Automation has become increasingly common across industries and Amazon advertising isn’t far behind. Simple, rote, and repeatable tasks are best left to a computer or a robot while you and your team focus on top-level strategy. At least that’s what most machines and robots used to do.
Technology has come a long way. With the advent of advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence, modern automation goes beyond the routine or the mundane. There are many automation services in the market that promise to improve your ROI and how do you pick the right one? How can an Amazon seller use automation to improve their advertising outcomes? Why should a seller consider automating their PPC campaigns in the first place?
Here’s a low-down on everything you need to know about Amazon PPC automation and how you can deploy it to supercharge your sales.
Benefits of Amazon PPC automation
The crux of the question is whether you should trust a software to do the job better than you. In many cases, the answer is yes. Not always, but there are multiple situations where automation is a net positive. So, what are the benefits exactly?
Monitoring and optimizing your PPC campaigns is like a full-time job. Looking through your search term reports for actionable data can take ages. If you have a large catalog of products, this can be incredibly time-consuming. That’s where automated systems can help.
By automating the tedious parts of your PPC campaign like bid optimization or negative targeting, you save valuable time which can be used to strengthen and expand other parts of your Amazon enterprise. Time is money, and the adage stands in e-commerce as well.
Eliminate human error
Humans make mistakes. We can be tired or fatigued and type in the wrong number or accidentally set the wrong bid. A machine is different. If you give it a clear set of instructions, it’ll accurately execute the orders to perfection.
Automating monotonous tasks of your Amazon PPC campaigns will easily allow you to scale your marketing as your business grows. This is an extension of the fact that it will free up more teams for you and your team. Manually managing PPC campaigns for 30-40 products is next to impossible when you’re trying to squeeze out the best returns – automating parts of the process makes it easier.
Note: Automation doesn’t mean hands-off. Regularly monitor your campaigns to ensure that there are no mistakes or problems.
These are the main benefits of automation tools, irrespective of what those tools are. The most important thing here is your bottom line. That’s why most tools and services also advertise improved ACoS, better ROI, and better sales – essentially promising you that their tools will also optimize your campaigns and maximize your profits.
These are not far fetched claims. Before we dive into how automation tools can help you achieve your ACoS and ROI targets, let’s take a look at the two major types of automation tools on the market – rule-based automation and black-box automation.
The best example of a rule-based automation system for Amazon PPC is what SellerApp has to offer. With rule-based automation tools, you set the parameters that the algorithm has to follow while optimizing your campaigns.
For instance, with SellerApp’s rule-based automation feature, all you need to do is input a few critical PPC metrics such as ACoS, bids, or orders. Once the rules are created, SellerApp’s machine learning algorithms will automatically optimize your campaigns based on these predetermined rules. It uses all the data within the SellerApp system and the campaign data to arrive at optimal decisions.
Let’s take one simple example. You want to maximize your ROI from a high-converting keyword. You want to periodically bid higher for the keyword to capture more ad space.
Instead of manually checking your campaigns and changing bids, you can automate the task by using SellerApp’s campaign manager. All you need to do is set the following parameters: target ACoS, number of orders, maximum bid amount, and percentage of bid increase.
Until your target ACoS is reached, or until the maximum bid amount is reached, SellerApp’s algorithms will periodically optimize the bid.
In a nutshell, tell the software what to do, and it’ll do it for you. This is the basic premise on which all rule-based automation tools operate. The algorithms will automatically parse through all your PPC data and take actions that maximize your returns. This means that you still retain a lot of control over how your campaigns are run and optimize – you set the rules in the first place.
SellerApp also has a fail-safe in place if a seller makes a mistake while setting the rules. All rules have to be approved by their experts before they become active – this means even if you do make a mistake while setting a rule, their experts will catch it and alert you.
The way I see it, rule-based automation is perfect for expert sellers who know exactly what they want from their Amazon PPC advertising campaigns.
If you thought rule-based automation made your life easy, think again. Black-box automation is Amazon PPC on autopilot. You may have to set a target ACoS or RoAS (Return on advertising spend), but that’s about all you’ll need to do.
You’ll get reports on how your campaigns are doing and can access data on key metrics, but the algorithm handles the campaign. Machine learning or AI allows these tools to make informed decisions based on campaign history and previous data.
The main drawback of black-box automation is that you have very little control over how your campaign is run. Most tools do a fine job and improve your campaigns – all for very little effort from your side. Are they fully optimized campaigns? Unfortunately, that is not a question one can answer when it comes to black-box automation tools.
Black-box automation is great for sellers who know very little about Amazon PPC advertising. It requires very little inputs and will often deliver good results. There is one caveat though. Black box automation requires extensive data to build on. If you’ve been running the campaigns for a while, then you already have the data. If not, it’ll take a while for the automation tool to build a reliable repository of actionable data. This may translate to poor results in the short term.
However, taking your hands off the wheel completely is never a good idea. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are not infallible. Sometimes a decision based on cold logic is not the best one. In some situations a qualitative solution is necessary – and that can only come from PPC experts. That is why it is a good habit to regularly check and optimize your campaigns and this includes your automated ones.
What about the bottom line?
This is the million-dollar question. Will automation improve your advertising ROI and make you more money? If the technology is robust, then the answer is a resounding yes! Data-informed choices are essential when optimizing your campaigns and cutting-edge tools like SellerApp are built on robust and reliable data. Your campaign’s efficacy is not left to chance and optimal outcomes are almost always guaranteed.
It’s important to note that great outcomes are also possible when manually optimizing campaigns. This is the primary reason I haven’t added reduced ACoS or increased ROI as a direct benefit. The most vital benefits of automation are the man-hours saved and the precision that modern technology offers when optimizing bids and keywords.
Automation will ensure that your campaigns are well optimized and give you the time you need to devote to other parts of your Amazon business. Whether it is creating more engaging advertising copies or researching new products to sell, the time saved through automation can have a positive rippling effect throughout your business.
Arishekar N, the Head of Marketing at SellerApp, specializes in digital marketing, in addition to website keyword optimization for search engines. His areas of expertise include enhancing the organic ranking of webpages on search engines with innovative SEO strategies and online promotions.