How does paid search work on Amazon?

In addition to organic search, paid search plays a crucial role on Amazon. Indeed, sellers can make up to 30-40% of their total sales through ads on Amazon. Moreover, unlike other channels, ads on Amazon can lead to 1-click conversions. 

Paid advertising on the giant’s platform comes in three forms: Sponsored Product, Sponsored Brand, and Display

Sponsored product

Sponsored product means targeting users by keywords based on their search on Amazon: when a person searches for a product, a category, an ad representing the product – corresponding to the keyword(s) searched for – will be displayed in the first results of the first search page with a discreet “sponsored product” displayed next to the product image. And when the user clicks on it, he is redirected to the product page.

Sponsored brand

Just like the “Sponsored Product”, the “Sponsored Brand” also uses keyword targeting with the difference that the “Sponsored Brand” aims, through its format, to develop brand awareness. In the form of a banner, this type of advertising will highlight 3 products of the same category. This format also allows the use of the video format which allows putting forward storytelling specific to the brand or even explanatory tutorials. As for the Sponsored Product, when the user clicks on the ad, he is redirected to the brand’s shop. 


Finally, the last type of advertising possible on Amazon is “Display”. This type of advertising allows the distribution of banner ads on and off Amazon and takes the form of a banner promoting a product. 

On Amazon, this allows not only targeting by keywords and products but also according to the interest of an Internet user for a product. Outside of the platform, users are targeted based on the first-party data of partner sites. 

Display ads generally allow for a much larger reach than a Sponsored Brand or Sponsored Product. 

Offensive and defensive strategies

There are two types of keyword targeting strategies: defensive and offensive. 

Offensive means targeting brand competitors’ keywords in your sponsored product campaigns. The goal is to target competitors’ keywords so that if a customer searches on the competitor, they will see one of your ads on the search results page. The benefit of targeting your competitors’ keywords is that your products will appear to customers who are searching for them, creating an opportunity to divert that customer’s attention to your products. This is a great way to build your brand on Amazon and increase your sales, but it can be difficult to get a positive return on investment. The customer is already looking for your competitor, which means they might already be at the bottom of the funnel and making a buying decision. 

Ultimately, when you target your competitor’s keywords, the end goal is to drive sales, so the real goal is to get your products to start ranking organically for your competitor’s keywords. So start incorporating these keywords naturally (see our white paper) into your product listings, this will generate organic sales without the need to advertise.

The second strategy is to protect yourself from your competitors doing the same thing to you. This is called playing defense.

A defensive strategy on Amazon is to target your own branded keywords in your advertising campaigns. This strategy is often overlooked by many sellers because they think they don’t need to advertise to people who are already searching for their product. But do a search for your branded keywords on Amazon and see if any competitors are ranking higher than your own products. If so, these competitors are stealing your customers.


Amazon Search

The visibility of your products on Amazon is an important building block for success as an online retailer. Our Amazon Search expertise helps your products to be found better in the generic search results on Amazon.

Amazon Ads

Today, more than 54% of internet searches start on Amazon. The platform has become an indispensable channel for any brand that wants to promote its products and sell them over the Internet.