Have you tried the strategy of placing ads on your own products? Is there any merit to cannibalizing your own sales? Does it work?
For those who are new to product targeting (ASIN targeting,) please refer to our introductory blogpost on Product Targeting Ads. In this post, we'll just summarize it quickly.
You can create campaigns with product targeting, by picking one or more target ASINs, which could be competitor ASINs or even your own. Two ad types that can help you do this are:
Sponsored Products - Manual - Product Targeting
Sponsored Display - Product Targeting
Both these ad types can appear on the detail page of the ASIN you are running the ad for, and serve the purpose of enticing shoppers with an alternative product when they are deep into the consideration phase of the funnel.
Sponsored Products - Product Targeting Placement
This type of targeting allows you to get featured in the "Sponsored Products Related to the Item" carousel located somewhere in the middle of the Product Detail Page. You'll notice a horizontal scrollbar that houses hundreds of ads.
Sponsored Display - Product Targeting Placements
On the other hand, this type of targeting gives you very favorable placements all over the Product Detail Page. The reason why these placements are way more powerful than Sponsored Products above is that they have no visual competition with other products. They stand alone with a chance to get substantial visibility. You can use these placements as placeholders to target your own products, effectively prevent any customers from taking them up.
We ran an experiment using Amazon's Product Targeting ads on our own products to gauge if this strategy was worth it, and saw some really interesting data.
We targeted a relatively high volume product and placed a product targeting ad showcasing 2 similar products from our own catalog on it, and let it run for a bit. Here are some takeaways from that experiment.
Since the ad was placed on a product page from a similar product in our own catalog, we knew that there was already a clear purchase intent. These shoppers were already in-market for that type of product, since they came in through a similar funnel. They were definitely not the undecided shoppers standing on the top-of-funnel causing reckless clicking and no buying. The results show a pretty good ACoS confirming our hypothesis.
Now, this may NOT have been the outcome if the products we picked very significantly dissimilar to the one we were targeting. The key is to understand and capture customer purchase intent during the design of the ad, which basically means the selection of which products you pick in the adgroup.
Lower Click-through-rates (CTR)
We got a decent CTR of around 0.34%, which is slightly lower than typical account averages of 0.5%, but this is expected for a product ad on a detail page.
The good thing is that more of our own products captured the real estate on that page and reduced the risk of competitor products luring the buyer away to unchartered territories.
Stealing our own traffic?
One of the positive outcomes of this experiment was that the high volume product we targeted actually helped revive sales for the 2 lower volume products in the ad.
In a sense, it may seem like we stole our own traffic, but data shows that this was only a partial diversion of traffic that we could have lost anyway.
This technique is similar to doing an up-sell or a down-sell in a traditional digital marketing scenario, where you always offer multiple alternatives to pick from, even if the thing that you originally offered did not entirely meet the buyer's needs.
If the ACoS is within limits, product targeting ad placements on your own products can be a great strategy to profitably increase sales. We conclude with 4 reasons:
Even though it may seem like you're stealing sales from your own products, you are actually capturing as many eyeballs as possible for your own catalog, rather than giving them away to a competitor.
By pairing up low volume products with high volume winners, this technique can help boost traffic for products that otherwise have a hard time performing.
People familiar with your brand who are already shopping from you will be more likely to purchase from one of the options you present them. So why not?
This is also a great way to increase bids for competitors who might have otherwise won that spot at a lower rate.
Have you tried this technique and has it worked for you?
Did this post spark your curiosity or trigger a question? 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 4-week deep dive into Amazon PPC. Click here for details.