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Targeting Consumer Behavior with Amazon Sponsored Display

Amazon Sponsored Display Ads could be a great compliment to a seller’s or manufacturer’s Amazon advertising program. Advertisers can implement unique strategies with this ad type with several targeting options that utilize consumer behavioral signals.

What is a Sponsored Display ad? 


The sponsored display is an ad unit that can show on a competitor’s product page and a general under the bullet point section of the product page or over in the right-hand column as shown in the examples below 

amazon display
amazon display example

The significant difference between Sponsored Displays and Sponsored product or Sponsored Brand is that Sponsored display does not use keyword-based targeting. Instead, it uses an interest-based target with a cost per thousand impression (CPM) bid model option alongside the traditional cost per click (CPC) bid model. Another option Amazon provides with this ad type is to retarget consumers off of Amazon who have viewed a seller’s product page. It’s typical consumer behavior to view a product on Amazon then move to a different website or app and BAM! there is the product they were just looking at. Yes, it’s a bit creepy but when used as a marketing tool, it can get consumers back into the funnel who may have dropped off for a variety of reasons or distractions. With the option of testing headlines with these ads, a seller can focus on messaging that speaks to their audience when they are on a 3rd party website and not necessarily in purchase mode.

Targeting Options for Sponsored Display Ads

There are currently 3 types of targeting that sellers can take advantage of: 

  1. Product targeting

  2. Audience: Views & Remarketing

  3. Audience: Interests 

Product Targeting

This option allows sellers to target users that are searching for their products or searching for a product that is complementary to their products. For example, if a consumer is viewing a product page for boxing gloves, a seller of punching bags may want to utilize Sponsored Display ads on that competitor’s product page – or feature their own boxing gloves alternative. Common tactics with this type of strategy include discounting products slightly less than the targeted product or offer a coupon that would show on the display ad in order to attract the user over to the alternative product listing page and convert.

Audience: Views Marketing

This ad type is served to users who have visited a seller’s product page or visited similar products. These ads can appear on the Amazon homepage, search results page, product details pages, or on non-Amazon websites/apps via Amazon’s ad network. Sellers can use a CPM bid model with this ad type which means they are not paying per click but paying per 1,000 impressions no matter how many people click the ad. This ad type can be an extremely efficient way to use an ad budget. Ads can be shown to an individual consumer for 30 days as long as they have not purchased the product. Since Amazon knows if and when the consumer has purchased on their platform, the consumer will not see continual impressions or advertisements for a product already purchased, unlike many competitive ad platforms.

Audience: Interest Targeting

This ad type is only available to Vendor Central accounts. Vendor Central is used when manufacturers sell directly to Amazon and Amazon is the seller (and invite-only program) versus the manufacturer being the seller via Seller Central. Audience: Interest Targeting takes behavioral targeting to another level by showing the ad to consumers who have signaled that they might be interested in the product or category of products. For example, if a consumer’s Amazon history shows several views of hiking equipment, that consumer may be served related backpacking products – even if viewing unrelated content at that moment. This targeting increases both product and brand awareness. 

Final Thoughts on Sponsored Display Ads


Sponsored Display Ads can be a great addition to a seller’s or manufacturer’s overall Amazon and digital advertising strategy. By testing the portfolio of targeting options,  a seller can create a blended advertising program that can drive several important business goals beyond immediate/direct sales and ROAS to engage consumers “displaying” important behaviors (pun intended :)).

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