Is Prime Day really the biggest Amazon event of the year? Lazar and Brent discuss the coronavirus global pandemic which preceded this year’s Prime Day and how do they handle campaigns for their clients. So grab a cup of coffee, tune in and listen to this quality talk to get some cool tips and tricks! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook!
Lazar: Hey guys, welcome to the Wild PPC Bunch podcast. My name is Lazar and I’m a PPC nerd. I have over 10 years of experience in online advertising and currently, I’m the owner of the growing Amazon advertising agency called Sellers Alley.
Brent: And I’m Brent, the owner of AMZ Pathfinder. I started this company five years ago and we’ve been working in online advertising since 2013.
Lazar: Every week, we will spend around 30 minutes covering one topic and it will get nerdy, I promise. We’ll prepare a topic, covering everything from PPC basics, in-depth strategy and current trends.
Brent: One thing’s for sure you won’t be bored and you’ll hear insights, tactics, and ideas straight from two experienced agency owners, go strap in for the ride and enjoy.
Lazar: Okay, we’re back and we have our first guest. You already know Brent. Let me add him to the stream. Hey man! How are you?
Brent: What’s up, man. I’m the first guest?
Lazar: Yeah. You’re the first guest. Imagine that.
Brent: All right. All right. Okay. I’m down. I’m down with that. I got a cat on my lap. I got a million tabs open. I’m ready to go. Let me put you on my screen here. So I’m looking right at it.
Lazar: Yeah. It’s like, I’m, I’m, I’m checking like the amount of viewers and like,that’s a pretty good number. If you have in mind that it’s like, 3:00 AM in LA.
I thought that we were doing the crazy things here.
Brent: My logic for coming on now is like, Oh, well, we’ll, we’ll have some slots for the people in your North American audience to see people from North America later. And then the European people can see me. And then like, you know, we’ll, we’ll figure it out because we’re on the same time zone.
Lazar: We are going to combine. So basically like, since obviously this is my first streaming ever, I’m going to make a lot of mistakes. I already did one huge one. Stream dropped at like on the second minute. Third one. Yeah. Yeah.
Brent: Well, we’re doing fine here. I joined exactly at 12 and you let me in we’re on time. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Lazar: Yeah. Yeah. We’re good. We’re good. How are you, man?
Brent: Uh, I’m doing, uh, pretty well. Uh, yeah, it’s just a little bit cold here, but, uh, don’t have much on the agenda this week. Thanks to making space for Prime, a lot less calls and stuff. Kind of making sure that everyone’s on deck. The whole team is, uh, is on a high alert mode and one advantage that we have having people in, um, both Asia and North America in addition to Europe is people can check other people’s accounts at different times a day. So the Asia team can like do a really early morning, you know, here in EU time check and then people who are in North America can do like a late check, you know, compared to my time here. And so we’re doing some of that, like setting up those cross, cross, uh, patterns, whatever you want to call that. I don’t know. It’s interesting.
Lazar: Yeah. We had like different the idea. So people are working in shifts since we have physical office in Belgrade, Serbia. And like when we talked about Prime Day and like creating a stream, basically, Everybody was like, we’re going to work for like 20 hours. I’m like, no, you’re not. And they’re like, yeah, we are like, no, I’m going to be like, I’m going to get my ass kicked. Please don’t.
Brent: Labor, labor bureau going to come down and be like excuse me, sir. I heard there was slave labor going on here.
Lazar: Yeah. So basically what happened there, like.. There is one thing that they’ve forced people to do, they, they were forced to sign that they’re not going to work that much. So yeah, that was a crazy idea and everything like, but yet it’s so far it’s working and like, as I said, people are watching this and like, obviously they, they it’s because of you. It’s not because of me. That’s. Yeah, I understand. I understand. So doing the Prime Day, bro, and that kind of stuff. Did you prepare yourself? Like what did you do for the Prime Day? Did you have any list of things that you guys needed to do or…
Brent: Me personally or the team? I think it’s more interesting of I talk about the team.
Lazar: Yeah. It’s more, more interesting to talk about the team. I know, I know that you’re like busy guy.
Brent: Well, like I said, not so much this week, you know, we really have prioritized not having as many calls and being as attentive as we can for, um, you know, the clients that we feel like we need to deliver for, um, And, you know, we have a couple audits and stuff going on, but that stuff’s a bit on the back burner. Cause we’re really focused on delivery. Uh, you know, everybody has, you’ve been with us for a long time. So yeah, our strategy hasn’t really changed that much here for a year, but the one thing I’ve encouraged the team to. To think about, or maybe like the frame, the frame of mind to have going into this, um, is because this is such an unusual time of year for Prime. You know, we’re typically enjoying like spooky Halloween treats now or whatever, but now we’re all in like high alert mode for Prime. Um, I encourage people to have like flexible mindsets, you know, and, and approach this with like, you know, anything could happen. Some things may happen, you know, there might be some crazy run ups on some products. Uh, some things might be much lower than we anticipated. One thing I was digging into before the call Lazarre you might find interesting was, um, data from Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, right? This year, excluding yesterday because yesterday is too recent.
Lazar: Did it drop for like 50% or something?
Brent: Yeah, there’s some substantial drops in, uh, orders in particular. So of course ACoS went up by, uh, like two and a half. And this is for all of our accounts. I’m looking at aggregate data here. So yeah, it’s got up by like two, almost three percentage points. Um, not percentage, but actual percentage points. And then yeah, orders dropped a lot. Conversion rate definitely took a dive. No, these are the things that we expect to see, uh, in the run up to Prime, when people know it’s coming. Um, so yeah, kinda like as expected there and our approach the past two years in this year. So three years total has been to actually turn off the, a lot of the automated bidding and, uh, decrease budgets and spend in a couple of days up to Prime .Because we have in the past many years ago, you know blown huge amounts of money for clients and say like, we’re going to get you tons of visibility before Prime, which is true. But then none of those people are converters at that specific time. You know, maybe they add to cart and do it later. But you know, in the run-up you have a serious, uh, deficit of orders and ACoS looks really bad. So our thinking is instead let’s deploy that spend during the 48 hours, or it used to be only 24. Uh, and I guess it was 36 last year. Actually. I wanted to ask you about that. Uh, how many hours Prime Day really is this year? Um, so our idea is to deploy instead of in that 48 hour period within a couple of days after, because we get that nice effect until let’s say Friday, Saturday, maybe even into next week, it’s not like Cyber Monday, but you know, it’s something,
Lazar: You know, like the other day when I reached out to Destaney and like, she was like, what do you want me to talk about? And I’m like, you’re a rock star you can talk about whatever you wish. And like one of the ideas and her main topic is going to be days after Prime Day. And basically those days are really big. And like Prime Day is obviously 48 hours, like on paper, but it lasts a bit longer because people continue buying and people… seller’s are investing a lot of money on advertising and everything. So like, if you don’t have a good plan, you’re probably going to burn a lot of money during those days, but like to have a balance and like, Be sure that your like, uh, increasing that halo effect and like continuing with sales and continuing that traction that’s that’s like a big thing.
Brent: Yeah. So that’s my…that that’s our approach, uh, this year and in previous years. Um, another thing though, I wanted to, I wanted to mention, so if you go right now at amazon.com, um, and you’re in incognito mode, to have it open another, uh, another tab here in my many, many, many Chrome tabs. So I’m set. It’s delivered in France. But I go to the top left and I say, delivered to a zip code in the US I type it in and it says it’s Prime Day. And it has a countdown 44 hours. Now, two hours ago when I checked, it said 46 hours. That’s counting down from 48, I believe. Um, but my question is like, aren’t most people in the US asleep at this moment, you know, like you said, it’s what three in the morning on the West Coast. And it’s on time. The East Coast, New York, Miami, all these huge cities. It’s six in the morning. Now who’s up shopping right now on Tuesday morning.
Lazar: I’m pretty sure…My perspective. I like video games a lot. I buy a lot of video games. That’s kind of embarrassing to say, but I do. So, um, I’m waiting for Black Friday or Cyber Monday to buy video games. So I’m pretty sure that people that are waiting for some sales or discounts and like that already know what to buy they’re up at like midnight and wait .For people that are up and buying at 4:00 AM I have no logical explanation. Like why should you do it?
Brent: American consumer has gone wild. Yeah. Just totally. Just totally go and saying. Yeah.
Lazar: Yeah. Especially because like, when you go to a physical store… At that point, you, you need to stand in line and like for online, you don’t have that option. Like you don’t need to do it…
Brent: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, maybe there’s people who are concerned about stock constraints because what have we seen this year? We’ve seen massive shipping delays, thanks to COVID and all the related stuff we’ve seen Amazon’s infrastructure. Kind of like buckle at the knees, you know, and get knocked down on his face, like thanks to the demand. So maybe people are like, well, if I’m going to order something, I got to do it at 5:00 AM because that’s going to put me ahead of the queue of other, you know, Joe Schmo, who’s going to order at nine o’clock when he gets into work at his office or whatever on his phone. Like I’m going to win, you know, I’m going to get the thing first. And maybe there’s a lightning deals and, you know, people have, you know, added to their cart and they got a notification ,, hey there’s a deal and they woke up and they took action on it. Um, it’s hard to say, but there’s so many promotional methods that are kind of available and floating around now with, uh, with Prime. I wouldn’t be surprised if people are up super earlier, weird times of the night, um, shopping around.
Lazar: Basically something like this.
Brent: If they are watching the stream and they are not shopping then, you know, power to them. They’re going to save some money. I suppose
Lazar: Yeah, imagine that. So like, as, as you mentioned, like coronavirus did a lot of bad stuff this year and affected everything. Even Prime Day moved. I mentioned it a couple of hours ago on the stream. It used to be in July and like, that’s the time when…Like initial idea of Prime Day.. To be honest, I didn’t know this. I Googled it. It was to celebrate like 20th anniversary of Amazon. And the first one was like five years ago. Yeah. Yeah.
Brent: I thought it was to celebrate a Optimus Prime, the most famous of all the transformers in his death.
Lazar: Yeah. You know what’s the funny part? Every year on my Facebook profile, I would post a post with like don’t forget why the Prime is important. And it was like Optimus prime..
Brent: Put that in our Slack channel today.
Lazar: This is so cool. I really like it.
Brent: Never forget. Never forget.
Lazar: Yeah and this year I’m pretty sure there are going to be a lot of problems for Amazon. Like there are some really big dates in there.
Brent: Yeah. I think that, let me say something about original prime day date though. Cause I don’t think it’s not going to stay right. It’s going to be moved back to July, right?
Well, I hope so. Because like, this is the madness to how everything in like two or three weeks. Yeah.
Brent: That’s crazy. I mean, if you think about it from the perspective of a normal year, which 2020 is definitely not, but it’s like, yeah. Why would you put it here? It doesn’t make any sense. And a lot of people that we know in the community of like PPC, uh, you know, agency owners, or I love consultants and stuff, they’re like, is it even going to happen? You know, a lot of us were very skeptical. Like why would they even do it? And then sure enough, you know, I had guessed it was going to be the 12th and 13th. Um, I was off by one day, I suppose. It’s the 13th, 14th. I forgot that. I guess Columbus day is a thing. Um, if that’s even still celebrated in America, I don’t even know. I’ve been out of there so long. I don’t know what holidays are anymore in the US. I can remember 4th of July, cause that one has the date, the date right in the title. Uh, but past that, I don’t have much of a memory. Um, but my feeling on Prime was like, why it exists. It’s like think of the summer for sellers on Amazon businesses on Amazon as like a big desert. Right. They’re going through like a dry spell. In the middle of the summer, it’s hot. People are outside. They’re not buying stuff except it’s like sunhats and sunscreen. Um, And of course, you know, there’s definitely product center season and all that, that do well the summer. But in general, it’s not a January. It’s not a quarter four. It’s not a back to school. So, uh, I look at Prime Day like this oasis in the desert, right. It was this area with the nice palm trees. Imagine the hammock. And I know you like a good beach town. You’ve been to many of them all over Asia and Europe. Uh, just imagine that, you know, and you’re in the hammock right there. It’s the oasis. That’s what Prime was. It was this little like boost of energy, this little like place to get a cold drink of water in the middle of that hot summer. And now it’s like.. Uh, pumpkin spice Prime, we’re going into October Prime season. And, uh, I mean, it’s, it’s cold here in France. It’s like nine, eight degrees. Uh, I feel like I need a hot, hot beverage or something, you know? So maybe Prime is going to be like that for us now.
Lazar: Yeah. The funny thing is like I hope that it’s going to be sunny in Belgrade. Like previous days it was really nice weather, like spring weather around 25 degrees Celsius. I don’t know. I have a huge problem with Celsius and Fahrenheit. So I have no idea how…
Brent: I work. I work Celsius now. Haven’t been using Farenheit. No, I’m talking about nine, nine, nine Celsius. Yeah, It was 21 here yesterday, but today is cold.
Lazar: Yeah, today is like seven here and I checked, that’s like 45 degrees Fahrenheit, which is like really bad. Yeah. I wanted to start the stream with like ,,Hello from sunny Belgrade.” Nope. That’s not going to happen.
Brent: There’s a lot of sun and light in Seattle where Amazon is. Although I doubt it cause that’s a notorious like gray and rainy place too.
Lazar: So like, uh, one of the things that we did, yeah. Recently we recorded one, one episode of our podcasts. For guys that don’t know, we have a podcast called Wild PPC Bunch. And like, we don’t want to go deep in that part. If you want to check, just to go to the website or Facebook page. I think first or second episode ever that we made was selling, uh, after Corona. And like, I was pretty optimistic like that there is going to be one hit of corona and like we’re done with it. And like, let’s proceed with our stuff. So I went to LA two weeks ago and stayed there for around two weeks. And like, you can definitely see that corona is a thing there. Like every country has a different stuff. I don’t know what’s going on in France. And like, is it going to affect like overall sales on Prime Day for France?
Brent: Yeah. If anything, I think that. Well, let me just describe the kind of environment here right now. So, um, I live in Montpelier in Southern France and during the first wave, so to speak, this area was not very badly affected. Southern France in general was not hit that bad. It was Paris and it was Northeastern France. Um, and you know, parts of other like small pockets here and there. This time around towns like Nice, which is to the East of us here, uh, Marseille which is about an hour’s drive, uh, East, maybe 70 kilometers, um, are like, hotbeds of COVID activity. And now our city in fact is also like, like getting hit pretty hard. And the French president is going on TV tomorrow at 8. And the speculation is he’s going to talk about restriction. It wasn’t like a, what the French called reconfilelement. Um, so we might be in like another sort of semi lockdown, uh, starting from tomorrow. So I think if anything, are people more likely to start buying online? Like they did before? Uh, I would say yes. Um, but then, COVID or rather Amazon faces their own, uh, challenges here in France because of just general French attitudes, like big American corporations. Which, you know, I don’t think it’s entirely misguided. Um, and some of the fines that they’ve had levied against them recently, their treatment of workers and warehouses, there’s a union. They got in trouble with down South here. I went to court in Paris. Um, so I think we’re in for like a bumpy ride here, uh, with Amazon in particular. But, you know, a lot of our clients do not sell in France. Most of them are UK Germany, US, Canada. Um, but we do have a pretty good amount of like European sellers, but they’re not like our biggest, biggest accounts. So we’ll see some of that fluctuation.
Lazar: Yeah. I completely understand that. Like, I’m pretty sure that sales on, on online are going to skyrocket even more in the future, like Amazon or any other platform in the future. It’s going to be huge. And, uh, like I, I checked, um, on the internet this year, like online sales skyrocketed for like, I don’t know which percentage, but like, it didn’t go up that much, like in the last 10, 15 years, like, because everybody already has the internet everybody’s used to buying online and everything like that. Their needs..It needs to get something huge to happen, to, to increase the sales online. And like, obviously some of that stuff are happening. And like, I understand Amazon’s perspective because of like exponential growth because of the situation. Like they didn’t ask for it and I’m like, but it’s happening and it’s doing pretty well for them. And I remember…
Brent: Sure..I mean, honestly like Jeff Bezos, you know, everyone always kind of uses him as a punching bag, which, you know, he’s the richest man in the world. I think it’s fair. Um, but you know, he got divorced from his wife and he lost like some huge amount of money, but then COVID came and the company like increased the value and he like made it back in like 12 weeks or something like that.. It’s like $40 billion, like some dumb amount like that.
Lazar: Yeah, there was a post saying that he made like 13 billion in a day, which is huge. So that’s, that’s, that’s pretty insane thing.
Brent: Someone told me a joke the other day, it says how does Jeff Bezos save up for a Lamborghini?
Lazar: Oh yeah. I know that
Brent: I’m going to save up for a Lamborghini. I’m done.
Lazar: That’s really good, but that’s true. Like March and April, they hired like 280,000 people or something like that to, to work in a warehouse. That’s huge..
Brent: I saw a job post and some news about them hiring in the UK. They’re building two centers there, one in Scotland, one in England. Um, and actually I read a really interesting piece. Um, The New York times, like two weeks ago, uh, Italy, which is like, uh, definitely didn’t count or sorry, a country that we have a decent amount of accounts. So if we have two Italians on the team, um, and you know, they handle they handle those for the most part, but like, I would say that’s there with Spain. Like not exactly one of the biggest, uh, marketplaces to deal with, uh, but we saw, and this bears out in the data too. If I, I didn’t do the hard work of filtering it down before the call, but. Uh, it’s estimated that Italy saw like a 75% increase in online usage because like in general, uh, you know, I’m making some generalizations here. Pardon any Italians on the call, but like, not as, um, like not as high like tech penetration in the country, like internet usage. People are not as used to shopping online. People are far more attached to, I think, local businesses. And, um, stuff that’s more like in the Italian economy? Um, not so much like, yet again, large American corporation. And people trusted, uh, you know, buying stuff online, putting their credit card in, but it saw a huge amount of adoption, uh, during COVID and the article was basically like, yeah, e-commerce in America, maybe jumped ahead five, six years, but e-commerce in Italy during that same period. And, you know, they were famously hit really hard during that initial wave. Like they were the European country everybody was talking about, um, in terms of like cases and everything. It went up by like 10 years. People said, yeah, it just pushed ahead. 10 years in Italy now, like things are totally different. And the younger generations are teaching the older ones. Like, yeah, look, Amazon’s convenient. Um, they interviewed some like 20 year old girl in there and she was like, yeah, I use Amazon like all the time and taught my grandma how to do it. It’s like interesting to see attitudes changing and these cultures. And then what the impact on our end with the actual ad spend and sales says.
Lazar: Yeah, definitely. I’m pretty sure because of like current situation and what’s going on, uh, Amazon is definitely going to speed up, uh, researches and that kinda stuff. So like in a manner, like how to improve delivery, how to speed up delivery, how to like do it without people. To be honest, I never saw a delivery robot, if you ever saw it. That’s pretty cool thing. Like I was walking around like, uh, in LA and there was like small guy, like the size of Wally, like from, from the cartoon. And I was like, what was this? It had like delivery, something like that. I don’t even think it was Amazon. It was probably like postal service or something. Then if it’s..
Brent: It was for some other service.
Lazar: Yeah. Yeah, but it was really cool. And I was like, okay, this is going to happen. I’m like, it’s going to be more frequent in the future.
Brent: There’s already so many robots in Amazon’s warehouses that it gets there. Just have to make like consumer facing friendlier ones that drive around on sidewalks and stuff, which is obviously a much bigger challenge. And also from a societal acceptance point. You know, I heard they got cleared for the, um, for the drones. Like they could, they can have those delivery drones.
Lazar: Oh yeah, I’ve heard that as well. That’s going to be crazy.
Brent: Wild stuff.
Lazar: Yeah. Imagine just like sitting on a terrace and like looking drones flying around and delivering stuff.
Brent: And you have like a big, like a big circle in your backyard. It’s like H D.
Lazar: I don’t know, that’s a bit too much for me. I think I would like to move to a countryside or something. If I would sit and look like, like 50 drones an hour pass by..
Brent: You can still, you can still have package delivery zone in the countryside. The drones would be the most efficient way to do it. So you have that big patch of grass in the front yard. It just plop right down and…
Lazar: Yeah that’s also a good point. Okay. I didn’t think about it. I didn’t work on that one.
Brent: I give you a box of video games, like you mentioned earlier.
Lazar: Yeah. Yeah. But to be honest, I’m buying digital video games., I’m never buying like physical copies. And like, we’re trying to be like eco-friendly in the office.
Brent: Well, I mean yeah. Digital is the way to go.. In fact, well, I’m not sure if this is off topic, but have you tried this game Among us? Have you heard about this?
Lazar: No, maybe I should Google it.
Brent: Okay. Okay. We’re going to buy it. We’re going to play it as a team and really excited to see if you can play it on iOS, iPad, or computer. It’s like very cross platform. I’m seeing all these mems about it online and three people on the team, including myself. We had an idea like, Oh, we should, we should buy this and try it as a team, up to 10 players. So there you go.
Lazar: Yep. At one point when it comes to video games and team. Uh, when corona started and like, we had like full,lock down for like, couple of weeks and like..
Brent: Yeah thinkgs were serious in Serbia, you had some really serious lockdown.
Lazar: Yeah. But it ended up having like really like small amount of numbers now. No, we don’t, we don’t have hundreds or thousands of people with virus, but that’s not the point. The point is like during that huge lock down and everybody was sitting at home and like, we we’re so nervous about that. And like, I remember I was just, I just finished, um, conference in Prague, you were there as well. Right. And I, I needed to stay locked for 28 days and I was so bored. Like apart from work, like, I didn’t do anything but eat and work and like, that’s it.
Brent: I remember when we recorded an episode and you were in the bedroom at the house and Jana was elsewhere, but you guys, you know, you’re trying to stay out of each other’s way because it’s tough being confined together in a space that small for that long. Especially when you’re on calls, as much as you and I are, you know, we’re always talking to somebody or a team member prospect or the trend of the business, whatever.
Lazar: Yeah. And I know that Melissa Simonson and used the same video game that we, we did, it was like a party pack, jack in the box or something like that.
Brent: Yeah. Yeah. With like 1 billion parts of the game. So we were playing it as a team together,during corona. That was a pretty crazy one. We went fully off topic, like fully. I’m pretty sure like people are like…Who’s in the live stream? Can I see the people, who’s in here? Who’s in here. Oh, I see comments. Okay.
Lazar: Yeah, we, we people that… Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Not bad. Not bad, especially because we’ve had like that, that drop from the previous link. So yeah. And, and like, I’m pretty happy how this thing turns out and everything will be.. Because we didn’t have a lot of time to, to make all of this. So like guys, if…
Brent: We made it happen. We always have something to talk about.
Lazar: We made it happen in less that a week.
Brent: Tell me tell me what’s what do you think? What are your predictions for differences? Cause we’re supposed to talk about this, right? What’s the difference between this year and last year with Prime? What are your, what are your predictions?
Lazar: Well, it’s going to be way more challenging for Amazon, when it comes to infrastructure and everything.Um, people are going to spend, like sellers are going to spend more on advertising. It’s going to become more expensive. Like 100% is going to be like that, especially because, um, like, I, I, I don’t know, but like, did you think about, uh, Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Like Cyber Monday is obviously online, but Black Friday is, is also in physical stores and this year I’m not really sure that people are going to go that often to the stores.
Brent: Yeah, that’s great point. I mean, think about it. Let’s just put on our American hats for, for a minute. You know, a lot of people crowding into a Walmart, you know, all bumping and bumping and grinding against each other at like five in the morning to get the newest like PlayStation or whatever. And like half of them are wearing masks, half of them aren’t, you know, it’s going to be a total cluster. Uh, and I would try to avoid that. I mean, I have, I’ve avoided that in past years anyway, like when I was living in America, cause I just didn’t need to buy something that badly. You always see those stories in the news. That’s like four people trampled at like Walmart in like Florida. It’s always Florida. Like I think that is going to be less common. Um,
Lazar: There’s, there’s the joke about Florida? Like when you Google something…
Brent: There’s a lot of jokes about Florida man and they’re all true. Um, now, but, but in all seriousness, I think people are gonna opt out of that. And they’re just going to say, now I’m going to order online. Now, one thing I think that we’re not having considered is like, you know, best buy and these other stores that are electronics sellers or target. And then they also saw a huge, huge bump during COVID, but it was in online sales and an in store pickup. So you can order stuff and then you drive up with your car, you pop your trunk, you know, a person comes out and I’m assuming they’re using PBE and they load it in your car and you drive away. Um, I think like those, those companies, if they were smart, they like shifted into that model pretty quickly. Um, but I think that they also faced fulfillment challenges like Amazon did in terms of sending things to people. But it wasn’t like as publicly talked about, because it’s strange, but like when Prime goes from 48 hours or a day and you know, New York city to like a month, It makes like national news in the US. Everyone’s like, Oh my God. You know, but I wonder if Amazon has conditioned people to think like, okay, virus equals huge supply. Um, uh, or here supply issues with Amazon equals. Uh, constraints for shipping times. So maybe people are habituated to that now. And when they order something, let’s say today on Prime and it’s set to show up in three weeks. Um, maybe they’re not so shocked by it. I don’t know.
Lazar: Yeah. And also whole situation this year made sellers think about doing FBM as well. At least optional one or just to rent the warehouse somewhere and place the goods there. And like, to have some like a steady, unstable, like warehouse, like apart from Amazon. So like they can provide to Amazon warehouse more frequently, like smaller batches and that kind of stuff. Well remember at some point they didn’t like take new new stuff and they even like removed frequently bought together option on, on, on, on the website. So they can like slow down sales, which is like insane thing to do. Like…
Brent: That was the first time we ever saw added pressure drop so drastically because they took out a lot of those ad slots on the product detail pages. Do you remember that? And so what happened was a bunch of our click through rates for that couple month period went like sky high. Um, we were like, what’s happening, click through rates are amazing. And the answer was, um, yeah, they just took off a bunch of the ad slots on the product detail page and yeah, that was why. And then they re added them and then things went back to normal a couple of months later.
Lazar: Yeah. It it’s, it’s like if you show up there, you’re going to be clicked on. So..
Brent: I mean, it does work. That’s why it’s there, but they were like, ah, we don’t want to, you know, put more of a burden on the system than it already is. So they, they left it out. That. I mean, you can imagine them taking even more extreme restrictions with advertisingif things just got really, really, really bad.Like what if there was just like, all right, no more sponsored brands. We’re gonna, we’re going to turn off most sponsored products and forget sponsored display advertising down to a minimum. Uh, you know, we’d be out of a job there for a month or two. So hope they don’t do it.
Lazar: Yeah imagine that ..Especially, since you mentioned sponsored brands and like platform..I saw your post on…Uh, and like for guys that don’t know, Brent is, an admin there or like a moderator, or..He’s basically important guy in Amazon PPC 100 consultant group
Brent: For what sorry? Your voice dropped down out for a second.
Lazar: Oh, okay. Uh, like you’re part of Amazon PPC 100 consultants group. And like, I remember that you mentioned, I saw your posts today about, uh, AMS and like, is it really dying or not..Can you hear me? Brent?
Brent: Uh, your voice is pretty choppy. Okay. You’re better now. Okay. You’re good. You’re good.
Lazar: I don’t know what is the problem… Okay, good. Okay. So like I saw your post today about AMS dying as a platform, like advertising platform.
Brent: Yeah, yeah, yeah. What do you think about that?
Lazar: I think it’s pretty much true. Like they’re merging everything together. And like, I’m like finally, and basically they did a lot of stuff this year when it comes to changes. Like, like if you compare what Amazon changed in PPC world in like two years ago. And what are the changes did they did this year? This year, they were doing like every month more than like they did for a year previously.
Brent: I think that’s true. Yeah. Every quarter was like more than 2018 in total or like even part of 2019. Um, yeah, I mean, I mean, just look at the advancements. We have a sponsored brands for all the features and all, all the things like negative keywords finally, and like search term reports, putting in a parody and then all the new things they added like video and, uh, store spotlight, things like that. That’s been, it’s been such a good year for Amazon advertising. Not such a good year for the rest of things in the world, but really, really good for us and Amazon advertising in terms of features and new stuff. Um, so I’m positive about that for sure.
Lazar: Yeah for PPC specialists. It was definitely more challenging, like for sellers, obviously as well, but for PPC specialists, like you needed to learn more and like that, that’s basically a really good thing and I’m pretty sure that like every team member that you haven’t like also, including my team members, like. These guys really want to learn all the time about PPC and that kind of stuff. Like they’re super passionate about what they’re doing. Um, this year is really good for every single one of them for that. Just because like, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s giving them so much to learn and to test. And like, I think this year is really big with DSP as well.
Brent: Yeah, ] for sure. And that was one of the points I made in the post about AMS. It’s like, who needs another thing to check? And, you know, when I say AMS, I need the accounts that were formerly AMS that are now advertising console, but not those that came from Seller Central, the ones that are actually from the old school AMS, um, it’s like, who needs another thing to check? You know, let’s get rid of the AMS. We have DSP now to worry about, we have seven different marketplaces for some clients like. Uh, yeah, just there’s all these other things to worry about, you know, different tools we use that pull on that data. Um, so yeah..
Lazar: Coming big, like when, when you look at stuff, like if, if your account is not transferred to a new platform, when it comes to advertising, so you probably still have Seller Central, you have advertising, um, Amazon advertising, um, interface. You have DSP, like if you’re a really big seller and you want to do everything right.
Brent: Attribution, I know you’re a fan of that.
Lazar: Attribution DSP, uh, search platform, which is not self service, but done by Amazon. Like that’s something that’s happened before of like, uh, videos that we’re having in sponsored brand ads. Like it was more or less just like DSP, you also needed to invest 35k a month to do videos..
Brent: I’m not familiar with that, I’ve never logged into that. And some of our clients also have the vendor central to some extent, but we don’t manage ads from there because there’s no facility to do. So that’s all moved to AC now, at least.
Lazar: Yeah. And imagine like working on 10 different platforms, uh, times the amount of like countries that you’re selling in. You need a really big team to work on everything there. Like if you’re going to work straight from, from interface and like, I’m pretty sure that there is no, uh, software that is covering all of them, like including attribution and DSP and like standard variations of advertising and so on. Right. So it’s pretty challenging for PPC specialists to cover everything. Um, what time seeing in our team, We are like getting people that are specialized in only one ad type, like, huh. Like we’re not having, um, team members that are really awesome at DSP. And like, they’re working really hard on sponsor product ads. Like if you’re doing DSP, like you are DSP guy here on, like, you, you’re going to cover that part. Obviously you are going to work closely with other team members, but, but you are going to be there to cover one option.
Brent: Yeah, that’s a cool approach. I see the benefits to that. Um, as well.
Lazar: Yeah, it’s, it’s a, it’s a bit different. Yeah. Obviously we’re always moving away from the topic here, but yeah..
Brent: Hey speaking of the team, I see them here on the, on the stream. Uh, are you guys gonna get together and do like a Conka line or like a dance party or something later on to get the circulation going in the legs and wake up a little
Lazar: We are socially responsible and we are keeping social distances. And like, you can see like, both offices don’t look like that. Like people are like usually around like, um, like if there is no Corona, but because of corona we needed to like break like further on, like to, to have like six feet, like distance between people. And so..
Brent: What if you, uh, just put rakija on everyone and it’s alcoholic, disinfects, and then you don’t have a problem with corona. I thought that’s how you guys beat quickly in Serbia. I thought you just put rakija on everything and then like, ah, no more corona.
Lazar: Yeah it’s like bam bam. It’s all good. Well, we do have that kind of desinfection but after work, you know, we are not the drink by the way. I think I figured it out. It’s like, I’m constantly ripping like the cable from headphones. Like I called Danny McMillan to help me before the stream. Because if somebody is a good streamer, Danny McMillan is a good streamer. So I was like, Danny, can you please help me with like the stream and everything like that? If the setup is correct and everything,
Brent: He’s also got this acoustic panels, like, that’s one thing I lack in here, you know, I have a big… comes from radio. He knows what he’s doing.
Lazar: Yeah, that absolutely free. So, so he told me like never use bluetooth..
Brent: Yeah, never use Bluetooth always go wired. I got wired Mike and wired headphones here and I don’t miss Bluetooth. So I have a question. What’s what is your secret sauce at Seller’s Alley this year for Prime? You know, what’s what are your, what are your pro moves you guys are using to try to maximize outcomes here and the next 48 hours.
Lazar: Uh, the that’s a good one. Like thank you for asking me that. That’s a good. No, it’s not the top secret, but it’s more or less like for each client separately, depending on, on stock levels, depending on current strategy and so on. Like, obviously. All of the clients are having different challenges at different times. And at this point, like, obviously we are going to try to, to invest as much as possible and to get as much as possible, but like to invest smart, like not, not to burn money for no reason and that kind of stuff. So. And also, as I said, like, depending on the amount of units that clients have in stock. Uh, we had a bunch of calls before, before the Prime Day. We, we went through all of the strategies with them and like we decided which one we should follow, uh. As you know, like Prime Day and like those big days during the year are the ones that are the most challenging, basically, because like, when you, uh, work on the interface. You don’t see sales because of the 72 hour discrepancy and like first time when, like when I moved from, from Google to Amazon, the, that was one of the biggest challenges that I had. Like, I was so scared to see money, like going away without any sales coming. And interesting thing is like, there are big sellers now as well. That are always checking, like today’s results. And like one of them then, like I had the conversation, he said, like I told you, there is 72h discrepancy. Why are you doing it? It’s like, it’s not a real number. And, and she was like, yeah, but I’m comparing bad numbers over days, you know, like it’s like having a scale that is not working properly. But you’re still like standing on it every morning and checking your weight. And like, even though it’s not right. And like, you know that you’re losing weight or you’re increasing your weight, that’s, that’s the whole idea. It seems like we lost Brent. We lost you for a second. I was like, Is this stream having problems…
Brent: You’re, you’re really passionate there. Now. My WiFi is good and no problems here. It stayed stable.
Lazar: Oh, I logged in from my phone just to like compare. Yeah. And I was like, okay. I can see myself. Like I was using different, like WiFi and I. I wanted to compare it like a, and I saw that that’s your, you’re not there. It doesn’t matter what you’re hear now. Yeah. Here’s the rest of them guys. So, yeah. Uh, basically, as I mentioned, we decided to, to, to go with like shifts instead of like… like you have a really good like setup with, with people from different countries, working in different time zones, which is also a great idea. And for us, it’s like, as a theme is like everybody’s more or less our age and like, and I’m pretty sure in your team as well. Have you ever seen a guy that was, that is doing PPC and if he got retired because he’s too old?
Brent: I think usually people move up the kind of management chain, you know, at that point, they, they, they turn into managers and bosses and stuff after a certain time doing it. I mean, we have people on our team who are in their forties for sure, but we also have people in their, in their early twenties or I guess for pre. A wide age range at that, in that way.
Lazar: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. That makes a lot of sense. So, yeah, what we were talking about before the internet situation.
Brent: Uh, I don’t remember. Maybe the audience can remind us.
Lazar: Yeah. And we were talking about age and like, so that’s basically. Yeah.
Brent: We were talking about the delicate, the delicate subject of age. And I guess what happens to people in the industry for a long time? So you were saying that, you know, it’s okay if people work in shifts, even if it’s in the middle of the night, because they don’t have like I’m family responsibilities essentially. So is that what you meant?
Lazar: Uh, I didn’t go into that directio , but like, it makes a lot of sense as well. Like everybody, like. Nobody was forced to do it. Like they decided to do it on their own obviously. And so to be honest, we have like really nice team culture and like, it’s it’s.. We have food Fridays, you know?
Brent: Oh, that’s when I’m going to visit them when I come to Belgrade next summer to come on a Friday.
Lazar: Well, yeah, definitely.
Brent: I’ll just show up and be like, all right, where’s the sarma.
Lazar: And the funny part is like they, they, after work, they created food friday to become like Mohito Friday. Um, I met Vince from Helium 10 the other day and in LA, and I remember I was doing like elite workshops for them. Regarding…I don’t even remember the topic it was like about like which metric is the most important one and that kind of stuff. Like, is it, is it okay to have high ACoS and that kind of stuff? And like, we, we went super in depth for like two hours about, should ACoS be high and higher than like normal. And like when you’re doing product launches and that kind of stuff, like. We like, it was really in depth. And we had like, as a, as I mentioned, food Friday, um, converted into Mohito Friday that they, um, like, it was like, because of the time zone differences, like everybody was super drunk and my team, it was Friday and it was like midnight. And they didn’t want to go home. They wanted to stay in the office just to party together. And I was like, thank you so much for the days while I’m having a cold, I was so serious. And I was like, well, I, I like we once did like similar topic on our podcast.
Brent: We were fully sober and it was like in the morning, our time. Yeah.
Lazar: That’s a good timing to do it. So. Yeah. And like what, when they finished, I opened the door and they were waiting for me with, with cocktails. And I was like what the hell are you doing? Like we were, we felt so bad because you couldn’t drink while the others could. I don’t know,I was like okay. I should stop now about talking, talking about my team members drinking on a Friday evening. So..
Brent: You mentioned that you have good company culture, which is super important. And in fact, I wanted to ask you, do you guys use a, you guys use Slack, right? For sure. Your main communication. Yeah. Do you have any like specific things you do in Slack that are like team team building or like fun exercises? Something like that?
Lazar: Well, when it comes to team buildings, we have a chief coming to us once a month and we cook together and in the office we have, uh, we have, um, Table tennis and we have like darts. We have some, some we have X-Box and that kind of stuff. So it’s basically fun to be in the office here. And like… that’s why
Brent: It sounds very like web 2.0, like early days at Twitter kind of thing. Like…
Lazar: Yeah. It’s more like IT company rather than like marketing agency. So it’s definitely a lot of fun. We have Sharon like reaching out. She’s going to talk, I think today. Hello, Sharon! Um, yeah, she mentioned like, That’s the thing that I talked about, like about like when, when you check your scale and like your checking your work weights every day and you know, the scale is correct and it’s not showing the right number. Like you can still see that you’re losing weight, you know, just like, let’s imagine, like you’re weight is like 70 kilos… in my dreams for me. But like, let’s say that that’s, you’re at 70 kilos. And like, um, the scale shows that you’re like a 68 or something like and you lost two kilos. And that’s perfect. And like you are going in the right direction in case you wanted to lose some weight. But like, it doesn’t really matter if it’s like 2.5 or it’s like 1.5 or exactly two, but like you’re going there. So that’s one of the reasons why people like double check everything at once…
Brent: The like to see the trend, I mean, there’s, there’s, there’s leading indicators and there’s lagging or so, so maybe for someone looking at spend and say, all right, we spent $700 this time yesterday, but today we did a thousand and, um, yeah, maybe that’s like the leading indicator for them. Right.
Lazar: Yeah. Yeah, but definitely, I would always recommend to wait for 72 hours to see all the data and yeah. Thank you, Sharon. I feel really old now because..
Brent: Hey, a lot of pressure on the live stream. We got what, five people watching?
Lazar: Yeah. Dude, like it’s increasing, like, I didn’t know where you’re looking at the screen..
Brent: I don’t see a number anywhere, but I’m happy to hear that.
Lazar: Oh, okay. We have around 20 people now, like since we started talking. Like through all, like bunch of different channels, like Yana was kind enough to share our stream to YLT translations. And we have obviously our Wild PPC Bunch. See, Ana what’s she’s doing well. I said, yeah. I asked like how many people we have on? She said like, no, see that. Yeah. We have Julia as well. So basically all of the listeners are the speakers, you know. No, that this is so terrible, but okay. Well at least people like one day when decide to listen to this live stream, obviously it’s not going to be live. They’re going to see that like we have a really nice community of people. I’m like, I’m really missing. I didn’t know about , I’m really missing our conferences.
Brent: I can’t actually think of something. I miss more than the conferences, because that’s been such a big part of my social life, the past like five years being in the Amazon world and just in EU and a couple really in North America. But like I had so many places I plan to go this year in so many countries. And I was like, so disappointed when everything was canceled, everything was moved. I mean, Seller Sessions, London looking forward to that immensely a conference in Estonia, was going to go to Israel, like all these places and maybe speak at some of them, which is, you know, challenging, but, but also, uh, really engaging and, uh, yeah, it didn’t get any of that in, you know, what a shame, like such a disappointment that it’s, it’s been awful. Cause like, You know, a lot of my best friends, the people I know were in this industry, like, you know, they want a great example. It’s like, yeah, we talk like all the time, sometimes about work, but not all of. And like, it’s just great to have that connection. And now I don’t get to see those people in real life. And it’s, it’s heartbreaking. Really not fair.
Lazar: Yeah, definitely. We’re having Augustas, I think today or tomorrow. And he’s going to talk, Oh, he’s tomorrow a 9:00 AM PST or 6:00 PM Belgrade time. So it’s a Central European time. So. Like Danny once mentioned that it’s basically like a family reunion, which is pretty much true because like, I I’m always having so much fun when we were having like those conferences. It’s like seeing 20 people, like same group of people, every like two or three weeks, or,
Brent: If it’s a family reunion, who’s the drunk uncle then?
Lazar: Probably me. I didn’t know. Howard Thai doing pretty well with that as well, you know?
Brent: Oh, okay. Yeah. He can help out.. Last time I saw you and a bunch of other people, unfortunately. Yeah. Um, but that was such a good one. And I feel like Augustus and his team really handled that like absolute champions, you know, credit to him and, and, uh, everyone at his team there. Cause that was like a very, very tough situation. And they did a great job.
Lazar: Oh my God. It was so challenging, like being at confrence and like rules changing every couple of hours.
Brent: Yeah it was like are we going to do this? Oh, we, we suddenly can’t. It just, it just changed. Thanks to the, I mean the Czech government was very serious about their lockdown and stuff. They weren’t, they weren’t joking around. So…
Lazar: I literally left Czech Republic on, on like last plane going away from, from Czech Republic then.
Brent: Well, you guys stayed over the weekend. I booked a flight, a plane, like five hours later. I bought the ticket and I got back to got back to Paris barely. And then, you know, they locked down France a couple of days later.
Lazar: I was this close to rent a place for a month because like everybody was leaving Czech Republic because of corona and everything. I was like, this is a good timing to rent like really nice apartment for like really small amounts of money and like, Oh, I was trying to convince Jana to do it. Like, yeah, like actually, like we decided not to just because, uh, like. We didn’t know what’s going to happen. And like, we both have families in Serbia and like, we wanted to be absolutely sure if there is a problem that’s we can jump in or whatever. Like it’s a crazy world. Like, you know?
Brent: Yeah. It hasn’t called down much since at least not in some countries.
Lazar: Well, it’s getting better for e-commerce. That’s good.
Brent: Yeah, it’s, it’s kind of strange, but in a way, our, our industry has benefited so tremendously and a lot of our clients had some initial kind of fluctuations, but after those have seen incredibly good months and huge performance, like back to back to back to back and you know, they’re not selling masks or whatever. They have products that are totally unrelated. Yeah. you know, gardening, self-improvement stuff, gym stuff, games, you know, all kinds of stuff. Those things are all blown up.
Lazar: Yeah, like 20% of whole sellers it’s super good starting March. And like, it was insanely good until one point that the got out of stock and they had problems like restocking and getting products back in stock. So, uh..
Brent: They planned for March to be their biggest months of the year. You know, why would anyone think that it’s typically.
Lazar: I literally have a client that like, when he was doing an order, he added 10 extra in his order and like, his financial theme purchased the products because like, they’re like the guy wanted this amount, like who are we to judge him? So they, they bought like 10 times more. And he managed to sell everything during March and April.
Brent: Crazy story.
Lazar: Yeah. The kid was like, this is how we do it.
Brent: He said, virus. I found in that bag on the street and China and said, do not open. I just opened it.
Lazar: Yeah. Like those bats
Those bats, those bats man.. Flying around.
So that was crazy for 80% of it sellers. I think it was like the most stressful time of their lives.
Brent: For me too. I was worried I had to lay some people off or something, but none of that happened, you know?
Lazar: Yeah. Like when we, when, when corona started, we had like 50% of team members comparing to what we have now. And I like first month was. So, so stressful for our clients and like how, obviously it’s stressful for clients. It’s stressful for us as well. So like, we tried to help a lot to our clients that had problems during the period and so on, and it resulted, like having like one rough months and after that it was like absolutely crazy. And it’s skyrocketed in every direction.
Brent: Yeah. I remember talking to you about that. That you’re during that time period, that was some the Ted stuff. But, uh, yeah, it felt, it felt a little bit like the walls are closing again for a minute, but then pretty quickly it turned around and I feel really fortunate to be in the position that I’m in now. And it’s like, I thank my lucky stars for it.
Lazar: Yes. So are you aware what we are talking for an hour now?
Brent: You and I can always talk forever. No problem with that. Keeping on topic is the hard part.
Lazar: Yeah, that’s absolutely true. What I was thinking like, well, since I, I don’t think like I want, I don’t want to push you to talk further because…Next one, at 2PM central European or 8:00 AM PST is Mike Zagare. You know, the guy?
Brent: I do…He is apart of the PPC 100 group. He’s uh, someone I’ve met at a conference once maybe.
Lazar: Yeah. We have a lot of people like, um, today.And after him we have another, uh, Wild PPC Bunch member – Stefan.
Brent: Ah, nice.
Lazar: Yeah. And today we have Sean Smith. Like if you feel like joining, like any of the conversation, just jump in, like I’m pretty sure the people won’t have in mind to jump in.
Brent: Maybe I’ll just leave some comments in the, in the channel.
Lazar: Inappropriate ones please.
Brent: No, no, we’ll keep it all. Keep it all a PCs. We gotta be good here.
Lazar: Yeah. Cool. Well, thank you so much, man, for, for, for all the information and everything about Prime Day. Oh, by the way, like, is there anything that you would like to, to advice people that they’re selling now on Prime Day?
Brent: Oh, uh, I thought much about that. I would say if you don’t have an agency kind of managing your bids and everything, be checking your budgets and stuff on a, on a regular scheduled basis throughout the day. Um, you know, if you’re doing really well with sales and ads or are operating well, you know, as far as you can tell from the sales being that same day, obviously there’s a lag like we talked about, but you know, if you’re getting a lot of sales, a leading indicators are positive. Uh, try your hardest not to run out of budget. I think that’s probably one of the guidelines I would say, and be selective about what you’re advertising. You know, if you have a coupon or lighning deal push more, spend to that. If you have something that has low inventory or not really promoting it, no, don’t bother. So be selective, don’t just raise bids on everything.
Lazar: Yeah. That’s, that’s a really good one.
Brent: Past that? No, not really.
Lazar: Okay. Well, thank you so much for joining and joining us and like making this live stream even more cool if it’s even possible to be cooler than this. So, yeah.
Brent: Well, I’m trying to kick it off on a good foot, man. So your guests, your next guests have to beat me. I don’t think it’s going to be too hard, but …
Lazar: Well, the next guest did something really cool for, I think Christmas. Yeah, last year. That was, that was a big one. You were a part of it. ..Golden nuggets. It was really cool. I feel like we didn’t raise it enough money for it, like for the cause, but like the idea was good and like the intention was really cool.
Brent: A lot of people was into it too. It was quite a lineup. So.
Lazar: Yeah. So basically in, in, in, an hour, if you don’t have anything smarter to do, you can, you can listen to us and hear what’s going on in Mike’s life. Thank you so much for the talk.
Brent: It’s been good.