The differences between managing AMS campaigns in both Vendor and Seller Central would strike anyone exclusively familiar with one platform as puzzling and lacking purpose, especially considering that so many brands have taken a hybrid approach and are utilizing both platforms to get the best of both worlds and maximize results.
From campaign types, to campaign structure, to reporting capabilities, you’d expect it to be more streamlined and consistent, since it’s all AMS, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. However, luckily for us all, Amazon is making the switch to one unified advertising platform stretching throughout the entire ecosystem, not just combining the Vendor Central and Seller Central sides of AMS, but the AAP/AMG programmatic side of the business as well.
Given that Amazon was already building out techniques to measure the relationship between programmatic display ads and increases in branded search volume, this doesn’t come as a surprise. This was a necessary decision and an inevitable next step as they seek to become a dominant player in the digital ad space.
The new unified advertising platform is a great start, but we have high hopes for even more changes to come! Here are a few predictions for the future and hopes as Amazon continues to build out its advertising capabilities:
Ad Groups, Ad Groups, Everywhere: While they already exist in the Seller Central AMS interface, as well as in the bulk upload tool for both platforms, ad groups lack any real functionality on the Vendor Central side of AMS. As anyone familiar with AdWords (or AMS in Seller Central) knows, ad groups are invaluable for segmenting keywords by match type, theme, long vs. short-tail, etc., especially when leveraging ad group-level negatives to control overlap. They’re also great for attaining full coverage of a product category in automatic campaigns—with each product in its own ad group, you get clear data on what is and is not working for each of those products while mitigating the risk of wasted impressions and diminishing returns.
Unified Ad Reporting Across Platforms: As things currently stand, anyone running AMS in both Vendor Central and Seller Central knows the pain of exporting reports from both and comparing results to get the clearest possible picture of account-level ad performance. Being able to access all ad reporting in one interface would not only save time, but also accelerate data acquisition and campaign optimization.
End-to-End Sales Attribution: As already mentioned, Amazon has been building out techniques to tie increases in branded search volume back to programmatic display ad impressions, so being able to tie sales back to ad impressions is a natural next step. While view-through and impression-assisted conversions are nothing new, attribution data can be lost because the message is frequently delivered in one place, but the conversion resulting from the message occurs elsewhere. Despite the ability to drive traffic off Amazon to other sites, the vast majority of conversions driven by Amazons ads will almost certainly take place within the same ecosystem where the message was delivered, uniquely positioning them to give advertisers an incredibly comprehensive view of ad performance.
As Amazon continues to enhance their advertising platform, we’re excited for many changes to come and hopeful for more time-saving features.