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2020 Amazon Advertising Updates You Need To Know About

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It’s a new year, a new decade and a new look at Amazon’s marketing and advertising platform. Amazon is the number one e-commerce seller in the world and is making changes across the entire platform for advertisers. Here’s my round-up for what changes to be aware of, and how these changes will affect your account, and strategy moving forward.

Sponsored Products

Ad group changes for vendors

Overall across all these updates, it is apparent that Amazon is trying to build out a standard for both sellers and vendors. Prior to 2020 vendors were not allowed to segment their sponsored ads with ad groups, it was just an ability for sellers on the platform. Obviously this is a huge step forward for vendors and will help overall control and the ability for segmentation across different product categories.

Negative keywords For Auto-Targeted Campaigns

Negative keywords were originally only active withing manual campaigns, now they are available withing auto-targeted campaigns. These keywords can be set at either the campaign or the ad group level.  This step will be pushing us towards moving to more and more towards automated campaigns within Amazon. As well as turning Amazon to more standard processes and format that digital marketers are familiar with.

Sponsored Brands

Suggested Bids

Sponsored Brands have replaced win rate (win rate used to measured how high of a win share of keyword auctions you won) with suggested bids. Suggested bids will give visibility into the keywords that resulted in at least one click and how they performed. Obviously this is very similar to what we see on regular search interfaces such as Google Ads. This gives you a better way of optimizing your campaigns to fit what keywords people are searching and buying your products rather than how often you’re winning the auctions.

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Taller Mobile Carousel

The sponsored brands mobile ad creative has changed in a big way. The ad creative is now more than double the size than it was prior to 2020, as well as now features a carousel format. This format can show three products, a headline, and a logo to fit a similar format to what we are used to seeing on the Facebook platform.

Sponsored Display

The sponsored display campaigns were initially created as a beta in the United States. Now the Sponsored display has expanded into the UK, Germany, France, Italy Spain, Japan, and Canada. This is big news for international vendors in need of expanding awareness and demand for their products, across multiple different markets.

One thing we can expect to see moving forward is more change for Amazon. With large brands such as Nike pulling diverting away from Amazon, one can expect others to follow. For a more detailed update from Amazon here is their own blog post about the upcoming changes.

Amazon’s goal seems to be to draw in more marketers and potentially capture more brands. On the flip side, check out the article
9 Reasons Why Ecommerce Marketers DON’T Advertise on Amazon.

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AMAZON

Amazon’s AWS logs third outage this month, affecting Slack, Epic Games Store, Asana and more

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Amazon’s crucial web services business AWS is experiencing problems today, with issues affecting services like Slack, Imgur, and the Epic Games store for some users. It’s not looking good if you’re working from home, with some Slack users unable to view or upload images, and work management tool Asana also hit by the outages. As of 6:13 AM PST, Amazon said it had restored power to affected servers, but users may still experience issues going forward.

In an incident update, Slack said its services were “experiencing issues with file uploads, message editing, and other services.” Asana said the problems constituted a “major outage,” with “many of our users unable to access Asana.” Epic Games Store said “Internet services outages” were “affecting logins, library, purchases, etc.”

It’s the third time in as many weeks that problems with AWS have had a significant effect on online services. Two incidents earlier this month involving AWS ended up knocking out a huge array of platforms and products, taking out streaming sites like Netflix and Disney Plus as well as smart home devices like security cameras from Ring and Wyze.

Today’s outages seem less widespread but still notable, with some users unable to access services entirely and others merely experiencing intermittent faults. DownDetector.com shows reports of issues with the platforms mentioned above, as well as news aggregator Flipboard, online learning site Udemy, dating app Grindr, streaming service Hulu, and IoT services from Honeywell, Life360, and Samsung’s SmartThings.

The official AWS service health dashboard blamed the issues on power outages in a single data center, affecting one Availability Zone (USE1-AZ4) within the US-EAST-1 Region. At 6:13 AM PST, the company said it had restored power to the data center and was making progress recovering the affected instances. However, users will likely continue to notice the effects of these outages for a while longer while systems are updated and restored.

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Update Wednesday, December 22nd, 8:36AM ET: Updated story to add responses from affected services.

Update Wednesday, December 22nd, 9: 34AM ET: Updated story to note that AWS has restored to power to the affected data center.

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