Amazon Sponsored Display Ads – An Ultimate guide for 2024


Whether you are looking to boost product discovery or target audiences further down the sales funnel who have already engaged with your product, Sponsored Display ads are the perfect solution.

It enables you to reach relevant audiences both on and off Amazon, making it one of Amazon’s most effective ad types.

Surprisingly, many brands have yet to harness the full potential of Sponsored Display ads, often due to a lack of understanding on how to effectively leverage it.

That’s why in this comprehensive guide, we will help you learn what Sponsored Display ads are, explore different targeting options, and share the best practices to set up Sponsored Display campaigns.

What are Sponsored Display Ads?

Sponsored Display ads, formerly known as “Product Display Ads,” are a self-service display advertising solution that enables brands to engage with potential customers throughout their purchase journey, both on and off Amazon.

What makes this ad format special is the ability to retarget an audience who has interacted with your product in the past (views or purchases).

Furthermore, it provides the flexibility to select various bidding tactics tailored to cater to customers at different stages of their shopping journey.

Here’s an example of Sponsored Display ads:

Where do Sponsored Display Ads appear?

Search Results Page

Sponsored Display ads are typically displayed in the sidebar of the Amazon search results page.

Amazon Sponsored Display ads on SERPs

Product Detail Pages

There are many placements on the product detail page where Sponsored Display ads can be shown, such as the top of the listing, below the buybox, below the bullet points, sidebar, etc.

Customer Review Pages

  • On review pages, there is a single ad placement next to customer reviews.
Amazon SD ads on review page


Your Sponsored Display ads can also appear on third-party websites and apps owned or partnered with Amazon. In the screenshot below, you can see how it looks on a third-party website.

Sponsored Display Ads eligibility

To utilize Sponsored Display Ads, you must be a professional seller enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry and your products must also be within eligible categories for advertising. Also, the SD Ads are available only at the following Marketplaces:

  • America – US, Canada, Mexico and Brazil
  • Europe – UK, Germany, Spain, France, Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Poland, and Turkey
  • Asia Pacific – Australia, Japan, India, and Singapore
  • Middle East – Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates

Benefits of Amazon Sponsored Display Ads

When utilized effectively, Amazon Sponsored Displays ads can significantly impact your overall Amazon advertising funnel. Here are several advantages of leveraging this advertising solution:

  • Increased visibility: Amazon Sponsored Display ads appear both on and off Amazon. Additionally, they provide the flexibility to target a diverse audience based on their interests, activities, and demographics. This enables you to promote your products to a significantly larger audience, which is typically not achievable through Sponsored Products or Brand ads alone.
  • Full Funnel Targeting:  Display ads allows you to reach customers at every stage of their buying journey. Whether it’s creating awareness, sparking interest, or nurturing loyalty after a purchase, you can advertise your products to different audiences, increasing brand visibility and customer loyalty.
  • Creatives: Sponsored Display gives you the flexibility to incorporate image creatives and headlines in your ads. This allows you to quickly connect with your target audience through captivating messaging, ensuring a resonating impact.
  • Works well with other ad types: Additionally, using a combination of Sponsored Products ads, Sponsored Brands ads, and Sponsored Display ads has been shown to result in up to a 15% year-over-year increase in sales and a better return on ad spend compared to only using Sponsored Products.

Sponsored Display Ads targeting options:

As stated earlier, you have the flexibility to select from various targeting options that align with your campaign objectives. Let’s delve into each targeting option individually for a better understanding.

Contextual Targeting

Within contextual targeting, you have the option to either target an individual ASIN or a category on Amazon. Let’s understand the difference between the two:

ASIN Targeting

With ASIN targeting, you can show your ads to shoppers who are browsing products similar to yours, thereby increasing the chances of them discovering and considering your products. When a shopper clicks on your ad, they are directed to your product detail page, where they can learn more about your product and make a purchase. This targeting tactic can help increase consideration or cross-sell.

Category Targeting

With category targeting, you can show your Sponsored Display ads to shoppers who are browsing products in the same or similar categories as yours, thereby increasing the chances of them discovering and considering your products. 

You can refine your category targeting based on several retail-centric metrics, including reviews, price, brand, and Prime shipping eligibility.

Audience Targeting

Rather than targeting a specific product, audience targeting provides you with the option to engage or reengage with audiences who have viewed or purchased your products, similar products, or relevant categories. You can also use custom-build audience set from Amazon to increase awareness for your product.

Within audience targeting, Amazon offers three different targeting options. Let’s discuss each of them one by one.

Views Remarketing

Amazon’s views remarketing helps you engage with shoppers who have previously viewed specific product detail pages within a specific time period. This helps generate awareness for new products, encourages customer consideration, and recaptures missed sales by re-engaging potential customers who haven’t made a purchase yet.

You have the flexibility to display your ads to two types of shoppers. Firstly, those who have visited your promoted product pages on Amazon. Secondly, you can also reach customers who have viewed products similar to yours or within a specific category, all within the specific lookback window. The lookback window you can choose for view targeting your audience is 7, 14, 30, 60, and 90 days

Purchase Remarketing

Purchases remarketing allows you to engage with customers by analyzing their past purchasing behaviors. This strategy can serve various campaign objectives, including encouraging repeat purchases, establishing customer loyalty, cross-selling to existing customers, and reaching new audiences.

The lookback windows enable the targeting of specific audiences based on their purchase history on Amazon within a designated timeframe. The lookback window options available for purchase remarketing include 7, 14, 30, 60, 90, 180, and 365 days.

You can choose to show your ads to customers who have purchased your promoted products during your chosen timeframe, as well as those who have bought related or complementary items within a specific timeframe.

Amazon Audiences

Amazon audiences are prebuilt audience segments created by Amazon, utilizing a variety of first-party data from shopping, streaming, and entertainment activities.

These audiences are grouped into four main categories: lifestyle, interest, in-market, and life events.

  • In-market: Individuals who have demonstrated a likelihood to purchase a product within a particular category, as indicated by their recent behavior.
  • Lifestyle: Shoppers whose actions and content consumption indicate an interest in a certain lifestyle, such as frequently shopping on Amazon or streaming on Prime Video.
  • Interests: Engage with groups of shoppers who share a common interest, as identified by Amazon based on their browsing and purchase signals.
  • Life Events: Individuals whose behavior indicates they are experiencing a significant life change, like moving or getting married.

Bid Optimization Strategies in Sponsored Display Ads

With Sponsored Display Campaigns, Amazon offers three different types of bid optimization:

1. Optimize for reach

Amazon optimises your bids for higher viewable impressions and charge you based on 1000 viewable impressions (VCPM). This bidding strategy is perfect for campaigns intended to drive maximum visibility or impressions.

2. Optimize for Page Visits

Amazon optimizes your bids for higher page visits and charge you based on per click (CPC). With this bidding strategy, Amazon shows your ad to shoppers who are most likely to click on your ad.

3. Optimize for conversions

Amazon optimizes your bids for higher conversion and charge you based on per click (CPC). With this bidding strategy, Amazon shows your ad to shoppers who are most likely to purchase your product.

Ad Formats

Currently, there are two ad formats available for Amazon Sponsored Display Ads, they are:

  • Image: This format allows you to promote your product using an image. You can either add a custom image yourself, or Amazon will fetch creatives from your listings.
  • Video: This format allows you to promote your product with a video creative that plays in a loop.

How to Create a Sponsored Display Ads campaign

To create an Amazon Sponsored Display campaign, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Seller or Vendor Central account and navigate to Campaign Manager.
  2. Click the ‘Create campaign’ button and choose “Sponsored Display”

3. Next, enter your campaign name, enter your date range, daily budget, and choose a portfolio.

(Note -An Amazon Ads portfolio lets you group your campaigns for organized and efficient advertising. It lets you track performance and manage multiple campaigns together, simplifying your efforts and gaining insights into overall performance.)

4. Next, enter a name for your ad group.

Next, an extremely important step is to select the ‘Bidding Strategy’ for the campaign. We have explained all three types of bidding strategies in detail above. (Note: If you are still unsure about which one is right for your goal, select ‘optimize for conversion’ as it tends to have a better ROAS compared to the other two).

6. Then select the ad format for the campaign.

7.Choose the products (ASIN) that you want to advertise in the ad group.

8. Next, choose whether you want to do “contextual targeting” or “audience targeting” in the ad group. We have explained the difference between the two above.

9. Next, add the targets that you want to target in your ad a geoup. 

10. Then, add a logo, a headline, and an image for your ad (optional).

Finally you can preview and submit your Sponsored Display ads.

Sponsored Display Full Funnel Campaign Recommended Structure

A Sponsored Display Full Funnel Campaign on Amazon is designed to effectively target shoppers at different stages of the buying journey. Following the recommended structure can enhance the performance of your Sponsored Display ads and boost your overall ROAS. Let’s go through the stages of the campaigns:

1. Awareness Stage

At the initial stage of the Full Funnel Campaign, the goal is to create awareness among shoppers who are not yet familiar with your brand or product. To achieve this, you can target audiences based on their interests, behaviors, lifestyle, and life events.

2. Consideration Stage

During this stage, the focus shifts to targeting shoppers who have demonstrated an interest in your product or similar products on Amazon. You can utilize audience targeting to reach these shoppers or employ contextual targeting to strategically target those who are visiting your competitors’ product detail pages. The objective is to increase consideration for your product.

3. Conversion Stage

The final stage of the Full Funnel Campaign involves targeting shoppers who are ready to make a purchase. You can aim your ads at audiences who have viewed your product but haven’t made a purchase yet, as well as those who have already purchased your product. This can help encourage repeat purchases and cross-selling opportunities.

The recommended structure for a Sponsored Display Full Funnel Campaign is to start with a broad targeting approach in the Awareness Stage and then gradually narrow down your targeting as shoppers move through the buying journey. By targeting shoppers at different stages of the funnel, you can improve your overall advertising effectiveness and drive more sales on Amazon. 

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Vitals to be taken care of while launching a Sponsored Display Ads campaign

  • Ensure that your ad campaign has a sufficient budget to remain active throughout the day. Keep an eye on ad campaigns that frequently exhaust their daily budget, as they may miss out on potential visibility.
  • When selecting products, choose those that are closely related, have similar price ranges, positive ratings and reviews, and have high-quality images.
  • Starting bids don’t need to be high when launching your first campaign. Start with a low bid and move your way up based on the performance.
  • Utilize creatives and headlines to make your mage captivating and increase the click-through rate.
  • Use different metrics to gauge the effectiveness of display campaigns created for targeting shoppers at different stages of the buying funnel.

Limitations of Sponsored Display Ads

When creating ad campaigns using Sponsored Display Ads on Amazon, it’s essential to be aware of several limitations. Firstly, unlike Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands, there are no placement level multipliers available to increase or decrease bids and visibility of your ad on specific placements.

Secondly, unlike DSP (Demand-Side Platform), you don’t get enough control over audience targeting. For instance, you can’t exclude a specific set of audiences from your targeting criteria.

Moreover, the reporting capabilities for Sponsored Display campaigns are comparatively limited compared to those available for Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands.

Despite these limitations, Sponsored Display Ads can still be an effective solution in your campaign mix. By leveraging the right targeting and optimization features, it is possible to achieve excellent results.

Deciding whether Sponsored Display ads are worthwhile for your business depends on your own testing and analysis. It’s crucial to experiment with different strategies to determine what works best for your products and your business on Amazon.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is organic sales cannibalization a challenge in SD VCPM?

vCPM campaigns aim to enhance brand awareness and recall among your target audience by charging you for impressions, instead of clicks. It’s important to note that some of these impressions might be viewed by users who would have found your product organically through search results. Consequently, if these users make a purchase, Amazon will attribute the sales to your VCPM campaign, even though it might not be the primary reason that led them to your product listing. To mitigate this, monitor vCPM campaign performance and analyze the impact on organic sales. Run controlled experiments to measure the incremental lift generated by your vCPM campaigns and adjust your bidding and targeting accordingly.

Can I target keywords in Sponsored Display Ads?

Unlike Sponsored Products and Brands ads, you cannot target keywords in Sponsored Display campaigns. In an SD campaign, you can only target products or audiences.

Are Sponsored Display Ads retail aware?

Yes, Sponsored Display ads are retail aware. That means your ads will be displayed solely when your products are available in stock and listed as the Featured Offer. If, at any point, your products go out of stock or are no longer the Featured Offer, the ads will automatically cease to be served.

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