Amazon Sponsored Products: Everything Brands Need to Know

Around 1.5 million businesses currently list their products on Amazon. This means brands face steep competition on the marketplace. Luckily, Amazon Sponsored Products provide a way to stand out from the crowd and quickly establish new listings. They’re easy to set up too! 

Here’s everything brands need to know to get started. 

What are Amazon Sponsored Products? 

Amazon offers brands a range of PPC options, including Sponsored Brand Ads and Display Ads. But Amazon Sponsored Products are the most popular. In fact, retailers spend three quarters of their Amazon ad spend on these sponsored listings. 

Their popularity can be attributed to their effectiveness in boosting both visibility and sales. But their accessibility is a big plus too. Unlike other Amazon ads, you don’t need to be a member of the Brand Registry to run a sponsored listings campaign. 

Amazon Sponsored Products are similar to Google’s product listing ads. They appear when consumers search for certain keywords and brands only pay a fee when someone clicks through. 

However, Amazon’s sponsored listings show up on almost every page of the marketplace. They appear throughout search results, competitor product pages and category pages. This makes them an essential part of Amazon’s customer journey

Are Amazon Sponsored Products worth it? 

Like any marketing platform, Amazon ads require continuous optimisation in order to secure a decent Return on Ad Spend. But if you invest both time and money, you’re likely to benefit from a profitable performance. 

The average conversion rate for Amazon ads is just under 10%. That’s because people searching on Amazon are often ready to shop – unlike social media or search engine users. In fact, 74% of US shoppers head straight to Amazon when searching for products. So, if they click on your ad, there’s a good chance they will convert. 

Generally, the average brand will spend 20-36c on Amazon advertising in order to make $1 in sales. So, unless you’re working with tight profit margins, it’s worth investing in Amazon advertising. 

Getting started with Amazon Sponsored Products 

Setting up a sponsored listings campaign isn’t too tricky – especially if you hand the reins over to Amazon’s bots. Below, we run through three key steps you need to consider before launching Amazon Sponsored Products. 

1. Choose your campaign type 

The first decision you need to make is whether you want to run an automatic or a manual ad campaign. 

Automatic campaigns are simple to set up, because Amazon chooses the keywords for you. However, you’ll need to optimise your listings beforehand as Amazon’s bots use the information and keywords available here to target your ads. 

With manual campaigns, brands choose their own keywords. They also have more control over ad bids and targeting, which means they can adjust their campaigns for maximum impact. 

Automatic campaigns are great for beginners, but experienced marketers should use them to conduct keyword research too. 

2. Choose your ‘match’ types 

Setting match types helps customise your campaigns to suit your business goals. 

For automatic campaigns, you can choose between four different keyword match types: 

  • Close match: Your ads will only appear when shoppers search for a phrase closely matching your product 
  • Loose match: Your ads will appear when shoppers search for a phrase loosely related to your product 
  • Complements: Your ads will appear on the pages of complementary products
  • Substitutes: Your ads will target shoppers who are searching for a similar product from another brand 

For manual campaigns, you can choose between: 

  • Exact match: Your ads will only appear when specific keywords or phrases are typed into Amazon’s search bar 
  • Phrase match: Your ads will appear when your chosen keywords appear anywhere in a shopper’s search term
  • Broad match: Your ads will appear for a broad range of terms related to your chosen keywords, including abbreviations and acronyms

With manual Amazon ads, marketers can also target specific product categories and competitor product pages. 

3. Set your bids 

For automatic campaigns, you simply set an overall budget and a maximum bid for each click. Whereas, with manual campaigns, you can choose a specific bid for each keyword. 

Amazon offers bid suggestions to help you beat out other advertisers. If you bid high enough, your ads will show up in prominent positions. But, if your bids are too low, they mightn’t appear anywhere. It’s also worth noting that you can increase your bid specifically for prime placements, such as the top of search results. 

Remember, your bid is the maximum amount you are willing to pay for each click. However, you won’t always be charged this amount. If your competitors bid lower, you could pay less. 

Brands can also opt to give Amazon’s bots some control over their bidding. They can automatically adjust your bids up or down based on the likelihood of a conversion taking place.  

Tips for running effective Amazon Sponsored Products campaigns 

Getting your Amazon Sponsored Products set up isn’t difficult, but these tips will help you maximise your ROI from day one. 

Analyse product level data 

To hone your targeting, delve into the in-house data that’s available for each of your products. 

For keyword inspiration, use Google Analytics to determine the search terms that shoppers use to find your products. You should also mine your other PPC campaigns for keyword data. 

If you take advantage of a Where to Buy solution, you can also see what your visitors purchase on Amazon and other third-party websites. This will highlight competitor ASINs, as well as complementary products, for you to target through your manual campaigns. 

Use Amazon’s Ad Placement Report 

Under the ‘Advertising Reports’ section of your Seller Central account, you can request the ‘Performance by Placement’ report. 

This report highlights where your ads appear on Amazon and how well they perform in each of these positions. It includes metrics like impressions, clicks, cost-per-click and sales, which will help you optimise your bidding strategy. 

This report offers an account-wide view of the placements that appeal to your audience the most. This should help you decide when to bid more for top of search placements and if it’s worth targeting competitor product pages. 

Improve your Amazon landing pages 

When consumers click a sponsored listing, they are brought directly to your product page. If the content featured here is insightful and engaging, shoppers are more likely to convert. 

So be sure to optimise your product listings by including lots of detailed images and relevant information. Members of the Brand Registry can add Amazon A+ content to their listings to increase conversions by around 5%. Setting up an Amazon Storefront should help too. 

Optimise your keyword strategy 

To make the most of your Amazon Sponsored Products, it’s wise to revise your keywords on a regular basis. To do this, you can monitor keyword and analytics tools. But you’ll also discover new keywords by experimenting with your Amazon advertising campaigns. 

With automatic campaigns, you’ll see every keyword that Amazon automatically generates. You can also see their cost and conversion rates, so this is a great source for finding profitable keywords to add to your manual campaigns. 

Similarly, you can experiment with ‘broad match’ targeting in your manual campaigns. While this can be expensive and will sometimes result in your Amazon ads appearing in irrelevant placements, you may discover valuable long-tail keywords to add to your campaigns. 

Final thoughts 

Amazon Sponsored Products are just one way to increase your marketplace sales. With reasonable conversion rates and a simple interface, it’s no wonder 34% of sellers have increased their Amazon advertising budget in the past year. 

At the very least, brands should invest in Amazon PPC ads to establish new product listings. This allows them to build up a history of sales and reviews that will help them rank organically in the future. 

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