Editorial Recommendations in Q4 2020

2020 has seen the growth of ecommerce explode, and the holiday shopping season will continue that trend. With the coronavirus still a major threat, more and more shoppers are planning to do their holiday shopping online this year. 

As consumers have gotten used to buying more things via the internet, they have realized that the process is in many ways simpler and easier than going to a brick and mortar store. The expansion of grocery and takeout delivery services like Instacart and DoorDash have been perfectly timed to take advantage of the consumer’s desire to stay home. But not everything is easier when you are shopping online.

Curation is Key

When shoppers go to a mall with only a vague idea of what gifts they want to buy, they rely on the curation of the merchants to help cut through the options and surface great gift ideas. When shopping online, that curation is a lot harder to find, leading many publishers to fill the void with gift guides. Shoppers may search in google for “best gifts for toddlers” or “gifts for mom” to find the same curation that they used to find in stores. 

Many publishers will be curating their own gift guides outside of Amazon, but you should also expect to see gift guides in the Amazon Onsite Program. While Amazon avoids articles that call out a particular holiday, they do render gift guides. Typically publishers start thinking about these articles in August, but because these articles are evergreen, they can be updated throughout the year with seasonally appropriate items.

An Editorial Recommendation Gift Guide

The Editorial Recommendation keeps on giving

For the consumer who already knows what sort of gift they want to give, Editorial Recommendations help narrow down the choices in a category. Whether published yesterday or last year, these recommendations keep providing value to shoppers, publishers, sellers and Amazon itself. 

Interested in getting into one of these Editorial Recommendations, either onsite or off? Send us an email at support@hbwcommerce.com.

Editorial Reviews lift all channels

Maximize Amazon SERP with Editorial Recommendations + Paid

Amazon Editorial Recommendations lift all channels

Amazon Editorial Recommendations provide lift across channels

Editorial Data

HBW Commerce advocates for brands to appear in editorial recommendations published onsite on eCommerce platforms, like Amazon.com. Amazon Editorial Recommendations provide brand and revenue lifts through third-party advocacy and repetition on the page. We have worked with thousands of products to leverage editorials effectively for our clients. We have seen how Amazon Editorial Recommendations provide not only an additional channel for sales but also provide a lift for paid and organic channels.  By digging into our data and working with sellers to match their ad spending with their Editorial Recommendations, we built out our next product feature – Keyword Share of Voice.

Dynamic Keyword Intelligence

Keyword Share of Voice provides real-time intelligence on how often and when specific search terms are rendering the client’s live editorials on the first Search Engine Results Page (SERP) on Amazon. Sellers provide HBW with their target keywords, and HBW scrapes thousands of data points to provide a clear picture of how often those keywords are rendering a given Editorial Recommendation on Amazon. This allows sellers to better control PPC / sponsored ad spend and optimize multiple mentions of their products. This concerted effort increases the chances of conversions and sales across all channels – editorial, paid, and organic.

Impacting Organic Search

Baseline Best Seller Ranking (BSR) is a key qualifier for eligibility for onsite publishing. With editorial campaigns, products in the top 10% BSR will be able to effectively defend and expand their presence with short tail keywords. Products in the top 20-30% BSR will be able to rally and build upon a content moat consisting of mid-tail keywords. Once sales velocity is accelerated and BSR rises, the seller then coordinates with HBW to launch campaigns on short-tail keywords.

Competitor PDPs

Our top-performing clients achieve impressive revenue results and improvements in BSR and also begin to render on competitor Product Description Pages. The increase in visibility from editorial content ignites the marketing flywheel, propelling the product to greater performance.

How Onsite Publishing Impacts Sellers

Onsite Publishing Keeps Customers In Store

The Onsite Associates program at Amazon is one of many ways that Amazon has innovated and experimented with reviews in its marketplace. Amazon has always valued the opinions and recommendations of third-parties. Amazon’s customer reviews have become a major part of its success; consumers can crowdsource their decision making when buying a product sight-unseen.  Through onsite publishing, Amazon is harnessing the authority of the publishers without letting the customer leave the site. 

User Reviews are Losing Impact

Review farms, paid posts, and malicious reviewers have corrupted user reviews. The 2020 Amazon Shopper survey by Tinuiti found that 70% of shoppers trust Amazon reviews, but the percentage of shoppers who say they “fully trust” reviews is down by 20% compared to 2018 and 2019. 

Consumers now have less trust in the reviews of other shoppers; they look elsewhere for reliable information about which product to choose. For media outlets, this is an opportunity to replace declining ad revenue. For Amazon it represents a risk: as customers leave the store to find recommendations, they might not return to complete the purchase.

Onsite Publishing Brings Publishers Into the Store

Enter the Onsite Associates Program (OSP). Designed to retain the customer within the Amazon ecosystem while still relying on the trusted voice of the independent publisher, the OSP program also benefits sellers within the Amazon ecosystem. This channel of product placement works in concert with natural search results and promoted listings, and presents hardly any downsides to a seller. 

A Virtuous Circle

The publishers and Amazon have no incentive to promote poorly made or poorly supported products. Publishers recommend only products that are getting good reviews, staying in-stock, and achieving high sales volumes. The OSP program creates a virtuous circle for featured products. Good performance is rewarded with more visibility, which in turn creates more performance. Stockouts, returns, poor customer service and poor product quality could cause a product to be dropped from an OSP article. Editorial Reviews never feature defective products, while newer entrants must wait until they can prove their value in the marketplace.

Onsite Publishing Impact on Sellers

Editorial reviews hardly ever criticize the products they mention. There is no value in mentioning a product if not to recommend a purchase. Sellers risk little when mentioned in an Editorial Review. If the article fails to perform, it does not surface, and the mention does not drive sales. Editorial reviews never have a negative impact on the products mentioned.

What downsides are there for sellers? Obviously, if a product’s competitors get into an article first, it is the competitors who receive the benefit of the virtuous circle. But being in the article at all, even if next to the product’s fiercest competitors, is a lift for all brands. Failing to get into an article in the first place is the real risk. 

Contact support@hbwcommerce.com to schedule a call to discuss how editorial campaigns would fit with your digital strategy.