Post Prime Day PPC Roundtable

In this episode, our guests: Yev Marusenko, Brian Johnson,Destaney Wishon, Liz Adamson, Dr. Ellis Whitehead, Brent Zahrandnik, and Liran Hirshkorn share with us the numbers from the most recent Prime Day, the trends and the surprises plus advise for Q4.

Yev Marusenko

  • Azontraker connects Amazon and Facebook together
  • Tracks Amazon sales from FB Ads
  • Optimizes ads on FB for Amazon
  • Data from Prime Day:
    • 270% higher units sold versus regular day
    • Spill-over effect after Prime Day, sales continue.
    • Median: 1.5X more sales than normal
    • Data sets: too much data at this time – but pretty much across all categories
    • Around 28% of sellers did not have higher sales on Prime Day
    • When you look at the level of sales, the increase during Prime Day is fairly equal for small and big sellers.

Brian Johnson

  • Higher increase than we see in general in terms of profitability
  • Giftable items and personal impulse items increased
  • Retailers are joining in this mid Holiday sale and audience is responding
  • It’s a buying frenzy and retailers will capitalize on this trend.
  • 100% to 150% over normal sales
  • Highest uptake for what parents would buy for back to school college kids
  • Biggest growth over.
  • Flat line for items not applicable for opportunity buys.
  • Can it still continue like this? YES.
  • Things that are more specialized: vegetarian, vegan, organic — much higher jump than other similar products.

Destaney Wishon

  • 194% increase in sales from the week prior
  • Only one brand not affected because it is in an expensive category
  • Pre-Prime and Post Prime Crash: sales decrease a day before and the day after Prime Day
  • Pre-prime: 11%  higher ACOS and 75% decrease in sales
  • Post – Prime: Still not stabilized. 
  • As Prime Day grows bigger we will see a higher increase in Ad Spends on the day before and the day after.
  • ACOS went down on Prime Day
  • PDAs converted much better at 50% at 3 to 4x spikes

Liz Adamson

  • Outliers are those who did not actively prepared for Prime Day
  • Differences in how Prime Day 1 and Prime Day performed with core or standalone products have biggest sales on Prime Day 1
  • Prime Day 2: Sales dropped for most brands but impulse buys and add-ons increased sales on Prime Day 2. 
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): spiked from $3 to $4 on Prime Day. These are the programmatic ads and retargeting and they are coming back in and purchasing.
  • Odd data: Way Amazon handled Prime Day coupon/deal — instead of the child category populating the search results in clothing category, it’s the parent category that shows up and the coupons did not pop up. Coupon pops up only when already in cart!

Dr. Ellis Whitehead

  • Data is from last two weeks of June, Prime Days and Weeks after
  • In the two weeks prior to Prime Day: 13% drop, some clients not impacted
  • Prime Day: more than doubling but not tripling in sales: 1.6x increase
  • Increases where client is doing campaigns to generate sales
  • %28 drop in sales Post Prime
  • PPC were up at 70% on average
  • Orders were up at 130%
  • Cost per click: 20% before Prime Day
  • Cost per click: lower dring Prime Day
  • Cost per click AFTER prime day: 25% – some people have left their cost per click up there and forgot to bring them down.
  • EU: no drop in sales before or after Prime Day unlike US.
  • Odd data: Some clients not doing anything for Prime Day got significant increase, but not across the board. Just a specific client.

 Brent Zahrandnik

  • Accounts that did not do anything big for Prime Day, they received a small increase in sales
  • Exclude data from 4th of July, it can not be a reliable benchmark.
  • Over-all, bigger bump on the 15th than on the 16th.
  • Items that are seasonal, or which are usage dependent during certain seasons have lower ACOS.
  • EU marketplace: in France, July 14th is Bastille Day and saw a lot of sale. It’s the Sunday before Prime Day. Italy, good sales in the 15th. Lightning deals didn’t do well in Italy.
  • Odd data: Prime Day coupon and pre-Prime day coupon didn’t perform well.
  • Note: Do not take Amazon’s advise about bidding a week before Prime Day. It’s a waste of time and money.
  • Don’t mess around with your prices before Prime Day like increasing it a day before Prime Day. Amazon doesn’t like that.

 Liran Hirshkorn

  • ½ to 2X jump to most accounts. Those which went 3x and higher — had discounts, deals and lightning deals. These are the accounts that wanted to move inventory.
  • Myth: Algorithm rewards those with better conversion with lower cost per click.
  • Truth: Cost per click is low because of better conversion. It is not the algorithm.
  • Sales lower and A-cost higher both before and after Prime Day.
  • Be more aggressive next year! 
  • Don’t associate higher bids with higher A-cost because better placements mean better conversions.
  • Evaluate your Prime Day results, what was your strategy and how can you utiize that strategy for Q4.
  • Prepare for Q4: December 10th to the 22nd
  • Odd data: I was expecting A-cost to be higher or the same but I was surprised that it was a lot better on those two days.
  • And that Amazon pulled the event at 48 hours.

How to do PPC Campaign for variation

  • Use a spreadsheet to help you out with it
  • Exclusive words for five variants with different colors
  • In each ad-group, place negative phrase match keywords the colors for the other items.
  • You can use: colors, sizes, materials, so on…
  • When you have a lot of variants, which one do you want to be advertising on?
  • You’ll get more impression on some SKUs than others and Amazon will pick the best SKUs for you.
  • Pick the SKUs you want to advertise on and they will get the keywords. Do not include these words for the non-primary.
  • If there is 70 to 80% overlap in keywords
  • We’ll start combining them.
  • New ASINs are easier to rank so place them on a separate campaign  with 100 to 200% A-cost to get rank and then add it back as part of the group.
  • Isolate search terms. Ex: if they search for red shirt they go to red shirt but if they just search shirt then it goes to the most popular ASIN or the parent one. It’s usually the black and silver one which sells the best.


PPC Congress
Announcements PPC Congress 
Amsterdam Oct 3 – 4 2019

Featuring Myself, Brain Johnson, Liran Hirshkorn, Brent Zahrandnik, Franz Jordan, Micheal Hartman and a whole lot more. Come nerd out in the dam and have a great tear up across the city. Just need to keep everyone out of the coffee shops.

Plus the following topics:

    • How to get and keep more clients
    • Communication flows
    • PPC Management
    • Networking
    • Bids by placement and how to use, think about it
    • Adjustment by placement, time of day, location and so much more!

How to leverage traffic generated on Prime Day by re-targeting those consumers effectively through Amazon DSP

    • It is a $15,000 monthly minimum to be retargeting ads on DSP
    • It is for certain sellers with large volume and have the budget
    • You can now target or handpick what you want to target
    • Amazon has Beta test for sellers with smaller budgets on DSP like display advertising. It’s a clunky retargeting at this time.

How to best optimize a campaign with higher A-cost. E.g. at 100%

      • Calculate a reasonable bid: If you want to spend up to a break even on your PPC. Take your margin x conversion rate for keyword = target bid. Example: if conversion rate for keyword is 10% and a $10 margin then put a $1 bid on it.
      • If you are spending a lot of money like your A-cost is at 100% and you bring the bids down then your impressions will drop dramatically. Fine for useless impressions but it can affect relevant impressions. Reason:  cost per click for you is too high to compete
      • When we see badly performing campaigns – the keywords in there are not working for you.

When you have an auto campaign, and you take the convert keywords and you want to put them into a manual campaign,would you take them and test them all but then it would make the A-cost go up due to a lot of testing, what strategy would you recommend with testing and growing manual campaigns but with keeping the A-cost down?

      • Split it up into three different campaigns and then test all match types but we typically start with kind of the lowest to bid that we saw worked well in the automated campaign
      • Example, if the auto campaign bid on keywords was 70 cents, and for phrase, we usually go a little bit higher.
      • Have the data to make any decisions. 
      • It’s an investment to get that data.
      • For other PPC agencies- phrase match: we don’t use that at all. Better to use broad key match. If we have enough time.

Where to get ASINs for product targeting campaign:

      • Brand analytics shows competitor ASINs
      • DS Amazon quickview, grab copy and paste the ASINs
      • Helium10
      • Amazon provides suggested list
      • Targeting ASINs within your own catalog!
      • Targeting ASINs on first page and complementary products
      • Looking at the top sellers – make sure you are realistic on how your product stacks up against them.
      • These are dependent on your goals
      • Set a low bid on top of search but increase multiplier for page or product bidding.
      • Set campaign for just one keyword – way to get statistics on placement.


      • Diversified traffic – extending one signal to Amazon. Have really good ads from different areas.

Liran Hirschkorn:
Liran’s Amazon Seller Podcast:
Liz Adamson: or email:
Brent Zahradnik: or email:
Destaney Wishon:
Yev Marusenko

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