Updated: Jan 19
Amazon recently rolled out a new type of report for Sponsored Brands ads called the Category Benchmark Report. We were both intrigued and excited by the data contained in this report but also disappointed by the lack of documentation in Amazon's help pages. If you don't have this report yet, just know that it is slowly being rolled out.
While there is a lot left to interpretation, we've done our best to explain what the report contains and more importantly, how you can use this data.
Ready? Here we go...
Category Benchmark Report: What is it?
In a nutshell, the Category Benchmark Report tells you how your Sponsored Brands Ads performed within a category or subcategory. Not only can you see how your Ads performed, you can also tell how you compare to your peers. KPIs provided are:
Amazon provides data for the 25th, 50th and 75th percentile of your peers, although they have recently renamed these columns, completely dropping the use of the word 'percentile' which was part of their earlier version of this report. The new terminology is:
Peer Impressions - bottom 25%
Peer Impressions - median
Peer Impressions - top 25%
Let's break this down a bit. Say you have 10 sellers advertising within a category (that's 11 including you), and you arranged all the impressions each received in ascending order of the number of impressions. The median here corresponds to the mid-point above and below which there are an equal number of sellers. In this case, the seller at position 6 represents the median, seller at position 3 the bottom 25% peer and the seller at position 9 the top 25% peer. Like so:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
As per our sample below, a brand received 1,927,755 impressions for Category 1. Although we do not know how many competitors there are in total, what we DO know is that the competitor at the median received 1,875,690 impressions.
This means that our brand is clearly receiving more impressions than half the competitors but less than the top 25% quartile. This is great to know.
Unfortunately, it's hard to guess how many impressions the top advertiser is receiving. But we do know that they won at least 5,271,866 impressions, which is indicative of the size of the opportunity and market.
We can also calculate the difference between the 75th percentile and the 25th percentile to gauge how wide the variance between the largest and the smallest sellers is. In many cases, it will just prove the theory of winner takes all. Good to know so you can adjust your marketing budgets accordingly.
Performance based on ACoS
We found the data about ACoS extremely interesting. It's easy to see how advertisers above and below you are doing. Category 2 of our sample below looks like the best category for this brand to advertise because they seem to be extremely profitable. Much better than the bottom 25% peers.
While it's always intellectually stimulating to see new reports from Amazon, it's more important to focus on actionable insights. Here are some we listed:
1) If you are winning more impressions in a category than the median or top 25% peer group, concentrate on that category
2) If Impressions are high but CTR is lower than your peers try to improve the messaging on the ad
3) If the CTR is high and ACoS is poor, try to lower your bids to the point that you can still maintain your peer band and still be profitable
4) If CTR is high but impressions are low, then increase bids and budgets to take advantage of your ad quality
Have you downloaded this report yet? Tell us how you are using it! Comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear from you! Amazon PPC can be complex, but once you master it, you are going to have fun! PPC Ninja is now offering a FREE 4-week PPC Mastermind to all Amazon sellers. If your monthly ad sales are above 500 USD, we invite you to join us on this 6-week deep dive into Amazon PPC. Click here for details.