Amazon Advertising Launches New Targeting Options For Sponsored Products

November 2, 2018

On November 1, Amazon Advertising launched “product targeting,” an exciting new way for Amazon advertisers to target ads via the popular Sponsored Products ad program.

According to Amazon: “Product targeting allows you to choose specific products, categories, brands, or other product features that are similar to the product in your ad. Use this strategy to help shoppers find your product when browsing detail pages and categories, or when searching products on Amazon.”

This new targeting method actually seems to be a close cousin to Product Display Ads — available to first-party (1P) sellers — but it appears to add much more functionality for advertisers.

Product targeting gives you the ability to advertise either a single ASIN or multiple ASINs. (Product Display Ads, on the other hand, only allow you to advertise one ASIN per campaign — a big difference in terms of strategy and campaign management.)

Once you’ve determined the ASINs you’d like to advertise, you can choose to target them by “categories” or by “individual products.” You can even choose to target both options at the same time within the same ad group and see individual bids for each.

Let’s take a look at the what each of those strategies would look like separately…

Option #1: Targeting Categories

If you choose to target by categories, Amazon will suggest a few categories, based on the products you selected to advertise, or you can search for your own.

Once you select your category, you also have the option to refine your selection. The refining option is a powerful tool that can put your product in front of customers who are searching specific products within certain Star Levels, Price Ranges and/or Brands. When refining, you can:

  • Select certain brands within that category
  • Set your price range of the products
  • Set the Review Star ratings you’d like to target

Here’s an example of a category-based campaign with added refinement strategy: A jewelry company creates a campaign based around its best reviewed Wedding/Bridal Jewelry sets and targets “Women’s Jewelry Sets.” It then refines this campaign to target products with four stars or lower – since all of the company’s sets are rated higher than four stars.

Additionally, a brand with a high-priced product could employ another refinement strategy by excluding low-priced items to avoid having them appear next to its product.

Targeting and refinement offers the opportunity for plenty of A/B testing options, including different categories, price ranges or brands, just to name a few.

Some of the most interesting strategies for Amazon Advertising will most likely come from the functionality that allows the user to “refine” a category.

Option #2: Targeting Individual Products

You can also choose to target your ads on individual ASINs (very similar to Product Display Ads).

If you have a list of ASINs from your search query report that convert fairly highly for a set of products, you can target those ASINs specifically and set your bid levels individually. Unlike Product Display Ads, where you can only set one cost-per-click (CPC) bid level for the entire set of targeted products, here you can adjust your bids based on each targeted ASIN.

An advertiser might use the individual products option to target competitors, cross-sell additional items, or protect their detailed landing space and individual products within one Ad Group.

You’ll be able to target both categories and individual products within one Ad Group.

Negative Targeting

As you would when targeting by keywords, it’s always a good strategy to include things you don’t want your products to be associated with. With product targeting, you can exclude certain brands or products.

For both category and product targeting, you have the same negative targeting options: “Exclude Brands” and “Exclude Products.”

If you want to exclude your own brand, you could do that. Or, if you wanted to exclude an ASIN that gets a lot of impressions and clicks but no sales, this would be your opportunity. The opportunities for granular targeting strategies are almost endless.

Important Notes

A few more key points to keep in mind:

  • So far, this functionality is only available through Seller Central advertising.
  • Your campaigns and ad groups can be created during the standard Sponsored Products ad creation process, but the product targeting functionality is only available for manual campaigns (not automatic campaigns).
  • When it comes to reporting, the output is very similar to what you’re used to, except that instead of a keyword, the report will be based on the targeting methodology used.

Overall, this is exciting new functionality for brands and retailers using Amazon Advertising. We’ll keep monitoring the success we see with ChannelAdvisor customers, making note of any new strategies we uncover, and we’ll be sure to share them on the blog.

If you have any questions about product targeting, Amazon Advertising or marketplaces in general, please reach out to one of our e-commerce consultants for a quick conversation.

Not sure if your advertising campaigns are performing as well you’d like? Request a Complimentary Advertising Analysis. Our digital marketing experts will take a look at your advertising accounts on Amazon, Google, Facebook and other channels and let you know what you’re doing right and then look for opportunities to help you meet and exceed your digital marketing goals.

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