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Kevin Weiss

Kevin Weiss is the VP of Client Success for Ecommerce at Kenshoo, a technology platform that helps brands plan, activate, and measure effective marketing across all of the most engaging digital channels. The company has been an Amazon partner for the past 3 years and is also considered the number one Amazon Advertising solution. 

Kevin is an executive leader with e-commerce expertise for enterprise, mid-market, SMB, and startup brands. Prior to joining Kenshoo, this Boston University graduate was the VP of Growth & Strategy at Amplio Digital.


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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • The 3 levels of metrics that brands should look at when selling on Amazon
  • Kevin Weiss explains why brands need to pay attention to their Amazon review ratings
  • How to know if your Amazon listing is retail ready
  • Kevin’s advice to brands that have crossed the negative threshold rating of below 3.5 stars
  • How to use inventory on hand with your Amazon advertising campaigns in order to avoid running out of stock
  • Why you should keep an eye on your organic keyword metrics, and how to view your rankings on Amazon
  • Kevin talks about Amazon’s average cost per click (CPC) metrics
  • The importance of content score and Share of Voice (SOV) metrics for brands in the advanced level of selling on Amazon

In this episode…

For brands selling on the Amazon marketplace, there are a number of metrics to stay aware of. That’s because the more data and insights you have, the better you can optimize your product listings, improve your advertising strategies, and increase your sales. 

 According to e-commerce expert Kevin Weiss, there are three different levels of data point metrics to pay attention to, depending on where you are in your business: basic, intermediate, and advanced. These metrics guide brands through their journey on Amazon, from joining the marketplace to growing and scaling their businesses. 

Kevin Weiss, the VP of Client Success for Ecommerce at Kenshoo, joins Eric Stopper in this week’s episode of Buy Box Experts to talk about retail data and advertising metrics on the Amazon platform. Kevin breaks down the most important metrics that brands need to look out for at each level of their selling journey, from review ratings to average cost per click. Stay tuned.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

Buy Box Experts applies decades of e-commerce experience to successfully manage their clients’ marketplace accounts. The Buy Box account managers specialize in combining an understanding of their clients’ business fundamentals and their in-depth expertise in the Amazon Marketplace.

The team works with marketplace technicians using a system of processes, proprietary software, and extensive channel experience to ensure your Amazon presence captures the opportunity in the marketplace–not only producing greater revenue and profits but also reducing or eliminating your business’ workload.

Buy Box Experts prides itself on being one of the few agencies with an SMB (small to medium-sized business) division and an Enterprise division. Buy Box does not commingle clients among divisions as each has unique needs and requirements for proper account management.

Learn more about Buy Box Experts at BuyBoxExperts.com.

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:09

Welcome to the Buy Box Experts podcast we bring to light the unique opportunities brands face in today’s e-commerce world.

Eric Stopper  0:18

Welcome to the Buy Box Experts podcast. This is Eric Stopper. Today’s episode is brought to you by Buy Box Experts. Buy Box Experts takes ambitious brands and makes them on beatable. We’ve got a team of consultants and honestly everybody’s pretty bad at Amazon these days. In the probably hundred conversations that I’ve had this month with sellers. It’s always somebody weird taking care of Amazon. Not that they’re weird as a person but that like their job description doesn’t really fit the fact that they are managing their Amazon account. And that is troubling, right like they’re gonna be wasting resources that they should be spending on their normal as advertised job messing with all this crazy stuff in regards to Amazon, come and talk with us. Click on the free analysis button at buyboxexperts.com you’ll be connected with me or a member of my team. Looking forward to talking with you. This episode is part of a 10-part series we’re doing with the geniuses at Kenshoo. We thought to bring together our collective knowledge in a way that was fun and indispensable. Today I’m joined by Kevin Weiss, VP of client success for e-Commerce at Kenshoo. Kevin, what are we talking about today?

Kevin Weiss  1:27

We’ll be back and we are talking about retail data and advertising metrics you should think about there’s going to be a little something for everybody here and I’ve been really looking forward to this one. So you’re gonna jump in.

Eric Stopper  1:40

Yeah, this little this will be a good one. So um, most most of you three resellers. You never really mess with Vendor Central. The only thing you’re aware of is if you’re, you know, if you’re reselling on a listing and there happens to be a vendor presence on that listing. Vendor almost always wins right there buy box percentage is foreign and beyond anybody else that’s selling on that list. And then they typically make really cruddy listings, I’m not a big fan of the retail listings and the way that vendor central is managed is just a whole lot different. And so we’re going to kind of talk about, we’re going to toe the line between Seller and Vendor Central. And just try to equip you with all of the data points outside of like the campaign manager inside of, of your seller vendor Central, so that you can marry those two things together so that you’re not just looking at things in a in a black box. And Kevin has has already gone to the trouble of, of separating out kind of three levels of data points, metrics that you should look at, at different stages of selling on Amazon. So we’ve got the basic level, right, which is, you know, you’re just getting started. Maybe you’re new to Amazon, but not new to business, but you’re just trying to figure out the platform. There’s intermediate right where maybe you’ve made some money and by some stroke of luck You’ve made some profit. And then for the advanced sellers write lots of volume, lots of moving pieces, lots of different people on your team that are interested in this. And we just kind of want to go through each of these, which data points do you need to look at with your campaign data points to make the best decisions on Amazon and Kevin’s gonna walk us through a bunch of those. So why don’t why don’t we start with, with with basic, Kevin? Yeah,

Kevin Weiss  3:24

yeah, definitely. Thanks. Again, the premise here, right is like, you have the a lot of data available, like we use this expression data daily, right? There’s so much data, like the challenge is not whether there’s, there’s data, it’s what to do with it. And we get all this these data points. So So really, what we’re talking about here is we’re talking about there’s there’s data that you get from Amazon when you’re in these campaigns, or when you’re in these ad groups, or you’re in the search term reports. There’s also all these other metrics that you need to be looking at when you are Trying to grow your program be profitable be successful selling on Amazon. And so at the basic level, it’s going to be for for a seller, or for even a vendor. But if you’re in the early stages of, you know, building out your campaigns, and you’re optimizing, and you’re, you’re trying to get that, that rhythm down that repetition down, this is where you need some of those additional metrics, like that are at the basic level to help you get to that next stage, because what you’re probably experiencing is there are some keywords that are you’re losing money on or like the cost is really, really high. Right? And so you’re struggling and you’re not sure exactly what you need to do. After you kind of break through them, you’ve got like a steady, you know, steady flow going, you’re you’re spending budget, consistently, you’re driving sales, you’re seeing some growth in the business. Now you’re more into that intermediate level where things kind of get hard again, activity as you want to keep growing and keep scaling. And so this is where you need another set of like metrics and inputs that you need to be thinking about to make your advertising more effective than the advanced stages where you’re really trying to be that number one bestseller in your subcategory, or your you know, pushing top 10 or top 20, maybe even top 100 for some of you and you know, a major category or like a hyper competitive subcategory. So that’s kind of how like the groupings would work is like based on where you are in your journey with Amazon advertising.

Eric Stopper  5:38

So let’s let’s jump into basic so one of the things that everyone who’s kind of newer to the platform should be looking at are things like you mentioned to hear, review rating. Tell Tell me a little bit about that.

Kevin Weiss  5:51

Yeah, well, everybody knows that reviews are really the name of the game on Amazon. Not only does reviews show up and The product detail page at the top of page, but it shows up lower on the page. And it also shows up in the search results pages. And in pretty much every format you’re going to see reviews is one of those vital data points that consumers are using to determine whether they’re going to buy a product. So as an advertiser, you need to pay attention that metric. So your review rating, the way that it works on Amazon, they have both the visual star rating, and then they have like the actual, you know, it’s like 3.7 or 3.6, like with a with a decimal point in there. And what most consumers see when it comes to review rating as they see the visual representation, which gets grouped into like 3.5 stars visually 4.0 stars visually 4.5 stars visually, and they actually group it so that if you’re a 4.3 you get shown visually as a 4.5. Right? If you’re a 3.8 you get shown visually as a four star, and so when you want You flip from one of those visual representations of it, that actually matters. And so that metric of what the consumer sees or what that decimal rating is for your review rating, that’s going to have a big impact on your advertising. So that’s a metric that you should definitely be paying attention to. And it’s so important that it’s actually something represented in Amazon, what Amazon advertising calls retail readiness, right? You guys may have heard of this term retail readiness, they actually talk about maintaining at least a 3.5 star rating or above for you is one of the components of whether or not you should advertise an ACM altogether. So this is a huge, hugely important metric. And of course, not available in the UI, like in the campaign manager, right. They’re like telling you it’s important, but they’re not like showing you the stuff in the in the campaign tools. So that’s a measure that you definitely need to think about and pay attention to.

Eric Stopper  7:55

I actually can’t imagine I can’t think of a place right now. Where I can see whether or not my listing is retail ready? Do they give you any indicator and seller vendor Central,

Kevin Weiss  8:05

you know, not like overtly, that would be a great, you know, thing to just put in the UI. And when we talk with the product teams, and we’re bringing ideas, you know, these are the sorts of things that we’re bringing to the table is make the tools better and easier. So people don’t have to, you know, string together different tools and functions, but they have it in a couple of places, but to get it to the right spot. With advertising, it requires some extra work for for advertisers, and a lot of them are using bulk sheets. Are there using tools. It’s no surprise.

Eric Stopper  8:38

Yeah, yeah, I mean, I can think of, there’s a company called Gradient that does gradient scores. I know Helium 10 has their their little indicator that pops up when you have their plugin installed. And there’s a couple others and those give you like a, a rating out of 1000 or out of 100 or out of 10, which you can use but I mean really retail readiness just means that like, if if you, if you bring somebody that should be your target customer, if you bring them to your listing, they’re more than likely going to make a purchase or to at least remember you, right? They’ll come back and maybe maybe find you on later down the road. If you have a three star rating, there are very few exceptions to this, but you’re doomed, right? Like you’re in a very hard spot. So this, you know, Amazon gives you the little bump from 3.4 to looking like 3.5. And from 3.7 to looking like four oh, if you are not aware of that dropping below the next kind of rounded threshold, you’re essentially queuing up your listing to have a lower conversion rate, maybe as much as half right? If you are going to convert 10 people, you’re now going to convert five simply because your star rating isn’t isn’t what it used to be. And I think that it’s it’s really it’s really tough to tell people that they’re listening Just going to do a bad job on Amazon, they don’t really know what to do. And so I guess Kevin, in your, in your mind and as kintra as a whole as a philosophy, when somebody kind of crosses into this negative threshold where they’re below 3.5 stars, what do you tell them? You know, what’s what’s kind of your advice to them from that point moving forward?

Kevin Weiss  10:20

Yeah, well, we get in the realm where you can approach this from a reputation management perspective, maybe what you need to do is you need to go through your reviews, identify which child variation on your listing is bringing down that average, and you need to carve that out, you know, like, separate it from the parent or you need to, you know, take a look at on the supply chain side and, and actually improve the product or dig into the actual experience. And that requires a lot of depth and a lot of focus. So, you know, for some brands, we have thousands of basins. That’s not really feasible at scale. So you’re really looking at those 8020 rules like what’s driving the Most impact and and what do I need to do about it. But generally, the rule of thumb is you don’t want to be advertising those products. You want to put the best foot forward with those consumers, and you want to advertise products that are retail ready that have, you know, ideally for four and a half star rating, we’re gonna have that competitive advantage.

Eric Stopper  11:22

And I think the we got to put a footnote to that as well and say, if you’re not advertising them, those products be improving them, right, like spend the time that you’re not advertising on them and let your and let your marketing team figure out the messaging, or let our marketing team figure out your messaging, right, like, whatever you can do to fix the product, fix the message, fix the placement, then when it’s ready to go, you relisted is I mean, you have to otherwise you’re essentially just like, letting that product fall by the wayside. And if even if it was a big seller in the past, it’s not going to be unless you put forth effort.

Kevin Weiss  12:01

Yeah, that’s so true. I mean, there’s it’s just too competitive. Now you have so many folks that are making products specifically for one channel like Amazon. And they’re thinking about every detail and the customer experience. And so, one piece of advice that I’d give out there, as we talked about this review rating and other metrics that matter, is, yeah, put put the time and energy into your products and make sure that you’ve got something special to offer. And you think about how it’s going to be received by the amazon customer. Otherwise, you’re gonna be scratching your head, while others seem to have a four or four and a half star rating. You’re gonna think it’s all black hat smart. They probably just put the work in and your gear their supply chain around us selling on Amazon.

Eric Stopper  12:41

So speaking of scratching your head, the other the other thing to consider when you’re kind of this basic level of selling is how much inventory you have on hand. Yeah, right. I I talked to a lot of folks who are bewildered when they run out of inventory, and it seems very difficult to run an inventory on it. Amazon, but I guess for the inventory on hand, how do we use that with our advertisement campaigns?

Kevin Weiss  13:06

Yeah, this is another metric that you should be thinking about or that you should be optimizing around. So if you know that you only have a limited number of items in stock. When you advertise that product, right, you’re selling through the items that you have, whether it’s the refillable inventory, and FBA, or whether it’s the sellable inventory on hand, on the vendor side, you have a limited amount of inventory, you need to replenish that. So there’s no need to actually accelerate you running out of stock, like you shouldn’t be, you know, using Amazon advertising to force you into an out of stock. So that would be a scenario where, depending on your lead times, like maybe you have a new batch in production that hasn’t started yet. So you’ve got a really long lead time. That’s where you should pull back on him. on advertising, or that’s where you would, you know, flip over to, to fbm from from FBA so that you don’t go out of stock because running out of stock and really, you know, grinds all the gears to a halt, not something you should do and of course, you know, advertising being part of that flywheel flywheel, right. You don’t need it to be accelerating if you’re already selling through. So don’t don’t have advertising forced you out of stock is really the takeaway. And the best way to do that is to get that metric alongside your, your campaigns or your ads so that you know what you’re pushing.

Eric Stopper  14:34

Absolutely. And if you’re having trouble with this, come and talk to me, we’ve we’ve, we’ve had a lot of a lot of inventory questions over the last three months or so. We’ve we’ve got the experience here. So come and talk to us. Let’s move on to the intermediate metrics. So you’re kind of a bigger seller at this point, you’re making some good money. The first one that we have listed here is organic keyword ranking, as the metric to look at with your campaigns. Tell us a little bit more about that.

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