We view our product as a ‘Decision Support System’ that empowers humans to oversee a very complex system. I.e., “Arm the experts”, rather than automate them out of a job. Thusly, our focus has been on streamlining manual processes while simplifying insight gathering.
We love automation but are also very aware of the limitations… especially with the current state of Amazon’s data. There are many data points that are either missing, or not fully integrated, that limit the effectiveness of automation.
If you’ve read this far… might as well give you a few examples…
Within the Advertising data, one of these troubling disconnect occurs between Placement Performance and Keyword; it is not possible to measure a keyword’s performance across the placement locations. As such, automated bidding algorithms have no way to deliver an optimal result. They may ratchet down your bids to goal-seek to an ACoS target, only to drop out of Top of Search. If Top of Search was where the conversions where happening, dropping bids would drive ACoS up leading to a death spiral of bid reductions which ends with the keyword falling out of the auction.
Amazon is also unique in that Advertising performance influences your organic Search Ranking. Amazon does not report on Organic Search Ranking outside of Best Seller Rank, which is many steps removed from the exact position your product ranks for a specific Search Term. There are companies offering Search Rank Tracking, performed through scraping Search Results. But with Amazon’s recent roll-out of location-based search rankings, the reliability of this data as an input has been severely degraded. Still, we’ve found this information to be useful, but for anecdotal purposes as opposed to an input upon which to build a suite of automation solutions.
Another missing piece within the Advertising data is that there is no accounting for customer repurchase rates and lifetime value. If you’re a Seller (as opposed to Vendor), we’re able to calculate Customer Lifetime Value directly, which can then be used to inform an objective’s ACOS target. Before we’d turn over the keys to automation, we’d want to be sure that this data point is integrated directly.
Lastly, we got our start serving agencies. And for agencies, turning on the automation and ‘hitting go’ runs counter to their primary value proposition… they are the experts. And so, when time came to prioritize our development roadmap, we focused on solutions that make them better informed, and able to complete the tedious tasks with a new level of efficiency.