Amazon Sponsored Products: Everything You Need to Know (2020)

Sponsored Product Ads for Amazon PPC Featured Image

We’ve been managing thousands of Amazon sellers at Ad Badger for the past few years, helping them to dominate the search results. If there’s one thing we learned, it’s that Amazon Sponsored Product Ads (SPAs) are one of the most effective ways to increase conversion rates and discoverability for your products. That’s why we incentivize sellers to have ads on amazon and sponsored products.

As more sellers enter the Amazon marketplace, search results competition will likely dramatically increase over the next few years. If you learn how to work the ins-and-outs of a Sponsored Product Ads strategy now, you’ll be well ahead of your competitors.

In fact, Amazon has tons of success stories on how their customers used SPAs to scale their business. Some of my favorites include Empire Case’s and ExportX. According to a report from Merkle:

Sponsored Products accounts for the majority of ad revenue, 88 percent, that Amazon makes from search-based advertising.


As you can see, SPAs live up to the hype and The Badger is going to teach you how to master it. You can look forward to learning about:

  1. What are Sponsored Products on Amazon?
  2. How to set up a Sponsored Product Ads campaign
  3. The difference between Automatic and Manual campaigns
  4. Ad Badger simplifies your Sponsored Product campaigns  

What are Sponsored Products on Amazon?

Amazon Sponsored Products are Amazon ads that promote the sales and visibility of your desired product listing in Amazon search results.

Here are the reasons why Amazon Sponsored Products Ads are so great for Amazon Pay Per Click:

  • Sponsored Product Ads are the most popular type of ad for Amazon Pay Per Click
  • They are essential to the buyer’s customer journey as they appear on almost every page
  • Sponsored Product Ads have a high conversion rate (~10%)
  • They can appear on product detail pages and organic searches

Where do Sponsored Products appear on Amazon?

SPAs are really hard to miss on Amazon because they appear at the top of the search results page, to the right, at the bottom, and even on the product detail page.

Where SPAs appear on Amazon
Sponsored Product Ads appear above and to the right of the organic results. The ads are marked subtly “Sponsored.”

Since Sponsored Product Ads appear in so many places, they’re extremely valuable to sellers. Customers just can’t get away from them. They even appear on product detail pages.

SPAs on product detail pages
This product page has a bad case of the Sponsored Product Ads.

Before we get started, I think it’s important to mention one important caveat of Sponsored Products.

Sponsored Products Will Only Appear If You Own The Buy Box

Sponsored Products Ads (like the rest of Amazon) are very competitive and they will only appear if the seller owns the buy box. Only one seller can own the buy box, which starts the checkout process and is located on the product detail page.

Amazon Buy Box
The buy box should look like this and it should be your instinct to crush the competition and make it yours.

Most people buy items through the Buy Box section on the product detail page. The highest-ranked by Amazon at that time will show up on the Buy Box section. The Buy Box winner will make more sales than any other seller for that product (if there are multiple high-ranked sellers then they will rotate.

Generally, winning the buy box means having a clean selling record. Amazon looks at:

  • A history of successful selling
  • The number of good reviews you have
  • If you have a competitive price
  • How you handle your fulfillment
  • If you have enough stock
  • How new your product is 

How to set up a Sponsored Product Ads campaign

We’ll outline the steps on getting started right here! Check out our video on Sponsored Product Ad campaigns if you want to follow along in live time.

Step 1: Navigate to the Campaign Manager in Amazon Seller Central and make sure you’re on the Sponsored Products tab, not the Headline Search Ads tab.

Step 2: Hit the ‘create campaign’ button.

How to create a SPA campaign on Seller Central
Click "Create campaign" to begin your journey

Step 3: Set your campaign name, budget, duration. For campaign names, we recommend including the sponsored products name along with your Target ACoS.

Setting up your campaign parameters
This is what sellers see inside Seller Central when setting up their Sponsored Product campaigns.

Step 4: Decide if you want to run an automatic or manual targeting campaign and you’re done! Not sure which one to pick? No problem, we got you covered. Buckle up.

GIF Courtesy of GIPHY.

The Difference Between Automatic And Manual Campaigns

I want to stress to Amazon sellers to use both manual and automatic campaigns to get the most out of your keywords. They both are beneficial, and both have drawbacks.

Automatic Campaigns Are Great For Keyword Research

Let’s start with automatic campaigns in which Amazon uses the product info to target the ads to all relevant searches. Sellers can’t choose keywords and leave their bids in the hands of Amazon.

These types of campaigns are great for beginners because of their simple setup in the, and they bid on words you would’ve never of guessed customers search for. It’s like having your personal sponsored products campaign manager.

Benefits of Automatic Campaigns:

  • Great for PPC beginners because of the easy setup in the seller central.
  • You get to skip the hassle of entering keyword bids and have more time to read my blog.
  • If you run an automatic campaign, Amaz}
  • -on will collect data for you to apply to future campaigns. Amazon tracks clicks and spends, usually taking 2 to 4 days to process. It may take up to 2 to 4 weeks to gather enough data to see which campaigns are doing well.
  • Automatic campaigns allow for experimentation without putting that much effort in.
  • They allow you to show up for long-tail research you may have never guessed people would search for.

Manual Campaigns Offer More Control Over Bidding

Manual campaigns let you set your own keywords. 

When starting a manual Sponsored Products campaign, you will have more control of the bid price and be able to fine-tune your bids to either maximize revenue or hit your Target ACoS.

Even though maximum profit and hitting the perfect ACoS is your end goal, performing a manual campaign isn’t as easy as a Sunday morning.

Sellers bid on either broad, phrase, or exact keywords, but it’s very hard to know which keywords are profitable before keyword research.

Benefits of Manual Campaigns:

  • Great for Pay Per Click experts who have time to set up manual campaigns.
  • You can maximize your sales volume and perfect your ACoS.
  • Bidding on keywords manually allows for more precise targeting and could lead to more sales if you are successful
  • It’s easy to reduce bids or pause low-performing words.
  • Amazon suggests bids next to every keyword you wish to bid on, making it easier for the seller.
  • Have the keyword ideas you want to test? Manual campaigns help you do that.

Auto And Manual Campaigns Work Together

Automatic and manual campaigns form an unlikely friendship when working together. If you’re new to Amazon PPC, I suggest the Research-Peel-Stick-Block (RPSB) method.

To do this, you create an automatic campaign for a product, wait for the data to roll in so you know which keywords are profitable, and enter them in a manual campaign with increased bids. You simply use automatic campaigns for their keyword research and manual campaigns for their customizability. 

If all this sounds like a lot to you, it might be worth investing in a PPC tool like Ad Badger which automates this whole process for you.

Ad badger simplifies your Sponsored Product campaigns

Managing all of these Sponsored Product campaigns yourself can be time consuming when you have to do it for every single product. That could be up to a million SKUs depending how large of a seller you are!

Meanwhile, Ad Badger deploys the perfect Amazon Sponsored Products ads strategy for you every time with automated bid optimization.

Ad Badger updating a Keyword’s Bid to keep in Target-ACOS sweet spot
Ad Badger updating a Keyword’s Bid to keep in Target-ACOS sweet spot

 With Ad Badger you can get all PPC needs met in one place without a worry.

Meet Ad Badger Today

Increase your revenue & tame your ACOS in as little as 5 minutes per month with Ad Badger.

Spread the Love for Amazon Sponsored Product Ads

By now I want you to feel like Sponsored Products are the Simon to your Garfunkel, the Elizabeth to your Mr. Darcy, the Quavo to your Migos. You get the picture.

No matter what happens, now you’ve got the skills to implement Sponsored Product Ads, one of the most critical PPC strategies.

Amazon is always tweaking how Sponsored Products work, so sign up for our newsletter for more Amazon PPC gold sent straight to you.

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