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Amazon’s advertising error cost a seller $370,000

The weekend is almost upon us, but the ecommerce industry never rests. So is the flow of juicy news and updates you need to ponder on to step up your ecommerce game:

BLACK MARKET

Advertising is getting expensive. Cost-per-click (CPC) ads alone can cost you a couple of dollars.

So you can imagine the horror-fest of paying for useless ads—exactly what Amazon’s recent advertising mistake had sellers do!

😳 Wait, what?!

  • An error from Amazon’s automated advertising system caused marketers to be charged for ads of items shoppers can’t buy. Yikes!
  • Rob Robinson, a seller of advanced gaming computers, discovered he was being charged thousands of dollars for ads shown in California
  • Robinson wasn’t even a seller for that region, meaning customers couldn’t buy from him (even if they wanted to).
  • The system continued to serve the adsfrom November 2023 to January 2024, resulting in zero profit. 💸
  • What’s even worse is that the error caused his sales to decline as it affected his conversion rate and search visibility.

What did Amazon say?

Amazon told Bloomberg that they are working to fix the problem. The retail giant also acknowledged that sellers paid for misdirected advertisements—but would not elaborate on the scope, saying the error only “affected a tiny fraction” of sellers.

The company promised to contact and refund affected sellers. Robinson was refunded £15,000 (around $18,867), which is just a fraction of the £300,000 (roughly $377,370)  he was seeking.

📍 What should you do?

Conduct audits on your campaigns to check if you’ve been affected by this glitch. If you are, contact Amazon immediately.

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BITES OF THE WEEK

HOT TOPIC

Target joins Amazon and Walmart in the high-tech retail club

Target joins Amazon and Walmart in the high-tech retail club

Target is one of the biggest rivals of Amazon in the ecommerce field. Aside from its century-long foothold in the retail industry, it has been innovating its systems and processes to keep up with emerging trends. 💪

The retailer is also pushing forward to be in the “retail tech giant club,” as told by Chain Store Age. Following the footsteps of Amazon and Walmart, Target is making the following moves:

  • Paid membership. The retailer is set to launch Target Circle 360, an upgraded version of its free loyalty program Target Circle, this April 2024.
    • Perks include unlimited free same-day delivery for orders over $35, two free-day shipping, and access to Shipt Marketplace.
    • A promotional price of $49 per year will be offered. But after May 18, the membership will cost $99 per year. Target Circle credit card owners can still enjoy the lower $49 cost.
  • Artificial intelligence. Target’s AI-driven solutions include product demand forecasting, personalized product recommendations, and improving its loyalty program. It also plans to use generative AI for employee-facing and customer-facing use cases.
  • Improved logistics through Shipt
    • Shipt recently opened an innovation lab designed to modernize shipping and delivery through experiments (e.g., drone delivery and fulfillment, personalization, and immersive shopping experiences in virtual environments).  
    • Like Amazon and Walmart, Target now uses sortation centers to streamline fulfillment and delivery. Its physical stores also act as mini-fulfillment hubs for customers’ convenience.

🎯Target is indeed target-ing technological growth to uphold its legacy and keep up with other big industry players. Do you think it’s enough to invest in selling on this platform, too?

Let us know what you think (and plan 👀) by replying to this email. 📩

TACTIC TALKS

3 techniques to improve your landing pages

3 techniques to improve your landing pages

How effective are your landing pages? Are they converting? Or does it need a do-over?

🪜 Regardless of the answer, maybe you could use Stacked Marketer’s interpretation of the 3 psychological principles that can elevate your landing pages:

1. Make your button design stand out visually to convince shoppers to click it. To do this:

  • Make sure to have ample white space around your button.
  • Choose a distinct color specifically for your CTA button—and DO NOT USE this color anywhere else.
  • Angle the CTA text as a gain. Example: “Get [product]” or “Start getting [outcome] now.”

2. Include only one CTA. In other words,solve one problem and promise one outcome. Don’t confuse visitors with too many possibilities to avoid giving them analysis paralysis.

3. Use patterns and visuals to direct attention. Try applying pattern interrupt, which means adding a different element in a pattern to make it stand out. You can use images, infographics, or even just change the color of a section you want to stand out. 

Who would have thought that you could leverage psychology to improve your landing page, right? Still, these tips might be worth trying, especially now that the ecommerce competition is fiercer than ever.

Author : SellerBites
Faith began working on SellerBites in 2021, a weekly newsletter that provides sellers with the latest news and updates in FBA. With first-hand experience in managing various seller and vendor accounts, she understands what sellers face on this platform. Her background led to the conception of SellerBites, which main goal is to help people become better, more informed entrepreneurs in the Amazon marketplace.
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