June 21, 2022

Amazon Marketing Stream

Can we answer the million-dollar question, “Is there a best time to advertise on Amazon?” Yes, yes we can!

In the ever-evolving advertising space of Amazon, tracking trends, such as day of week conversion rates, aids in continual education of consumer habits. But can we get more granular?

Any advertiser who has tried to control their ad spend throughout the day, knows this practice of “dayparting” has been possible, but clunky – consisting of setting up multiple, yet identical campaigns that you turn on and off according to the time of day.

With the rollout of Amazon Marketing Stream, we now have faster, earlier access to data – which means “dayparting” can be achieved through a more sophisticated, systematic approach.

Amazon Marketing Stream is a push-based messaging system that provides near real-time data, providing us more timely insights into your campaign performance and helping drive deeper optimizations.

This new system is currently limited to agencies (like Ad Advance!), tool providers, and direct advertisers who are integrated with the Amazon Ads API in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

Digesting the Data

Having access to this almost real-time data means we can break down the metrics to a whole new level, identifying trends that can make a huge impact on your advertising strategy.

We recently reviewed ad performance over a three-month period from the US market. While there are several ways to measure ad performance, we analyzed conversion rate – which is the likelihood of someone purchasing your product after clicking on an ad.

How much does conversion rate vary by time of day? The short answer – quite a bit.

Let’s dig a bit deeper and look at our findings. This graph provides a visual for several key takeaways:

Amazon Marketing Stream - conversion rates by the hour graph
  • Ad performance really starts to pick up at 3am, peaking at 5am, and staying strong through 7am.
  • Performance then declines throughout the day. However, generally, 3am-3pm sees above average conversion rates.
  • After 3pm, conversion rate continues to drop-off until hitting the daily low at 11pm.
  • Keep in mind this data is in PST – 5am may seem quite early for the peak hour of conversion, but when you translate the time to EST, that peak conversion occurs at 8am.

According to this data, the time of day your ad is shown has a major impact on the conversion. An ad shown at 5am is nearly three times (3x!!!) more likely to convert than an ad at 11pm.

And, if the above graph isn’t enlightening enough, we can break down the data even further – by day and by hour.

This heat grid (again, all times are in PST) very obviously illustrates the difference between the peak conversion mid-morning hours vs. the overnight lows. Fittingly illustrated by yellow on the grid, 5am appears to be the “golden hour” for this set of data.

Amazon Marketing Stream - conversion rates by the hour heatmap

Introducing: Ad Advance StreamLine

So, what will we do with all this data? In short, we will use it to help place your ad when it will most likely get the sale.

We have optimized around day of week data for quite some time at Ad Advance (you can read more about Day of Week performance here. Spoiler: advertising doesn’t have a case of the Mondays). Now, we will be getting even more specific with continuous bidding.

When it comes to reviewing metrics, advertisers are typically looking back seven or 30 days, reviewing blended, averaged metrics, and adjusting accordingly. Most of your competition isn’t looking at day of week numbers, let alone hourly metrics. But we are.

This inefficiency by your competitor creates an opportunity for us. Using our propriety Ad Advance Streamline system, we can now make sure your ads are getting shown when people are most likely to purchase. And on the flipside, we can save our ad dollars when they aren’t as likely to buy.

We will let your competitors who aren’t harnessing continuous bidding to spend their ad dollars overnight and then make sure we outbid those same competitors in the mid-morning when shoppers are 3x more likely to convert.

This boost in ad performance will inherently boost sales by spending when it matters.