Online shoppers’ habits vary greatly depending on their age, gender, interests, and daily schedules.

Are there certain times of the day where running Amazon ads simply doesn't make sense? Sometimes, wasted Ad Spend is unavoidable. There will be times and days when sellers bid on their keywords, but they don’t get any clicks or orders because their audiences simply aren’t there.

What if sellers could figure out the precise time of day to have their PPC campaigns shown? Would it be worth their time and efforts?

This blog will take a closer look at Dayparting, the practice of selecting the exact hours and weekdays for when a seller’s Sponsored Ads campaigns are to be displayed or paused.

The goal when using Dayparting is for sellers to be more efficient with ad spend and to improve their ACoS. It’s a good idea in theory, but how practical is Dayparting in regard to Amazon Sponsored Ads?

Amazon PPC Ad Scheduling

Different times of day bring with them different audiences. Once sellers know when their target audiences are searching for their products, ad scheduling can make it easier to convert a click into a sale.

The idea behind Amazon PPC ad scheduling is to maximize the visibility and results of a seller’s ads by showing them when their target audience is most likely to click and/or purchase.

In theory, if done correctly, Dayparting is a great way to optimize a seller’s bidding strategy. By condensing the time frame that their ads are shown to very specific, high-traffic hours, sellers can get better results without wasting ad spend on clicks that are unlikely to convert.

6 Reasons to Use Dayparting

If their business model involves peak times or days, marked by spikes in searches, impressions, and clicks, there are several reasons why sellers should use Dayparting as part their overall online advertising strategy…

  1. to show their ads when they are active in the business (weekly, seasonal)
  2. to reduce their ad campaign’s visibility during low-response hours and days
  3. to schedule their ad during the time when they have higher traffic and conversions
  4. to increase their bids at the hours when they observe the best conversion rates
  5. to adjust their bids based on location
  6. to improve their brand's visibility and conversions with their audiences that are active on social media platforms at certain times or on certain days

Amazon Ad Dayparting

Dayparting Automation inside of PPC Entourage tool.

How to Efficiently Use Dayparting in PPC Ad Campaigns

Before you start to use Dayparting in your ad campaigns, there several factors that should be taken under consideration…

  • What are your main objectives for using Dayparting? Is it to maximize clicks and overall traffic? Is it to drive traffic that is more likely to convert? Are your ad campaigns designed to spread brand awareness or produce sales?
  • How long is your customer’s buying cycle? Do your online shoppers usually conduct extensive research before making a purchase, or are most of your sales spur-of-the-moment?
  • Where are your buyers located? What proportion of them live in the same time zone as you?
  • Have you collected a sufficient amount of  data to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of your dayparts? Have you accounted for natural statistical variations in clicks and conversions? Have you looked at a long enough time span?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you will be ready to determine which days of the week and which times of day yield the most clicks and conversions. Only after careful consideration of all factors can you determine how your PPC ad scheduling should proceed.

Three Strategies for Implementing Dayparting

Dayparting can be broken down into three strategic usage scenarios.

The first occurs when a seller identifies a specific period of time during the day when sales of his or her products are at their highest. This is when the seller would want their ad to show. Conversely, during the other parts of the day, when sales are at their lowest, the seller would turn off their ads in order to be efficient with Ad Spend.

The second strategic way in which Dayparting can be used is to help obtain a lower cost-per-click.  Sellers with highly competitive products who are targeting very competitive keywords, may wait until the middle of the day, or later in the day to participate in the auction. There will be potentially fewer participants in the ad auction. This will help the seller to possibly get a lower cost-per-click in the latter part of the day.

The third use for Dayparting is to help to reduce ‘browsing traffic’ (online shoppers who are browsing, but not buying). A seller may notice that in the early hours of the day, a large portion of their ad spend is being used up because online shoppers are “just browsing” during this time. A good strategy for the seller would be to turn off his or her ads until later in the day when the data suggest that shoppers are more likely to be making purchases.

Reasons Why Dayparting May Not Be Useful

  1. There is no hard data pertinent as to when to turn on ads and when to turn them off. Amazon does not provide this information. Amazon does not provide hour-by-hour data that reveals when a seller's conversion rate, click through rate and sales are the highest. The data necessary for dayparting is currently not available in any Amazon reports.
  2. Typically, there is a delay between the time a seller turns on their ad and when Amazon actually makes the ad visible (15 mins to 1 hour). This makes it impossible to make accurate, data-based decisions as to when to turn on/turn off an ad for sellers.
  3. There is a delay in attribution. The results a seller receives do not imply that a sale actually occurred in the period in which the data was retrieved. It’s likely that it has already taken place before but was not transmitted by the system until later. Amazon often adjusts data such as sales, clicks and costs retrospectively. The attribution window for Sponsored Products Ads is seven days and for Sponsored Brands Ads it is fourteen days.
  4. Dayparting can remove some of the vital 'touch points' needed to turn online browsers into customers. Dayparting has the potential to limit product discovery because the ad is not showing throughout the day, where potential customers can reference it multiple times before making their purchasing decision.
  5. Dayparting can be very time consuming, especially when done manually. Micro-managing several campaigns (sometimes even hundreds of them) requires a huge commitment of time and resources.
  6. Dayparting can also be expensive. The ad cost may increase significantly if the seller’s audience peak time is the same as the platform’s peak hours.
  7. Dayparting doesn't work for every brand or campaign. Some brands have online shoppers who are active on Amazon (and other platforms) at all hours every day. If a seller’s business sees the same amount of activity and conversions for all hours of the day, then dayparting won’t benefit them.
  8. People have different browsing habits. Shoppers look at different things at different times. The content that is popular in the morning is often very different from what is popular during the evenings, and weekend browsing habits are distinct from weekday browsing habits. Though people browse shopping sites throughout the day, browsing and purchasing don’t necessarily occur during the same periods.
  9. The times of day and days of the week that are optimal for conversions can fluctuate. Sellers could possibly risk losing potential customers by excluding certain times of the day and days of the week. Their businesses may benefit from a more even distribution of ads.

Pro Tip: You might assume that there are certain times of the day, or days of the week, when more people are shopping for and buying your products. If you are unsure of when your target audience is most likely to make a purchase, try setting up some test campaigns to better lockdown this information.

Create multiple identical Amazon ad campaigns (same product ads, budgets, bids, etc.). Set up those campaigns to run in equal segments throughout the day, or on various days. After enough activity is collected, analyze the results to determine if certain times or days yield a better ROI for your campaigns.

Dayparting is just one of many optimization strategies available for PPC ad campaigns. While its success isn’t guaranteed depending on your audience, when set up correctly for the right audience it can possibly make an impact on your marketing.

Ultimately, we don’t suggest trying to apply dayparting to your Amazon PPC campaigns as a ‘be all’ – ‘end-all’ strategy. Hours of the day and days of the week are just two of the many variables that can affect your campaign performance. By putting too much emphasis on those two variables, you wind up possibly ignoring others that could be having a much bigger impact on your metrics.

Being more efficient with your keyword and bid optimizations, as well as having a solid budget strategy, will ultimately prove more beneficial to your success when using Amazon advertising than Dayparting.

Entourage: Software to Scale Amazon Ads and Results Driven Management.