Case Study #1: Leveraging Holidays for Higher Revenue


Product category:

Gourmet Foods & Grocery


Service type:

Amazon Account Management

    The situation

    • A client with a vast catalog of highly giftable gourmet food products, such as handcrafted chocolates, gourmet nuts, and trail mixes.
    • Dependence on the holiday season for sales created anxiety around launching new products.
    • No existing process for launching new products; no strategy for optimizing existing listings for higher conversions.
    • No capability for determining which new products would be profitable to launch and maintain.

    How Bobsled Marketing helped

    Every Amazon account managed by Bobsled Marketing gets a Project Manager, an expert PPC Specialist, and an Account Specialist. We began by assembling our team and got to work understanding the product categories that would be most profitable for the client. Between September and December 2016, we developed and executed on a launch cycle that brought 38 new products to Amazon in association with seasonal holidays, including Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas.

    While launching these new products, we began to improve existing product listings. This optimization approach included:

    • Adding the names of relevant holidays in both the titles and keywords, as appropriate.
    • Conducting keyword research for each parent product and updating the product metadata so that products perform better both in organic and paid search results.  
    • Creating standardized templates for every product, which included guidelines for images, keywords, bullet points, and conversion-focused copy.

    From this initial effort, we developed a repeatable workflow that is now used to continuously improve on listings and remain agile in responding to changes in the market. Over a period of several months we were able to optimize the client’s entire catalog, and even optimize some product pages with Enhanced Brand Content to grow conversions even further.

    Pay per click advertising (PPC) was something that the client was previously not taking full advantage of. There were a few campaigns running but they were poorly structured, with several products combined under the same ad group. The client was only spending $20-$30 per day on ads because, with an average ACoS of 53.74%, paid traffic was just too expensive.

    After cleaning up the campaigns so that each product has its own ad group with holiday-specific and SKU-specific keywords, the daily account budget is between $200 and $800.

     

    The results:

     

    • 837% increase in sales between September 2016 and December 2016.
    • 79% growth in Valentine’s Day sales over the previous year, and 900% growth in sales between the week of Valentine’s Day versus the previous week.
    • 100 new parent SKUs successfully launched and optimized within four months.
    • Used PPC to drive an exponential increase in sales, while maintaining a profitable ACoS for the client, regularly dipping under 20%. 
    • Christmas 2016 ACoS: 32.48%

     

    • Easter 2017 ACoS: 19.59% 
    • ACoS of 25.59% in the year to date for 2017, versus 53.74% before Bobsled’s engagement.
    • Lessons learned from Christmas 2016 were used to great effect during Easter 2017. Inventory levels were boosted, product listing titles & copy optimized specifically for the season, and PPC campaigns up and running at least six weeks before the holiday. The client generated $24,000 in sales attributed to PPC over the 2017 Easter period, versus $3,259 in sales attributed to PPC for the 2016 Easter period.
     

    WANT TO SEE THESE KIND OF RESULTS IN YOUR BUSINESS?

     
     
     
    I have been really pleased with the Bobsled Marketing team. I knew the project would be a special challenge, but I only have great things to say about the Bobsled Marketing team.

    — Anne Coelen, Director of Marketing, eCommerce at Playboy Enterprises
     

    Case Study #2: A Makeup Brand goes from Good to Great


    Product category:

    Beauty


    Service type:

    Amazon Account Management, International Launch

    The situation

    • A makeup brand with proprietary products which was already selling successfully on Amazon.
    • Being their primary sales channel, the client was interested in following new best practices to further fuel growth in this competitive category.
    • No time left to build other sales channels or elevate their team from operational tasks associated with managing their Amazon account.
    • Persistent issues with their Canadian product listings. 
    • International growth aspirations: wanted to launch in new marketplaces.

    How Bobsled Marketing helped

    With any new brand that we work with, the team starts with a full, comprehensive audit of product listings to identify opportunities for improvement. In this case, we worked through the following:  

    • Composing optimized, conversion-focused copy for product descriptions.
    • A visual product listing refresh to showcase the features and benefits of the products.
    • Competitor analysis to discover areas of opportunity.
    • Full update of backend keywords to improve discoverability.

    After this initial catalog optimization, we sought to ramp up sales quickly using paid search. It’s important to do this after the product listings have been effectively optimized, so that customers who click through to a product page are more likely to convert. 

    Secure in knowing that every aspect of their Amazon account was being handled professionally, the owners of this company were able to take their first vacation since launching on Amazon! Since we use the chat program Slack for all communication with clients, it was easy for them to access any urgent updates in real time, and get back up to speed without a backlog of emails.

     

    THE RESULTS:

     

    • From September 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016:
    • More than $280,000 in product sales during the period—significant growth over $134,000 the previous year.
    • Growth in monthly sales from ads from $30,000/month in September to nearly $60,000 by year’s end. This was achieved with an average ACoS of 14% throughout the period in the US and just over 10% in Canada.
    • Re-launch products in Canada and improve sales from an average of $175/month prior to our engagement, to an average of $1,400/month.
       
    • Got approval for the client to sell in the UK and launched their product catalog in that market.  
     

    WANT TO GET THESE KIND OF RESULTS FOR YOUR BRAND?

     
     
     
    TRNDlabs nano drone
    Bobsled Marketing is a great partner. The team is responsive and experienced with all things Amazon, and truly care about driving results for our brand.
    — Gerard Nieuwenhuis, Founder of TRNDlabs
     

    Case Study #3: Unwinding Amazon Launchpad


    Product category:

    Electronics


    Service type:

    Amazon Launch

    The situation

    • An innovative electronics product which raised nearly $800,000 on Kickstarter.
    • Invited to Amazon’s “Launchpad” program, but were running into significant limitations imposed by the platform, especially an inability to control the inventory sent to Amazon, even after a full week of being out of stock.
    • Unhappy with sales volume on Amazon and being labeled as a startup on the Launchpad platform.
    • No ability to sell into the Canadian market.
       

    How Bobsled Marketing helped

    Our project team helped immediately to identify potential missed opportunities for the brand by using Launchpad, which is hosted on Amazon’s Vendor Express platform. The client needed to understand in tactical terms how Amazon’s PO process works, so our Project Manager coached them on the specific reports and metrics to pay attention to.

    We then aided in their migration off  the Launchpad program and directly onto Vendor Express. In conjunction with this, we launched the client open a Seller Central account, which affords far more flexibility and control. We also:

    • Ensured they received the benefits of Vendor Express, such as Vine reviews.
    • Conducted competitor analysis and keyword research which revealed new opportunities for targeting potential customers.
    • Added a two-pack variation of the product for more visibility & improved profitability on that SKU.
    • Revamped and streamlined Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) campaigns.
    • Began managing the client’s Seller Central account in case of a stock outage via Vendor Express.
       

    THE RESULTS:

     

    • Sales steadily grew from $0 to $50,000/month in a span of three months.
    • AMS campaigns finally showed growth, with a strong ACoS after the client’s previous attempts of significant spend with little to no return. 
    • We successfully managed the client’s inventory during periods of high-volume sales, particularly during the holidays where sales increased by more than 50% compared with the prior 3 months. Through analyzing inventory trends we calculated how much inventory as necessary, and ensured the client had enough inventory to cover the holiday period, without being over-stocked in January.
    • Identified errors with Amazon.ca (Canada) marketplace listings. Relisted, optimized, and initiated PPC for these products. 

    Most importantly, the client now has both the time and revenue necessary to grow their marketing and brand awareness campaigns, in addition to more research and development for new products to add to their product suite.

     

    Want to see these kind of results in your business?

     
    We have been impressed by Bobsled Marketing’s weekly contact and checklists throughout the process, and look forward to growing this business together
    — Jim Dygas, Owner of Urban Accents
     

    Case Study #4: An account audit uncovers major growth opportunities


    Product category:

    Electronics


    Service type:

    Audit

    The situation:

    • Brand manufacturer of a popular wireless hearing and listening system, specifically marketed toward people with hearing loss.
    • Struggling to grow their sales on Amazon—the client didn’t have the time necessary to dedicate to optimizing campaigns and understanding the marketplace.
    • A previous Craigslist hire lead to heavy ad spending with little results.
    • The popularity of their product lead to several unauthorized sellers competing for the Buy Box on their product pages. 
    • Responding to negative reviews in a timely manner was difficult.
       

    How Bobsled Marketing helped

    Before officially signing on with Bobsled for an ongoing management retainer, we began with a comprehensive client campaign audit. This audit included a review of listing pages, analysis of current PPC efforts, and in-depth keyword research.

    While completing this audit we identified a laundry list of changes to make to differentiate their product listings over the competition, including reviewing each product listing to address both desktop and mobile shoppers.

    We also addressed key issues with their existing Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) campaigns and grow sales for the brand while keeping ACoS low.

    Since signing on Bobsled for comprehensive management of their account, the team assigned to this client began to systematically remove unauthorized sellers. At the same time, we developed an ongoing process for dealing with negative product reviews and posting responses on the client’s behalf.

     

    THE RESULTS:

     

    • More than 100% sales growth—from $40,000 in the first two weeks of October 2016 to $86,500 in the last two weeks of December.
    • Significantly fewer unauthorized sellers on the client’s listing pages.
    • A single Sponsored Products campaign has generated more than $660,000 since March 2016, with an ACoS of 3.88%.
    • Need data points which validate our work around negative reviews. Before/after of the client’s seller feedback score or product review ratings? 
    • rom Q4 2016 to Q1 2017, we more than doubled the number of product reviews on this account, with some products increasing by 270% to 450%. Most importantly, the star ratings stabilized across the board, from having several products with 3.5 star ratings, to all products now having 4+ stars.
    Product review & rating stabilization over time

    Product review & rating stabilization over time

     
     
    Kiri has done an outstanding job helping us out with our Amazon strategy. She’s incredibly thorough, thinks outside the box, and is very detail-oriented. She’s also awesome to work with, which is the most important factor for me!
    — Melonie DeRose, Co-Founder of Fe Fit
     

    Case Study #5: The secret sauce for a gourmet food brand


    Product category:

    Gourmet Foods & Grocery


    Service type:

    Amazon Account Management

    The situation:

    • This branded manufacturer was selling small batch spice blends, sauces, and other products sold in major retailers and through their online store. 
    • With their primary focus being on other sales and distribution channels, the client was losing control of their Amazon inventory and missing opportunities for growth. 
    • Exclusively selling on a wholesale basis to Amazon on the Vendor Central platform, the client was frustrated with the PO process and poorly performing product listings which were displaying incomplete and inaccurate information. 
    • The client had neither the time nor expertise to make updates to their catalog in Vendor Central, and wanted to switch to a direct-to-consumer model on Seller Central for new products in their catalog. This would require setup of a new Seller Central account.   
    • New products and bundles which the client wanted to launch on Amazon, but lacked the resources to create, upload, promote and maintain these new product listings.
    • Not running any advertising campaigns, despite the rapidly approaching 2016 holiday season.

    HOW BOBSLED MARKETING HELPED

    In Vendor Central, we performed our standard optimization, correcting inaccuracies, unifying the copywriting and branding across their entire catalog. 

    Since the client was not yet set up on Seller Central, we walked them through the process of setting up their account and “ungating” them in the tightly regulated Grocery & Gourmet Food category. 

    For new products that the client wanted to launch, we first conducted in depth market research to see which product types had the most existing demand on the marketplace. From there, we moved to a full-scale launch and optimization for a half-dozen SKUs in Seller Central.

    Our standard launch and optimization process includes:

    • A listing for each item with high-resolution images.
    • SEO-friendly copy and titles, with an eye toward organic conversions as well.
    • Keyword research to discover the best backend and negative keywords.
    • Setting up and managing PPC campaigns.
    • Set up and optimize a post-purchase email sequence.
    • Product page promotions, including quantity discounts and cross-selling discounts.

     

    THE RESULTS:

     

    • From setting up the client’s Seller Central account from scratch in May-June 2016, sales grew from just $4,300 in August 2016 to $106,000 in December 2016.
    • Several SKUs were added to the Amazon Holiday Gift Guide and Amazon’s Best Deals—a significant driver of organic brand awareness and traffic.
    • We setup new PPC campaigns across an extensive and diverse catalog, with more than 20 different converting keywords per SKU.
    • Built and maintained profitable advertising campaigns for the client through carefully targeting high-converting keywords.
       
     
    photo-original.jpg
     
    We had been putting off the idea of launching our products on Amazon because of the competition in our categories. From my first call with Tom and Kiri I could tell that they had the experience and skills to help us launch our products effectively.

    I had a few setbacks with suppliers but they kept busy and we had a very successful launch. There are 400,000 sellers in our category and after only a couple months with them we are ranked in the 20,000s and its getting better daily. Its amazing that Amazon is so powerful and that Bobsled knows the ropes so well.

    We have more than doubled our sales with that first product and we plan to have Bobsled help us with many more launches. They have been great at everything from research to customer service!
    — Tyler Condie, Founder of Rugged Material
     
     

    Case Study #6: Rebuilding PPC from Scratch
     


    Product category:

    Toys & Games


    Service type:

    Amazon PPC Management

    The situation:

    • This client was selling a brand of easy-to-assemble play sets for children.
    • They had created a convoluted PPC campaign strategy, including 3-5 campaigns for each product. Campaign duplication was leading to unnecessary added cost.
    • A few keywords were creating a majority of the conversions, and a lack of negative keywords meant their ads were being triggered on irrelevant searches.

    HOW BOBSLED MARKETING HELPED

    The convoluted nature of this client’s existing campaigns required rebuilding their PPC campaigns from the ground-up. 

    We created new campaigns for each product, with different ad groups, and created a single auto campaign with all of the items as ad groups. This allowed us to harvest converting search terms and grow each campaign further. 

    A daily budget cap helped keep the client comfortable, and we leveraged negative keywords and lower bids to bring down advertising costs.

     

    The results

     

    • Spend on campaigns was reduced significantly from January to May of 2017. Daily spend decreased from over $100 to $20, while maintaining net revenue on these campaigns. 
    • Overall number of campaigns was reduced by 60%, simplifying reporting and making it easy to calculate the ROI of PPC spend. 
    • At a $20 daily budget, our auto campaign generated more than 500 clicks daily at less than $0.03 per click.
    • We reduced ACoS from more than 60% in January 2017 to a much more sustainable 22.76% by May.
    • By coaching the client on the rationale behind our recommendations, the client now has full transparency and a deeper understanding of how future campaigns should be optimized.

     

    With a proven method in place, we’re now working with the client to expand to Amazon’s European marketplaces and replicate their success in new markets.

     

    Case Study #7: Spending Smarter (Not Just More) with PPC


    Product category:

    Clothing & Accessories


    Service type:

    PPC audit

    THE SITUATION:

    • Branded manufacturer of  laptop bags and attaché cases—a crowded and competitive product category on Amazon.
    • Had strong manual campaigns targeting broad keywords, but was overspending with high bids and bidding excessively on irrelevant keywords.
    • A lack of negative keywords meant these broad keywords were being triggered too often.
    • Overbidding was commonplace despite a lack of proven results.

    HOW BOBSLED MARKETING HELPED

    We began with a detailed analysis of the client’s PPC search term report, which was used to:

    • Create new ad groups with exact keywords.
    • Update the backend keywords in product listings, to improve the relevancy of auto campaigns as well as placement in organic search. 
    • Add negative keywords to campaigns.

    Beyond the specific campaign and bid related optimization, the project team also investigated how the product listings themselves could be optimized to improve clicks and conversions. For this client, we found that the product descriptions could be leveraged to immediately answer common questions and concerns about the products . 

    Executing this project quickly was critical, to ensure our strategy was in place well before the December holiday season. 

     

    THE RESULTS:

     

    • ACoS decreased from 40.19% to 22.58% in the first week of our engagement.
    • We systematically drove down CPC (cost per click) of ads from $0.25 to $0.14. This was in combination with increasing overall sales and decreasing daily spend from $76.85 per day to $28.77 from January to March 2017.
    • In December 2016, we helped the client earn $91,240 in total revenue, with $30,500 in revenue from ads at an ACoS of 22.82%.
    • December 2016 revenue was a significant leap over the same period the previous year, with $57,980 in total sales.
    • Bid costs have decreased by nearly 50% compared to the initial campaign setup.

    Because we are in constant communication with this client, we are continuing the work to push ACoS below 20%. They have given Bobsled Marketing the freedom to experiment with A/B tests, varying titles, unique keywords, removing irrelevant keywords from the backend, and much more, to help them achieve the overall goal of competing against bigger brands with bigger budgets.
     

     
     
     

    Case Study #8: Auditing Moderate Amazon Success for Clues


    Product category:

    Clothing & Accessories


    Service type:

    Audit

    THE SITUATION:

    This client had been selling on Amazon for a number of years to moderate success, but they wanted a second opinion on how they could identify opportunities for growth via their Seller Central account.

    HOW BOBSLED MARKETING GOT STARTED:

    • We reviewed every product listing with an eye toward SEO and conversion potential.
    • We identified gaps in high-quality imagery.
    • Our PPC specialists began collaborating with the client on how copy could be leveraged to immediately answer common questions and concerns about the product.
    •  We analyzed their bidding and keyword strategies to discover new grouping and targeting methods that would drive down spend while growing sales and revenue.
    • An audit of the post-purchase email sequence identified opportunities for stronger copy and better timing.  

     

    THE RESULTS:

     

    After this audit, the client, which makes laptop bags, signed on with Bobsled Marketing for a comprehensive PPC management project. Since then, we’ve been managing their ad campaigns, optimizing SEO, and driving more sales while actually spending less on advertising.