What is Amazon hiding from you?

06/02/2018

In this post we want to share which performance data Amazon is hiding from you. There are basically three hierarchies to access your performance data:

1. over the UI in Seller Central

2. by downloading the provided standard reports

3. by accessing the API

1st - the UI
If you are selling in the US and in Europe you have two accounts. So first you have to choose an account. Then, after you are logged in you cannot get an overview of all your countries where you are selling in with this account. In addition, you cannot get an overview of all your ad groups, keywords or especially for auto campaigns no search terms are shown. Those you’ll find in the report section. Generally no comparison with previous periods and no visualisation is given. So Amazon offers you some data within the UI but makes it extremely difficult to access them and especially for analysing those, the UI cannot be the first choice.

2nd - the reports
Like we stated above, you need to download the reports to get more information out of your performance data. One look into the reports offers you already a lot more information than just shown in the Campaign Manager. But still comparison with no previous periods and visualisation is difficult. When it comes to reports there are additionally some restrictions where you have to watch out! Let’s first finish the third point and then we’ll discuss this more detailed.

3rd - Access the API
I won’t recommend to do this by yourself, because it’s really time consuming and you need to know what you are doing. If you are an expert in this field or you have enough IT resources go ahead! Otherwise there are some tools who did the whole bunch of work for you, like we did. The API allows you to access all performance data on search term or SKU level. The only missing information for now are the order information themselves including which SKUs were bought.

You need validated Data - do not exceed one SKU per ad group
If more than one SKU is in one ad group it is currently not possible to identify which keyword brought the sale or which SKU was sold. So a simple but powerful way to guarantee validated data is to split your SKUs into separated ad groups. In addition to that you should consider the different match types and make use of negative keywords.

No keywords with 0 impressions
When downloading the bulk file from the Campaign Manager keywords which did not get a single impression yet won’t be displayed. Such a pity because particularly those tell you where you could miss out the sales opportunity or where you should consider to improve your listing.

Only attributed sales after 7 days are shown
When it comes to attributed sales a seller gets only one third of the data available. Additionally to the data shown in Seller Central and within the reports the API allows you to access the attributed sales after one day, after seven days and after 30 days. Principally during Christmas season this has a big influence because many customers click on an ad in November but buy the article only in December and as a seller you won’t get the real sales and ACoS of your keywords. A click is valid for the time of 30 days after you clicked on an ad. Our experience shows that you generally receive approx. 90% of your attributed sales data within five days.

No historic data
When it comes to historic data, Amazon’s possibilities are quite limited. The support of a 3rd party application is needed to store for instance the max. bid as a historic bid over the time. This is very important to evaluate your changes and sort out keywords which did not perform well.

Amazon sometimes behaves like Pippi Longstocking
Most of all when it comes to the calculation of Average Cost of Sale (ACoS) Amazonians have a different view from their mansion and they will tell you their version of the story. Amazon does not consider tax when calculating the ACoS, perhaps because they are not used to it. If Amazon tells you, that your ACoS is X% it is times your tax rate higher. For instance in Germany where we are located, the local tax rate is 19%. So if you generated 100 EUR in Sales and spend 20 EUR therefor, Amazon shows that your ACoS is 20%. But considering the tax your spend 23,80 EUR and your ACoS is 23,8%. Please consider this when you optimise your campaigns on your break even CPC.

Sellers and vendors, get access to all your data!
We at BidX focus solely on optimising online advertisements with a great user experience. If you want to access all of your sales data and dive deeply into comparisons and visualization, contact us. We generate your individual reports and in addition to that you can save valuable time by creating customised rules. BidX makes sure to only adjust your bids based on validated data. Based on Amazon’s Advertising API we automatically pull new performance data and it is possible to check the performance for each single keyword in a specific date range to make sure you don’t waste any money. We check all your rule requirements daily and adjusts the bids for you until you hit your target CPC and ACoS. BidX is the world’s first tool which allows you to automatically adjust the bids for paid search advertisement on Amazon on an individual rule based algorithm or with our Automation.

Try it for free here.