The Importance of Trial and Error on Amazon
Amazon’s marketplace is constantly evolving to provide customers the best experience. With this, brands need to be agile and patient. At MPS, we’ve learned how valuable it is to embrace trial and error on Amazon. Failed tactics and strategies shouldn’t be forgotten. Instead, they should be revisited as the channel matures. Continue reading for the areas MPS strategists have found the most value in practicing trial and error on Amazon.
Amazon Advertising and DSP
There are plenty of challenges advertisers run into on Amazon. A common example includes campaigns being paused due to the product or category being prohibited. Hazmat products, alcohol, and tobacco are some of the many restricted by Amazon. But since Amazon strives to appeal to as many shoppers as possible, this list updates regularly. What once was unable to be sold or advertised on Amazon, could eventually have success. MPS strategists have made a habit of revisiting paused campaigns. Weeks, months, or years later products can fall off the list of restrictions. Amazon Advertising’s regulations can also change resulting in a once-failed tactic working.
Product Titles and Variations
Automated services have become more common on Amazon over the last year. This shift is in line with the channel’s commitment to consistency across the marketplace. Two main examples are Automated Title Services (ATS) and Automated Variation Service (AVS). They streamline how products display in the search results, product groupings, and ultimately the customer experience.
ATS uses an internal formula to automatically create product titles using back-end attributes. It was designed to create consistency among all product titles on Amazon. Recently, ATS has become more important for our clients to consider. With that, MPS regularly updates back-end attributes and follows suggested formulas to appeal to the service.
AVS automatically creates variations for products. Using grouping logic, AVS analyzes a brand’s catalog and determines the best way to group ASINs into a variation family. Similar to ATS, AVS uses back-end attributes to drive its behavior. However, simply relying on AVS to create variations can result in a number of issues. For example, it has prevented MPS strategists from creating manual variations and removing unauthorized resellers from our client’s listings.
An important element of trial and error on Amazon is focusing on the shopper’s experience. While continuing to test on the platform, MPS strategists often identify opportunities to improve what’s automatically generated by Amazon. As mentioned, we follow Amazon’s guidelines for automated services. However, if doing so doesn’t create the best customer experience, we work directly with Amazon support. During these conversations, we share how automation has failed and provide alternate recommendations. From there, support helps our team publish titles or variations that best serve shoppers.
Product Detail Page Formatting
The appearance of PDPs is a major driver in product performance. It’s also where MPS strategists perform the most trial and error on Amazon. As mentioned, some categories are impacted more than others.
BISS (Business, Industrial, Scientific Supplies) brands that sell office products or school supplies are good examples. By default, these products are formatted to include an item specification chart located above the fold. As a result, bullet points fall below the fold. In most cases, product features and benefits are more important to shoppers than item specifications. Therefore, when this information is hidden, the customer experience and conversions can suffer.
Another example where this is common is within the books category. Books have two listing formats and by default, they’re in a ‘textbook’ format. Here, the Buy Box takes up the majority of the above-the-fold real estate. It includes limited options to browse content, images, and toggle between variations. The preferred ‘trade book’ format resembles a traditional retail listing with the ability to add optimized images and bring content above the fold (examples below). Similar to the process for ATS and AVS, MPS strategists work with Amazon’s support to format product listings to be more shopper-friendly.
Brands that sell on Amazon understand the channel has countless nuances. Because of this, strong technical knowledge and strategy are crucial. Otherwise, customer experience and conversion rates could suffer.
If MPS strategists didn’t raise questions or re-test tactics, our clients wouldn’t reach their full potential. Because of this, confidently embracing trial and error on Amazon is a key driver of success. By doing so, we navigate possibilities and create a positive shopping experience that turns shoppers into customers.