Amazon Sponsored Product Ads Boost Product Visibility
Amazon Sponsored Product ads offer pro Sellers the opportunity to promote their goods on Amazon using keyword-targeted ads. These Amazon Sponsored Product (ASP) ads are an easy way for you to bring your listings to the attention of shoppers. You choose which products you want to advertise, assign keywords to those products and enter a cost-per-click bid. When an Amazon shopper searches for one of your keywords and your bid for that word wins by being higher than that of other Sellers; your ad is eligible for display alongside the search results. You pay a fee for this program only when an Amazon shopper clicks your ad, at which point they are then taken to the detail page where your offer is listed. ASP ads give you more control over product merchandising on Amazon. Given the competition and if your listing is beyond page 2; this is an extremely powerful tool that puts your products in front of those who are already searching for it.
This strategic, dynamic pay-per-click program is available to both FBA and FBM Sellers winning the Buy Box. Since ASP ads are measurable and elements are controllable, the majority of successful Sellers I know incorporate them into their marketing mix to:
~ Improve product visibility with an opportunity to get listings on page 1 of search results;
~ Target a highly qualified audience that is ready to make a purchase;
~ Deliver highly relevant ads targeted to customer searches; and,
~ Measure return on investment and optimize advertising spend.
By the way, although it sounds similar, ASPs are not to be confused with Amazon Product Ads. The latter drives traffic to an e-commerce website off of Amazon. I will stick to ASP ads since my objective is aligned with yours: To uplift visibility and increase product sales.
Can All Sellers Run Amazon Sponsored Product Ads?
Simply stated: No. The requirements include:
~ An active Amazon pro Seller account. (Ok that makes sense)
~ The ability to ship to all U.S. addresses. (FBA or FBM)
~ Products must be new, not used products.
~ Listings are in the Buy Box. (If your product is not in the Buy Box, even though you can set up a campaign, ads will not be displayed and will be flagged in Campaign Manager under the Advertising tab in Seller Central.)
As a reminder, even if you are the only Seller on your product page, that does not mean you have won the Buy Box. Crazy I know.
Seller Who Do NOT Benefit from Amazon Sponsored Product Ads
Product listings that have multiple Sellers. Why not? The basic assumption is that if you are among other merchants on the same product page and a shopper clicks the ad you’re paying for to get there; the shopper will purchase from the current Buy Box holder. That may or may not be you. Even if you share the Buy Box a percentage of the time, you risk the sale going to whomever is there at the moment. We know this since 90% of sales on Amazon go through the Buy Box. The customer will have no idea that it was your ad they clicked on to get there in the first place.
Sellers Who Do Benefit from Amazon Sponsored Product Ads
Sellers solely listed on a product page and in the Buy Box really benefit from ASP ads.
This can be Merchants who:
~ Have an exclusive reseller agreement with a manufacturer/distributor;
~ Sell Private Labeled products; or,
~ Offer Unique Bundles.
These are all of the current categories that allow for ASP ads…
Although that may look like every category Amazon has; it’s not. In a message from Amazon, they state that they are not currently accepting new applications from Sellers to advertise products in Jewelry, adult products, used products or refurbished products. The jewelry category may be acceptable at some future point though, so if you sell there check back with Amazon periodically.
More About How Amazon Sponsored Product Ads Work
Your ASP ad can start after you’ve set up a campaign, submitted a competitive bid and your offer is listed in the Buy Box of the detail page. The good news is that there’s no monthly fee and you pay only when your ads are clicked. Heads up, your pay-per-click fees for ASPs are invoiced separately and charged to the listed credit card on your Seller account on a monthly basis.
ASP ads appear right where customers will see them, such as on page one of search results or even on the product detail pages of competitors.
Here’s an example…let’s say I’m looking for Bamboo Cutting Boards. This is what shows up for me at the moment:
Notice the first two listings displayed are ASP ads. Also interesting to note is that on the right side rail, this Seller not only used “Bamboo” in their Product Title, also must have bid enough on my search terms to land in that spot. The punchline? These are plastic cutting boards. Is this a strategy to lure shoppers to their plastic cutting boards? Probably. But it is a risky one at that. The question is, does this plan work in the Seller’s favor or is it a major loss since they have to pay every time a shopper clicks on that ad. Sale or no sale. It’s a risk and budget expenditure they seem willing to take. At least for the time being.
ASP ads also show up on the bottom of a product detail page such as in this case:
In case you were wondering, yes, customers do see ASP ads on both mobile and tablet browsers:
Ready to Set Up an Amazon Sponsored Product Ad Campaign?
Fortunately, Amazon has made this process an easy one.
First, in your Seller Central dashboard select Campaign Manager under the Advertising tab, then click on the Create Campaign button.
Second, name your campaign and decide your default bids. Bids are auctions for ad space, so budget for the maximum amount you are willing to pay every time someone clicks on your ad. Keep in mind that if your default bid is too low, your ad will sporadically be displayed if at all.
Next, select the keyword targeting type: either manual or automatic. Generally successful Sellers prefer manual targeting. With manual targeting you will also have the ability to add keywords on broad, phrase and exact match types.
Amazon also offers Negative Keywords if you want to try out that option. Negative Keywords are used to prevent your ad from showing when people search using those words. Continuing with our cutting board example: If your cutting boards are plastic and you have found that shoppers searching for Bamboo Cutting Boards are clicking on your ad but not making a purchase; then you can put that on your Negative Keywords list to avoid paying for non-conversion clicks.
Third, if you put a start date of today, that means your campaign will be launched immediately.
You should be looking for high conversion and high volume results. Amazon has made this so flexible that you can change all components at any time 24/7.
Monitor Amazon Sponsored Product Ad Campaign Results
Check in on keyword performances regularly. For some Sellers that means daily, for others weekly. Once you’ve started a campaign you can try new keywords, adjust your budgets and pause or restart at any time.
While Amazon does offer Suggested Keywords, it’s your discretion whether to add them to your manually chosen list. The key (pun intended) here is to watch for what words are generating the results you want and clean house of those under performers.
Remember, you’re not charged until a shopper clicks your ad — in other words, when your advertising is working.
On the campaign page to the right, Amazon displays the how much you spent, the sales amount generated for that keyword and your Advertising Cost of Sale (ACoS). Determining your accepted cost of sales percentages helps you to decide which keywords have the highest conversion rates and which ones aren’t worth keeping.
Create Successful Amazon Sponsored Product Ads
The challenge for any Seller is finding keywords that they will help them outrank competitors. You can end up wasting tons of money “learning” which words works and which ones don’t. You could avoid that though. How? If you have had your Listing Optimized by MarketHustl, use those ideally matched keywords created specifically for your product in manual targeting campaigns. Not only will your listings be discovered far more easily during search but you will also benefit big time by increasing your ROI on your ad spend since shoppers will know EXACTLY what they are buying because your page explains it perfectly.
Tina Marie Bueno is a global citizen with an MBA in Int’l Business plus over 20 years of content marketing experience both in the U.S. and overseas. As the Lead Writer at MarketHustl, she strives to deliver relevant content to serve Amazon businesses of all sizes.
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