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Whatever you’re marketing to consumers, whether it’s a product or a service, one of your main focuses should be understanding and keeping up to date with the latest trends in all things digital. Amazon is now the third largest advertising platform behind Google and Facebook, and with a wealth of product updates and rebranding, we’ve put together this handy guide to Amazon’s ads system, so you can get started on your digital advertising journey with confidence.


Platforms for Advertising on Amazon

Amazon has recently gone through a rebranding exercise across its various advertising platforms. Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) is now Advertising Console and Amazon Advertising Platform (AAP) is now Amazon DSP. You can find out more about them below:


Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) / Advertising Console

Quite reminiscent of Google Ads, Advertising Console displays ads based on its users’ interests, what products they’ve viewed and the keywords they type in the search bar. With its comprehensive selection of advertising options on offer, you’ll certainly experience service like no other. Of course, what you get depends on whether you’re a ‘Vendor’ or a ‘Seller’.

What’s the difference, we hear you ask? A good question.

Vendors are large manufacturers or wholesalers selling directly to Amazon. As a Vendor, you should be aware that the use of AMS is by invitation only.

Sellers are all those looking to sell their goods on Amazon’s platform – not to the company itself, but to the consumers it reaches. This is done for a fee, of course, but the bigger the audience you’re targeting, the more you can profit.


Amazon Advertising Platform / Amazon DSP

Now, onto the Amazon DSP. Ideal for larger e-commerce outlets, vendors are able to target display inventory across the Amazon network. However, it comes at a price, a minimum spend of $35,000, but you do get your very own Amazon representative/account manager, not to mention a wide range of additional advertising options, including the ability to let Amazon manage your advertising on your behalf.


For this article, we’re going to focus on Amazon’s Advertising Console, and its ad formats.


Sponsored Product Ads

Screenshot of Sponsored Product ads. Source: www.amazon.com

If you’re just starting out on your journey to digital dominance, this straightforward, impactful option is what you need. Sponsored products appear above and below organic search results, as well as on product pages themselves. Triggered by keywords, Sponsored Product ads contain an image, star-rating and other details relating to the item displayed. Amazon recommend that all new sponsored ad campaigns be set up as auto-targeted, at least for a couple of months; this will let you see what kinds of search queries users are inputting to find your product. You can even bid on competitor terms, but we’d only recommend this where it’s absolutely necessary.


Sponsored Brands (formerly Headline Search Ads)

Screenshot of Sponsored Brand ads. Source: www.amazon.com

Sponsored Brands (formerly Headline Search Ads, another Amazon renaming) are great for increasing brand and product category awareness. Banner-like ads typically appear at the beginning of a buyer’s journey, and it’s possible for advertisers to display ads containing up to three products at any one time. Users are then guided to a branded landing page or Store page, which showcases the advertiser’s entire product offering.

Make sure you use the best performing keywords from your Sponsored Product ads to help generate your Sponsored Brand ads, as this will maintain consistent quality standards across the board. This gives you the ability to protect your brand space on Amazon against competitors, as many advertisers do on Google.


Product Display Ads

Screenshot showing Product Display ads. Source: www.amazon.com

A format exclusive to Amazon Vendors, Product Display ads are targeted based solely on users’ interests. With a primarily visual significance, these ads can be found on product pages, near reviews of other products or, ideally, your own to encourage people to purchase. One approach is to showcase complementary products to encourage users to add more products to their basket.

The intention of Product Display ads is high-impact, driving direct responses; strategically positioned in the Amazon conversion funnel, they’re useful when it comes to generating sales.


So… should you advertise on Amazon?

If you’re already a vendor on Amazon and are advertising on Google, Bing and/or Facebook, it seems like a natural next step to test Amazon. After all, Amazon has claimed for a few years that more retail searches start on Amazon than Google, which we can certainly believe.

Amazon ads are perfect for all kinds of e-commerce vendors. In time, other products may also be incorporated – watch this space! The Amazon ads system is an easy way for vendors to explore new, potentially more lucrative opportunities to complement existing advertising efforts.