Amazon Sponsored Display ad for Star Wars socks

What Are Amazon Sponsored Display Ads & Are They Worth It?

Ever wonder if there was a way to retarget Amazon visitors to your listing? With Amazon Sponsored Display ads, you can.

If you’re an Amazon vendor or a Brand-Registered seller, you can access a number of powerful advertising tools to help scale your business on Amazon. One of those tools is Sponsored Display ads. 

Sponsored Display ads allow you to reach relevant audiences on and off Amazon. So not only will your ads be displayed across various Amazon pages, they’ll also be visible to customers on third-party websites and apps. 

Let’s dig deeper into what exactly Sponsored Display ads are, how they work, and how to set them up. 


What is a Sponsored Display ad?

We all know how effective Sponsored Product ads can be for launching products — having your product reach the first page of search results can be seriously lucrative. But Sponsored Display’s off-Amazon advertising capability is a whole different ball game. 

Launched in 2019, Sponsored Display is the newest type of Amazon PPC advertising, and is still growing in popularity among sellers. In 2022, 29% of third-party sellers use Sponsored Display ads, and spending on this type of ad accounts for 3% of Amazon’s advertising revenue.


The major difference between Sponsored Display ads and Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands is that the program doesn’t target keywords. Instead, it targets customers based on audience interests and shopping behaviors, as well as whether they’ve viewed your product’s detail page.

As defined by Amazon, Sponsored Display is a self-service display advertising solution that helps you grow your business and brand on Amazon by engaging shoppers across the purchase journey, on and off Amazon.”

Essentially, Amazon takes note of the products a potential customer views on its site and displays them again to the customer across various Amazon pages, competitor listings, and third-party websites and apps. 

If you’re an Amazon shopper, you’ve probably seen Sponsored Display ads in action—they’re the ghosts of Amazon products you’ve considered buying that magically pop up in the margins of the sites and apps you use to shop, get your news, or find recipes.  

Click the ad, and boom—you’re redirected to the product listing and re-engaged in the purchase journey. 

This technique gives brands the ability to make powerful impressions on potential customers. With Sponsored Display, brand-registered sellers can: 

  • Retarget customers who have previously viewed their listing(s) within the past 30 days
  • Target similar products or categories 
  • Target customers based on their interests and previous shopping behaviors (vendors only)

With Sponsored Display ads, you can remind potential customers about your product, even when they’ve navigated away from Amazon. According to Amazon, sellers who use Sponsored Display audiences see up to 82% of their sales come from new-to-brand customers.


How do Sponsored Display ads work?

As with other Amazon advertising tools, Sponsored Display is a PPC (pay-per click) program. You bid against other sellers for ad placements—i.e., visibility to potential customers. There is no minimum investment required; like a Sponsored Product Ad, you will set your bids and daily budget.

There are three types of targeting options available with Sponsored Display ads: product targeting, views remarketing, and audience interests. 

Types of Amazon Sponsored Display ads


Product Targeting ads

Product Targeting allows you to reach customers who are browsing your product or similar products and categories. You can target potential customers of top competitors within your niche by displaying your product as an ad on their listings. 

If you know your competitors’ listings receive a lot of traffic, you can create a coupon or lower your price slightly below theirs, and then turn on the Product Targeting display ads. That way, you can entice customers to choose your listing over similar products.  

You also have the ability to target visitors to listings for complementary products. For instance, if you sell Xbox One accessories, you can target visitors to listings for Xbox One consoles or Xbox games.

Eligibility: The Product Targeting option is eligible for Vendors and third-party sellers enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry.


Audiences: Views remarketing

With views remarketing, sellers can retarget customers who have previously viewed their listings. Re-engaging with customers who have been viewing your products or similar products in your category are more likely to convert than targeting “cold” traffic through Sponsored Products. 

Views remarketing ad type will retarget audiences that have viewed your product’s detail page or reach audiences that have viewed detail pages of similar products and categories.

Your ads will be shown to customers who have viewed your product listings on Amazon in the last 30 days, but have not purchased your products. 

Eligibility: The Product Targeting option is eligible for Vendors and third-party sellers enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry.


Audiences: Interests

This unique targeting option can increase awareness of your brand by introducing your products to new audiences who have signaled that they could be interested in your products. 

In other words, Amazon will show your ads to shoppers who have viewed products related to specific interests. 

Eligibility: This targeting option is only available for Vendors.


Where do Sponsored Display ads appear?

First, let me clarify the difference between Sponsored Display, Sponsored Brands, and Sponsored Products ads with examples of brand and product ads. 

Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Products ads appear in that order at the top of the first page of keyword search results on Amazon. 

Sponsored Display ads, on the other hand, may appear on Amazon (on product detail pages or shopping results on desktop, mobile, and app) or on third-party websites and apps (in the U.S. only), depending on the targeting option you choose.

Here’s an example of a Display ad using product targeting or audience retargeting—it appears right below the product description on a competitor’s listing. 


How to set up a Sponsored Display ad

Setting up your Display ads is simple. You don’t need a large budget or the ability to design your own ad creatives—you just need to be a brand-registered seller, and in a few clicks you can have your ads up and running. 


In Seller Central, go to the “Advertising” tab, then click “Campaign Manager,” and then “Create campaign.”

Next, click on “Sponsored Display” under “Choose your campaign type.” 

The next few steps are very similar to setting up a Sponsored Product campaign. After you enter your campaign name, enter your date range, daily budget, ad group name, and bid optimization strategy.

Next, choose the product you’d like to advertise and the targeting strategy. You can choose between “Audiences” and “Product Targeting.” For this example, I will choose “Audiences” to show you how specific you can get with this strategy.  

Your options for audiences include “Amazon audiences,” “Views remarketing,” and “Purchases remarketing.” For this example, I am going to choose “Views remarketing,” but make sure you look into each audience option Amazon offers. Click on the “Customize your audience” link in this section to learn about each type of audience.


Here’s how granular you can get with “Views remarketing.”

The last section gives you the option to either customize your ad creative or have Amazon set it for you. You can add in your own brand logo and choose a headline to entice customers to click your listing.


And lastly, you can choose where you want your ads to be displayed on Amazon. Amazon will also give you an example of where your ad will show. 



Are Sponsored Display ads worth it?

That’s up to you to decide! An important thing to remember about selling on Amazon is you need to test different strategies to see what works best for your products and business. 

Compared to Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands ads, Sponsored Display ads yield a lower return on ad spend (RoAS), according to our 2022 Amazon Advertising Report.

But keep in mind that having another advertising strategy in your arsenal is a great way to stay on top of your competition, especially if you are able to retarget potential customers. 

If you are enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry or are a Vendor to Amazon, test out Sponsored Display ads and see how they perform. 

Have you run these types of ads before or have additional questions regarding Sponsored Display ads? Let us know in the comments below!

To find the best keywords to target for your Sponsored Display ads, check out Jungle Scout, the all-in-one ecommerce solution. 




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