A Deep Dive Into Sponsored Display Ads 

May 31, 2022

While most Amazon sellers have heard of Sponsored Display ads, few use them. Instead, sellers tend to stick to the more popular choices: Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands. But the truth is that if you’re not using Sponsored Display ads, you’re failing to squeeze the most value out of Amazon’s powerful ad platform.  


What are Sponsored Display ads? 


Sponsored Display ads can help promote your products and improve your brand’s visibility. Very much like Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands ads. There is one significant difference, though: Sponsored Display can advertise products and boost brand engagement off and on Amazon.  

This means that Sponsored Display ads aren’t just shown to shoppers while they’re using the platform; they’re displayed across many different digital channels.  


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Why are Sponsored Display ads important? 


Many of us make one big mistake: we think of the buying journey as a single, straightforward line from A-B, a journey that takes place in minutes. As a result, it’s easy to consider it as something like this: 

  • A buyer navigates to Amazon and searches for a product they want. Then clicks on it, adds the item to a cart, and checks out.

In reality, that’s rarely the case. In fact, according to Amazon, that sort of buying journey only occurs 4% of the time. Instead, it’s more likely to look something like this: 

  • A buyer uses Google to browse different products and compares products using brand/review websites. Then checks the price and star rating on Amazon. Lastly, adds a product to a cart and goes to check out.

This shows how important it is to have a presence and engage with customers both on Amazon and off-Amazon, even if Amazon is your primary eCommerce platform.  


How Sponsored Display ads work


Unlike other types of ‘Sponsored’ campaigns on Amazon, Sponsored Display ads aren’t keyword-based. Instead, they use behavioral signals to ensure that the right ads are displayed to the right people, on the right channel, at the right time.  

The ‌signals that Amazon will use to match ads to audiences will depend on the type of targeting you choose. For example, it will use viewing history signals for view-based targeting campaigns, and browsing behavior for interest-based targeting campaigns. Product-based targeting campaigns will use signals from how a user has previously interacted with that product or similar product type.  

Using behavioral signals rather than keywords makes Sponsored Display ads much closer to the Amazon Demand Side Platform (or DSP) than other sponsored campaigns. However, there are still many differences between Amazon Display ads and the Amazon DSP, with the DSP typically having more features.  


How to optimize Sponsored Display Ads 


Sponsored Display ads 


There are four crucial elements to consider when creating Sponsored Display ads to ensure they deliver optimal results and maximize your ROAS.


1. Budget 

When setting up a Sponsored Display campaign, you’ll need to set a daily budget. This is the maximum amount that you allow Amazon to charge you, per day, for any PPC campaign that you run. Of course, there’s no minimum, but remember that the lower your budget, the more you risk missed opportunities. Setting the proper budget means thinking about your advertising cost of sales, cost per click, and more.  


2. Products 

Driving great results from a Sponsored Display campaign means carefully selecting the right products to promote. As a general rule of thumb, any item with good performance through SP ads is an excellent place to start. In addition, Amazon has created a list of helpful tips for product selection and recommends opting for what it calls ‘retail ready’ products that are already well established.  


3. Tactic 

You’ll need to decide whether you will use the product targeting tactic, the audience targeting tactic, or both. There’s no right or wrong answer here, and what’s best will depend on your individual goals. However, Amazon notes that a combined approach can ‘drive an increase in sales and incremental reach,’ so using both tactics simultaneously may yield better outcomes. 


4. Bids 

Like Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands, Sponsored Display operates on a CPC basis. So this means you’ll need to spend a little time developing a robust Amazon bidding strategy if you want to see desired results. When determining the best bid, remember that bidding too low can result in missed opportunities, while bidding too high could hurt your ROAS.  


Are Sponsored Display campaigns worth it? 


While Amazon sellers often overlook Sponsored Display ads, they could prove to be your secret weapon for success. 

Amazon says that monthly sales growth is, on average, 4% higher for sellers using Sponsored Products and Sponsored Display together, compared to using Sponsored Products alone. So, it’s clear that Sponsored Display campaigns have a role in any ultimate Amazon marketing strategy.  



About the author

George Clear Ads

George Roberts is Head of Sales at Clear Ads. He has worked in advertising since 2014, working with an array of media. George’s extensive experience means he has dealt with thousands of clients’ advertising campaigns, understanding their advertising goals to ensure they are achieved. 



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