In November 2019, Amazon Sponsored Display Ads launched, effectively replacing Amazon Product Display Ads and giving brands new and improved access to Amazon Display inventory.
Amazon Sponsored Display ads allow brands to reach customers via auto-generated placements on both detail and other pages across Amazon in addition to placements across Amazon’s third-party display network with targeting on desktop and mobile devices.
Brands can use Sponsored Display targeting options to reach audiences based on interest segments as well as product page views, which can give you an edge in competitor targeting.
Here’s how Amazon Sponsored Display ads work, how to leverage their targeting features, and how to get started with tips from the experts.
“Sponsored Display presents an easier, faster way to access Amazon’s display inventory without the stringent requirements of Amazon DSP, although it has less control than DSP. We are already seeing brands pivot spend into Sponsored Display Ads to engage mobile and desktop shoppers in new areas across Amazon and its network.”
—Andy Taylor, Director of Research at Tinuiti
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Amazon Sponsored Display Ads (formerly known as Amazon Product Display Ads) are Amazon’s self-serve display advertising solution that allows brands to target and retarget shoppers both on and off of Amazon with auto-generated, product-focused ads.
“Even though this was just recently introduced in September of 2019, we are seeing it account for 2% as much spend as sponsored products in Q4,” says Taylor.
Sponsored Display Ads eligibility
Amazon Sponsored Display is available to professional sellers enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry, vendors, and agencies with clients who sell on Amazon. Your products must fall under Amazon’s eligible categories to advertise. All Product Display ad campaigns are now part of Sponsored Display without any additional action required.
Sponsored Display is still in beta, and we look forward to new tools, metrics, and insights soon. For now, here’s what you need to know.
Based on the targeting options you select, your ads can run on Amazon desktop and mobile, both on detail pages and across other Amazon pages.
Your ads can be configured to reach audiences off Amazon across third-party publishers. Amazon uses brand safety tools to help deliver your ads to trustworthy placements next to appropriate and relevant content. When shoppers click your ads, they are directed to the product detail page.
Campaign reporting shows campaign performance alongside Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands.
“Sponsored Display Ads can show up in the same ad placements as traditional SP Product Targeting Ads and Display Ads (DSP). The ad placements available to Sponsored Display ads are currently above the fold on product detail pages and can show up below the product information bullets or below the buy box.”
— Courtney Macfarlane, Senior Amazon Specialist at Tinuiti
“Sponsored Display Ads are often prioritized over SP Product Targeting Ads for the above the fold ad placements. SP Product Targeting ads now appear more often in the Sponsored Products related to the carousel and on the SERP based on the relevancy of targeted products or categories. Because of these changes, launching Sponsored Display ads targeting ASINs (currently only available to vendors) is a no-brainer,” explains Macfarlane.
“In addition, everyone should look into recent performance for their SP Product Targeting Ads to see if performance has declined, and should consider adding or updating placement modifiers in response to changes in where these ads show up most often.”
Sponsored Display Ads (formerly Product Display Ads) can be used to build mid-funnel awareness based on interest segments as well as retargeting high-intent shoppers that viewed specific product ASINs.
Amazon Sponsored Display vs. Amazon DSP
While retargeting via display ads is also available through DSP, Sponsored Display is easier to set up than DSP’s very manual process. DSP also requires a minimum monthly spend, while Sponsored Display does not.
Sponsored Display currently offers less customization for audience targeting than DSP. DSP gives advertisers much more control over their audience, such as targeting shoppers to based on specific actions like shoppers who viewed a brand’s products but didn’t buy; or those who recently viewed competing products.
When creating a Sponsored Display Ads campaign, you have the option to target your ads by selecting Audiences or Product targeting.
Sponsored Display Audience Targeting
Views: enables advertisers to re-engage shoppers off Amazon who previously viewed your products or products similar to yours.
Amazon shows your promoted products to shoppers who have viewed your product detail pages or the detail pages of similar products in the last 30 days. This excludes shoppers who are unlikely to purchase your products (such as those who have recently purchased a similar product). Creatives are auto-generated based on your product details.
Views are charged on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis, so you are only charged when someone clicks your ad. Amazon will adjust your bid up or down depending on the likelihood of a conversion.
Interests: delivers relevant ads to shoppers with certain interests or shoppers who are actively viewing specific products on Amazon.
Interests-based ads run across desktop, mobile web, and mobile app. You are able to add a custom headline and logo before you submit the ad for review. Interests-based ads are billed on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis, so you are only charged when someone clicks your ad
There are 3 different manual targeting match types: broad match, phrase match, and exact match.
Sponsored Display Product Targeting (New Beta)
According to Amazon, the new Product Targeting (beta available to vendors and sellers) allows brands to promote product discovery, measure campaigns more effectively by targeting specific products or relevant product categories on Amazon, and gain greater line of sight into campaign optimization.
Improved beta enhancements include:
Pro-Tip: Sponsored Display product targeting ads are now enabled with deals and savings badges so shoppers never miss a deal. Product targeted ads will appear alongside relevant ad placements such as product detail pages, customer reviews, search results pages, or under the featured offer.
Here’s how to use Amazon Sponsored Display:
- Navigate to Campaign Manager from your Seller or Vendor Central account.
- Select “Create Campaign.”
- Select “Sponsored Display” from the menu.
- Choose a product ASIN that you want to create your campaign for (Amazon automatically generates your ad creative and optimizes it for performance)
- Set your CPC bidding options.
- Create a name, set a budget, and decide the duration for your campaign.
- Preview your Sponsored Display Ad and then submit.
For the ad creative, Amazon automatically pulls the product image, pricing, badging, and star rating. The ad shows a “Shop Now” button that links back to your product detail page. This makes it easy for customers to browse or buy with just one click.
Amazon automatically creates the audiences for your ad based on “relevant Amazon shopping activities.” When your ads show on Amazon, this audience includes shoppers who showed interest in categories related to your product. Off Amazon, the audience includes people who have viewed your product page before without purchasing. You can also target specific Amazon products or product categories to display your ads on.
Tips to get the most out of your Sponsored Display campaigns (from Amazon):
1. Add your entire product catalog to your campaign and refine your campaign
structure over time
2. Ensure your campaign has enough budget to stay live throughout the day
Monitor campaigns that frequently run out of daily budget—they might be missing out
on potential impressions
3. Use campaign metrics to make informed bidding optimizations
4. Monitor campaign performance regularly
5. Measure performance against your campaign goals
Amazon Sponsored Display Ads: Final Takeaway
Amazon Sponsored Display are a great way to access display inventory without the higher requirements of Amazon DSP.
Leveraging Sponsored Display campaigns can help you reach users both in the consideration and decision phases with both audience and interest-based targeting, making them a viable component of any Amazon marketing strategy.
“While Sponsored Display doesn’t offer as many optimization levers as DSP, it’s a good option for brands to quickly setup display ads on a limited budget.”
— Maddie Kaseeska, Amazon Strategist at Tinuiti
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