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Amazon Advertising: different formats to play with

Like Google, Amazon is a search platform. And because Amazon gets so much traffic, its products and brands often appear at the top of Google search results - sometimes even before the eCommerce website of the searched brand. That's pretty impressive!

So, to state the obvious: you need to be on Amazon. But not just anywhere - you need to appear on the first page, in the top search results. Why? Because 70% of users don't click beyond the 1st page of the Amazon Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Another factor you shouldn't ignore is sponsored ad placements. Around 30% of Amazon search results are sponsored. Thanks to a flurry of competition, Amazon ads are now quickly gaining ground on Facebook and Google (Tiktok, Snapchat, and the likes are behind).

In 2020, Amazon took up 10% of US digital ad spending.

Sources: eMarketer, Insider Intelligence

Notes: Google includes ad revenue from Youtube; Facebook includes Instagram

The Amazon customer journey offers a growing number of opportunities to lose or convert a potential customer. So could advertising be the key to unlocking your business on Amazon? Probably.

There are numerous advertising formats to match the nonlinear buyer journey: awareness, consideration, purchase, advocacy, loyalty…

Read on to get a complete overview of advertising opportunities of Amazon.

Amazon Sponsored Ads

What?  These are the most common types of ads, specifically designed for search results. Pricing is based on Pay-Per-Click.

Best for: This ad type gives you high visibility placement (it'll often be the first thing a user sees) and advanced targeting based on keywords, product, or category.

Good to know: The seven first products on an Amazon search page are sponsored ads. Most consumers don't know these products are sponsored as it's not very noticeable.

What? It's a banner at the top of the page that showcases your brand. You can display three products in one ad, and it's a standard format.

Best for: Brand awareness but with a conversion focus, as you can drive traffic towards your product page.

Users who click on your logo or a sentence are directed to your brand's store; 85% of brand store traffic comes from this ad format.

Good to know: Don't let a poor content strategy turn users away! Your brand store must be optimized. Make sure your advertising and content are aligned, or you're paying for traffic that won't convert.

Amazon has made recent updates to this format, allowing advertisers to add lifestyle images to the sponsored creatives to improve the branding experience. These images are particularly visible on mobile devices, occupying almost half the screen.

Store Spotlight

What? Another new format of the Sponsored Brand ad, the Store Spotlight, has recently been made available. You can choose to promote three different pages of the store instead of three products.

Best for: These campaigns are particularly effective for brand protection strategies, allowing brands to showcase different product segments rather than just products.

Good to know: When using this format, make sure your products have a good Buy Box ownership rate as the ad will keep running even though your competitor has the buybox!

What? A new format in which one video takes up the entire width of the page. We've seen excellent results from Sponsored Brands videos. Learn more about them here.

What? Sponsored Products advertisements appear in Amazon shopping results and help promote specific products. Sponsored Products are performance based. Pricing is based on Pay Per Click (PPC).

Best for: This ad format is the perfect match between the searched keyword and the suggested product.

PPC is determined by 2nd price auction (so the bid right after you) and the quality ranking of your product. If your product does not have enough reviews or has poor ratings, the PPC will increase.

Good to know: Make sure you know which metrics you need to keep an eye on.

Key metrics to track:

  • RoAS (1$ spend = x number of sales): focus on keywords with the best RoAS.
  • TACoS (how much my advertising campaign generated incremental revenue): target a TACoS of around 10% when you are on steady speed. Don't try to underspend, as you might miss growth opportunities.

What? A banner located in several positions on the Amazon website, such as Search pages or Product pages.

Best for: This is a helpful format for retargeting clients, positioning a brand on specific brand pages, or specific products. It can also be used for pure awareness to target a complete category or brand.

Good to know: This ad format is still evolving and changing  (Amazon is currently doing some updates and AB testings).

Keep in mind that you might need a little more budget than with the previous ad types as you will need to target a broader audience or run your ads for longer.

  • Cons: This tool is manual and quite advanced.
  • Pros: Optimization opportunities are unlimited, and you can focus on specific ASINS for extra targeted ads.

Amazon DSP

What? You can find these ads on the Amazon sponsored Display placement and outside of Amazon (like on a newspaper or mailing website)

Best for: Amazon Display is a technical ad intended for large accounts with experience in Advertising on Amazon.

The objective is to target potential customers based on demographics & behavioral metrics.

Good to know: You can be very generic with your targeting, for example: Men, 18 to 55 years old, like outside sports.

But you can also be extremely specific:
Brand Halo Targeting: Target consumers that already buy something from your brand.
Competitor Targeting: Target consumers that purchased a similar product from a competitor.

Amazon DSP also allows much more diverse options for branding and formats. You can create banners from scratch to represent your brand and products. You can even use customer images, including video.

Amazon Attribution: go even further

What? It's a pretty new system (released in November 2020). Essentially, it's a dashboard that lets you track all your advertising efforts on different platforms and channels in one place. You can also identify the impact on your Amazon Business (for example, Mailing, Facebook ads…).

Best for: This nifty tool highlights which budget and channels lead to the most sales and awareness. The objective is for the brand to understand better when and how to activate each specific channel.

Good to know: This functionality is still in Beta but tends to be generalized. It's available in Europe and America.

So there you have it! Advertising is essential to making sure users can easily find you and your product on Amazon. Not only that, it’s also necessary in order to defend your own brand terms against competitors.

Amazon Advertising: different formats to play with

Julie Cazaux

Marketing Expert & eCommerce enthusiast writing content to help brands better navigate the Amazon ecosystem.

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