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Improve ROAS with Amazon Product Targeting vs Keyword Targeting

While keyword targeting gets most of the attention, it isn’t the only tool in the eCommerce advertiser’s toolkit. Amazon product targeting should be a vital part of your strategy for targeting customers browsing similar or complementary products.

Product targeting offers the opportunity to increase the granularity of ads, build greater brand awareness, and improve ad performance. In many cases, Amazon product targeting campaigns achieve a higher ROAS than keyword targeting campaigns.

Amazon is also investing in new product targeting capabilities for advertisers. Last year, they released new capabilities for US sellers to use Amazon product targeting with Sponsored Display ads.

What is the difference between Amazon product targeting and keyword targeting? What are the main considerations when launching a product targeting campaign? Let’s explore this ad targeting strategy to help you make the most of it.

Target Type Overview

Ad Types and Target Types

Before diving into Product Targeting, let us review how Ad Types and Target Types work together to deliver against advertising objectives. Ad Types refers to the pay-per-click advertising formats where your ad unit will be placed on a retailer platform and can include Sponsored Product, Sponsored Brand or Sponsored Display. Target Types refers to the shoppers you are trying to reach with your advertising and can include Branded targeting, Category targeting, Competitor targeting, and Adjacent targeting. Depending on business objectives, we recommend creating a combination of Ad Types and Target Types to achieve desired strategy performance. For example, if your objective is to defend your branded shelf, then perhaps you would implement Branded targeting across Sponsored Product, Sponsored Brand, and your product detail pages.  

Beyond deciding on Ad Type and Target Type combinations, you should consider if your campaign will reach shoppers via keyword targeting or product targeting.  

Overview of Keyword Targeting

More than 95% of shopping on Amazon stems from Keyword searches, and keyword targeting enables brands to leverage these keywords to show their products in search results and detail pages. For example, if you are a pet brand that sells grooming tools for pets then you would likely include keyword targets such as “dog brush” or “cat brush” in your campaign.  

Overview of Product Targeting

Unlike keyword targeting which focuses on serving ad units based on shoppers search queries, Product targeting allows you to identify specific products, categories or brands to target your ads. This can include your own products or a competing product. Product Targeting can be used with Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Sponsored Display ad types.

Keyword vs Product Targeting

Another main difference between keyword targeting vs product targeting is where these ads will serve impressions. Keyword targeting can serve impressions across search page results or product detail page results. Product targeting will serve impressions across product detail pages.  

Considerations when Launching Product Targeting Campaigns

Sponsored Product vs Sponsored Display

Product Targeting can be leveraged by either Sponsored Product or by Sponsored Display, allowing brands to further drive targeting efforts and increase likelihood of purchase consideration. Product Targeting via Sponsored Product enables brands to reach customers who are shopping for similar products and allows your ad placement to appear within a specified product detail page. Product Targeting via Sponsored Display drives audience engagement for shoppers who are considering complementary categories and products by placing ads on search results pages, product detail pages, and customer review sections. Leveraging both Sponsored Product and Sponsored Display can help boost your product discoverability and increase your brands’ connection with shoppers.  

Negative Targeting

There are cases when brands may want to stay away from appearing on certain products’ detail pages, such as irrelevant content and cross brand activity. Negative targeting provides brands an opportunity to avoid serving ads on product detail pages that they are not interested in targeting. The Negative targeting feature allows you to select between excluding brands or excluding products, which can help enhance your granular targeting strategies.  

Product Targeting Use Case

Product Targeting campaigns can be used to target direct competitor ASINS on their detail page using Sponsored Display. This allows advertisers a unique ability to convert shoppers at the lowest part of the conversion funnel when the shopper. You can also target competitors within the category based on price ranges, basically target lower – cost brands using premium products. If the promoted product is a direct substitute to the detail page product, and the only difference is brand and price, brand agnostic shoppers may convert to the promoted product, which is an incremental sale. Another targeting functionality is to target based off of review rating, so that your highly reviewed product can be promoted as a substitute on the poorly reviewed product detail page you are targeting.

Beyond leveraging Product Targeting in competitor spaces, you can also leverage Product Targeting for brand defense or to drive complementary product recommendations. You can defend your shelf (detail page) against competitor activity by advertising premium products to drive upsell, feature new product launches, or to drive awareness on top selling products. Another opportunity for defending your detail page is to promote complementary products. Along with helping defend the traffic you have driven to your product detail page, this can also help drive incremental sales via larger baskets.  

When looking at competitor keyword campaigns vs. conquesting product targeting campaigns over the same time period, Product Targeting campaigns delivered significantly higher performance. Product targeting campaigns delivered a 177% higher ROAS and a 5 percentage points higher conversion rate than competitor keyword campaigns. Product targeting campaigns show better performance due to the lower cost per click, which has a positive impact on ROAS. The higher ROAS performance on Product targeting campaigns is driven by lower cost per click when compared to keyword targeting campaigns.  


When determining eCommerce advertising strategy, it is important to have a mix of various targeting types and ad placements. There are many benefits to traditional competitor keyword campaigns, one of which is the ability to launch one campaign for up to 1,000 competitor keywords to target. With product targeting, we can target products and create a granular strategy of which ASINS to promote on which detail pages. There are different use cases and considerations that need to be determined when creating a Product Targeting strategy. Overall, there are significant benefits to diversifying an eCommerce strategy and using Product Targeting campaigns as a part of the strategy. The benefits include better performance and increased granularity of ad placements.

Amazon Targeting Available by Ad Types | Pacvue Blog

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