Advertising on Amazon: 3 Winning Channels

Unless you’ve been living under a rock that happens to block access to the Internet, chances are that you’ve at least heard of the new advertising opportunities at Amazon. But what you may not know are the types of ads available, and whether the offerings will fit your needs.

While Amazon hosts a wide variety of offerings, there are three that stand out as real winners right now. And while they’ve recently launched a mobile offering, it’s still too early in the game to have enough information on whether it can or will be a successful channel for marketers. Let’s run down the three most popular ways to advertise with Amazon.

Product Ads

Geared towards merchants, these ads put your product in front of people who are shopping for similar products on Amazon. It may seem counterintuitive for Amazon to send customers away from their website so that people can buy from other sites, but it appears to be a play on the old adage, “if you can’t beat ’em, charge ’em for a click.” So, Amazon is allowing you to advertise right on their website and is charging a cost-per-click to get in front of customers.

The one thing that advertisers should appreciate about Amazon Product ads is that they’re automatically targeted. Their algorithm does a great job of putting the most relevant products in front of the right people, which may be the main advantage of advertising with Amazon: Reaching in-market audience with a relevant offer as they’re about to pull out their credit card.

And how do you tell Amazon what products you have? You can build your catalog manually, or in bulk via FTP. For those already advertising in other markets, you can also use Google Base and Yahoo Store file formats to get your inventory uploaded.

In terms of ad formats, your product ad will need a product title, description, and a 500×500 image. You will also include the price, shipping fee, and a link to the relevant product page on your site. You get started the same way you would with Google – just give them your billing info and start uploading products.


You should also know that ads are not available to be shown on Amazon sites in Canada, Germany, Japan, France, and China. However, if your website shows prices in United States dollars and you have English content and can ship to the U.S., then you’re good to go.

Based on our observations, you can expect about half the click volume you’ll get from Google Product Listing Ads, and CPCs are typically about $0.10 to $0.15 higher, while conversion rates are roughly the same. In most cases, this ad product generates great profits and while it may not be as important as Google’s PLA, it does not require much more work and it really can’t be ignored.

Right now they’re offering $75 in free clicks to get started.

Amazon Local

Amazon Local launched after the company purchased Living Social in an effort to compete with entities such as Groupon.

The service works the same way as so many others we’ve become so familiar with do: merchants offer a deal to customers for their brick-and-mortar business. Amazon Local then emails everyone in the region the merchant’s offer. Merchant then pays Amazon a referral fee for every customer they acquire.

What you get when using Amazon Local is:

  • Access to more than 200 million active customers.
  • Co-branded promotion with one of the most trusted companies in the USA.
  • Amazon Local offers are purchased through existing Amazon accounts

Learn more about Amazon Local here.

Amazon Display Advertising

Amazon has a huge amount of data on how their customers spend their money. They know what any one of their clients is interested in, how often they spend money, when they’re most likely to buy, and any buying data that would be of help to an advertiser. And they’ve been collecting this data for years.

Amazon has the ability to target ads to customers over a wide area, various devices, different formats and several pricing models

  • Display ads on Amazon owned and operated sites:, Quidsi, IMDB, and DPReview
  • Mobile display ads on owned and operated sites and apps
  • Sponsored screensavers on Kindle
  • Ecommerce ads – display formats include customer review ads, add to cart ads, coupon ads and showcase ads.

Inventory is purchased on a variable CPM or fixed CPC pricing model. To get started, you’ll have to contact Amazon and let them know who you are and what you’d like to advertise. Minimum budget is $10,000, so be prepared to make an investment.


For those of you looking to generate more sales, Amazon has a variety of opportunities and most likely one of those is a perfect fit for you. Whether you’re operating an ecommerce store with products for sale, or you’re focused on brick and mortar sales, even if you’re just looking to build up brand awareness, Amazon ad products cater to merchants like yourself.

With just enough flexibility to accommodate any size advertiser with either self-serve or full-service models, if you’re a merchant looking for opportunities to increase sales, Amazon is definitely right for you. It’s just a matter of picking the right ad product.

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