Are Amazon Product Display Ads Dead?

January 26, 2021
Written by Jenna
amazon product display ads

If you didn't get the memo, Amazon Product Display ads had an upgrade, and it is now called Amazon Sponsored Display ads. Amazon's former Senior Product Marketing Manager Lynly Schambers-Lenox announced it through their blog last September 12, 2019. Hence, Amazon Sponsored Display ads are a relatively new ad product, currently on the beta stage. 

For those who still have Amazon Product Display ads campaigns running, don't worry, because all your efforts aren't wasted. Amazon assures sellers that it is now part of Sponsored Display ads without tweaking anything on the Seller Central account. 

With that said, it is now clear that Amazon Product Display ads aren't dead, but only had a "facelift." But what's up with the new and improved Amazon PPC marketing product? In this article, we will explain what are Display Ads, how it works, who can use them, and how to create one.

A quick overview of Amazon sponsored ads

Twelve million products. That's how fierce the competition is in the Amazon marketplace. Luckily, the online retail giant has an arsenal of sponsored ad products at your disposal. It includes:

Sponsored Products are keyword-based PPC (pay-per-click) ads used for promoting individual product listings. 

Sponsored Brands are another keyword-based PPC ads that help showcase a brand and its product portfolio.

Sponsored Displays are self-service advertising PPC tools that help reach relevant customers on and off Amazon.

Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands use keywords to rank their product listings to make it visible to the customers who search for it. It is different from Sponsored Display ads that use shopping signals to reach out to potential customers.

Using shopping signals for your Amazon PPC marketing efforts might be a bizarre thing. Let us see how it works with Sponsored Display ads.

What are Amazon Sponsored Display ads (aka Amazon Product Display ads) 

Amazon knows that it is impossible to convince customers to buy your product the first time, especially if you're still a new seller in the marketplace. This is why they invented Sponsored Display ads. It utilizes customer's demographic data to retarget them based on their shopping habits.

Here's how it works. The potential buyer searches for a product and clicks on your listing from the search results. They will spend some time scanning your offer but later decide to leave your page without buying your product. If the said product listing is in a Sponsored Display ad, the buyer may start seeing that product again in the form of ads. The Amazon Product Display ad recaptures the buyer's interest, clicks on it, and returns them to its listing page. If everything goes as planned, the potential customer purchases the product. 

That's retargeting for you. Is this just a random thing that pops up right in front of the customer's web page? Nope. Everything must be pre-programmed based on the type of targeting strategy.

Sponsored Display ads have two targeting types, and each has its own options, as follows:

Audiences targeting

  • Searches - customers who used a search term (keyword) relevant to your advertised products.
  • Views - buyers who viewed the listing pages of your advertised products or similar.
  • Categories - customers who search a category that is similar or complements your advertised product.

Product targeting

  • Individual products - you can target a product similar or complementary to your advertised product.
  • Purchases - you can retarget the customers who recently purchased your advertised product.

Sponsored display ads save you from time-consuming keyword research. It offers a straightforward solution to promote your products using an online advertising method called retargeting.

Since we can't get over Amazon Product Display Ads yet, we will use this term interchangeably with Sponsored Display ads throughout this article.

Where can you find Amazon Product Display ads

Typically, it can be found right under the Buy Box or product’s key features, as illustrated below:

However, it primarily depends on the targeting strategy you set. For audiences targeting, it will appear on third-party websites and apps. When you choose this targeting variant, you can "follow" the customer who recently viewed your product offering outside Amazon. 

If you choose product targeting, it will display on product listings and other product-related pages. It gives you the edge of selling your products right at your competitors' product detail pages. You can also dominate a category related to your product when you use this option.

Amazon Product Display ads advantages

In general, Amazon sponsored ads like product displays help drive traffic and increase brand awareness. Other than that, it has the following benefits:

  • You can put your best-selling product directly under your competitors' listing.
  • It can boost awareness for your new product listings.
  • You can target customers who are no longer on Amazon.
  • It can be displayed outside Amazon, including social media sites, native ad networks, and Google.

Who can use Amazon Product Display ads

According to Amazon, it is available for professional sellers registered in Amazon Brand Registry, vendors, and agencies with clients who sell on their marketplace. Moreover, sellers must have an active professional seller account and are capable of delivering to all U.S. addresses. On the other hand, vendors must have products that they sell directly on Amazon to become eligible.

Unfortunately, not all Amazon marketplaces support this feature. It is only available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, Italy, and Spain.

When should you use Sponsored Display ads

You can fully utilize this Amazon PPC marketing product once you analyze where it fits into the marketing funnel. As a review, this funnel consists of five stages, namely, the awareness stage, consideration stage, purchase intent stage, purchase experience stage, and purchase stage.

Each stage represents the buyer's journey. Starting from when the customer sees your product the first time (awareness) to the time that they buy the product (purchase). As a rule of thumb, you can use Sponsored Display ads at the middle to the bottom portion of the funnel since this is generally used for retargeting or remarketing purposes only.

What is the difference between Amazon Sponsored Display and Amazon DSP

Both Amazon ads can appear on and off the marketplace, but what sets them apart? We can determine this by understanding the characteristics of Amazon DSP (Demand-Side Platform), as enumerated below:

  • You don't have to be an Amazon seller to use Amazon DSP.
  • It has two formats: display ads and video ads.
  • You must have a marketing budget of over $35,000. (Yep, no kidding.)
  • It can be directed to any page, on and off Amazon.
  • It is charged based on cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM).
  • It has several targeting options like advertiser audiences, remarketing, lifestyle, contextual, behavioral, and audience lookalike.

Simply put, Amazon DSP is for advertisers and sellers from another e-commerce platform who are established and have more capital. They want to leverage Amazon's popularity of being the number one online marketplace worldwide.

How to create Sponsored Display ad campaign

Here's how to set up PPC on Amazon using Sponsored Display ad:

  1. Log in to your Amazon Seller Central account.
  2. Under the Advertising menu, go to Campaign Manager > Sponsored Display.
  3. In the Create campaign section, set your campaign name, campaign duration, and daily budget.
  4. In the Create an ad group section set an appropriate Ad group name.
  5. Choose your desired Targeting. It is either Audiences or Product Targeting.
  6. Set your bidding amount.
  7. Review it carefully before hitting the Launch campaign button.

Don't be a "set it and forget it" type of seller. Always monitor the performance of your campaign and optimize it until you obtain your desired goal.

Tips on how to develop the best Amazon PPC strategy

Truthfully, Amazon Sponsored Display ads aren't enough to get the ball rolling. It has a slightly lower conversion rate compared to Sponsored Brand and Sponsored Product ads. A better solution is using a mix of Amazon sponsored ads to achieve favorable results. Aside from this, you may also apply the following tips:

  • Choose your top-selling product and put it up versus your competition. Make sure it is related to the competitor's category or product to avoid getting penalized by Amazon.
  • Find the high converting ASINs from the Search Term Report of your Sponsored Product ads. Then create a Sponsored Display ad campaign out of it.
  • Run a campaign for product listings with coupons or currently running a promotion. The sample displayed below:
  • The sponsored display campaign should run for at least 90 days to achieve the best results.

Best practices for Amazon product display ads

As always, Amazon puts policies to regulate the use of its advertising products. As a seller, it is your responsibility to comply with them to avoid suspension of your selling privileges. Here are some of Sponsored Display Creative Acceptance policies you must keep in mind: 

  • Use only images with high-resolution because this type of ad displays a thumbnail-sized photo only.
  • Animated ads aren't allowed, only in a static format.
  • The ad should reflect the content of the landing page or product listing.
  • Be mindful of the local language of the marketplace where it will be shown.
  • Email addresses, website URL, phone numbers, hashtags, QR codes, social media addresses, and contact details are prohibited in the ad.
  • Call-to-action (CTA) is not allowed in the ad.
  • Don't use superlatives like "Massive Savings" or "Great Discounts."
  • Avoid complicated graphics on brand logos. Always K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, seller.
  • The entire ad must be suitable for the general audience.

In closing

Amazon Product Display ads, which are now called Sponsored Display ads, help you re-engage and retarget your potential customers. If your first attempt to entice them with your offers didn't work out, then this is the perfect chance to launch a display ad that will urge them to click the Add to Cart or Buy Now button. 

So, don't worry because Amazon Product Display ads aren't dead yet. Its upgraded version is here to stay to help you increase brand awareness, boost sales, and an opportunity to offer your product within your competitor's listing. 

What's more, is you don't have to conduct keyword research to execute this Amazon PPC marketing strategy. What you need to do is monitor the customer's shopping behavior to drive the traffic to your products. More traffic means a high probability of closing more sales.

If you want to understand more about Amazon product display ads, Seller Interactive has experienced Amazon consultants willing to help you develop the best Amazon PPC strategy. Email us at [email protected] or [email protected] today.

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