Basics of Amazon Advertising for Sellers

Success without Amazon Advertising is impossible now! Learn what all options are available to you for profitably boosting product sales through the Amazon advertising platform.
Amazon Advertising for Sellers

There was a time when all you needed to sell on Amazon was a well-optimized product listing, reasonable pricing, and a few reviews acquired through product giveaways. If your product was good and fulfilled a customer need, then viola, you hit the jackpot, and orders start pouring in faster than you could fulfill them. But that is a distant past now!

These days, even if you have the best product, many product reviews, and the most competitive pricing, you will struggle to sell your inventory unless you use Amazon Advertising! One may ask, why is that? Well, the answer lies in ‘Product Discoverability’. In the 2023 version of Amazon marketplace, a customer cannot discover your product independently without Amazon Advertising.

What is Amazon Advertising?

Amazon Advertising is a set of various tools and advertising options available to Amazon Sellers. Using these tools, a seller can advertise their products to boost product visibility and increase sales.

Amazon Advertising offers many solutions for sellers, and they can be differentiated using different ad types, templates, display locations, targeting options, tracking, and optimization tools. We shall learn the basics of these advertising solutions through this article.

What are the requirements for Amazon Advertising?

To create an Amazon Advertising Campaign, one must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • An Amazon Seller Account
  • An eligible product. (Few product categories like adult-themed products, used products, and closed categories do not qualify for advertising).

Please remember that advertising options, like Sponsored Brands & Sponsored Display, are available only to the brands registered with Amazon Brand Registry.

We will now learn about the various types of Amazon Advertising solutions available to the sellers.

Sponsored Products

Sponsored Product ads are shown according to buyer intent for a particular product type. The Sponsored Product Ads are displayed on search engine result pages (SERPs) and product detail pages on Amazon. These ads appear similar to organic search results but are labeled “Sponsored”.

Ad Cost Type

Sponsored product ads are pay-per-click (PPC) ads, meaning the advertiser pays only when a customer clicks on the ad.

Ad Format & Customization Options

While using Sponsored Products, an advertiser does not have control over the display customization, but Amazon allows advertisers to set a daily budget and keyword bid. The appearance of an Ad depends upon the bid amount; the higher the bid, the more likely your ad will appear in the search results.

Where are Sponsored Product Ads displayed?

Sponsored product ads are displayed throughout the search page on Amazon. They appear at the top of search results and between organically ranked product listings. The ads also show up on related product pages. These Ads appear on both desktop and mobile.

Ad Targeting Options

There are primarily two types of targeting options available to advertisers, and they can be either Manual or Automatic targeting.

In Manual targeting, the advertiser can manually set the keywords and define the targeting accuracy, which can be a broad, phrase, or an exact match.

In Automatic targeting, Amazon’s algorithms determine the niches and keywords on the product listing page data and customer engagement with product pages. Furthermore, Automatic targeting still allows an advertiser to control the display of ads through the following match options:-

  • Close match refers to the display of Ads on SERPs of search terms that are closely matched to the product being advertised.
  • Loose match refers to the ads displayed on search result pages of loosely matched terms and product pages.
  • Substitutes are the ads displayed on product pages of similar products.
  • Compliments refer to the display of Ads on complimentary product pages, like an Ad for crib bedding on the baby crib product page.
Ads on a typical Amazon Search Result Page

Sponsored Brands

Sponsored Brands also appear in search result pages; however, they are more customizable than Sponsored Products as they feature a brand logo, a custom headline, and multiple products. These ads appear in relevant shopping results and help drive brand discovery. Sponsored Brands are available to professional sellers enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry.

Sponsored Brand Ads help increase brand awareness and visibility on Amazon. These ads can also drive traffic and sales to specific products, making them valuable for promoting new or high-margin products.

Ad Cost Type

Sponsored Brands as also pay-per-click (PPC) ads.

Ad Format & Customization Options

Sponsored Brand Ads are customizable, allowing an advertiser to take the shopper to the brand storefront or product pages. Sponsored Brands have the following Ad formats:-

  • Product Collection: Promote multiple products on a landing page. The landing page can either be a subpage in the store or automatically built by Amazon based on the select products.
  • Store Spotlight: Drive traffic to Brand Store. Amazon requires that store must have at least four subpages. Use Amazon Storefront design service for a professionally designed store and have maximum return on ad spend.
  • Brand Video: Promote a brand or product using video Ads. The video quality must be good, with a run time between 6 – 45 seconds.

Where are Sponsored Brand Ads displayed?

Sponsored Brands Ads appear on top of, alongside, or within search result pages. Ads may appear on both desktop and mobile.

Targeting Options

A sponsored brand campaign can use any of the following ad targeting options:

  • Keyword Targeting: Makes your ads appear based on the shopper searches.
  • Product Targeting: Choose specific products, categories, brands, or other product features to target your ads.

While Sponsored Products are best suited for the bottom of the funnel, Sponsored Brands can be a very effective avenue for top-of-the-funnel marketing in Amazon Marketplace.

Sponsored Display

Sponsored Display is a self-service display advertising solution that allows creating and displaying ads to shoppers across the purchase journey, on and off Amazon. These display ads appear in the Amazon marketplace, Twitch, and other websites. Only professional sellers with brands registered with Amazon Brand Registry can create Sponsored Display campaigns.

Ad Cost Type

Sponsored display ads have three Bid optimization options, each with its ad cost types.

  • Optimize for Conversions: A Cost-per-click (CPC) Ad cost type wherein Amazon optimizes the bids for higher conversion rates. 
  • Optimize for Page Visits: A Cost-per-click (CPC) Ad cost type wherein Amazon optimizes the bids for more page visits.
  • Optimize for Reach: A Cost per 1,000 viewable impressions (VCPM) cost type, wherein Amazon algorithms optimize bids for higher viewable impressions. This optimization is best suited to drive brand or product awareness by showing your ad to relevant audiences to maximize reach.

Ad Format & Customization Options

Sponsored Display Ads are customizable and have two ad formats. The ad can either be an image or an auto-playing video.

Where are Sponsored Display Ads shown?

These ads are displayed above the search page, Amazon Home page, product display page, Twitch website, and other websites.

Targeting Options

With sponsored display ads, sellers get two types of targeting options which include:

  • Contextual Targeting: Choose products and categories to target your ads.
  • Audience Targeting:  Choose which audiences you want to see your ads.


What should be the daily advertising spend on Amazon?

This question has no precise answer as it depends on the seller’s objectives & requirements. Some sellers start with a low budget of $5 to $10 per day, while many spend over $100 daily. It all depends on what you are trying to achieve. For newbie sellers, our advice is to start small; keep your expenses in check, and gradually increase the ad spend while continuously optimizing the campaigns.

How do I pay for Amazon Ads?

Amazon sellers can pay for advertising through credit cards or available funds in the seller account. You can change the payment method by signing in to Seller Central, navigating to settings → account info tab → and clicking Charge Methods for Advertising to select a desired payment method.

Can a seller survive on Amazon Marketplace without advertising?

New sellers can’t become successful without advertising. Existing sellers with established product lines can sustain momentum without advertising; however, to maintain the Product Best Seller Ranking, they will have to support the sales through Amazon advertising.

With millions of products and sellers on Amazon competing for the same goal – reaching more customers and generating more sales- success is impossible without Amazon Advertising. Exponentially increasing competition can also be blamed, but the problem lies in the continuously reducing real estate for organic discoverability. Amazon Advertising now uses all the space on a typical product page. For a customer, it is impossible to find the recently launched product unless it is using Amazon Advertising.

Amazon advertising provides data-driven insights, campaign optimizations, and tracking abilities that sellers can use to increase their performance. Taking advantage of this opportunity through expert management of Amazon advertising can be very helpful to any brand or seller on the Amazon marketplace.

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