In a huge beta update, Amazon recently released extensive new targeting options for Sponsored Products. Here’s what’s new and what it means for you.

The first big change is that advertisers will now be able to target customers by product (in a similar fashion as Product Display Ads). Advertisers will be able to target either specific ASINs or categories and apply refinements by price, brands or star rating.

Until recently, Amazon decided which Sponsored Products occupy the prime real estate position on product pages. Now advertisers can fine-tune their settings to target ASINs, brands, and categories.

With this new manual targeting feature, the shopper sees an ad relevant to the product they are viewing rather than the search term. For example, a shopper searching for “mens denim” will see adverts targeted to the category “Men’s Fashion: Jeans”.

The New Targeting Features for Sponsored Product Ads — What’s New?

  1. Similar to Product Display Ads, you can target customers by product — from generic category to specific ASIN. Refine your target even more by focussing on a price range, brand name, and star rating.
  2. Negative List: The new option to exclude products and brands from a manual targeting campaign is a congruent addition to this feature update.
  3. Extended Reporting: The “Keyword Report” is now called “Targeting Report”. Like before, it provides insights into the performance of your keywords. The report now also includes data from targeted categories and products. Such a cross-factor analysis can help you identify the most successful targeting segment. Once you know what’s working, you can shift your advertising budget towards it (and lower your ACoS).
  4. Automatic campaigns also benefit from this update. The improved auto-targeting allows you to fine-tune your automatic ads. You could, for example, display your ad only for search terms — or just for detail pages. Here’s an overview of the new combinations: Toggle the new rules on or off to show shoppers your ad for
  5. a) search terms closely related to your products,
  6. b) product pages that complement your product (e.g. a case for your phone),
  7. c) search terms loosely related to your products, and
  8. d) product pages that are similar to your product (e.g. a competitor’s phone).

Which targeting method will perform the best for you? It’s a good idea to start playing with these new options — they will, in all likelihood, shape your future strategies.

Conclusion:

The new targeting feature for Sponsored Products could be a profitable addition to your advertising strategy. It is still in beta, so be cautious when you test it. We recommend exploring the new mechanisms and their performance before dedicating large budgets.

This release also concludes a noticeable trend: Amazon has now unified all advertising possibilities for vendors and sellers. First Sponsored Brands (aka Headline Search Ads) became available for sellers, now product targeting has arrived, a feature comparable to Product Display Ads. Vendors should prepare for stiff competition: Sponsored Products and PDA display on the same page.