5 Problems Due to COVID-19 and the Best Amazon PPC Strategy to Solve Them

October 17, 2020
Written by Kevin Wong

You and your business have encountered different storms such as recession, angry customers, zero sales, etc. But nothing could have prepared you for the impact of COVID-19. It continues to cripple lives and economies of various nations . As a seller, you must learn how to survive amid the effects of COVID-19. This article will also teach you the best Amazon PPC strategy to face these challenges.

Problem no. 1: Longer lead times

Amazon sellers' supply chains have been shaken up due to strict regulations of some countries, and one of its effects is longer lead times. This is from when Amazon receives the product from your supplier to when it is stored in fulfillment centers, up to the moment it shows up "in stock" again in the marketplace.

Remember that if you are running an Amazon PPC campaign under the affected product, it continues to deliver ads and attract buyers to your page even when the  inventory is out of stock . 

Amazon PPC strategy:

It would be better to pause your campaigns for that particular product. You may rerun the ads  once the item is available for purchase. 

However, this is only an interim solution. To avoid this problem in the future, try sourcing from different suppliers located  in different parts of the world. Analyze which places have high order rates and choose the nearest supplier.

Problem no. 2: Amazon FBA shipping delays

Amazon FBA is known for its stellar order fulfillment services, but it has taken  quite a blow because of the coronavirus pandemic. There have been complaints about delays in shipment that now take weeks, even months. The most affected are the "non-essential" products, which are now competing with "essential" products.

Besides late shipment, third-party sellers are worried about Amazon's announcement that it will implement quantity limits in all product categories to save space in its U.S. warehouses to prepare for the year's holiday shopping season, according to a CNBC report.

Amazon PPC strategy:

What would be the best Amazon PPC strategy? Well,  one which does not involve FBA at all. This answer is no other than Fulfillment by Merchant or FBM. Yes, sellers have to go solo for some time until the situation becomes normal again.

Nope, we're not telling you to buy a warehouse ASAP. Instead, try other fulfillment centers and shipping companies that specialize in delivering products within and outside Canada. You may also implement a hybrid of FBA and FBM. Whereas FBA will help you win the buy box, FBM will ensure that you will never run out of inventory. Thus, you will never need to pause any running Amazon sponsored products PPC ads.

Problem no. 3: Increase in order volume

The effects of the pandemic have been creating "interesting" problems such as this one. When has an increase in order volume become a problem?!

This is the newest trend among sellers of essential products: cleaning supplies, toilet paper, face masks, sanitizers, and other hygienic products. Since the demand for these products is so high, you might not be able to handle continuous orders and deliveries. Plus, there is the temptation of hiking up the prices to take advantage of the situation.

Amazon PPC strategy:

If you want Amazon to suspend your Seller Central account, go ahead and increase your prices. As a matter of fact, the USA Today reports that Amazon removed more than 3,000 seller accounts from the U.S. marketplace because of the violation of fair pricing policies last March 2020. Obviously, this is not the best Amazon PPC strategy that you should execute.

In times like this. Where everyone struggles financially, you should help people instead of being a jerk. Oops, sorry for the bad word, but that's precisely the truth.

Instead be more assertive in Amazon PPC optimization. Review all your Amazon PPC campaigns that promote essential products and see to it each one has enough exposure to compete with other listings. Also, make sure that you will never have stock and fulfillment issues.

Problem no. 4: Decrease in order volume

Well, this isn't new, but the decrease in order volume is more common nowadays with non-essential items such as luxury goods and video games. On March 17, Amazon also gave a heads up that it would temporarily withhold storing of non-essential products in its warehouses, based on a Business Insider news. Double ouch for Amazon sellers who only offer these kinds of items.

Amazon PPC strategy:

First and foremost, don't you ever dare mention Coronavirus, COVID-19, or any pandemic-related words on your listings to increase your orders. Never attempt witty yet awful product descriptions like "these soft bed sheets will help you ease your quarantine or take coronavirus blues away."

Preferably, it would help if you improved your Amazon PPC optimization by setting up new automated Amazon sponsored products PPC campaigns to determine which keywords are high-converting during these difficult times. Once you gathered those keywords from the Search Term report, you can use these to create new manual ad campaigns to widen your reach.

You may also offer a Buy One Get One (BOGO) deal or free shipping to your customers. Another PPC strategy is selling your popular products in bundles without hurting your bottom line. If you don't want to pause your Amazon PPC campaigns, you may reduce ad spending to avoid high ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sale).

Problem no. 5: Irrelevant search traffic

Sometimes it can't be avoided that your Amazon PPC campaigns get mixed up with ads related to coronavirus. Maybe it is because of the search terms that customers use when buying a product, which results in irrelevant traffic to your listings.

Other than the wasted traffic, it will affect your listing's conversion rate, revenue, and ACoS.

Amazon PPC strategy:

Utilize negative keywords more for your display campaigns. Add terms like COVID-19, coronavirus, pandemic, or quarantine to exclude unwanted search traffic. It can also help control or minimize your advertising costs. Never take for granted this best Amazon PPC strategy for this type of situation.

In closing

The Coronavirus pandemic has brought out the best and the worst in Amazon sellers worldwide, and developed the "quarantine economy." Although more people are now supporting online shopping,the situation has created problems such as longer lead times, FBA shipping delays, an increase/decrease in order volume, and irrelevant search traffic. 

In times like this, don't adopt the "desperate times call for desperate measures" mindset, like other Amazon sellers who got into trouble later on. Instead, solve problems with the corresponding best Amazon PPC strategy mentioned above. It will help your business thrive and remain reputable amid the impact of a global pandemic.

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