What is going on !?

I’m not sure if we are alone, but there’s something strange going on. We’ve been running sponsored ads for a year with reasonably good results. However over the past month our budgets are being eaten up very quickly. Our campaigns are not getting impressions like they used to and sales have dropped like a stone. We also have a healthy 80/20 sales split organic to PCC but even our organic sales are non existent. Nothing has changed from our end but something is going on…

Unfortunately, these days there are many sellers reporting the same experience as the one which you have. It is possible that this is a result of increased competition on the site or in the particular product category where you are selling or Amazon simply updated their algorithms, which is affecting your performance.

At this point, I would advise you to reconsider whether it’s a good idea to continue advertising and ensure that your don’t end up at a loss after considering all expenses connected to the product.

Thank you Kika for your response and advice.

We have an app which monitors both competition and pricing and there has been no material change in the category.

This therefore leads one to believe that it must be an algorithm change, which is even more frustrating. We could accept our position if it were more competition as we could respond accordingly.

How does one adjust to an unknown algorithm change? If it is surely this would effect more of the competition, but from our app their sales dont appear to be effected? Amazon playing god once again and damaging sellers livelihood.

Main selling season start from mid September so some people are raising bids in order to get more sales, so your budget is eaten more quickly as you pay for higher bids.
Brexit is playing big role too, people are spending much less as uncertainty is looming.
If we get another extension till January,we should see great sales in Nov and Dec

I haven’t been on amazon as long as you, but I have noticed much the same over the last 6 weeks. Today was a great example of my budget (which usually lasts 1 day, and is double what it was 2 months ago) being eaten up with no sales. This is highly unusual and disturbing, plus it reflects a downward trend in advertising efficiency over the last 6 weeks.

My confidence in Amazon, as a sales platform is shaken by this.

I will say that I have made strenuous efforts to improve imagery, content, copy and titles. I am also confident in my products, that they are the best in class (i operate in a niche) and the best presented. There s more competition for sure, but one of my ranges I am the only seller in what is a growing market overall in the UK, yet sales have shrunk for these on Amazon in the last 6 weeks. Yet, the results (so far) of my investments have proved negligible.

What disturbs me more is the almost total vacuum in which we operate. @Kika does a great job of providing answers, such as above. However, She is not Amazon. I see no input from Amazon on these forums, or anywhere else. General things such as ‘there has been a change to our algorithm’ or, 'traffic was down last week due to ‘x’ (seasonality, weather, brexit, whatever), would be hugely useful in improving confidence of sellers and our understanding of the ‘bigger picture’. As soldiers like to say ‘we are mushrooms - kept in the dark and fed on Sh*t’. That is exactly how I feel.

On relevant aside, I notice that there is a view that growth in the UK in online retail is slowing. Maybe Amazon UK is not immune to that and they are tinkering with algorithms to encourage greater growth/revenue.

I will keep selling on Amazon and hope that it works for me over xmas. But my restocking decisions are slower, because I am less confident than I was even a few weeks ago. It is a principal channel for me right now.

However I am sick of trying to dig out facts and figures, and advice from all over the internet as to what is going on and what to do about it; tired of the contradictions in advice given here and by Amazon; freaked out by how poor the seller support function is, ad hope that I can make enough money to develop products for retail next year.

We’ll see.

Amazon need, in my opinion, to do a lot, lot better in:

Informing
Educating
Helping

That’s my view for tuppence.