Abstract

Since Prime Time Packaging (PTP) partnered with Lab 916 in 2017, their account has successfully achieved a 30x increase in monthly revenue. Lab 916 continues to work on the account to maintain sales, advertising campaign, and branding success.  

Introduction

For over 30 years, Prime Time Packaging has provided some of the world’s most prominent retailers with premier packaging solutions. PTP was initially focused on servicing B2B clients but expanded into the B2C space via Amazon. Like many companies that transition to selling on Amazon, upon their channel expansion, PTP struggled to maintain profitable sales figures while adjusting to complicated Amazon logistics.

Since becoming a client of Lab 916 in Spring 2017, PTP has experienced exponential growth within the Amazon space in just one year. Lab 916 helped facilitate PTP’s explosive debut by adjusting the company’s approach to selling on an online marketplace platform.

With a new approach on advertising strategy, inventory organization, and emphasis on customer experience, Lab 916 successfully increased monthly revenue by a figure of 30x. Specifically, Lab 916 increased monthly sales by an average of 24% month to month for two years. If we compare the rate of consistent growth between PTP’s first month of operations on Amazon to the current (Nov 2018), monthly sales have increased by a total of 4366% because of Lab 916’s Amazon strategy.

This live case study covers Lab 916’s breadth of experience within the Amazon marketplace as  optimization specialists.

Results

  • Sales: Increased monthly revenue by 30x in less than one year
  • Advertising: Achieved ~10% ACoS across the account’s lifetime value
  • Inventory: Organized product logistics to maximize sales, savings and time
  • Implemented efficient inventory strategies by setting up a combination of fulfilled-by-Amazon, fulfilled-by-merchant, and seller-fulfilled prime shipping
  • Organized inventory for better order management for PTP warehouse team, saving 2-3 hours per day
  • Branding: Rebranded PTP’s network and brand assets, resulting in an improved online presence

Discussion

Though PTP was adept at providing services to brand retailers around the globe, taking on the ecommerce expansion to Amazon proved to be difficult. It’s an obstacle that many sellers who are successful outside of Amazon don’t realize: Amazon is an ecommerce animal all it’s own. The lack of experience of dealing within this specific online marketplace landscape is an attribute that’s proven to be incurably detrimental to many accounts.

Despite that, PTP successfully adapted to the Amazon learning curve with guidance from Lab 916’s wealth of knowledge on Amazon dealings, obtained by successfully launching their own in-house brands.

The change from PTP’s business-to-business to business-to-consumer facing account was the project’s largest undertaking. Changing the business model to fit a consumer-focused platform required restructuring inventory systems, cultivating brand recognition outside of amazon, and justifying increased ad spend without immediate gratification.

Inventory Optimization

The first step in achieving sales on Amazon was to begin at the cornerstone of the every store’s foundation: inventory. Inventory organization is often overlooked as a vital structural mechanism. By incorporating product naming into the SKUs and grouping of the 250+ products, Lab 916 empowered PTP to improve metrics like product lookup efficiency, picking times, and most importantly–customer discoverability.

Lab 916’s undertaking of optimizing this aspect of PTP’s administrative operations has has saved the company countless hours in navigating the already confusing seller central dashboard. The efficient grouping of the complicated inventory (various bags in different sizes, styles and colors) helped with Amazon SEO to increase customer pageviews and purchases. Addressing the operational knit of the company paved the way for a smoother listing optimization process.

Product Page Optimization

After resolving the discrepancy in SKU names and grouping, Lab 916 was able to focus on overhauling PTP’s Amazon product pages. This included drafting search engine optimized copy, shooting high-quality product photography, and user-experience optimized listings.

Creating high-resolution photography assets and keyword-rich copy were essential to increase the rate of sales conversions. This fueled the exponential increase in sales before the ad campaigns were narrowed. Restructuring the thumbnail images, bullet point, and product description copy were rooted in providing consumers with information relevant to their purchase needs.

Converting impressions into sales on Amazon requires strategically building listings and storefronts with marketing, shopping psychology, and sales insights. In order to increase sales, Lab 916 combined product pages of similar products by size and color, incorporated product dimensions within the description, and provided references on each listing to prevent customer bounce rates. This allows the consumer to access all variations of the product, without leaving the product page to purchase from other competitor listings.  

Ad Management

Before signing with Lab 916, PTP invested close to nothing into advertising because of their unfamiliarity with the platform. To many sellers, if the initial ACoS % (advertising cost of sale percentage) is not sustainable, they pull bids and stop ad campaigns all together. This is a costly mistake, as balancing impressions and clicks with profits does much more than ACoS can effectively quantify.

The Lab 916 philosophy on advertising strategies is that all campaigns benefit from long-term data collection rooted in optimizing volume while maintaining efficiency. Although initial ad spend may take some time before ACoS is efficient, it is necessary.

With this approach, in the long run PTP achieved volume & ROI growth. Lab 916 was able to identify the optimal bid for each keyword by testing performance at different bid levels. By identifying keywords that were converting well (and not so well), we were able to build ad campaigns that were efficient in achieving impressions that generated sales.

The data collected during initial periods help build the foundation for hyper-targeting niche audiences and identifying profitable search terms, which in turn increases page views, which organically raises product rankings.

The proof is evident in the data: approximately 50% of all sales come from advertising campaigns constructed by Lab 916. We attribute much of the company’s 30x in monthly revenue on Amazon to efficient PPC management.

Cultivating Brand Recognition

Amazon is a competitive online marketplace that compares similar products side by side. To be successful on Amazon, it’s necessary to build a presence outside of the platform. This is fundamental for improving the customer experience, but also in the best interest of the business’ brand because it’s indicative of the account’s longevity.

The original PTP website was a single page with contact information. Without branded assets, established authority, or noteable client list, they were less likely to turn a sale both on and off Amazon from web searches alone.

In order to help PTP stand out from its packaging competitors, Lab 916 provided direction on the company’s creative and networking assets. This included an entirely redesigned, user-friendly website, logo concept, color palette, and web page copy. By modernizing the main website to host PTP’s impressive list of clients, share the brand story, and incorporate call-to-actions, Lab 916 effectively established PTP as the choice seller for high-quality packaging solutions.

Optimizing Shipping Logistics

Because of PTP’s large inventory, Lab 916 determined it was not efficient to store the entire selection of products within Amazon’s FBA warehouse. Instead, we enrolled PTP into a combination of three fulfilment programs: FBA, FBM, and SFP.

Lab 916 determined which items to store in FBA warehouses according to best-selling popularity. This served a dual purpose:

  1. To combat turning off users who only purchase products with the Prime badge by showing one of the variations with the Prime
  2. To avoid incurring long-term storage fees

Shipping templates were created to respond to the volume of sales that were not already in FBA. SFP items were only offered to states near PTP’s warehouses, ensuring that 2 day shipping was logistically and financially achievable. By creating this FBM structure, Lab 916 streamined PTP’s logistics to be cost-effective without hindering sales opportunities.

Methods

Lab 916 worked with PTP to improve the presence of their products on Amazon and online. By attributing the lack of sales to the customer experience, we mobilized to improve overall product performance by optimizing inventory organization, advertising campaigns, and strategically rebranding.

A summarized list of dynamic services rendered to address the challenges above while increasing revenue were as follows:

Product Page Optimization

  • Grouped products for better discoverability by Amazon’s algorithm and customer behavior
  • Composed SEO copy to perform according to Amazon’s algorithm
  • Improved listing copy to appeal to target customers
  • Drafted appealing, branded, and benefit-focused thumbnail images
  • Remained up to date on Amazon’s newest features

Ad Management (Sponsored Products, Headline, Product Display)

  • Managed manual and automatic campaign daily
  • Audited campaign profitability daily
  • Analyzed search terms and keyword ranking
  • Restructured ads and product page copy according to search term queries
  • Determined consistent campaign setup processes
  • Managed promotions and coupons

Data Management

  • Organized account setup processes to gather functional data
  • Compiled data to determine true net profit and costs
  • Compared product metrics to determine new product pathways
  • Understood data provided by Amazon to render visual reports
  • Determined product lifetime value on Amazon and beyond
  • Evaluated seasonal market shifts to deduce product’s market cap

Branding & Creative

  • Identified customer avatars and target tone
  • Drafted original brand assets, including logos, color scheme, and packaging
  • Implemented a UI/UX designed website
  • Photographed products

Logistics

  • Organized sku naming convention for better management and reporting
  • Optimized product offerings to reduce cost of shipping
  • Coordinated movement of product from manufacturer to the Amazon warehouse
  • Strategized shipping and Amazon storage costs during seasonal shifts
  • Evaluated trends in customer traffic during base and peak seasons