March 27, 2023

How DTC Brands Can Generate Marketplace App Links to Measure Sales from Social Media

Amazon app and Walmart app on phone screen

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) e-commerce has proven to be the business model of the 21st century so far, with sales on course to exceed a whopping $213 Billion in the U.S. alone— a figure that’s expected to continue climbing in the years ahead. There seems to be a new innovative marketplace launching every day!

So, if you’re reading this post, you probably already have a store on Amazon—and perhaps other marketplaces—and your brand is part of that incredible growth story, but that also means you’ve probably noticed a lot of competition on those same marketplaces. It’s a crowded, competitive space for most companies and product lines.

The question is, when you’re swimming in a race for consumer attention among an ocean of brands selling directly to consumers on Amazon, Walmart, Target, and other marketplaces, how can your brand stand out from the crowd and build loyalty?

iPad user on Amazon app

Apart from using the tools on the e-commerce platform itself to optimize your product listings, the answer is social media.

More specifically, social media campaigns (paid or organic) that link directly to your store and product screens in the marketplace app vs. website are important because, well, it’s no secret that consumers prefer shopping on apps.

We’re going to show you how to generate a link to open any marketplace app that you can place in social media campaigns to grow and measure sales from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any social app. You might be wondering why you need to generate a special link, where campaign attribution fits in this, and how you measure your results—and we’ll get to that in a moment.

We’ll get to that in a moment.

First, you need to secure a budget for that campaign—so how do you make your case? Well, it’s about social commerce, and not social media for awareness purposes. And no, this is not purely a difference in semantics. There’s a big difference between social media activities that drive brand awareness, and those that drive in-app marketplace traffic to storefronts and product listings. The latter drive real, measurable revenue from both new and repeat customers.

So, to help you get management-focused the revenue that you can drive and measure from social media campaigns (not just clicks, likes, and followers), here are three arguments you can make to secure a budget (or at least a test budget) to prove your point!

3 Reasons to Budget for Social Media Commerce and Deep Linking to Marketplace Apps

Here are three points to keep in mind when securing that marketing budget:

Laptop - "budget" screen
  1. Social media is not going away! Consumers are getting accustomed to linking out to their favorite e-commerce apps from social media to make purchases and do product research— especially younger demographics. Social media influencers along with app deep linking will also become part of every brand’s marketplace strategy.
  2. Promoting marketplace app links on social media is already a proven solution that increases revenue 2-5x compared to regular marketplace links and you can measure this increase and also see funnel opportunities (product detail page views, add-to-carts, etc.). In other words, you can measure the ROI of your campaign!
  3. There’s nothing to install, it’s easy to test, and you can use your brand’s domain to link into any marketplace app from any social media app or other off-site channels while measuring results.

How to Get Amazon & Other Marketplace Links to Open in the App from Social Media

First, let’s clarify that there’s nothing wrong with regular marketplace or e-commerce links. However, you can’t use them to open apps and measure your results from social media campaigns. There’s also nothing wrong with the app’s attribution technology. It’s just that the dots are not being connected when linking app-to-app and the measurement tags are not passed when the shopper doesn’t log in that way, which is almost everyone.

A standard e-commerce link is not equipped to tackle the real culprit that’s blocking your customers’ shopping journey from the social app to the marketplace app. The real culprit is a little something the marketing industry likes to call the walled garden.

The walled garden is when the shopper clicks on a store or product link within the social app they’re using, and instead of being taken to the marketplace app, they’re prompted to log in to the website even if they already have the app installed!

When clicked from Instagram, the regular Amazon URL sends your visitor to the website login in the Instagram app—unable to open the Amazon app when it's already installed

So again, for the record, this is absolutely no fault of any marketplace. In fact, the walled garden is present in virtually every app in existence— from social media apps like Instagram and Facebook, to e-commerce, finance, and even fitness apps you name it. After all, every app has “walls,” that like to keep you from leaving the app to go to another app. The reality is, however, that customers like to jump around among there favorite apps so why not make that an easy process?

At URLgenius we have a patented, state-of-the-art deeplink generator for marketing that allows you to update your links to make your customer’s shopping journey seamless while your marketing team is able to grow and measures sales and product engagement.

The URLgenius link opens the app directly to the right screen where consumers can engage the content or purchase the product

All in all? Over time, walled gardens suppress your sales, decrease conversion and remarketing opportunities, and perhaps worst of all for the marketing team— they don’t give revenue credit to the campaign when the customer jumps over to the app themselves to buy the product which can lead to the wrong conclusions about the effectiveness of the channel and the ROI on media spend.

Now we’ll take you through the steps of updating your links. Choose an Amazon store or product details link and open another tab in your browser to follow along!

Step-by-Step: How to Marketplace App Deep Links for Social Media

At URLgenius, we’ve perfected the process for creating an app link for any marketplace— you don’t need any technical resources and there’s nothing to install. Don’t be fooled by cheap low cost ‘solutions’ that try to copy URLgenius technology. URLgenius is the only verified Amazon Ads partner that can pass Amazon Attribution tags in-app over the cloud from social media all without SDKs. Just follow these steps to update your campaign links

In this example we’ll use the Adidas storefront on Amazon.

URLgenius home page
  1. First, we’ll grab the link for the storefront from the address bar of the browser. This could be the link to your storefront, product, or category link etc.
  2. You only need the core links— you can remove any navigation tags that may have been added as you searched for the right link to make sure they don’t interfere with tracking or opening the app.
URLgenius-generated Amazon deep link
  1. Remember to include your Amazon Attribution tags so you can measure and see your campaigns results in the Amazon Ads console.
  2. Paste the link into the box provided on the URLgenius home page. When pasting the link, notice the Amazon icon is highlighted— this tells you that URLgenius understands the type of link you just pasted.
  3. You can customize the end of the link to match your campaign to make it easy to find later. If not needed, just use the pre-populated random characters.
  4. Click the “Compose” which takes you to the settings page for your Amazon app deep link, where you can copy and place it into your Instagram ad. To test the behavior of the link, scan the QR code or email it.
URLgenius-generated Amazon QR code

Notice the advanced features on the settings page— this is also where you can see clicks and the number of app-opens. You also have a QR for every link which you can customize and use in multi-channel campaigns. The QR code will also open the app to he right screen and pass your campaign attribution tags.

URLgenius-generated Amazon QR code customization

Pro tip: If you are enrolled in the Amazon Attribution program, you can authenticate your Amazon account in the settings for your URLgenius account. Once you do that, URLgenius will automatically include your Amazon Attribution tags! This feature is currently only supported for store pages and product detail pages. For other types of pages, include your Amazon measurement tags when you create your URLgenius link by building the link in the Amazon Ads console.

Get Started with Marketplace App Deep Linking for Social Media and Watch your DTC Revenue Soar

Since there’s nothing to install, you can start your campaigns immediately and measure your results. Once your prove your ROI, you can start planning how to scale marketplace app links across all your social media campaigns an promotions as well as other off-site channels.

Remember, we’re here to help! Talk to us and tell us about your campaign plans and we can also tell you about our special discounted pricing. Just reach out to to schedule a demo.

If you found this post helpful, check out our other popular posts for marketplace app deep linking:

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