Sponsored Products: Seller Central vs Amazon Marketing Services

AMS vs Sponsored Products in Amazon PPC

Sponsored Product ads are the most popular ad type on Amazon, kind of like badgers are the most popular carnivore in the Mustelidae family. Okay, that second part might not be completely true, but the first part is. Sponsored Product ads can be created in Seller Central for all Amazon Sellers. If you have access to Vendor Central, you can also access Sponsored Products through Amazon Marketing Services (AMS). Sponsored Products are the most common type of PPC ad displayed when searching for products on Amazon.

Here are examples of where you can see Sponsored Product ads on the search page (Sponsored Products in Red).

sponsored products positioning
As you can see, Sponsored Product ads appear in a number of places. They surround the search page’s products. Customers can’t miss them, so as a seller you should prioritize optimizing them.

They can also appear on product listings for similar products, like so:

As if appearing many times on the search results page wasn’t enough, Sponsored Product ads also appear on product pages.

Like I said before, Amazon sellers can create Sponsored Products ads in Seller Central and AMS, which you gain access to when you sell your products through Vendor Central. For a quick refresher, please reference my previous posts on types of ads in Seller and Vendor Central and how they compare.

What Are the Similarities for Sponsored Product Ads in Seller Central & Amazon Marketing Services (AMS)?

Even though Sponsored Product ads can be created through Seller or through AMS, they can share several commonalities.

Such as:

  1. The product ads are identical
    • Amazon customers can’t tell if a vendor or a third-party seller made the ad, just by looking at Sponsored Product ads on a search result.
  2. Sponsored Product Ads can only be displayed for products that own the buy box. Our friends CPCStrategy provide insight on winning the buy box here.
  3. Sponsored Product ads have two campaign targeting settings:  automatic and manual campaign
    • Manual campaigns: Where you insert bids for keywords you manually select
    • Automatic campaigns: Where Amazon scans your product and bids on search terms for you automatically
  4. The reporting and interface are very similar. Check out the images below:


Above is an image of what the reporting looks like in AMS. Below is an image of the reporting in Seller Central.

Sponsored Products Created in Seller Central and Amazon Marketing Services (AMS): The Differences

  1. Locations of where the ads appear is different
    • AMS Sponsored Products appear below organic search results
    • Seller Central Sponsored Products appear on top of search results, on right sidebar, and listed on product pages
  2. The user interfaces are different:
AMS Sponsored Products appear below organic search results. Here is what you would see when choosing a campaign type inside of AMS.


Here is what third-party sellers will see in Seller Central when setting up a Sponsored Product ad campaign


Frequently Asked Questions about Sponsored Product ads

Q: Should I use both kinds of Sponsored Product ads?

A: Of course you should. More ads mean more visibility, which leads to more sales. Remember, you have to apply to become a first-party seller in Vendor Central.

Q: Is there a steep learning curve?

A: No, they are the same ad. With the exceptions of slight differences like the location of the ad and the different interfaces, all optimization tips are the same.

Q: So are there any other differences for Vendor Central compared to Seller Central?

A: I’m glad you asked. Read my blog posts dedicated to that answer. Here’s one for Vendor Central and one for Seller Central. For quick reference, here is our infographic with the differences as well.

Q: How do I get started on Vendor Central?

A: You’re going to want to start here, but you basically sign up, send Amazon your products and enter your payment information. Vendor Central allows you access to AMS, where you have more options and resources to work with to advertise your products.

There you have it

You took another important step in becoming a PPC master today. Make sure to come back for more information about ads in Amazon to become one of the top sellers on Amazon.

Badger out.

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