Why being “Always On” matters in the eRetail environment

The rise of digital marketing and in fact, the growth of eRetail media created a whole new dimension to being ‘always on’. Whilst more traditional media focused on the likelihood of the audience seeing a piece of media and then remaining top of mind to convert at the appropriate moment, the growth of eCommerce and its 24/7 approach to sales meant that customers could be looking to convert at any given moment. Therefore, our clients needed to be always on. 

Simple stuff then. Only, is it? 

If the increase of competition in the commerce space during the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that there is now clear nuance to running always on campaigns. Higher cost per clicks bids (CPC) and fewer available placements are forcing us to be agile and forward thinking when it comes to meeting our objectives. Being always on is still a must, but the way in which this is approached needs to be adjusted and then explained to our clients to deliver long term growth.

Increasing organic sales

We’ve long known that glance views are a key driver of the Amazon algorithm and driving glance views by directing traffic to product detail pages increases the organic relevance, therefore improving the category ranking of a product. 

However, the benefits don’t stop there. We also see opportunities through unsponsored on-page placements such as ‘frequently bought together’ or ‘customers also read’. These are sales that are affected by delivering eRetail media across multiple platforms, and consistent sponsored adverts will have a long-term impact – but aren’t always considered because they’re not seen in ROAS numbers.  

Keyword relevance

Even with an always on budget, you won’t necessarily win every placement available, and this is particularly true when it comes to category or competitor keywords. By having a clear strategy in place to compete and conquer, this will identify your products to the algorithm as potential organic matches even in a position where your brand isn’t necessarily the focus. SKU selection for those targeted keywords is crucial though, as if you’re unable to convert, this could be deemed irrelevant by the algorithm and have a negative impact on potential sales on non-brand terms moving forward. 

Continuous optimisations

Running campaigns 100% of the time provides a competitive advantage for your clients, by allowing us to optimise consistently. Creating a host of campaigns for specific events such as Prime Day will not allow you that luxury and will see wasted budget at a time when CPC is likely to be higher. By testing at less prominent times of the year, you have more chance (at a lower cost) to identify poorly performing keywords, remove them from your campaigns and make sure your budget is spent on keywords that meet the client objectives when it matters. 

Tailored budgets

A budget spread over a fiscal year will allow the activation and strategy team to plan when is best to upweight campaigns. By using YoY data, monthly projected spend can be tailored to for product seasonality, sales events such as Black Friday, and of course the peak in Q4. 

Bottom of the funnel conversion

Offline media will drive traffic to online media, through increased brand awareness – However, the nature of client structure means that this information is not always readily available or shared. The Amazon advertising platform allows marketers to bid on competition and brand keywords, creating the risk that those connected sales will not be converted by our clients, but the competition instead. By running campaigns that are always on, there is a higher propensity to purchase, and we can identify times where an external piece of media has generated an uplift in sales.

Always on campaigns are no longer just selecting keywords and a budget and letting it run, the pandemic has seen to that. Now we need to be available at the right point in the commerce journey, using the right keywords and truly understand what our client’s objectives are.

As we develop the commerce proposition further and further, understand that commerce is the business outcome, the final click in a journey that may have taken months to convert a consumer. Run campaigns in the traditional form of always on, and you’ll still convert – with a lot of wastage. Run them with nuance, and you’ll still convert, but overall metrics will be significantly higher.