Amazon started as a modest online bookstore during the early days of the internet. Today, it is one of the biggest companies in the world and leads the eCommerce space. One of the critical changemakers behind the transformation has been the many third-party sellers on its marketplace eCommerce platform. It has attracted over six million third-party sellers onto its platform and shows no signs of stopping. The company’s seller-friendly policies are behind this surge, with provisions like Amazon product display ads helping them present their best offerings to customers.
The other aspect you will surely experience as a seller on the platform is the stiff competition the high number of sellers brings. Amazon’s many marketing options can help you get a lead on the competition if you know how to use them to your benefit. Besides the famed A9 algorithm that provides inquiring customers with your products based on organic SEO marketing, you have Amazon PPC in its many avatars. While Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands ads have been the staple, the relatively new Amazon Display ads have also found favor among sellers.
They each offer unique ways of marketing your products and come with different features. Read this blog to learn about those differences to maximize your on and off-platform brand visibility and value increase potential.
Sponsored Display Ads
Amazon Sponsored Display is a special type of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ad that Amazon launched in 2019. Despite being relatively new, it has shown immense growth, with 29% of third-party sellers opting for it in 2022, accounting for 3% of Amazon’s advertising revenue.
Display ads are popular because of what they can do: they are ads that can be shown both on the Amazon marketplace platform and off it. Yes, with this type of ad, you can place your made-for-Amazon ads on third-party websites, in Google’s ad network, and through other third-party marketing avenues. However, by going beyond Amazon’s platform, sponsored display ads allow you to increase your brand’s visibility significantly.
One of the most essential features of Sponsored Display ads is that they target the customer based on their preferences, interests, and shopping behavior. This is a departure from the traditional means of simply using keywords entered by the customer during searches to match their sought-after products.
Amazon makes this possible by noting the products a customer views on their platform during the latter’s searches or purchases. It then presents ads for that product or similar ones whenever customers log into Amazon’s platform, another website, or an app. When the viewer clicks on this type of ad, they land directly on the product description page belonging to a particular seller.
Not every seller can opt to use Amazon product display ads. You should be an Amazon vendor or a brand-registered seller. An Amazon vendor is a first-party seller who directly sells their manufactured goods on the platform. Only vendors have access to the Audience Interests-based targeting option.
Amazon’s brand registry is an exclusive program that amazon offers its third-party sellers the ability to register their brands as their own on the platform, thus legitimizing it. Once you’ve registered your brand in the brand registry, you get access to some powerful tools that can help you protect your trademarks. They include your proprietary texts, images, and others. One of those tools is Sponsored display ads.
You should also not be banned from the platform for any reason. And while it isn’t a direct reason for eligibility, having a high seller rating ensures that your brand gains more visibility. Also, note that your geographical location determines which targeting option of product display ad Amazon you can use.
Sponsored Display ads follow the bidding system similar to other PC ad types on the platform. You decide the price of the bid based on your budget and bid against other sellers for an ad spot. You should also choose your type of targeting option. There are currently three targeting types: Product Targeting, Audience Views remarketing, and Audience Interests.
With product targeting, you can reach customers going through your product listings or similar ones. This type of ad lets you target prospects approaching your competitors by simply showcasing your product’s ads on their product pages. You can also retarget visitors to complementary products that tend to be bought along with the main product. For example, you can target customers looking to buy a mobile phone with mobile accessory ads.
Audiences: Views Remarketing
This type of Amazon Sponsored display ad is a true game-changer for sellers. It lets you retarget visitors who have viewed your product listings at some point or have viewed similar listings of your competitors. With this type of ad, you get to channel a bounced potential customer back to your listing and entice them to convert, thereby increasing your performance. Amazon shows these ads to your prospects who have viewed your products in the last 30 days but have not proceeded to purchase them.
This unique sponsored display ad option is meant to increase brand awareness by targeting new customers with your brand’s ads. But Amazon does this to only those who have shown some interest in your products. This could be based on a particular product type or category. It will likely result in higher conversion rates since the audience has already shown interest in what you offer.
Amazon Product Display Ads appear in many locations. If they appear on the platform itself, they can be found on product display pages and shopping results. This includes product display pages of your competitors. They are usually found below the description on the product pages and on the side below the buy box. In the US, they can also appear on third-party websites and apps.
Sponsored Ads are the traditional PPC ads that have existed since the beginning of the marketplace. They come in two varieties: Sponsored Products ads and Sponsored Brands ads. They have served to improve brand awareness among new target audiences and highlight some features or events at short notice.
Sponsored products are the most used type of PPC ad, with their 2020-21 share amongst all campaign types being 76.3%, with a Return on Ad spend (RoAS) showing an increase of 68%. However, the choice between Amazon-Sponsored Products vs Sponsored Brands is not a straightforward one as even sponsored brand campaigns are known to bring in returns.
Both sponsored products and Sponsored Brands work on the bidding model, where you bid for specific keywords to give you maximum exposure on the platform. Sponsored products let you present ads for particular product pages, while Sponsored Brands target brand awareness among customers interested in the product category. With a single click, they funnel customers directly to your product pages, thereby increasing the chances of conversion. They can be launched from the first day of your store’s operations.
Sponsored product ads have no special eligibility criteria. You need to be an approved seller or vendor on the platform and you’re good to go. Sponsored Brands, on the other hand, require you to be a brand-registered seller similar to Amazon Sponsored Display ads.
These ad types work based on keyword targeting. You have to do thorough research to select the keywords that best match your products. It helps if those keywords are used in your product description pages.
You then set the amount you will pay for each link in a process called bidding, similar to an auction, against your competitors. If your ads win the bid, they will appear across the platform in designated locations. These ads provide you with two targeting options: manual and automatic.
Amazon’s algorithms decide the keywords and products your campaign will target. You should do thorough keyword research for this so that Amazon will select only the most relevant keywords for your ads. Amazon does this by monitoring user behavior over time, collecting customer preferences and other personal data, and optimizing the ads to contain the most used search terms for each category.
There are four different match types you can choose from:
Close Match: Selected ad keywords closely match the words entered by customers during a search.
Loose Match: Ads that contain keywords loosely matching the entered words of customers during searches.
Substitutes: Ads that appear to customers looking at products similar to yours but on a competitor’s page.
Complements: These types of ads target shoppers looking at product pages that complement yours.
This type gives you greater control over keywords and products you can use in your campaigns since you’ll be selecting them yourself. You can do this through research or by picking keywords from a list of suggestions by Amazon. With keyword targeting, you bring in customers based on the possible keywords they will enter while searching for your products. With product targeting, you target competitor ASINs, categories, brands, and other such product attributes. You can go for both keyword selection types if you want as well.
The match types here include broad match (target keywords appearing in any order, and customer searches can have additional terms), Phrase match (customers should include the exact keyword used along with other terms.), and Exact match (ads appear only if your keywords and customer search terms match exactly).
Unlike Amazon Product Display Ads, Sponsored Ads appear only on the platform. However, they appear in every possible location, the most prominent ones being on search results pages and competitor product pages.
Sponsored product ads blend in very well with organic search results. Sponsored brand ads appear on top of search results above sponsored product ads. These ads also appear on your product pages below buy boxes and at the end of product descriptions.
Both Sponsored Ads and Sponsored Product Display Ads Amazon are necessary components of your Amazon marketing game to outdo your competition. With the above-listed details, you can easily decide how you can best incorporate them into your marketing strategy. By doing so, you will increase your brand visibility, conversion rate, and RoAS while optimizing your Advertising Cost of Sale (ACoS) for a bright future.