Solving For X: Amazon’s Product Targeting Gold Rush

amazon product targeting

The website is called Amazon, but for advertisers, it’s become the Wild West. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)  

Released in November 2018 as a beta feature, Amazon has now fully enabled product targeting for Sponsored Products. This significant development means competitors can creatively target products from other brands to try and steal away purchasers. Businesses now have the means to get creative with their competitive efforts. Sponsored Ad placements are now competitive amongst categories, search result pages, all the way down to ASINs.

A savvy marketer can create refined campaigns by brand, price range, and review star ratings to compete for higher-value shoppers. These can also be used alongside negative keywords to filter out irrelevant traffic and shoppers unlikely to convert.

Amazon shoppers will now see even more choices in search results.

Standard keyword targeting will continue to be part of the equation, but getting your product across more categories and product detail pages present an opportunity to increase brand awareness. Our Amazon insights have uncovered all sorts of actionable data to help reshape your campaign and dominate on Amazon search pages.

Example: our product is “Zara women’s perfume,” we can now choose to target “women’s fragrances” for all search results and detail pages. We can also choose to target a brand like “H&M” if we know their shoppers have a similar profile to ours. This was previously out of our hands, but now that Amazon has empowered marketers and retailers with the power to disrupt a competitor’s purchase funnel, the opportunity could be ripe.

Or is it?

Bet the Zara folks aren’t thrilled to see a result above them in a brand search.

Our intrepid analysts did some testing of this new targeting setup, and their findings raised some eyebrows. High CPCs were needed to get clicks, since there’s so much competition. Our ads were displayed more on product detail pages than in search pages. We also found a high ACoS hovering around 77%; it proved difficult to convince shoppers to purchase our product once they were on a competitor’s product detail page.

With results like these, it’s clear that brands are crowding out competitors. Landing pages have become a free-for-all, with brands spending aggressively to get in the Sponsored Ads spaces. Once a customer gets to a product detail page, a stronger proposition is needed to prevent them from leaving that page, though this may not be the most efficient targeting.

Here’s How You Can Solve For X

Do Your (Competitor) Research

Make your competitor intel actionable with the copy in your Sponsored Ads. Think about promoting your price, features, offers, or incentives that your target shopper will prize more than another business’s product.


Treat this new frontier like you might a test campaign on Google. With a wide range of possibilities, encourage your team to pull levers in different combinations with the goal of uncovering a new, efficient campaign type for your products. We sometimes recommend allocating  2% to 5% of total ad spend for testing, since it shouldn’t make too large a dent in your metrics if the attempts miss the mark.

Still have a question? With a host of Amazon-certified analysts and extensive experience building Amazon campaigns, contact us and we’d be happy to help.

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