How to Leverage Sponsored Display Ads to Increase Sales

Tana Cofer

November 23, 2020


Juliana Hacken

November 23, 2020

We advertise to increase sales, develop more brand awareness, or beat out our competitors. Sponsored Display Ads target customers in a way that can meet ALL of those goals instead of just one with its unique targeting capabilities.

Of course, Sponsored Product Ads and Sponsored Brand Ads are everyone’s go-to, making them seem more favored, but that just allows you to own the Sponsored Display Ad space that much quicker.

For a quick history lesson, Sponsored Display ads used to be called ‘Product Display Ads,’ or PDAs. They were ads that were only accessible through Vendor central. Amazon has since changed this so now all sellers have the opportunity to utilize these ads.

What are Sponsored Display Ads?

Like sponsored product or sponsored brand ads, sponsored display ads are PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns. They are used to market single products directly at the point of sale—below the Buy Box or bullet points on detail pages. These ads receive a prominent placement and good visibility to buyers.

amazon sponsored display ad

One thing you cannot do with the other ad products is retarget based on consumer shopping behavior. Sponsored display ads allow you to do this three different ways:

  1. Purchases: You can serve ads to people who have previously purchased your products.
  2. Views: You can serve ads to people who viewed the detail pages of your products.
  3. Searches: You can serve ads to people who searched for similar product.

How to Best Use Sponsored Display Ads on Amazon | Pattern

Sponsored Display also allows you to target specific products similar to Product targeting within Sponsored Products. But that has been around for a few years now and was once called “Product Display Ads.” I want to focus more on the new audience targeting features listed above.

Let’s take a look at these different methods and some of the ways they can be utilized to grow your brands.

1. Searches—Shoppers who searched for keywords relevant to your advertised products

Although display ads are usually to target bottom-of-funnel customers, they can also be useful for buyers who are earlier into their buying journey. If you’re targeting your customers correctly, you’re getting visibility and top-funnel exposure to the exact audience you want. They may not click through and purchase your item immediately, but they’re now in your marketing funnel and aware of the brand.

Using sponsored display to target people who are searching for products similar to yours is a way to make sure that your awareness spending is spent on people who are like your current customers, and who are closer to being ready to try your brand.

Remember, these ads can appear on the detail page of a product, and can even appear off of Amazon. So a consumer can search for a baby monitor on amazon, decide to wait, and then be served an ad for Owlet’s Baby Monitor when they are scrolling on a different amazon affiliate site.

Can’t I use Sponsored Products and bid on the keywords similar to my product?

Yes you can, and you should. However, these ad placements are completely different. Instead of allowing the potential customer to only see your ad on the search results page and on the “Sponsored Products related to this item” carousel, you are opening up the opportunity for them to be exposed to your brand in more places.

Can’t I use Amazon DSP for off platform targeting?

Yes, absolutely! However the cost structure is different. DSP is a CPM model, meaning that you are paying for the impressions. Whereas Sponsored Display is a CPC model, so you are only paying when they click.

Since click-through is low on DSP, those impressions won’t cost an arm and a leg through Sponsored Display. In addition, they’ll be much more targeted due to the behavior targeting we are utilizing.

2. Views—Shoppers who viewed the detail pages of your advertised products or similar products

When you are advertising to grow your brand, one of the most important things to do is focus a lot of your advertising spend on brand awareness. Once you believe you have captured everyone who is in the final stages of the advertising funnel, you need to work your way to broader audiences.

advertising on amazon

Many think the next step is bidding on the broadest words and accepting a $10 cost per click. There is, in fact, a middle ground to where your spend still reaches a new audience, without paying $10 a click. We, at Pattern, call it the ‘consideration phase.’

The ‘consideration phase’ is when a consumer thinks about buying your product (or a similar product) but hasn’t clicked the ‘add to cart’ button yet. This is the perfect audience to target your ads to when you are ready to increase new customers.

These customers are cheaper for 2 reasons:

  1. They have already looked at your detail page (or a competitors) so they are likely familiar with the product type. This allows you to skip the ‘teaching the product’ phase.
  2. Since they have viewed the detail page, they are a more relevant audience, thus your competition for them is cheaper, thus a lower CPC, than serving on the very broad keyword, “wine,” for example.

Overall, if you are wanting to increase new customers, I recommend you target consumers who are in the consideration part of the purchase funnel before going all the way to straight brand awareness. I recommend this advertising product and the ‘views’ audience type to do it.

3. Purchasers—Shoppers who previously purchased your advertised product

Before Sponsored Display, there wasn’t an easy way to retarget previous purchasers. You can assume that a lot of the people who search the brand name have bought in the past, but there isn’t a clear number/percentage associated with keyword search volume that can tell you that.

Using Sponsored Display ads to retarget previous purchasers is a no brainer. It doesn’t cost much to convert someone who already bought to do it again. Especially if your product is really sticky to consumers.

We see a great RoAS with these ads, so it is easy to find success with these. Our recommendation would be to do this for your top products to ensure that you are doing everything you can to increase the lifetime value of every customer.

During the holidays, this advertising tactic can be very powerful. It is common for people to want to buy the perfect gift for those they love, but it is hard to find that gift. People are more likely to buy an item for a friend that they have tried/used/purchased themselves. Serving previous customers ads that remind them of the products they enjoyed can increase their potential to buy it for others.

If you would like to advertise on specific ASINS, you can definitely use Sponsored Display ads to accomplish this goal. Instead of using the ‘Audience’ targeting. You would simply select the ‘Product Targeting’ box.

If you choose to do this method, here are 4 recommendations from the experts at Pattern.

1. Cross-promote your own catalog

Cross-promote within your own catalog. Sponsored Display ads can confuse customers at the moment of purchase, so why not make sure you’re the one owning that opportunity? Spending a small portion of your budget on defending your brand’s space can not only prevent leaking customers to competitors, but can also build loyalty to multiple items within your own catalog of items.

2. Defend your top products

If you have hundreds of ASINS, you could spend a lot of money just on defense, which may not be the best way to grow your brand. We recommend making sure that your top products are well defended from competitors by having a sponsored display ad on the detail page.

3. Products purchased together

Look beyond the exact product type and into products that are most often purchased together. Think about the types of customers buying your products and ask yourself what else they might be purchasing. For example, if you are selling a book about child care, why not also target customers who are purchasing diapers, baby toys, and nursery items? These listings are not direct competition, so you may have more success in landing in the shopping cart.

4. Compete, compete, compete

Go toe-to-toe with your competitors. If you don’t mind lower click-through and conversion rates, look at the companies ranked higher than yours within the same category, and target those items specifically. This type of campaign will require some patience and a broader perspective on what “success” means since you aren’t as likely to convert right away. Despite that, this type of advertising should definitely be considered for part of your PPC strategy on Amazon.

We can go on and on about all of the different ways you can leverage Sponsored Display ads to grow your brand. We believe your return on these ads can be greater than Sponsored Products due to the lack of competition on these ad products. Be sure to leverage these all-year round to maximize your potential for success.

Download our Experts’ Guide to Amazon Advertising Strategy below to learn more about the different campaign types available to you and how to utilize them to increase your payoffs with advertising.

Explore Our Ecommerce Resource Library

Find relevant content to accelerate your ecommerce business. Stay on top of industry trends and best practices.

Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (6th September 2022)

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 6th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon announces new inventory and distribution service, AWD Amazon has launched Amazon Warehousing and Distribution (AWD), providing inventory and distribution services to its sellers as a means of addressing current supply chain issues. AWD is now available for sellers using Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), i.e. outsourcing their fulfilment to the platform. Amazon has plans to expand the service outside the platform in 2023. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Amazon Web Services (AWS) launches in the UAE AWS, Amazon’s cloud-computing platform offering, has launched its second region in the Middle East and now provides its services in the UAE. The move will now allow anyone in the UAE who utilises cloud technologies to harness AWS’s advanced platforms and APIs. An estimated $11 billion USD is expected to be added to the UAE’s GDP thanks to the implementation, with an average of 6,000 external vendor jobs to be created annually. AWS is now available in 87 zones across 27 regions, with sights set on expanding further across Australia, Canada, India, Israel, New Zealand, Spain, and Switzerland. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Marketplace News --- Lazada to launch in Europe Alibaba-owned ecommerce platform Lazada is set to launch in Europe, marking a refreshed internationalisation push from the company. The move follows toughening economic conditions and performance in Southeast Asia, advancing the need to tap overseas markets. In Europe, Lazada will face tough competition from giants like Amazon and Zalando. Lazada’s exact entry strategy is to be confirmed and will be reliant on macroeconomic and market conditions, according to Lazada CEO James Dong. [Read more on DigitalCommerce360]( Chinese ecommerce giant Pinduoduo to launch cross-border platform in the United States Pinduoduo, a Chinese ecommerce giant rivalling Alibaba and JD, has announced it will be launching a new cross-border ecommerce platform. The marketplace is set to launch in the United States next month, as part of the company’s larger push into new markets. Pinduoduo found success in China thanks to its rock-bottom price offerings and harnessing of social commerce marketing, emulating strategies similar to fast-fashion giant Shein. [Read more on Yahoo Finance]( Alibaba launches its biggest B2B sales event, ‘Super September’ China ecommerce giant, Alibaba, has now launched its month-long B2B sales event ‘Super September’. The event provides 40 million buyers and 200,000 suppliers with the ability to connect on the platform, showcasing a ‘virtually unlimited’ number of products. The event hopes to foster new cross-border business relationships to tackle supply chain challenges currently faced by businesses. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Klarna’s losses quadruple in first half of 2022 BNPL provider, Klarna, has reported losses of $581 million USD for the first half of 2022. This figure is almost four times larger than a year earlier, where $129 million USD in losses were reported. The company attributes the losses to employee costs, technology investments, and rising credit losses. Klarna’s figure reporting comes amidst worsening economic conditions, fresh legal and regulatory scrutiny, and pressure from Big Tech competitors. [Read more on The Financial Times]( [Read more on the Guardian]( One fifth of Snap employees to be laid off amidst poor financial performance Social media platform Snap (‘Snapchat’) has announced it will be laying off 20% of its employees and closing out a number of projects following a year of poor financial results.The move will see 1,200 employees globally lose their jobs, saving the company an estimated $500 million USD in costs. Snap is currently valued at $20 billion, an 84% decrease from its valuation of $130 billion last year. [Read more on Charged Retail](

Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (30th August 2022)

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 30th August 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon set to shut down Amazon Care Amazon is closing its telehealth service, Amazon Care, which launched in 2019 as a trial program for its headquartered employees. Later the service was rolled out nationwide for employees and other companies. The ecommerce giant has now made the decision to move away from the healthcare space, believing it was not the right long-term solution for its enterprise customers. [Read more on CNBC]( Peloton closes new deal to sell on Amazon Following a recent deal, Amazon customers will soon be able to buy Peloton fitness equipment on the marketplace, marking Peleton’s first move outside a direct-to-consumer model. According to Peloton’s CCO, there are already around half a million searches on Amazon for Peloton products every month, despite having no presence on the marketplace. Some key products include the original Peloton Bike, retailing for $1,445 and Peloton Guide for $295. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Marketplace News --- 60% of Malaysians are buying from local sellers on Shopee A recent survey of nearly 3,500 respondents found that nearly half of the shoppers prefer to purchase from local sellers due to shorter delivery times. Other shoppers decide to shop locally due to the quality of the products made in Malaysia and an interest in keeping the economy running. As a result, smaller local merchants have been able to grow their businesses, and shoppers benefit from shorter delivery times, products of high quality and supporting local businesses. [Read more on The Malaysian Reserve]( Flipkart’s social commerce platform Shopsy crosses 100 million users Flipkart launched a social commerce arm, Shopsy, in July of last year, which has now surpassed 100 million users, ahead of its target timeline being the end of 2022. This acquisition of new users has made Shopsy one of the largest platforms of its kind in the country, and is expected to onboard a further 100 million by the end of 2023. The platform is centred around boosting local entrepreneurship and powering ecommerce for consumers across tier 2+ regions where users face challenges around trust and navigation when shopping online. [Read more on Business Standard]( Meta joins Amazon and Walmart in bid for Indian ecommerce market Amazon mentioned earlier in the year that it would be building a logistics division in-house through its purchase of a 51% stake in Ecom Express, an end-to-end logistics firm, to make ecommerce deliveries more efficient in the country. Walmart operates Flipkart in India and is set to continue its investment in the marketplace. In an effort to compete in the Indian ecommerce market, Meta has partnered with Indian ecommerce company, JioMart, to offer customers a grocery shopping platform within its WhatsApp chat feature. [Read more on Pymnts]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Ecommerce in Spain worth €57.7 billion in 2021 Spanish ecommerce saw 11.7% growth compared to last year, largely attributed to cross-border sales. In the final quarter of 2021, ecommerce sales in Spain were at €16.9 billion euros, at least 60% of which came from cross-border sales. Transactions from foreign locations to Spain generated a turnover of €1.56 billion in Q4, a growth of 27.7% compared to Q4 a year before. [Read more on Ecommerce News](

Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (23rd August 2022)

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 23rd August 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to add mental health support to primary-care service Amazon is set to move into mental health therapy with its primary-care division, following its recent acquisition deal of One Medical. The plan is to partner with virtual behavioural therapy service, Ginger, to offer its Amazon Care users with on-demand access to mental health services, licensed therapists and psychiatrists. [Read more on Charged Retail]( GMB union calls for £15 an hour minimum pay at UK Amazon warehouses Amazon recently offered its warehouse workers a 3% pay rise, which in comparison to the June inflation rate of 9.4% left employees disappointed. Following this, hundreds of Amazon warehouse workers stopped work last week, protesting against the minimal pay increase, seeking a minimum of £15 an hour. Recent protests consisting of employee walkouts and sit-ins aim to get a better offer out of Amazon. [Read more on The Guardian]( Amazon third-party sellers have received their first-ever holiday fee hike Amazon’s third-party marketplaces account for close to half of the company’s online sales. The company introduced a 5% fuel and inflation charge to its third-party sellers earlier this year, and has now implemented another inflation increase charge. Commencing 14 October, any seller who uses Amazon’s fulfilment service is subject to the price hike, which is set to be an additional 35 cents per item for products sold in the US and Canada. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Amazon puts a pause on UK grocery shop roll-out as the cost of living increases Amazon has slowed down on its UK roll-out of till-free Amazon Fresh grocery stores following disappointing sales and the rise in cost of living. Allegedly, the company is no longer looking for potential sites to expand and if more stores are opened, they will likely no longer use a till-free system, as consumers become more cautious about spending. [Read more on The Telegraph]( --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopee overtakes Alibaba across international markets Shopee has surpassed Alibaba and taken the top spot for sales outside of China. Singapore-based marketplace saw a year-on-year increase of 51.4% at the end of Q2 of this year, while Alibaba saw a 3% drop during the same time period. This can be seen as a promising development for start-ups and their ability to compete with some of the largest ecommerce giants in the market. [Read more on Exchange Wire]( H&M reopens its official store to Alibaba’s Tmall ecommerce platform It has been nearly 18 months since Alibaba removed H&M from its Tmall platform, following H&M’s criticism of human rights abuses in Xinjiang. It is estimated that over a million people, predominantly minorities in the area, have been unlawfully detained in camps across the city. Brands including Nike, Adidas, Burberry and Converse were swept up in the controversy, however H&M was one of the first to be targeted for speaking out about the issue. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Klarna launches new feature allowing UK consumers to view full online order history Buy-now-pay-later company, Klarna, has launched a new feature on its shopping app, which allows UK consumers to view their full online order history, regardless of whether they purchased the product using Klarna. The feature also shows delivery tracking and aids consumers in managing their online purchases more conveniently. [Read more on The Industry]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Online marketplaces responsible for £280 billion business turnover in the UK Nearly 900,000 UK businesses are currently selling on online marketplaces, generating an estimated £282 billion worth of sales each year. This figure represents 6% of the UK’s annual business turnover, highlighting the notable contribution that marketplaces make to the UK economy, along with the potential for further growth in this area. [Read more on Charged Retail](