Difference: Amazon Display Ads vs Sponsored Ads

By Buy Box Experts on February 1, 2021

When it comes to advertising on Amazon, display ads and product ads are two key tools that marketers need to know how to utilize. Display ads are great for targeting customers both on and off Amazon’s websites. Product ads are better for targeting customers who are looking through search results on Amazon.

Product ads are sometimes referred to as sponsored ads. However, this can be misleading, since both Amazon display ads and product ads are technically sponsored; they’re both paid advertising.

Even though they are both sponsored, there are still plenty of differences between Amazon display ads vs. other sponsored ads. In this article, we explain the differences between display and product ads and how they can both help you in your Amazon advertising strategy.

The Differences Between Display and Product Ads

While both display ads and product ads are incredibly helpful for your advertising strategy, there are some differences in how they should be used.

Keyword Targeting

Sponsored product ads will automatically use your target keywords when placing an ad. This ensures that your product won’t be listed for any unrelated products. 

Sponsored display ads do not utilize keywords, and will show up regardless of the product, or even website, the customer is browsing.

Audience Targeting

Sponsored product ads do not effectively target specific audiences, since their primary ranking factor involves keywords. Your targeted demographics won’t come into play here.

Sponsored display ads, on the other hand, work well for audience targeting. Because these ads use customer search history as a factor, they can effectively target customers who are already interested in your product.


Your product must be eligible in order to use sponsored product ads. Currently, the only products that are not eligible are:

To be eligible for a sponsored display ad, your business must have an active professional seller account and enroll under the Amazon Brand Registry. 

Amazon Sponsored Display Ads

Amazon sponsored display ads help you engage and influence shoppers to click on the ad and find out more about the product. With Amazon, these sponsored display ads are targeted to customers based on their search habits, also known as retargeting. This is a great solution to capture customers at any step of their purchasing journey.

Benefits of Display Ads

Display ads help you get noticed by shoppers on and off of Amazon.com. Here are other benefits to expect:

  • Find relevant audiences: Display ads will appear for Amazon customers who have already made a related search or purchase. That means you can easily target people who are already interested in your product and are more likely to consider your offer.
  • Target customers off of Amazon: Even though they are an Amazon advertising product, display ads are not bound to Amazon websites. After a customer has done a relevant search, display ads for your products will appear on whatever website they visit.
  • Control costs: You only pay for your sponsored display ads when customers click on the ad. You also control how much you want to bid for specific keywords, so you have total control of how much you will be charged for a click. Plus, your ads will only show up when your product is in stock, so you won’t waste money on ads for products you can’t deliver.

How You Can Use Display Ads

Sponsored display ads do a great job of building mid-funnel momentum in the awareness and consideration stages since they will appear after customers have expressed interest. And since they can appear off-site, they are essential for capturing multi-channel shoppers. 

Using sponsored display ads will help remind your customers of your products as they go through the sales funnel, so no matter where they research, your product will always be in the background.

Sponsored display ads can be a great complement to other forms of display advertising. But if you’re working with a tighter budget, sponsored display ads will work great on their own.

Amazon Sponsored Product Ads

Sponsored ads, more commonly referred to as sponsored products, are the links that appear at the top of Amazon search results.

Benefits of Product Ads

Sponsored product ads are a relatively easy way to attract new customers. In addition to that, these are some other ways you can benefit from product ads:

  • Gain visibility: Product ads will catapult your listings to the top of Amazon search results. This helps shoppers discover your products and familiarize themselves with your brand. So whenever those customers browse for products that you offer, you will increasingly become a recognizable name.
  • Control costs: Similar to sponsored display ads, product ads run on a cost-per-click model. The amount you pay will again depend on how much you bid on keywords. Product ads tend to be much more cost-effective than display ads.
  • Measure success: With sponsored product ads, you can measure your advertising success by tracking a variety of sales and performance metrics. You’ll be able to determine the direct impact of your campaigns, allowing you to update and optimize them for improved results.

How to Use Product Ads

Since sponsored product ads are so easy to use, they are great for businesses of all sizes and experience levels. The ads are automatically generated and automatically targeted through keywords, making them accessible for anyone trying to boost their visibility.

Try using product ads as a part of your Amazon advertising strategies. In conjunction with other methods, like sponsored display ads, product ads help to maintain increased visibility, so you won’t risk losing any brand authority or awareness during a campaign.

Start Maximizing Your Amazon Ad Reach Today

Even if you’re well-versed in the Amazon advertising space and use sponsored ads frequently, there’s always room for improvement. Buy Box Experts knows how you can make those improvements.

We offer a free analysis of your Amazon advertising strategies to determine how to improve your ROI. And once you have that information, we’ll help you figure out how to achieve success. Contact us today to start your business’s journey to the next level of Amazon advertising.

Buy Box Experts
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