3 Amazon advertising tools for retail marketers

The likes of Google and Facebook are fighting hard to reinvent themselves as eCommerce advertising tools. The two tech giants both know this is where the long-term future lies in the mobile age.

Meanwhile, Amazon has a much smaller task on its hands. The online marketplace is already the biggest name we associate with buying products over the web, which means its recent venture into PPC advertising is something we’re very interested in. Would you like to connect with shoppers who are just about to open their wallets? Yeah, we thought so.

Amazon raises the bar on user intent

As with any marketing platform, the first question to ask is: what’s the user intent? In this case, Amazon ads have an instant advantage over Google and even more so over Facebook.

People go to Amazon to browse and buy products – that’s it. Sure, they may compare prices or do some casual window shopping (if you can call it that). But nobody goes there to find out when the next iPhone is out or post a selfie.

So the buying intent with Amazon users is always high and this is significant for a number of reasons:

  • High buying intent is always more likely to convert
  • A short conversion process means less work for you
  • Amazon users are already targeted in terms of intent and interest

So, in theory, you should be looking at some impressive ROI Amazon ads without putting in the same time and effort it takes to make things happen on other platforms. People are there to buy anyway, so you can get right to the point and focus on selling.

How does Amazon advertising work?

Amazon is still very young as an advertising platform but it works in a similar to Google Shopping Campaigns in AdWords. You’ll also be bidding on keywords with Amazon advertising and there’s a remarketing system akin to AdWords’, too.

You don’t get anywhere near the same level of targeting options or analytical feedback, though. Amazon doesn’t give you location, demographic or much in the way of targeting whatsoever – at least for now.

As we said earlier, it doesn’t really need to match Google and Facebook for targeting. Meanwhile, most of the ads are automated for you so there isn’t the same need for in-depth analytics. That said, we would like to see more data on the performance side of things – something we hope Amazon will provide with time.

What kind of ads can I use on Amazon?

As things stand there are three campaign types available on Amazon: Sponsored Products, Headline Search Ads and Product Display ads. This probably won’t mean much to you at this stage so let’s take a closer look at the three campaign types.

Sponsored Product Ads

Sponsored Product Ads are Amazon’s answer to Google Product Listings. All you need to do is bid on your keywords and Amazon automatically generates the listing ad on your behalf. In fact, you can even let Amazon take care of the keyword targeting for you, but we don’t recommend this approach.


Note: We spoke to Amazon about each campaign type and its reps told us retailers should spend around 60% of their entire budget on Sponsored Product Ads.

Where do they show?

There are a number of places your Sponsored Product Ads will show:

On desktop:

  • Above search results
  • To the right of search results
  • Below search results
  • On product detail pages

On mobile:

  • Below search results
  • On product detail pages.

Where do they send users?

When users click one of your Product Search Ads they’ll land on the product detail page – no surprises there.

How much do they cost?

Amazon told us there’s a £1 per day minimum spend on Sponsored Product Ads.

Headline Search Ads

Headline Search Ads are pretty much banner ads that show across the top of Amazon search results. Once again you’ll be bidding on keywords to get your ad seen, but this time you can promote more than one product in the same ad.


Where do they show?

Headline Display Ads always show at the top of page one on Amazon results pages, giving you the top spot every time you win an auction.

Where do they send users?

Unlike Sponsored Product Ads, you can use Headline Search Ads to send people to almost any Amazon page. This could be your Amazon brand page or a specific landing page you have designed for a product range, for example.

How much to they cost?

With Headline Search Ads you’ll have to set a minimum total budget of £100 rather than a daily minimum.

Product Display Ads

Unlike other Amazon ads, Product Display Ads aren’t triggered by keywords. Instead, they show based on user interests and products related to their searches.


For example, you can place these ads on product pages related to yours (e.g: camera bags on camera system pages) or get your ad seen on the same results page as your competitors. Essentially, you’re tapping into a buying intent and introducing your product as an addition/alternative.

These ads are also automatically generated by Amazon for you.

Where do they show?

Product Display Ads can show in a number of different places across desktop, mobile and inside the app:

  • Product detail page
  • The right of search results
  • The bottom of search results
  • Customer reviews page
  • Read all reviews page
  • The top of the offer listing page
  • Amazon-generated marketing emails

Where do they send users?

Just like Sponsored Product Ads users are sent to the relevant product page when they click. One thing that’s different though is your Product Display Ads will automatically stop running when your products are out of stock.

How much do they cost?

Once again you’ll need to set a minimum total budget of £100 for Product Display Ad campaigns.

Is Amazon the eCommerce advertiser we’ve all been waiting for?

The exciting thing about Amazon is it connects you with just about the highest buying intent possible. Google Shopping campaigns are often triggered by people simply looking for information about a product – something that won’t happen as much on Amazon.

Meanwhile, on Facebook, there’s next to no buying intent whatsoever. But this doesn’t mean eCommerce brands will want to ditch Google and Facebook for Amazon advertising – at least not yet.

The three different types of lead you can generate from each platform are all essential parts of the consumer journey. Amazon simply focuses on those just about to cross the finishing line – and its position as an eCommerce platform gives it a real edge in this regard.

So Amazon is already showing a lot of potential as an eCommerce advertiser and the big two might need to watch out. Best of all, you can try out Amazon advertising for free! You get £100 budget to play with when you sign up and there’s no requirement to spend beyond that.

We can help with your Amazon advertising

If you’d like help setting up your Amazon campaigns or getting more from your existing ones, speak to our PPC experts today on 023 9283 0281 or fill in your details and we’ll contact you.

More retail-related reading

5 tactics every retail marketer should be using in 2017

Google wants to become the ultimate selling tool for fashion retailers

Andy King profile picture
Andy King

Andy is a PPC specialist at Vertical Leap and has worked in marketing since 2012. He manages PPC projects from strategy through to implementation and management, using multiple platforms including Google Ads, Bing Ads, YouTube, Twitter, Gmail, Facebook/Instagram, LinkedIn and Amazon Ads.

More articles by Andy
Related articles
Guide to Amazon advertising

Guide to Amazon advertising

By Callum Coard
Someone using an ecommerce website and paying with their card

The ultimate eCommerce SEO checklist

By Dave Colgate