Dayparting: How Effective is Ad Scheduling, Really?
Brands and advertisers face the challenge of managing ad campaigns on platforms like Amazon as efficiently as possible. There are various tools on the market that help with setting up and optimizing Amazon Sponsored Ads campaigns. Numerous companies perpetually develop new features for their solutions. Automated ad scheduling, also known as dayparting, is one of them.
What is dayparting and how does it work?
With dayparting, you can select the exact hours and weekdays for your Sponsored Ads campaigns to be displayed or paused. For instance, you can decide that your ads become visible only from Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The function allows the advertiser to automatically pause the ads when it is considered unprofitable. The aim is to improve the ACoS (Advertising cost of sale) of the campaign in this way.
It is a good idea in theory, but how practicable is dayparting in regard to Amazon Sponsored Ads?
The limitations of Amazon Sponsored Ads and Ad scheduling
Dayparting is currently reaching its limits very quickly in terms of efficacy. There are several reasons for this:
First of all, the Amazon Advertising Console does not provide you with hourly figures for your ads that you could use to optimize your campaigns. Amazon updates the numbers about every four hours.
Furthermore, the results you receive do not imply that a sale actually happened in the period in which the data was retrieved. It is quite likely that it has already taken place before but was not transmitted by the system until later. On top of that, Amazon often adjusts data such as sales, clicks and costs retrospectively – even with a delay of up to a week.
One also needs to ask whether there is enough traffic in the few hours to be able to make statistically relevant statements. Even if you look at a keyword’s results every Tuesday afternoon for four months, the data is likely to be insufficient.
Possible pitfalls of dayparting
Even assuming the available data is solid, there are further difficulties with dayparting to be taken into account:
Typically, customers need to come in contact with ads multiple times before they buy a product. The fact that a customer clicks on a Sponsored Product Ad in the evening and buys the item does not mean that the ad with the lower conversion rate they saw in the office during the day did not significantly influence the purchasing decision process. It is important to understand that Amazon counts the sale of the ad that the customer clicked on last.
You should also be aware that in times of less traffic – i.e. fewer users searching for the product – you automatically spend less. For example, not many users search for office supplies on weekends. Consequently, fewer impressions and clicks are generated. Pausing the campaign on the weekend would therefore probably keep the ACoS/ROAS comparable and reduce costs only minimally.
Even if the click-through rate (CTR) is worse during this period, it will not have a negative effect on the ACoS. Amazon Sponsored Ads are billed according to the pay-per-click principle. It means that you pay per click, not per impression.
Dayparting is a feature used to get the last 0.XX% out of a sponsored ads campaign during optimization. However, suitable data are still missing.
The use of dayparting currently only makes sense if the selling price of the advertised items is significantly lower at the time, for instance, due to promotions such as Lightning Deals and Discounts. Alternatively, dayparting the Sponsored Ads may be useful when the competition is asleep or on the weekend.
Share of Voice analyses as well as the monitoring of availability, buybox and organic rankings currently represent considerably better leverage for precise targeting and efficiency enhancement. These are the factors that we at factor-a constantly take care of for our customers.
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