#515 – Generative AI & Crazy Data Strategies for Amazon Sellers

Video of the episode at the bottom

Join us on a journey as our special guest, Ritu Java, takes us from her beginnings in India to her experiences in Japan, ultimately transforming her into a data-driven entrepreneur. With a unique perspective on the blend of culture and commerce, Ritu shares insights on how she leveraged her expertise in data and analytics to excel in Amazon PPC strategies. You’ll also hear her intriguing tales of running an Etsy store from Japan and overcoming the complexities of helping Amazon sellers worldwide.

The conversation doesn’t stop there. Discover how AI has become a game-changer in running Amazon PPC campaigns as we discuss our personal experiences combining AI with other data sources to optimize campaigns. Listen as we unveil the advantages of using ChatGPT for keyword research and translation over traditional methods like Google Translate. This episode offers a unique perspective on integrating AI into workflows and SOPs, driving efficient and effective results. We also underscore the value of incorporating AI into Amazon PPC strategies for successful product launches and campaign management.

To cap off this enlightening conversation, we tackle the future of Amazon selling and the role AI plays in it. From generating keywords for Amazon searches to creating images for sponsored brand ads, we unravel how ChatGPT and mid-journey can elevate your selling game. Don’t miss out on our tips for creating effective lifestyle photos and the significance of close-up product images. We also shed light on the evolution of Search Query Performance on Amazon and share our strategies for effectively managing and analyzing data.

In episode 515 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley and Ritu discuss:

  • 00:00 – AI Power for E-commerce Sellers
  • 07:54 – Utilizing AI for Amazon Sellers’ Success 
  • 09:05 – AI in PPC Strategy With Chat GPT
  • 20:52 – Search Term Modifiers and Word Order 
  • 23:04 – Enhancing Amazon Ads With AI
  • 31:24 – Generating Posts Using Canva and Amazon 
  • 32:19 – Utilizing Search Group Performance Data
  • 33:47 – Optimizing Data Strategy for Efficient Analysis 
  • 41:23 – Convert Snapshot Data to Time Series

Transcript

Bradley Sutton:

Today we’ve got a first time guest who I think is probably top five in the world these days as far as actionable Amazon strategies, and she’s going to give us an absolutely value-packed episode full of tips on generative AI, PPC and more. How cool is that? Pretty cool, I think. How can you get more buyers to leave you Amazon product reviews? By following up with them in a way that’s compliant with Amazon terms of service?

Bradley Sutton:

You can use Helium 10 Follow-Up in order to automatically send out Amazon’s request, a review emails, to any customers you want. Not just that, but you can specify when they get the message and even filter out people that you don’t want to get that message, such as people who have asked for refunds or maybe ones that you gave discounts to. For more information, visit h10.me forward slash follow-up. You can sign up for a free account or you can sign up for a platinum plan and get 10% off for life by using the discount code SSP10. Hello everybody and welcome to another episode of the Serious Sellers podcast by Helium 10. I’m your host, Bradley Sutton, and this is the show. That’s a completely BS free, unscripted and unrehearsed organic conversation about serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in the e-commerce world. We’ve got a special guest today Ritu. So, first of all, we’re going to get into your backstory about how we can even talk in Japanese, because that’s something that’s crazy. Were you born in Japan or were you born?

Ritu:

I was born in India, but I lived in Japan for 17 years.

Bradley Sutton:

So from what age?

Ritu:

You want to know how old I am.

Bradley Sutton:

No, no, no. From what age were you living in Japan?

Ritu:

Mid-20s. Yeah, so mid-20s.

Bradley Sutton:

Also was, so you didn’t go to school in Japan.

Ritu:

No, I didn’t. I went there as an adult. I was working at a company and I take company 17 years.

Bradley Sutton:

Yes, that means you had to have gone there when you were a child. Then because you can’t be over 25 years old. So I don’t know what’s going on here.

Ritu:

That is very cute.

Bradley Sutton:

I was all the reason. I was asking if you grew up because I wore this shirt today. Do you recognize this character here?  What is this?

Ritu:

Yes Doraemon. Yes, I grew up with Doraemon when I was a little over there, that’s awesome.

Bradley Sutton:

Yes, I grew up with Doraemon when I was a little over there, that’s awesome. I know a little bit about you, but I for some reason had this idea that you actually grew up in Japan and that was why you were so fluent in language. Once you go as an adult, it’s a little bit harder, unless you really immerse yourself in the culture.

Ritu:

I did. I really immersed myself in the culture. I went there just for a year, honestly, and ended up staying 17. It’s so crazy how that place had such a big impact on me. It was such a stark contrast to where I grew up, which was India.

Bradley Sutton:

Whereabouts in India.

Ritu:

In Delhi, the capital city of chaos that’s how I describe it from chaotic to super orderly. You can imagine what a difference, that is A stark difference from the world I knew. I was just drawn to the calm and the orderliness of that place. How things were punctual, everything happened as expected, there were no surprises, everything was planned in so much detail, which I kind of liked. I think where I’m at right now is a nice middle ground, because I think I like the chaos. It has energy. It has a certain type of progressive energy that all of us need, especially as entrepreneurs. We need that energy to be able to kind of keep moving forward. But then I also like the organizational skills that I picked up while I was in Japan, because you need that to have good execution. I think best of both worlds is what I’m trying to be at right now, trying to draw from both my cultures.

Bradley Sutton:

Then did you go to university in India.

Ritu:

I did. I’m an engineer. I did my electronics engineering from India. I went back to school much later in life. I went back to school in the US and I did a course in data science, which is why I’m very attracted to PPC and data and data analytics and that sort of stuff.

Bradley Sutton:

When you graduated with the electrical engineering degree, did you start working in India, or is that when you went to Japan?

Ritu:

Yeah, I started working right away and I started working in India and I worked for an IT company and it was a pretty long stint there as well, like I was very interested in technology right from the start and it kind of aligned with my life’s goals and stuff like that. At the time. I mean, little did I know that I would completely switch at a certain point. When I was in Japan I worked for not only the company that I was in India, I kind of went to their Japan office and I started helping them out. But then later on I switched to a more technical role at a school, at a high school, American school in Japan, and then I had my kid and took a break from work and then I kind of dealt in a little bit of entrepreneurship. I started running my own business. I had an Etsy store. Yes, in Japan, while I was in Japan, I started my Etsy business selling jewelry. It was like kind of one of a kind jewelry and I realized that, gosh, it’s not enough just to create a listing and people are not going to flock to that listing. So I had to teach myself a whole lot of stuff like marketing advertising. So I learned Facebook ads, Google Ads, blogging, YouTube, all of that stuff.

Bradley Sutton:

So Etsy in the United States, or is there an Etsy in Japan?

Ritu:

No, there’s an Etsy in the United States, but I was selling on the US market from Japan. So I was producing my stuff there, but I was shipping it worldwide wherever there were shoppers. But shipping costs are exorbitant. Sending stuff from Japan it’s very expensive. Yeah, so mostly was attracted to the data side of things. Yes, I have both left and right brains, because the creative side was just all my creations, the jewelry that I made. But then I needed the data science side of things to kind of round things off and make money out of my business, because everything we do here is based on data and I know he’s intended the data company. So is PPC Ninja. We might think that we’re in the business of selling goods, but actually we’re in the business of leveraging data. So that’s why it was so important for me to get that knowledge and make sure that I’m kind of ready to go with my own endeavors.

Bradley Sutton:

Now. So, Etsy was kind of like your first online marketplace. Now, did you ever end up selling on Amazon or did you go straight into software and consulting etc.

Ritu:

Yeah, so I’ve never sold on Amazon, but I’ve helped businesses sell on Amazon. So it’s basically the data side of things. So, I only sold on Etsy. I sold on my own website for a bit, but then I have never sold on Amazon myself. But PPC is where I’m focused on.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, cool. Now you talked about having an analytical mind, and that’s kind of like what you’re known for. When you’ve spoken at events like Billion Dollar Seller Summit and others is especially in the last couple of years, you’re one of the go-to people as far as AI and things like that, now me, I’m a little bit behind. I use even on this podcast, we use AI to generate title options and transcripts and things like that, but I would say I’m not one of those full force ahead like, hey, ai is going to replace hours and hours of work. I haven’t really adopted it to that effect. So, the typical Amazon seller what are some things that you don’t have to be a seven, eight, nine figure seller but just like any Amazon seller if they have not started utilizing AI to help them in their operations or business? What are? Let’s take it to that spectrum first. What are some things that you think that any Amazon seller could benefit by utilizing AI?

Ritu:

Yeah, there’s so much. Actually, the magic happens when you start combining things. So AI by itself may not be the be all and all of things, because it’s not going to operate in a silo. You’ve got to combine it with other pieces of data that you have access to. For example, just this morning I was preparing for a new product launch for one of our clients and I’d got all my data from Helium 10. I was at the stage where I have to come up with some keywords for broad match campaigns. I wanted to make sure that all the right keywords are in there, not just the long tail ones with high search volume, but I wanted to make sure that I’m capturing all the seed combinations of important words that make sense. So what I did was I exported the Helium 10 cerebral analysis and I fed it to chat GPT and asked it to come up with two words and three word combinations of seed keywords that would perfectly describe this product. Now what I’m going to do next with that is basically convert that into broad match modifiers, which basically means you add a plus sign in front of all the seeds and then I’m going to create campaigns with it. So that’s something that I do at every launch. I generally don’t skip that step. It’s an important one for me. So, in addition to all the long tail keywords, I will come up with enough seed words that will run at a slightly lower bid but will be like a discovery campaign for me through the broad match modifier channel. So that’s kind of one thing that I do.

Ritu:

Then, like yesterday, I was doing another one for another client, where we have a list of keywords that we discovered from the search query performance report, which is kind of this new, very valuable piece of data that Amazon is giving us these days. So from there I was able to come up with a structure for sponsored brand headline ads and I didn’t have to do the work. I just fed that entire list to chat GPT and said, hey, organize this into groups of very related words and then give me a headline ad which is less than 50 characters, because that’s the amount Amazon will give us. And then it did that for me. I also gave it one other important instruction, which is to make sure that one of the keywords or a very close variant of that keyword in the group must be included in the title, and that’s basically my way of saying, hey, I want this to be a lower funnel ad, not a generic kind of upper funnel ad, because my sponsored brand ads tend to be more focused on ROAS rather than brand discovery and brand awareness. So those are some of the ways that I’m using it almost on a daily basis. I had switched to chat GPT plus a long time ago. I’ve been paying for it and it’s totally worth it.

Bradley Sutton:

So there’s how much is it for somebody to subscribe to?

Ritu:

that it’s about $20 a month. It’s not much at all, yeah, it’s just $20. And what it gives you is all the beta features, all the new stuff. So right now you can actually upload files very easily. You can upload any kind of file to almost any kind of file to chat GPT and then ask it to analyze, analyze the file and then you can ask it a bunch of questions. So it’s just made life so much easier. And I mean I think sky is the limit with what you can do with AI. It’s like I always, always feel like I’m not using it enough, even though I’m using it probably quite a bit more than a lot of people, but I still feel cautioned to use it more.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, interesting, interesting. So there’s some of the ways that you can use it in PPC. Now I remember you presented something. I’ve seen you speak, you know, various times, but I don’t remember which event, this or what it was. That might have been a billion dollars, but where were you doing? You were doing like translation, using like Helium 10 because, like you were doing research, you weren’t translating the English keywords. That’s obviously a big mistake that some sellers make. Hey, I’ve got my Amazon USA listing, let me just translate it. Or let me just translate the keywords. No, you need to do the research in that marketplace. So you switch Helium 10 to Amazon Germany, for example, but if you’re not a German speaker, you just see all this Deutsch keywords and you don’t really know what it means. Or so they’re doing it in Amazon Japan and they don’t speak Japanese like you, so they might not know. So what’s your? I’m not sure if it was AI or just something in Google you were doing to kind of like make that process a little bit easier.

Ritu:

Yeah. So what we’ve done is we have integrated chat GPD right into Google Sheets, and we had to write a little bit of code for that. But once we did that, what’s happened is that we have these ready to go sheets where we simply change the prompt and add a bunch of keywords and then it will just translate into whatever language, right? So? And I’ve noticed that any translation done by chat GPD is way better than Google Translate and I’ve tested it, especially in Japanese, because I can read it. I know that the quality is much better.

Ritu:

Just to give you an example chat GPD will use the right combinations of Kanji and Hiragana, whereas Google Translate will not. It just doesn’t do a great job. And if I tell chat GPD to give me a translation in all four different scripts, that’s, kanji as well as Hiragana, Katakana and the Roma G, it will give all those to me. It’s a no-brainer to use chat GPD for that sort of thing rather than Google Translate and then other languages as well. Like we’re just onboarding this client that has four markets and we have no speakers of those languages on our team. But with chat GPD, we can simply include that into our SOPs, into our workflows and just use those sheets to kind of get the final product out. So it’s really great the combination of Helium 10 and chat GPD workflows. They work really well for us.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, cool. Now going back a little bit, just remember you were talking about broad match modifiers. There might be people out there who don’t know what that means. Can you explain that a little bit?

Ritu:

Yeah, yeah. So a broad match modifier is a type of broad match, so when you’re setting your add up, it’ll still be a broad match. However, by simply adding a plus sign before every part of the keyword which means if it’s a two word keyword, then both the parts will have a plus sign in front of them what you’re gonna ensure is that the buyer search must include those words in exactly that format in order for that match to happen. So this eliminates any kind of kind of synonyms or related words that Amazon might try to kind of connect to, which you don’t think need to be there. So at this point, amazon is even replacing exact matches with weird sort of words that it thinks are similar. So we don’t want that, because we’ve done all of the research to find out which exact version of that keyword is giving us the highest search volume, so we wanna stick to it.

Ritu:

In order to make that happen, we’re actually finding ourselves doing more and more work with broad match modifiers, because all the other match types are being weird anymore. Like exact matches are not behaving like exact matches. Same thing with phrase match and broad match anyway, always was a bit too broad and it was always kind of giving you all kinds of weird matches for sponsored brands, but then it started doing the same thing for sponsored products as well, and that makes it a little challenging. It can be wasteful. So yeah, broad match modifiers is a great way of making sure that your matches are clean and that they don’t bring in kind of extraneous, superfluous words that you shouldn’t be targeting.

Bradley Sutton:

Do you use that 100% of the time when you have a broad campaign?

Ritu:

So you always have if it’s a three word phrase.

Bradley Sutton:

You’ll put the plus in between each of the.

Ritu:

Yes, 100% of the time. We’ve been doing it for the past two years and we actually future proved ourselves because we knew this was coming. It’s kind of like Amazon always follows Google. So we knew this was coming because Google introduced broad match modifiers first. Now they’ve already sunset it. So I don’t know where this is gonna end up for Amazon, because what I’ve heard and I don’t wanna just speculate, but what I’ve heard people say is that Amazon might be moving toward a future where there aren’t any match types. There’s only a word, there’s only a keyword, and then it figures out how to match it the best way. Now it’s plausible, especially in this AI world. It’s plausible that that might happen. But in the interim, I’m betting on broad match modifiers and exact match. Of course, can’t do much about the fact that Amazon isn’t treating exact matches the way they ought to be treated, but that’s the best we have right now.

Bradley Sutton:

So what would the difference be between using broad, doing broad target with modifiers compared to phrase for the same, the same, you know, like coffin shelf, like. So if I do coffin plus shelf in broad or coffin shelf in phrase, what’s the difference in the potential? You know showings of that keyword.

Ritu:

Yeah, no, I think the showings of that keyword might totally depend on the bids and they might also depend on relevancy. So it’s very hard to predict which of the three match types are gonna win. You know that’s been a struggle. I mean you can’t really say if you put coffin, what was it? Again coffin shelf.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah, coffin shelf.

Ritu:

Yeah, if you say coffin shelf broad coffin shelf phrase and say coffin shelf exact, what we would want it to do and what would be logical is that if I had a higher bid for exact match, then you know all the searches should come in match through exact match. But that’s not always the case. You know, we’ve seen so much variability there. It also depends on which campaign, you know, starts out those keywords and then each campaign has its own story, its own history. Because let’s say, you combine that keyword with a bunch of other keywords and let’s say those other keywords got a majority of the early data points, like it started hitting some other words coffin longtail words Before it hit your coffin shelf word, then what happens is that this word starts getting starved of impressions, the other words start to take dominance and these words that get starved of impression give you the false impression that they’re not working, whereas it’s just a matter of how things started off, like what were the set of searches on that day, on that very moment that Amazon decided to match?

Ritu:

And then it’s going to just take its cues from whatever little data it has in the beginning, because that’s all it has to play off of, and then it just keeps giving more and more and more impressions to the early data points and everything else just gets ignored, you know. So it’s like a game Like PPC is a game that you know you’ve got to be able, you’ve got to be willing to keep playing, trying different things, different ways, moving things, you know, trying it in a different match type, in a different campaign, restarting, stopping, all of that you know.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay now you know like, for example, if I just do you know, going to this same example, you know coffin shelf, no modifier and broad. You know, yeah, nowadays you know something crazy can come up with, like, you know, spooky decor.You know, potentially it could even come up not even including the word, but ones that are traditional, would be like, you know, coffin shelves for men, coffin shelves for women, but then also it could be coffin shaped shelf, like it could insert a word, or shelf shape like a coffin. You know, like changing the order, but if I put that modifier in there, does that force it, in your experience, to be only longer tail, like it’s coffin shelf has to be in there as a phrase and then it’s only putting words at the beginning or the end, or still. It could switch it up a little bit.

Ritu:

Yeah, it will switch it up. So coffin shelf could be shelf coffin even. As long as the word shelf and the word coffin both exist in the match, it will match. Yeah.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, going back to Helium 10, now I was looking at, I did it. I still haven’t seen your replay of your presentation you did for Helium 10 Elite a few months back. But I was looking at your slides and there was something that you were talking about magnet and seed keywords and just by looking at the slide I couldn’t tell what the strategy was. So can you explain what are you doing? I’m not sure if this has to do with chat, gpt or, but just how are you using magnet in a unique way?

Ritu:

Yeah, so what I do is basically I start off my keyword research by looking at audiences, like who is the right target audience for a product, right? So that’s my first step. Now the audience list will help me figure out what words these people use. So if it’s a garlic press and let’s say there’s five different types of people, there could be just regular straight up chefs, there could be restaurant owners, there could be whatever. So there’s like five or six different types of people who might use a garlic press.

Ritu:

Now I ask ChatGPT to tell me all the words that these audiences or avatars are likely to use when they search on Amazon. So I’m actually starting from a suggestion of a seed keyword. That’s my starting point, and then I use those seed keywords that chat GPT generates to go and dump that into magnet. And then I use the expand option the second one, not the first one and that basically gives me all of the keywords and their search volumes, and that’s what I need Basically.

Ritu:

I wanna kind of run it by search volume information to figure out if it is really a word that I should be going after. Now I don’t always come up with those words, probably because the search volume is too low, in which case I don’t need to worry about it, but I can still use that information as broad match modifiers to just generate some sort of discovery. So like, for example, eco-friendly. I don’t know if there’s any sort of garlic press that’s eco-friendly, but let’s say someone in that audience wants an eco-friendly garlic press made out of bamboo or whatever. I will still create broad match modifiers that have those important words in that combination so that I can at least start to do some keyword research through an ad rather than through existing search volume data.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, cool, switching gears from keywords now to images. I know you’ve talked about mid-jurdy Canva. Have you played around at all with the new Amazon one that they made kind of for sponsored brands? And then, if so, what’s your results? I’ve had very different, like some of it are absolutely terrible, but then I know that part of it’s because I don’t really know how to prompt them. I’m not very good at prompting, but what’s your experience with the new Amazon AI image generator for sponsored brand ads?

Ritu:

Yeah, I mean it’s not bad for someone who’s really struggling with image creation in general, but it’s not really usable for every case right? In some cases, it’s gonna be hard to come up with the perfect background for your image. The other trouble I have with it is that the product image is too small on the canvas, and that’s not how I like my sponsored brand headline ads Generally. This is a tip actually for our listeners when you create a sponsored brand lifestyle photo, the biggest mistake people make is that they fully capture the lifestyle setting in which that product is being used, but then the product itself is so tiny. That’s a big mistake. That shouldn’t be the way right. The way to do it is to have the product front and center. It has to be blown up right in the middle and then you could maybe suggest what the background is. You might just use suggestive creatives rather than have it in absolute terms. It’s being used in the setting that it’s being suggested, so for that reason I generally like to request for zoomed in, highly close up type of images so that we can have better conversion rates.

Ritu:

And there’s a story that I just wanna share here real quick. We had one client with a dog product and the product was being used on a dog that was sitting in the lap of a woman on a sofa, and then there’s a living room in the background so you can imagine the size of the product. It’s like so small you can’t see it right. So then what we said to this client was give us a zoomed in image. So then they zoomed right in, so all we see now is the pop and we see the product. Right. So it completely changed the metrics for that ad and then we started using that particular image for many other of their sponsored brand headline ads, and then the rest is history.

Ritu:

They really started growing after that. But the point is that close up images are more important than pretty images, right? So pretty images anyone can create pretty images. You wanna make them highly converting images and for that reason I might not use the Amazon’s AI generated images right away, unless they become better, unless they can kind of keep the product as the hero it needs to be, front and center. Yeah, I’m trying to figure out any prompt that can help me get to that stage, but I’ll keep testing. I’m not sure yet.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah, so then what outside of Amazon? Then, like I said, I know you’re using like mid journey, which is another one that’s not too expensive it isn’t like 10 bucks a month or something like that to use mid journey, or yeah. So then what if somebody is like all right, you told us what some basic stuff that people how chat GPT for 20 bucks a month can help Amazon sellers. What is something that Amazon sellers of any level can use mid journey for? That’s kind of simple and definitely adds value.

Ritu:

Yeah, I think mid journey is definitely the leader and if you can learn to use it, there’s nothing like it yet. But even straight up, chat GPT is now getting pretty good with images, so you can describe whatever you want and then it is connected to dolly in the back and then it generates those images and gives them back to you right in your chat GPT prompt, right. So if you have the paid version, then you can start testing that as well.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, so let’s say I’ve got all right, I’ve got a pretty nice image. You know, maybe it’s a white background image or something of my product. Would the first thing I should do with experimenting with AI and mid-journey and things? Would it be making an infographic? Would it be trying to make a lifestyle? Like I remember in the early days of AI, like you could never put a human being in there because they would have like 17 fingers and just crazy faces and stuff like that. But like what should I do then? What kind of images? Or is it not really don’t use it for your main images, but use it for, like, the sponsored brand and sponsor display, things like that?

Ritu:

Yeah, so okay, I think we need to think of images as layers, just like we think of layers in Photoshop. Right, there’s layers like a background layer. So if you want just the ambience, the mood, the background, you generate that layer independent of anything else. That’s one way of going about it. And then you layer in your product. You have your kind of no background product. Then you can always place it right in the middle, do those sorts of things. So it would probably be a two or three step process where you think of each layer separately, even the humans. You could bring humans in from a different source. You can get humans from there, you can get your backdrop from somewhere else and then you can get your product from your own product images and put them together. That would probably give you the best results.

Ritu:

But if you tried to have mid-journey to all of that, you might experience some failures there or some surprises with, like you said, 17 fingers and stuff. Now, mid-journey, the latest versions of it are getting better and better, so it’s very human-like and it doesn’t appear awkward. The facial expressions aren’t awkward anymore, so that’s good news, just means that we’re going in the right direction. It’s only gonna get better from here. So I would think of layering as one concept, and then, of course, where you wanna apply it is another thing infographics. I don’t think chat, gp or even mid-journey would be good for infographic other than just generating the background for it, because text it still doesn’t do a good job with text. You’ll have to use some of your other tools for text. So again, it’s layering, combining tools and coming up with the concept. So yeah, those are some of the ways in which you can use images.

Ritu:

Now posts is another interesting one. A lot of people are using mid-journey for generating posts, and that’s a good way of generating lots of posts content, because Amazon doesn’t allow you to repeat an image twice. So what you can do is you can have Dali or even Canva. I’ve used Canva AI, which is different from Canva normal. I can explain the difference, but anyway. So Canva AI can generate based on your description of what kind of backgrounds you want, and then you just slap in your photo your kind of hero image on top of it and there you have your posts. It takes barely any time to create like 20 different posts and most people don’t realize this, but posts are free advertising. I would highly recommend generating posts on a regular basis and take advantage of it.

Bradley Sutton:

I’ve seen them more in search results lately too.

Ritu:

Posts. Exactly, it’s one of those widgets that comes up.

Bradley Sutton:

That never happened, like six months ago or something. But, now it’s right there on page one, so it’s important to do, I agree.

Ritu:

Yeah.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. So earlier you talked about search group performance. I love search group performance. My self is just like it’s stuff that three, four years ago we would have. I would have bet a million dollars that Amazon would never release this kind of data to the public, and Amazon definitely has come a long way. What are some other ways that you’re using search group performance, analyzing the data that Amazon gives?

Ritu:

Yeah, so search group performance. Like you said, it’s unbelievable that Amazon is actually sharing this information out, so it’s really up to us to take advantage of it as soon as possible. Almost feel like time is of essence here, because everybody’s going to have access Everybody has access to that information. But right now most people are in the state of overwhelm. They’re like, oh, I have this great data, but I don’t know what to do with it. So most people are stuck at that stage.

Ritu:

But if you want to take the next step, then I would suggest start downloading those reports right away, because these things also get lost. Amazon discontinues things that you think they’re going to be giving us forever and forever. For example, the brand analytics data that used to be I don’t know millions of rows has certainly been compressed to just 10,000, and so on. So I mean there’s a loss there that cannot be replaced. So I would say, number one start downloading your at least your monthly data at the ASIN level and then stitching all that data together, and by stitching I mean maybe putting it into a data warehouse. We use BigQuery in order to bring data in, and the way to stitch it is by making sure that your reports have some extra columns like the date column has to be there Then you have to make sure that you have the brand name in it and you want to make sure that your market is in this, so that when you stitch all that information together, then you can use a single report like a looker studio to dip into the data warehouse and you can basically use switch filters to switch between your different markets. So if you plan your data strategy well, then you will be able to use it more efficiently than just using it in a throwaway style, which most people do.

Ritu:

Most people go download a report, they look at it, they stare at it and they’re like, ok, whatever Done, and it’s thrown away. You don’t want that. You want a system. You need an ecosystem for managing your data so that you can look at those from time to time. You get a month over month review. You get a month over month trend. You can see if anything has lost its search volume over time. It’s so easy to check that at a search term level. Once you have stitched all that information together and is available in maybe something like a looker studio, how about something that’s good?

Bradley Sutton:

it’s important to understand the you know, like how to get started and not just like, all right, let me. Let me just look at search career performance or this data, just, you know, in the UI on on Amazon. But then what’s the next step? Now I’ve got everything in my data warehouse and stuff like, for example, me. One of the things I like to look at in search career performance is comparing the conversion rate by the keyword for for just the overall niche, compared to my own. You know my own conversion rate. But you know, I think that’s probably one of the most no brainer things. What are some other maybe not so common things that you’re looking at when, when you get all of that data into your, your data warehouse, and start you know, start looking up stuff?

Ritu:

Yeah. So one of the things that I find really interesting is the average price per search term. So this is you know, amazon gives you the average price and that, basically, is a good indication of whether that search term is going for cheaper products or is it going for slightly more expensive products. Just to give you an example, let’s say you have the word lotion right Now. You have a $50 lotion by L’Oreal, maybe, and you have a $5 drugstore brand Same thing, selling lotion. But if you’re going after, if you’re looking at the search term lotion, whatever, daily lotion or whatever and if you see that the average price for that search term is going at $6, let’s say that’s the average price of the product being sold. That is telling me that, no matter what I do to compete on that, on that search term, it’s going to be hard because I’m going to be competing with lots and lots of cheaper brands. So we actually have filters on our search terms or search query reports, so that we only look at those searches that are in the ballpark of our products price point. That basically eliminates a lot of the noise, because otherwise you might be led into thinking that gosh, this is a great keyword and then you spend lots of money on it and ends up being a high cost scenario. You don’t want that. So you look at both of the things one that you mentioned, which is what we call strength, keyword strength, which is determined as a ratio of purchase share and impression share. If you can get that ratio to be above one, then that’s a good keyword. That is strong, inherently strong, because you’re winning more of the purchase share than you’re winning of the market, which basically puts it in a good spot.

Ritu:

And then the second one would be the filter on price. The third filter I would put is search volume, because, again, we don’t want noisy, insignificant terms to distract us. And I think the fourth filter I would put there is data sufficiency, like how many sales have you had for that keyword over that period of time? So yeah, those would be the four filters to kind of get everything else out. And then, yeah, I mean that would be our way of figuring out which search terms are good. Then the other use cases of that would be to stitch that data with your ad data. So when you stitch those two together you can find gaps in a systematic sort of way, not just like a one off, throw away kind of way, where it’s always being merged and it’s always coming together and you can always see these are the ones that I’m not advertising yet. And then, yeah, I think those were the two main ones.

Ritu:

The third, slightly more advanced one, is when you want to figure out if a search term is good for product A, product B, product C, product D off your catalog because they might be sharing those keywords. Then you can see relative strength across your different products and see where you want to channel your information. Now that comes with the caveat, and that caveat is that there’s a very high halo sales ratio on Amazon, which means you might be directing traffic to one of your product variations and something else is actually getting picked up eventually. So you need to know all of the. You need to know all those pieces in order to make the right decision and essentially in terms of using your, your traffic source as a fire hose, literally, and saying, okay, I want to direct it to this product and not to this product. Unless you know what the halo sales are, you could be off.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah. Yeah, well really great stuff. Now, before we get into your last strategy you know, maybe it could be a PPC strategy, since that’s your specialty how can people reach out to you if they, you know? How can they find you on the interwebs if they want to? You know, get some help with some of the stuff that you’ve been talking about today.

Ritu:

Yeah, absolutely so. I’m on LinkedIn. I’m pretty active there, so just look up my full name, Ritu Java, and you should be able to find me there and just say hi and I’ll be happy to help. Yeah, and other ways, you can just reach out to our website, ppcninja.com or anywhere else. You see me.

Bradley Sutton:

Awesome, awesome. Now we have some of we do on our show. We call it TST. That’s the 30 second tip. So you know you’ve been giving us lots of great tips and strategies, but what’s like a hard hitting one you can give us in 30 seconds or 60 seconds or less. I’m not going to cut you off, go ahead.

Ritu:

So I think that you know we’re all sitting on tons and tons of data and we don’t know how to use it. I would suggest start thinking of strategies to use your data by connecting them up. Every piece of data that we get from Amazon or other sources, whether it’s keyword rank tracking or search volume data, or your ads data or organic data. Also, you know competitor data and stuff like that. It’s in different locations, it’s hiding behind wall gardens and stuff like that.

Ritu:

You want to figure out a system to bring it all together, and I would recommend using a data warehousing strategy to start bringing everything together so that you can start looking at it holistically. So I would recommend start to think of simple ways in which you can convert your snapshot data into time series. That that would be my advice, and time series is basically for people who don’t understand that. It’s basically assigning dates to all your downloads. If you’re downloading a business report, make sure you add a column and put the date there so that that becomes a way of identifying when that event happened. When you’re connecting so many pieces of data together.

Bradley Sutton:

Awesome, Awesome Well thank you very much. Thank you so much for your time.

Ritu:

Than you so much Bradley.

Bradley Sutton:

This was really awesome, awesome and we’ll definitely be having you back on the show sometime next year to get your latest strategies.

Ritu:

Awesome, we’ll look forward to that. Take care, Bradley, have a good one.


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Director of Training & Chief Evangelist

Bradley is the Director of Training and Chief Evangelist for Helium 10 as well as the host of the most listened to podcast in the world for Amazon sellers, the Serious Sellers Podcast. He has been involved in e-commerce for over 20 years, and before joining Helium 10, launched over 400 products as a consultant for Amazon Sellers.

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