What is Amazon Attribution and How to Use ItJanuary 23, 2019 in Blog
If you’ve ever tried driving traffic from external sources to your Amazon listings to increase sales, you’ll know how frustrating it can be.
Like a digital Bermuda Triangle, once your potential customers click the link in your ad, blog post or landing page, and crossed into the Amazon ecosystem, you were pretty much left to guess whether they actually followed through and purchased.
That is, until earlier this year, when Amazon rolled out the beta version of its Amazon Attribution program.
In this article, I’ll talk through what Amazon Attribution is, why you need it, and how it works.
A Quick Primer Of Off-Amazon-To-Amazon Marketing Before Amazon Attribution
The biggest problem with tracking your Off-Amazon-To-Amazon marketing campaigns (before the Amazon Attribution program was around) is that buyers that didn’t arrive at your listing from Amazon PPC were lumped into the same pot.
So if you made 200 sales, and you knew 75 were from Amazon PPC, you were left with 125 buyers who could have come from paid ads, organic, or could have found their way to your listing from, well, anyway, there was no way you could tell.
And if you couldn’t attribute a sale to a specific piece of off-Amazon marketing there was no way to tell if it was working, or which part of your sales funnel needs to be optimized.
Why send ad traffic straight to Amazon?
- Some brands only exist on Amazon
- Even if you have your own website people may trust Amazon more
- Making sales from traffic driven to your listing from off Amazon can help boost your ranking, which increases your chance of Amazon customers purchasing, which increases your chance of sales, which increases your ranking… and so on.
Why You Need Amazon Attribution
The clue’s in the name: Amazon Attribution allows you to finally attribute sales to your off-Amazon marketing.
So now, when someone buys, you know exactly what path they took to get to your listing.
This is huge because this data allows you to track Amazon customers throughout your entire sales funnel, kill ads that aren’t working, optimize the ones that are, and increase your overall ROI on ad spend.
Alternatives to Amazon Attribution
There are a couple of alternatives to Amazon Attribution that astute Amazon sellers have been using for some time.
Amazon Associates Tracking Links
This is the most popular way to track external link. You sign up for an Amazon associates account and create affiliate links for your external links. The affiliate revenue you receive will represent the sales you received from your external links. You can also sign-up for multiple Tracking IDs which provides one more layer of granularity.
The big advantage this technique is that you will receive affiliate revenue, typically of around 2%. This adds up quickly. The downside is that the tracking of sales is not nearly as granular as Amazon Attribution.
Pixelfy.me is a service that provides external tracking for Amazon links. It can track clicks and pixel your customers BUT it cannot track sales, except through the use of an Amazon Associates affiliate code (which you can use).
Pixelfy.me allows the use of Super URLs and other Amazon algorithm manipulating URLs which can be helpful for SEO which is the big benefit of it. As mentioned, it can also pixel traffic with Facebook tracking code, but this isn’t necessarily that useful unless you’re putting links on a website that you don’t control.
Who Can Use for Amazon Attribution and How Much Is It?
Right now, Amazon Attribution is open to any third party or first party seller on Amazon that is brand registered.
How Amazon Attribution Works
Paid platforms like Facebook and Google Shopping allow you to track potential customers by using a pixel.
Dropping this code on your website means they can follow them from your ad to your website and report back to you every action they take.
But that only works if you own the website. And Amazon owns Amazon, and they ain’t letting you anywhere near their website with your dirty spying pixel.
Amazon Attribution works slightly differently.
Rather than giving you a pixel they give you what Amazon call an “Attribution Tag.”
What’s an Attribution Tag?
In the words of Amazon, “Attribution tags are parameterized URLs that measure click-throughs and attribute conversions and sales of their products on Amazon.”
What that means is, an Attribution Tag is essentially a link to your product listing that Amazon can track.
You can generate that tag (or URL) in your Amazon Attribution account.
Then you simply place that link in your ad, blog post, email, or whatever, just like you would a regular link to get people to your listing.
Except now, when anyone clicks on it, Amazon can track them and let you know a number of actions that they take.
How to Create an Amazon Attribution Tag
Once you’ve set up your Amazon Attribution account it’s pretty simple to generate your first Attribution Tag and start tracking your off-Amazon marketing efforts.
Click on the advertiser name you want to create the tag for.
Hit the “New Order” button.
If you’re creating a link for a Google Ad, choose “Upload A File” and follow the instructions. If you’re creating a link for anywhere else, choose “Set up an order.”
Then select the product you want to link to from the list of your products below by pressing “Add” next to it.
Then scroll down, give the order (Attribution Tag) a name and ID so you know exactly which one it is and hit “Continue to line items.”
From the publisher drop-down menu, you can choose exactly where you plan to place your link. There are hundreds of options, but for this example I’m choosing Facebook.
The box below the Publisher drop-down says “Click-through URL.” This is the URL of the product you want to send people to.
Go to Amazon, search for your product, click on the listing, copy the URL from your browser, paste it into the Click-through URL box and hit the yellow “Create” button.
And, voila, you have now created your first Amazon Attribution tag.
Simply copy and paste that longgggg link into your Facebook ad (or whatever publisher you choose from the drop-down menu) and you’re now ready to track anyone that clicks that link.
What Metrics Does Amazon Attribution Let You Track?
Once your paid ads, blog posts, social posts, emails, etc, containing your “Attribution tags” are up and running, you’ll be able to track the following actions that people take as tracked by those tags, by campaign and by ASIN:
- Amazon Detail Page views (i.e. how many people clicked through to your listing)
- Add to Cart
This means you’ll know exactly which of your off-Amazon marketing efforts are driving the most people to your listing, which of them are generating the most sales, and which are duds that are losing you money.
Hopefully you can see the huge potential that has for your Off-Amazon-To-Amazon marketing.
Rather than being left to guess, you’ll now know exactly which strategies to kill and which to scale, which channels are bearing the most fruit so you can focus your efforts on the winners, and which of your Off-Amazon marketing efforts are creating a positive ROI and which ones are emptying your bank balance.
You’ll also know exactly where customers are dropping out of your funnel, which will allow you to test each element and optimize your results.
For example, if your clickthrough rate on your ad is high but you’re not making a lot of sales then it may point to issues with your listing or your price. Both of which you can then test.
For the first time, you can finally track the traffic you’ve driven from off Amazon to your listing.
This data will help you measure the impact of search, social, display, email, and video media channels on your Amazon sales.
And also show you how consumers discover, research, and buy your products on Amazon.
You can then take those insights to take the guesswork out of what is and isn’t working in your off-Amazon digital marketing and optimize where necessary to increase your ROI.
John Robb has been writing copy for almost 20 years for brands like Google, Beats By Dre and Sony Playstation, to name just a few. He currently lives in Los Angeles where he spends his days consulting for brands on digital marketing and copywriting, and tinkering with classic cars.