Sponsored Display vs Sponsored Products: Our Detailed Comparison

May 31, 2024

Helpful Summary

  • Overview: We explore the differences between Sponsored Displays and Sponsored Products to guide you in selecting the optimal advertising strategy on Amazon that aligns with their goals.
  • Why You Can Trust Us: Merch Jar is endorsed by leading brands for its effectiveness in enhancing ROI through Amazon ads, we’re an authority on Amazon advertising optimization.
  • Why This Is Important: Understanding how  Sponsored Displays stack up against Sponsored Products can help you make the right choices to reach your target audience.
  • Action Points: Assess your business needs to choose between Sponsored Display for broad targeting and brand visibility, or Sponsored Products for direct sales boosts and specific product visibility.
  • Further Research:  Investigate each option's features further and look at performance metrics to decide which aligns best with your advertising objectives.

Need Help With Sponsored Display vs Sponsored Products?

Wondering which advertising strategy suits your business best, Sponsored Display or Sponsored Products?

Understanding the nuances between these two options can significantly impact your marketing efforts. By exploring each platform's details, you'll be ready to make informed decisions based on your objectives.

In this Merch Jar article, let’s dive deeper into these two strategies and help you choose the right one for your business.

Why Listen To Us?

Merch Jar is a trusted platform for Amazon advertising. We specialize in improving ad campaigns to boost visibility and sales for sellers on the world's largest marketplace. 

Christopher Goettle, a KDP seller, testifies to the invaluable time saved through Merch Jar's automation tools. Overall, he has saved dozens of hours spent navigating ad dashboards. Thanks to streamlined processes, he now spends more time crafting ad copy and other important tasks. 

Sponsored Display vs. Sponsored Products: Overview

Sponsored Display Ads and Sponsored Products are two essential advertising tools offered by Amazon to help sellers increase visibility, drive sales, and reach their target audience. 

Sponsored Display ads appear on and off Amazon. They allow sellers to target shoppers based on their web browsing and interests. With audience and product targeting options, these ads are effective for retargeting previous visitors, reaching audiences interested in similar products, and increasing brand awareness beyond the Amazon platform.

On the other hand, Sponsored Products ads are prominently displayed within Amazon's search results and product detail pages, targeting shoppers actively searching for specific keywords, products, or categories.

What are Sponsored Display Ads?

Amazon's Sponsored Display Ads help sellers promote products on and off the platform. Ads target shoppers based on their browsing behavior, interests, and purchase history.

Sponsored Display Ads offer audience targeting and product targeting options, enabling sellers to reach specific audiences interested in their products or related products. They come in various formats, such as product display ads, custom ads, and video ads. For instance, you might find them on product detail pages, search results pages, and other places on the web.

Benefits of Using Sponsored Display Ads

Here are some of the benefits of using Sponsored Display Ads:

  • Increased Visibility: Sponsored Display ads appear on and off Amazon, allowing sellers to reach customers both on and off the platform, thereby increasing brand visibility and exposure.
  • Targeted Advertising: With audience and product targeting options, Sponsored Display ads enable sellers to reach specific audiences based on interests, behaviors, and purchase history, increasing the relevance of their ads.
  • Retargeting: Sponsored Display ads offer retargeting features allowing sellers to re-engage shoppers who viewed their products or visited their store. This increases the likelihood of conversion.
  • Flexible Budgeting Options: Sellers set daily budgets and bids based on their advertising goals and financial limits. This ensures cost-effective campaigns.
  • Creating Easy Campaigns: You can quickly make Sponsored Display ads using Amazon's self-service ad platform. It takes little time and effort to set up and manage the campaigns.
  • Detailed Metrics: Sponsored Display ads provide detailed performance metrics. They include impressions, clicks, conversions, and cost-per-click (CPC). Sellers can use them to track their campaigns' effectiveness.
  • Cross-sells: Sponsored Display ads allow sellers to promote related products to interested shoppers. This increases the chance of cross-selling and upselling.

Smart Campaigns by Merch Jar leverages automation technology to manage and optimize Amazon advertising campaigns. It focuses on maximizing ad performance. We do this by automating keyword and bid optimization based on real-time data.

Disadvantages of Using Sponsored Display Ads

Here are some reasons why some sellers don’t use sponsored display ads:

  • Low Targeting Potential: Sponsored display ads often have few targeting options. These options are fewer than other ad formats. So, they lead to less precise audience segmentation and lower ad relevance.
  • Placement Limitations: Sponsored display ads are primarily displayed on Amazon, limiting the reach beyond the platform itself.
  • High Competition: Due to the popularity of Amazon as a marketplace, sponsored display ads face high competition from other sellers vying for visibility. 

Types of Sponsored Display Ads

Check out the different types of Sponsored Display Ads below:

1. Product Targeting Ads

With Product Targeting Ads, sellers can choose to display their ads to shoppers who are browsing or have shown interest in similar products on Amazon. As such, product targeting ads are highly focused. They ensure that they reach the people most likely to be interested in the advertised products.

The ads can be set up to target specific ASINs (Amazon Standard Identification Numbers), product categories, or brands. Sellers can choose to target their ads to related or complementary products. This increases the chance of attracting relevant shoppers and driving sales.


2. Category Targeting Ads

Category Targeting Ads enable sellers to target specific product categories or subcategories with their advertising campaigns. Sellers can reach shoppers who are browsing within specific product categories on Amazon, increasing the visibility of their products to relevant audiences.

These ads let sellers choose from many product categories and subcategories. For example, these include electronics, home and kitchen, beauty, apparel, and more. Sellers use the categories to target their ads.


3. Retargeting Ads

Retargeting Ads allow sellers to re-engage shoppers who have previously visited their product detail pages or viewed their products on Amazon. They can target these shoppers with custom ads. The ads will encourage them to return to the product pages and finish their purchases.

Retargeting Ads are great for boosting sales. They do this by winning back shoppers who already know a seller's products. By reminding these shoppers of the products they like, sellers can increase the chance of them finishing their purchase. This will drive more revenue.

What are Sponsored Products?

Sponsored Products on Amazon help sellers boost sales by promoting products in search results and on product pages.

Merch Jar's Recipes feature helps users simplify ad tasks. With it, you can adjust bids, pause campaigns, and update budgets automatically. Thus, our tool makes managing Amazon Sponsored Products easier and enhances campaign results.

Key features of Sponsored Products include:

  • Keyword Targeting: Sellers can choose specific keywords relevant to their products, and their ads will appear when shoppers search for those keywords on Amazon.
  • Cost-Per-Click (CPC) Pricing: Sponsored Products operate on a cost-per-click basis, meaning sellers only pay when shoppers click on their ads. Sellers can set their bid amounts and daily budgets to control their advertising costs.
  • Ad Placement: Sponsored Products appear in search results and on product detail pages. They blend in seamlessly with organic search results. This placement ensures that the ads are seen by shoppers actively searching for similar products.
  • Ad Formats: Sponsored Product ads feature the seller's product image, title, price, and star rating. They are designed to look like regular product listings, making them highly relevant and engaging to shoppers.
  • Performance Metrics: Sponsored Products provide detailed metrics. They include impressions, clicks, click-through rate (CTR), advertising cost of sales (ACoS), and Amazon attribution. As a result, this data lets sellers track their campaigns. It helps them make informed choices to boost performance.

Disadvantages of Using Sponsored Products

Check out the disadvantages of using sponsored products:

  • High Competition: Amazon's Sponsored Products are popular. But, they bring fierce competition for visibility. If they're not managed well., this can lead to higher ad costs and lower profits.
  • Limited Targeting Options: Sponsored Products have few targeting options as well as fewer formats. This can lead to less precise audience segmentation and lower ad relevance.
  • Dependency on Amazon's Platform: Sponsored Products are primarily displayed within Amazon's ecosystem, which means that sellers may have limited control over placement and reach beyond the platform itself, potentially restricting exposure to potential customers who frequent other online channels.

Benefits of Using Sponsored Products

Here are some of the benefits of using sponsored products:

  • Prominent Placement: Sponsored Products prominently display your products within Amazon's search results and product detail pages, making them highly visible to shoppers actively searching for similar items.
  • Targeted Reach: Sponsored Products allow you to target specific keywords relevant to your products, ensuring that your ads are displayed to shoppers with a high likelihood of being interested in your offerings.
  • Cost-Efficient Advertising: With Sponsored Products, you pay only when shoppers click on your ads, maximizing your advertising budget for a better ROI.
  • Enhanced Sales Potential: By increasing the visibility of your products and reaching shoppers at the point of purchase intent, Sponsored Products can help drive traffic to your product listings and boost sales.
  • Flexibility and Control: Sponsored Products offer flexible budgeting options, allowing you to set your daily budgets and bids based on your advertising goals and budget constraints. 
  • Detailed Performance Insights: Sponsored Products provide detailed performance metrics, including impressions, clicks, click-through rate (CTR), advertising cost of sales (ACoS), and attributed sales. These insights help you track your campaigns' effectiveness. Furthermore, they let you make data-driven decisions to boost performance.

Types of Sponsored Product Targeting

The types of Sponsored Product targeting strategies offered by Amazon include:

1. Sponsored Products Keyword Targeting

Sponsored Products Keyword Targeting is a type of advertising option offered by Amazon that enables sellers to target specific keywords relevant to their products. Sellers can ensure their products appear in search results when shoppers search for those keywords on Amazon.

2. Sponsored Products ASIN Targeting

Sponsored Products ASIN Targeting is a type of advertising option offered by Amazon that enables sellers to target specific Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs) or product listings with their ads. With this type of ad, sellers can ensure their products appear on the product detail pages of related or complementary products.

Here's how Sponsored Products ASIN Targeting works:

  • ASIN Selection: Sellers choose specific ASINs or product listings. The listings must be relevant to their products and likely to be seen by their target audience. These ASINs should be related to the seller's products.
  • Ad Placement: Sponsored product ads appear on the product detail pages of the selected ASINs, typically displayed alongside the product information and images. When shoppers view the selected ASINs, the sponsored products that match those ASINs are eligible to appear on the page.

3. Sponsored Products Category Targeting

Sponsored product category Targeting is another type of advertising option offered by Amazon. It lets sellers target specific product categories or subcategories with their ads. Sponsored Products Category Targeting lets sellers show their products to shoppers as they browse on Amazon.

Sellers choose specific product categories or subcategories. These categories should align with the seller's products and match the interests of their target customers.

Key Differences and Similarities

Let's start by highlighting the key differences and similarities between displays and products. Understanding these distinctions and commonalities will help you make informed decisions when choosing between the two.


Consider differences and similarities in ad placement, and note how each element affects your ads. 

1. Ad placement

In comparing displays versus products, one notable difference lies in their approaches to ad placement.

Sponsored Display:

  • Places ads on and off Amazon.
  • Uses audience interests and behaviors for placement.

Sponsored Products:

  • Appears within search results and product detail pages.
  • Target keywords for placement.

2. Targeting Options

Moving from ad placement to targeting options, a significant divergence arises between Sponsored Displays and Sponsored Products. 

Sponsored Display: 

  • Offers targeting based on interests, views, and shopping behavior, allowing you to reach potential customers beyond keyword searches.

Sponsored Products: 

  • Focuses on keyword targeting within Amazon search results, honing in on users actively searching for specific products, providing a more direct approach to conversion.

3. Ad Formats

When considering ad formats, Sponsored Displays and Sponsored Products exhibit clear distinctions in their presentation styles and functionalities.

Sponsored Display:

  • Uses display ads that appear on and off Amazon.
  • Targets audiences based on interests and behaviors.

Sponsored Products:

  • Features product listing ads within search results.
  • Targets customers actively searching for specific products.

4. Performance Metrics

Here’s how the two differ in terms of performance metrics:

Sponsored Products:

  • Focuses on metrics like click-through rate (CTR), cost-per-click (CPC), conversion rate, and advertising cost of sales (ACoS)
  • Measure effectiveness within search results and product detail pages on Amazon

Sponsored Display Ads:

  • Include metrics such as view-through rate (VTR), click-through rate (CTR), cost-per-click (CPC), and return on ad spend (ROAS).
  • Evaluate performance across various placements, including on and off Amazon, such as websites, apps, and devices.


Understanding how these factors align or differ can help you make informed decisions for your marketing initiatives.

1. Cost structure

Both Sponsored Display and Sponsored Products have similar cost structures in terms of payment methods, cost determination factors, control over spending, and cost-effectiveness.

These similarities make it easier for you to navigate and understand the cost implications of using either of these advertising options for your products.

2. Budget allocation

Moving from cost structures to budget allocation, you'll find that both Display and VS products are similar.

Both options allow you to set daily budgets, adjust bids based on performance, and control overall spending.

This similarity ensures that you have control over your advertising expenses while maximizing the reach and impact of your campaigns.

3. Campaign creation

Sponsored Display Ads and Sponsored Products have similar campaign creation processes. Both start by selecting the campaign type and setting the budget, duration, and campaign name. Advertisers then choose targeting options based on their campaign goals, like audience segments, product targeting, or interests.


Both Sponsored Displays and Sponsored Products are effective ad types on Amazon. However, they have key differences that make them suitable for different marketing goals. 

Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on your specific marketing objectives and budget. 

With Merch Jar's innovative ad automation platform, you can give your Amazon advertising strategy a facelift no matter which ad type you choose. Our cutting-edge technology streamlines the management of your advertising campaigns, saving you valuable time and effort while maximizing your profits. 

Get started for free today!