge with other sellers to help them take steps towards personal and financial freedom.
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