AutoPilot: Automation to Increase Sales and Reduce Ad costs


AutoPilot allows you to monitor your ads and automate the bids continuously to decrease your ad spend and also increase your sales. Using automation, AutoPilot can make sure that you don't over spend on ads more than required and also keep your sales flowing

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What is AutoPilot?

Quick Intro

Autopilot is a new autobidding feature that automatically adjusts your bids, bid boost, placement and budget for your Amazon ads in order to increase sales and lower ad costs.
You can set the different parameters of the autopilot and the parameters can include the target advertising costs, time of day, week day, minimum spending threshold, past sales, impressions, cost per click etc.
The default values when you create a new auto pilot for campaigns suffices for most people.

The most important parameter for auto pilot is the target Advertising Costs (ACOS) which is the amount of money you are willing to spend as a proportion of the sales.
The default value of this is 30% and you can increase it or reduce it depending on the products in the campaign.

AutoPilot runs on these targets: Campaigns, AdGroups, Placements in AdGroups and keywords for manual campaigns and the phrase "target" can refer to any of these.

Step by Step

You can enable AutoPilot by clicking on auto pilot button for a campaign.
Autopilot is by default switched OFF for all campaigns and you have to switch each on individually.
This ensures that before you switch on AutoPilot, you check the default parameters and if you are satisfied, switch it on and save the AutoPilot settings.

  • 1

    Switch On

    "Switch On" enables auto pilot for the selected campaign.
    The rest of this document focuses on each setting and how you can further tweak it for your individual campaigns.

  • 2

    Auto Pilot Strategy

    The default strategy of AutoPilot Goal is to increase sales while remaining within the specifiedACOS target.
    This means that under-performing Campaigns, Ad Groups, Keywords, Placements etc with low ACOS will have their bids increased until they reach the ACOS target.
    Choose this strategy when you are satisfied with spending the targeting ACOS, ramping up initial sales, launching a new product, testing new under-performing keywords or want an aggressive sales strategy.

    If you would like to maintain low ACOS then switch the strategy to Lower Ad Costs. This ensures that bids are never increased for targets with low ACOS while bids are decreased gradually for targets with high ACOS.
    You can chose this strategy if you are satisfied with the current volume of sales, running out of inventory and would rather make higher profits than higher sales volumes or would like to minimize Ad costs.

  • 3

    ACOS Target

    This is acritical part of the AutoPilot setting. The goal of the Auto Pilot is to either reach this ACOS or remain below this ACOS depending on the strategy of the
    AutoPilot chosen.
    The AutoBids are gradually tweaked to reach the targetted ACOS and because it occurs over several days as well the fact that bids for a particular product or keyword changes rapidly over days, the ACOS target is a rough estimate of what the AutoPilot will reach once active.

  • 4

    ACOS Average Days

    The ACOS for a target is by default sales vs costs calculated over the course of 7 days. This provides a smooth tweaking to AutoBid. However you can choose to calculate the ACOS for a different duration.
    The lower the duration, the higher the probability that bids will rapidly change every day and lower the chances of hitting the ACOS target.
    Choosing higher duration means smoother tweaking of the bids for the auto piot and higher chances of hitting the ACOS target.

    Usually lower duration results in higher sales with higher ad costs while higher duration results in predictable ad costs with slightly lower sales.

  • 5

    Deep Optimize Campaign

    This setting ensures that even if the selected Campaign is below the target threshold ACOS, the adgroups within this campaign will be analyzed and optimized.
    For example if you have a target ACOS of 30% and the selected campaign has ACOS 30%, the AutoPilot will analyze the groups within this campaign anyway.
  • 6

    Deep Optimize Adgroups

    Similar the Deep Optimizing Campaigns, this setting will analyze target placements for Auto campaigns and keywords for Manual campaigns even if the ad group is below the selected ACOS threshold.

    Switch this off if you don't care about under-performing or over-performing targets/keywords as long as the adgroup is within the target ACOS.

  • 7

    Minimum Spending Threshold

    AutoPilot won't run on a target if this minimum spending threshold is not reached. This prevents autopilot from premature optimizing of targets.

    The default minimum spend is $1 (or equivalent in your currency: 1 EUR, 1 INR,1 CAD) and you can increase it to let the auto pilot only optimize higher spent targets.

  • 8

    Maximum Autobid allowed

    Set the maximum allowed bid by the AutoPilot. Set the maximum autobid to lower value if you would like to restrict experimenting with higher target.

    Setting it to higher values will result in more sales at the cost of higher ACOS initially.
    Setting it to high values will result is higher adspend during the initial optimization time. A lower value does not give the autopilot much freedom to experiment with new keywords and higher bids to test ACOS.

  • 9

    Optimize Existing Keywords

    if you already have keywords in the campaign or add keywords manually to the campaign, the AutoPilot can go over all these keywords and increase/decrease the bid depending on the AutoPilot strategy chosen.
    If the strategy is to reduce ad costs all keyword bids with high ACOS are gradually reduced while keyword bids with low ACOS are left untouched.
    If the strategy is to increase sales, keyword bids with low ACOS are increased in order to increase sales and also keyword bids with high ACOS are lowered to decrease Ad Costs.

  • 10

    Add New Optimal Keywords

    You can automatically add two kind of keywords to your campaign continuously every 24 hours: Customer search terms and Amazon suggested keywords.
    The default suggested is "3 customer queries that resulted in most sales" and "2 amazon suggested keywords".
    Customer queries are keywords that do not exist in your campaign. In order to increase the efficiency of this setting make sure to optimize your inventory details and search keywords in the Amazon backend.

  • 11

    Top Customer Search Terms

    These are "top performing" customer search queries. The metric for determining the "top performance" is in the option below.

  • 12

    Top "Customer Search Term" Performance Metric

    Set the maximum allowed bid by the AutoPilot. Set the maximum autobid to lower value if you would like to restrict experimenting with higher target.

    Setting it to higher values will result in more sales at the cost of higher ACOS initially.
    Setting it to high values will result is higher adspend during the initial optimization time. A lower value does not give the autopilot much freedom to experiment with new keywords and higher bids to test ACOS.


  • 13

    Top Amazon Suggested Keywords

    These are top keywords recommended by Amazon. It is recommended to focus more on customer queries rather than Amazon recommendations as amazon recommendations are usually more expensive to bid on.


  • 14

    New Keywords Bid Aggression

    Since new keywords have unknown ACOS, adding new keywords presents an risk in spending too much on ads and overshooting the target ACOS in the short term.

    The bid aggression lets you choose the 'aggression' in choosing the percentage of bid value from the suggested value.
    For example if the suggested bid is $2 and bid aggression is 50% then the default bid of the keyword would be $1.
    Similarly if the suggested bid is $1 and the bid aggression is 30%, then the default bid would be $0.30.

    Optimal values are between 30-50%. Higher values allows you to experiment with more keywords and get high performing keywords quickly but also risk spending excessively


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FAQ

What is "AI Boost"

Amazon allows you to boost bids on campaigns and in "placements" in ad groups. However this boost is for the constant and it's hard to not only know how much to set but also when to set/change it. Using "AI Boost" the AutoPilot predicts the best time shoppers will buy your product and boost the bids only during peak time and peak days. Different products have different peak times and peak days. "AI Boost" can predict the best time and day and boost the bids during these peak times while also decreasing the boot during off-peak time

How long before I can see the results?

The timeline depends on the strategy requested and the "Average Acos" calculation method. For decreasing ad costs only, you should be able to see your costs reducing within 24 hours and will take around 5-7 days to stabilize.

For increasing sales, it will take a around 7 days for noticeable results.

Increasing the "Average Acos" calculation days will increase the timeline while decreasing the "Average Acos" days will decrease the timeline

What kind of Amazon Ads does AutoPilot handle?

Currently AutoPilot can handle Auto and Manual campaigns for sponsored products only.

How does this work?

AutoPilot has two components
1) The bid : This is continuously increased/decreased depending on the target ACOS by a series of small steps using the parameters in the AutoPilot settings.
2) Bid boost: Bid Boost allows Amazon to bid higher than specified bid if a customer is likely to convert. The value of bid boost is dynamically calculated by the AI and increased during peak hours while decreased during off-peak hour


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