As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. And that’s as true for selling on Amazon as it is for any other venture. Amazon advertising can be one of the most profitable investments a brand or vendor can make—if you know how to implement it correctly.
There’s just one issue. And it’s one that is unavoidable. Amazon ad rates have actually increased over the past year by as much as 50 percent. That may be a small sacrifice for well-established brands. But what if you have a new-to-product launch? How can you ensure you’re getting your money’s worth from Amazon advertising?
Achieving an optimal RoAS on Amazon is rarely a question of second guessing. It can be a science in and of itself. And split a/b testing is one of the easiest methods to achieve it.
What is A/B Testing?
A/B testing (also referred to as ‘split testing’) in marketing simply refers to a method of running a controlled experiment between two or more versions of a potential website or campaign at the same time—in this case, an Amazon product listing. By subsequently measuring and comparing particular metrics including conversions, sales, engagement, session length and click-through rates (if you’re running a PPC campaign), you achieve a much more accurate insight into the viability of your listing.
It may sound simple. And it’s certainly effective. Some campaigns have been known to yield up to 20 percent greater results after simply running one A/B test. But implementation and actual measurement are two entirely different processes.
Why Run an A/B Test on Amazon?
Much like eCommerce as a whole, trends are never stagnant on Amazon. But the latter comes with its own peculiarities—not the least of which is optimizing your product listing given a relatively limited space. A+ content can enhance your listing with key data points as well as video and image rich content as creative as it is can be educational. But utilizing it properly requires effort. It requires time. And above all, it requires direct insight from your customers
That’s the value of A/B testing. It allows you to see and gauge the ultimate results of your advertising investments. It’s just as relevant to Amazon as it is to any digital marketing campaign. And ultimately, it’s simpler to implement than creating a campaign from scratch. It can be as easy as alternating two different tests focusing on two different main images over a thirty day period. By taking careful note of the click-through rate and end sales for each, you can measure the overall efficacy of your listing and discover what truly motivates your audience.
But remember what we mentioned earlier about Amazon trends? Simply put, the value of an A/B test is never set in stone. Far too many sellers maintain an attitude that the overall success of a product hinges on the success of one experiment during the course of one campaign. But audiences evolve. Their motivations evolve. And their habits evolve.
So should your A/B tests.
What Can I Test on Amazon?
There’s a reason why visuals remain one of the most decisive factors in online purchases. And it has everything to do with the hardwiring of our brains. We convey emotions and express mutual understanding through the act of storytelling. But a successful marketing campaign requires subtlety, particularly in digital marketing. Consumers simply don’t have the time to sit through a written narrative when making a purchasing decision. The more information your main images can convey without written elaboration, the easier it will be to gauge the overall impact on your audience during your split test.
Which isn’t to say that text is irrelevant. No customer has ever purchased a product based solely on standalone images. If your main image is an enticement, then your product description can make or break your sale. Your title is the second thing a customer notices, and should be succinct yet informative—and keeping within Amazon guidelines. Your bullet points and full descriptions are just as important as the lead-in of a listing title and image, but keep in mind you’re allotted no more than 2,500 characters in total. Make certain they’re as accurate as they are persuasive.
In short? Virtually anything in your product listing is open for experimentation and creativity. But the real question isn’t what you should test, but how you should manage your experiments.
Managing Your A/B Testing Metrics on Amazon
Manual testing of your A/B tests by running two or more tests consecutively may seem time consuming. But you’re not going to see actionable results overnight. Your efficacy as a seller on Amazon is measured by intervals of 30 - 90 days, which should ideally give you more than enough time to create, launch and measure multiple test istings and campaigns. If you don’t know where to start, Color More Lines can help you develop and manage your marketing strategy on Amazon based on over two decades of collective experience and insight.
To manually monitor any changes in your customer engagement, you’ll need to access your business reports:
From your Seller Central page, go to Reports > Business Reports.
Click under Detail Page Sales and Traffic By Child Item underneath By ASIN the left hand tab.
Your tabulated report will detail sales for each item you’re selling, as well as Buy Box eligibility and percentage, unit orders and unit session percentage (your conversion rate.) Choose the date range based on your own preferences; it’s recommended that the length of each A/B test should be no shorter than two weeks.
Keep a separate spreadsheet and populate each tab with any and all relevant metrics for each test. At the conclusion of your campaign, you’ll have a much clearer insight into which factors worked best.
Amazon’s Manage Your Experiments Tool
Amazon’s Manage Your Experiments feature allows you to run A/B tests on your listed content simultaneously, with customers randomly split into group A and group B for the length of the experiment. Each group will see two different versions of your listing. While customers can see the content anywhere it’s accessible, your experiment will have no impact on your sales ranking.
Only registered brand representatives are eligible for the feature, with an ASIN with sufficiently high traffic and preferably with published A+ content. Only one experiment can be run on per product at a time.
You can access the Manage Your Experiments dashboard through the Content Experiment tab in both Seller Central and Vendor Central. Enter the ASINs generating the most traffic in the “Create a New Experiment tab. By clicking Select, you’ll be prompted to choose between A+ Content, Title or Main Image.
Name the experiment and set the start date and duration. Remember that at least two weeks is recommended for an A/B test, but the feature allows you to run it for up to ten.
Submit both A and B versions of your experiment. Most users have reported approval within 48 hours.
Run your test.
At the conclusion of each test, Amazon will interpret your results and recommend which version is likely to have both a short term impact of 30 days on your sales and a long term impact of 12 months.
Amazon may seem like an environment in which uniformity is the rule, not the exception. But there’s as much room for creativity as there is for experimentation with your product listing. A/B testing is just one opportunity which allows you to measure the results of both.
And in the end, measurable results are the chief tool your business needs to survive.
Color More Lines provides white glove, global account management of your ecommerce platforms so mission-driven companies can focus on new product development, branding and growth strategies. Find out more at Color More Lines.