Should I drive external traffic to my Amazon listing?

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Running off-Amazon ads that drive external traffic back to your Amazon listings is probably worth the risk.

When you refer back external traffic to Amazon.com, you are driving increased traffic and conversions for your entire brand—not just the single listing you are promoting. 

That’s according to a new report from Amazon, highlighting the major sources of external traffic to its listings tracked through Amazon Attribution. 

The report confirmed a lot of the suspicions we had at Intentwise. For a long time, Amazon’s traffic sources have been a black box. 

Through our Intentwise Analytics Cloud product, we bring in data from Amazon Attribution, which is Amazon’s tool to track how external visitors from Google, Facebook, email, and so on interact with your products on Amazon.com. 

Amazon Attribution attempts to answer the question: If they didn’t start on Amazon.com, where did they come from? Instagram? Email? And how do people coming from these different channels interact with your products? 

We have seen data from individual clients, but we haven’t seen how external visitors come to Amazon listings at an industry-level. This gap in understanding how external traffic behaves on Amazon has caused many brands to avoid investing in off-Amazon advertising.

Now, Amazon is giving us a peek under the hood. In the new report, we can see that different categories of traffic to Amazon listings—visitors coming from email, social, search, and more—have vastly different purchase intentions.   

Why does external traffic to your listings matter? 

We already know that off-Amazon traffic is a critical part of your ranking on Amazon. Amazon’s algorithm appears to reward products that receive a high number of referral traffic from other sites. 

Brands that use Amazon Attribution often run social ads advertising the Amazon listings for their products in the hopes of boosting those rankings and getting more visibility for their products. 

The problem is, driving external traffic to your Amazon listings is not without risks. Namely: to succeed, you need to ensure the external visitors have a high conversion rate.  

If you have a poorly targeted ad on Facebook, it could seriously harm your overall conversion rate on Amazon and impact your business. 

Say you send thousands of external customers to your Amazon listings, but everyone immediately bounces off your Amazon listing. Amazon will likely notice this, and cause your product to appear lower in the search results. 

The new data gives an indication that referring external traffic to Amazon is working for many, many brands. So external traffic is definitely worth it—as long as you are careful about your ad targeting. 

Which traffic source had the highest conversion rate? 

By far, social media was the biggest driver of external traffic to listings. Nearly half—43.7%—of link clicks that were tracked with Amazon Attribution came from social media originally.

But while social media is bringing in the highest percentage of external shoppers, many were not actually primed to make a purchase. 

Intriguingly, email was the referral source with the highest conversion rate. Email had more than double the referral rate of some other types of incoming traffic.

Whereas the conversion rate for social media traffic was slightly less than 2%, the conversion rate from email traffic was nearly 5%

Here’s the chart that Amazon included in its report: 

External ads increase sales across an entire brand 

When you run an external ad, such as a social media ad driving back to a specific product on Amazon, you might assume that you’re only driving consideration for that product featured in your ad. This data tells us a different story.   

According to the report, external advertising traffic increases sales for non-advertised products by 24.5%

In other words, on average, for every four customers who convert from off-Amazon ads, at least one of them will buy an additional non-advertised product from your brand. That means they help to grow brand halo sales in a significant way.

That’s an argument for bringing in external traffic to your Amazon listings on its own. The data shows that external traffic converts on Amazon, and can even help drive your overall brand lift by exposing shoppers to additional products from your brand, not just the advertised ones. 

They’re also bringing exposure to your brand as a whole. 

Want a clearer sense of how external visitors are finding your specific listings, and whether those outside visitors are converting when they land on your page? You can track your Amazon Attribution traffic in Intentwise Analytics Cloud. 

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