Merkle Automates Bidding for Amazon Sponsored Brand Ads

Performance marketing agency Merkle on Wednesday launched an automated bidding platform for Amazon Sponsored Brand Ads. The API integrates with Amazon, allowing advertisers to manage, calculate and apply bids.

“Amazon’s product marketplace is a fast current,” Todd Bowman, senior direct of Amazon and online retail at Merkle; and Matthew Mierzejewski, senior vice president of search capability lead at Merkle, wrote in an email to Search Marketing Daily. “Similar to Google and Bing, increased competition within Amazon Advertising has created the need for calculating bids multiple times a day.”

In Amazon marketplace, inventory, price and the winner of the ad buy can change multiple times a day. 

It’s about letting advertisers perform precise, data-driven decisions, as well as the ability to update bids up to 48 times per day.

For one consumer products goods advertiser, Merkle drove performance from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday by making more than 93,000 bid changes across both Sponsored Product and Sponsored Brands based on advertising requirements to win the bid.



Overall, five brands participated in the initial pilot.

Marketers spent more in Amazon’s Sponsored Brands. In fact, Sponsored Brands grew 86% in the third quarter of 2018 compared with the year-ago quarter. Sponsored Products grew 62% during the same time frame.

Amazon’s recent layout changes serving Sponsored Brands increased the number of page locations where the ads can serve up, according to Merkle.

Brand keywords accounted for 61% of Sponsored Brands sales and 42% of Sponsored Products sales in Q3. 

Merkle also found that the conversion rate for Amazon Sponsored Products conversion is higher than for Google Shopping ads, which suggests a high purchase intent of Amazon searchers relative to general search engine users.

Todd Bowman, senior director of Amazon and eRetail at Merkle, stated that prior to the integration, bidding on these ad units required building numerous custom processes, because until recently Amazon did not provide bulk editing capabilities.

Using a client’s KPIs—from return on ad spend, to cost-per-acquisition--as some of the primary inputs in its bidding algorithm, Merkle relies on machine learning to calculate a base bid and then uses insights from its analytic experts to enhance strategy and adjust bids according to signals from multiple platforms.

Merkle reported that advertisers have seen an 18% sales-per-click increase, a 47% uptick in click-through rate, and a 62% decrease in advertising cost of sales (ACoS) since transitioning their Sponsored Brand bidding to Merkle’s technology.

As part of its Amazon focus, Merkle provides cross-channel strategic support across services, such as Amazon product and brand SEO, as well as Amazon advertising, including search management and display, eRetail media management, and custom eRetail KPI insights.

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