Amazon is king of the eCommerce world. And all eCommerce companies benefit by having their products found on Amazon. But what’s the best way to advertise Amazon products? I cover just that in this post.
Spoiler alert: There’s no one answer to the question. It’s almost always a good idea to start out as a base by running Sponsored Products ads on Amazon itself. The only exception could be if you have no competition, but even then, there’s no harm in advertising your products on Amazon.
Before I dig into specifics, and what to do in addition to Sponsored Products, let’s look at why being found on Amazon matters.
Why You Want to Be Found on Amazon
In the US alone, Amazon’s eCommerce sales hit USD 367.19 billion in February 2021.1 That’s USD 230.28 billion — over 59% — more than the eCommerce sales of Walmart, eBay, and Apple combined.1 Amazon’s market share is forecast to reach 40.4% by the end of 2021.1 And 63% of product searches start on Amazon — not Google, Amazon.2
Amazon’s dominance has many companies clamoring to be found there. According to Market Pulse, there are 6.2 million Amazon Sellers worldwide and 1.6 million of those sellers, or 25.8%, are actively selling.3 And 330,000 new sellers started selling on Amazon just this year.3
With all those sellers, it begs the question, how can your products get found among all the other products available on Amazon?
Here’s my take on how to maximize your Amazon awareness, traffic, and checkouts.
The Best Way to Advertise Amazon Products Happens Before You Advertise
I get it, you want to start advertising now. I’m a digital marketer, I know the feeling. But, there are a few critical steps you want to take before you advertise.
The most important thing you can do is to have a strategy and goals. That way, you can monitor your progress against your goals and adjust as needed. If you don’t have a destination, you can easily get lost. Your strategy and goals are your destination.
You want goals to reflect your business needs. Your key performance indicators (KPIs) let you track progress toward those goals. The most common KPIs Finch clients monitor are advertising cost of sales (ACoS), total cost of sales, conversions, and, of course, revenue.
If you want help creating a strategy and determining the best goals, Finch can help.
You also want to:
- Make sure you have inventory to cover your sales whether you’re selling direct or using Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) or Seller Fulfilled.
- Make sure you have good product titles, product descriptions, and product images.
- Amazon Advertising uses your product titles and images to create your ads.
- Make sure you optimize your titles and descriptions for SEO to help people find your products both on Amazon and off.
An organic search result for “hemp treats” where the seller has optimized its titles and descriptions on Amazon for SEO and captured the top spot even on the SERP!
Should You Use Amazon Advertising?
Yes. One of the best ways to advertise your Amazon products is right on Amazon. After all, it’s where your prospective customers are shopping much of the time. And Amazon Advertising offers no shortage of ways to attract the attention of shoppers.
Amazon Advertising Options
The main options for advertising on Amazon are its pay-per-click (PPC) advertising options and Amazon DSP.
Sponsored Products ads appear at or near the beginning of shopping results for a shopping term and/or on product detail pages. The ads show a version of your product listing. Immediately beneath your product image, a small gray “Sponsored” with an “i” in a gray circle appears.
Essentially, you’re paying for your product to show up at the top of shopping results, much like a paid search ad on Google. The difference, Amazon shoppers are typically intent on buying now.
Sponsored Products are a great way to target customers at the lowest end of your funnel. Ads ensure visibility for your product in shopping results that are highly relevant to what Amazon shoppers are looking for.
Sponsored Products are billed on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis, so you pay only when your ad is clicked. And you control the bid per click.
According to Amazon Advertising, Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs) saw an average weekly lift of 40% in units ordered when sellers used Sponsored Products ads.4
Amazon Sellers, Vendors, book vendors, Kind Direct Publishing (KDP) authors, and agencies can run Sponsored Products ads in 16 different countries in eligible product categories and if eligible for the Featured Offer placement.
A search for “Dr. Seuss” on Amazon.com shows the Sponsored Product Ad for “Dr. Seuss Thing 1 Emblem RED T-shirt T-Shirt” as the first shopping result. The “Sponsored” and “i” in a gray circle shows that it’s a Sponsored Products ad.
Sponsored Brands ads give your brand visibility and help create brand awareness. Ads have a prominent placement above, next to, or within shopping results. Ads can include your logo, a custom headline, and up to three products or a video. (I cover the three available Sponsored Brands ad formats in a separate post.)
Sponsored Brands ads link directly to your Amazon Store, a custom landing page, or a product page. Anyone clicking your ad is introduced to both your brand and your product(s).
Like Sponsored Products ads, Sponsored Brands ads are CPC ads. You pay only when someone clicks your ad.
A search for “Dr. Seuss” on Amazon.com shows the Sponsored Brand ad for Sourcebooks at the top of the shopping results page.
Sponsored Display ads let you run display campaigns on the Amazon.com home page, product detail pages, shopping results pages, and on non-Amazon websites. You can use them for retargeting and to drive reach and brand growth on and off Amazon.
Sponsored Display ads link to individual product pages.
Sponsored Display ads through Amazon Advertising are not the same as other display ads, such as Google Display ads. The ads are automatically created using your existing product image and product title. Advertisers do have the ability to use an optional custom headline.
Like Sponsored Products ads, Sponsored Display ads are billed on a CPC model. You set your budget and bid per click.
Unlike Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands, Sponsored Display lets you target specific audiences. Comparatively, Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands only target search terms.
A Sponsored Display ad from a product detail page for a children’s book.
Amazon DSP is a demand-side platform (DSP). It lets you use your ad or video creative or automatically create ads or videos using templates or a video builder. You programmatically buy display, audio, and video ads that run on and off Amazon on Amazon publishing partner and third-party sites that use Amazon DSP.
Amazon Sellers and non-Amazon sellers can use Amazon DSP. Self-service and managed-service options are available. A minimum spend of $35,000 is required to use the managed-service option. Ads can be run in most of the 14 countries where Amazon DSP is offered.
Amazon DSP gives advertisers exclusive access to placements on Twitch, Amazon Prime Video, and others. And it supports a variety of goals and advertising at scale.
A Comparison of Amazon Advertising Options
Here’s a rundown of your options and their benefits thru Amazon Advertising and Amazon DSP.
|Sponsored Products||Sponsored Brands||Sponsored Display||Amazon DSP|
|Key Benefit||Performance and increased revenue with strong conversion rates and efficient ACoS||Brand growth: Use the most prominent ad space on Amazon.com to create awareness for and let customers discover your brand and products||Reach and brand growth: Reach your audience and build your brand on and off Amazon||Reach and brand growth: Get exclusive access to placements on Twitch, Amazon Prime Video, and others and access advertising at scale|
|Purpose||Target customers at the lowest end of the funnel in shopping results and on product pages||Drive brand awareness and drive customers to your Amazon Store||Drive retargeting and drive prospects to your product pages||Drive retargeting on Amazon, drive brand awareness on and off Amazon; use custom creative|
|Primary Goals||Revenue, ACoS||Brand awareness, new customer acquisition||Traffic, brand awareness||Brand awareness, new customer acquisition, retargeting|
|Secondary Goals||Organic growth||Revenue, ACoS||Revenue, ACoS||Revenue, ACoS|
Should You Advertise Off Amazon?
Yes. Even Amazon advertises through Google Ads as do many Amazon Sellers. Advertising off Amazon is particularly useful if you have new or unknown products, are a newer brand, or want to drive more traffic to your Amazon products.
You don’t have to stop with Google Search or Shopping ads through Google Ads either. You can advertise your Amazon products through Microsoft Advertising, Facebook and other social platforms, the Google Display Network (GDN), other DSPs, such as The Trade Desk, and even through affiliate marketing (Amazon’s or your own) to maximize brand awareness and drive sales too.
Note that some restrictions apply. For instance, you can’t do Google Shopping ads because Amazon, not you as a Seller, owns the feed. You can create landing pages for your Amazon products though and send your Shopping ads to those.
A “Buy on Amazon” button on your site, a landing page, or an affiliate’s site is a great way to drive traffic to your product(s) on Amazon. Ideally, you want customers to say on your own eCommerce site for the most part though. So use this approach carefully and as part of a broader strategy.
If you’re after brand awareness, using both Amazon DSP and GDN or other DSPs, lets you test ads — and audiences — on different sites. For instance, only Amazon DSP gives you access to Twitch and Amazon Prime and only GDN gives you access to YouTube and the Google feed. Testing both to see where you best meet your KPIs is useful.
I’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible off Amazon. If you’re intrigued, but don’t have a big internal digital marketing team, I recommend using expert help, such as Finch, to maximize your efforts on and off Amazon.
So What’s the Best Way to Advertise with Amazon Advertising?
The best way to advertise your Amazon products is the way that meets your goals — the ones you create before you start advertising.
If you have a new product or are trying to get the Buy Box, both Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands ads are valuable. Advertising off Amazon helps here too.
If you aren’t performing as well as you want on Amazon or are aiming for the Buy Box, Sponsored Brands, Sponsored Display, and Amazon DSP are valuable. Here too, advertising off Amazon can help, particularly with newer products and newer brands.
Ready? Set Goals. Advertise.
Knowing your goals and using a cross-platform advertising strategy can help you maximize conversions, reach, and engagement on and off Amazon. Automation can also help you master advertising at scale both on Amazon and across platforms.
If you want help creating a growth strategy for Amazon that will let you scale across platforms, reach new customers, maintain a good ACoS, and increase conversions with the advantages of automation too, contact Finch.
1 Amazon dominates US ecommerce, though its market share varies by category, eMarketer, Apr. 7, 2021.
2 Online sources for product searches worldwide 2020. Statista. Dec. 1, 2020.
3 Number of Sellers on Amazon Marketplace, Market Plus, May 19, 2021.
4 Sponsored Products, Amazon Advertising.