Is Amazon PPC Worth It?

Is Amazon PPC Worth It?

If you shop on consistently, you’ll notice that ads are becoming more ever-present on the site.

Ads can take up the top row of results results for a search query (with a "Brand Ad" above that), there are ads on individual product pages, there’s video ads...

There’s a lot of ads.

If you sell on Amazon, as a new seller or a seasoned one, you’ll also notice that the cost per click is going up constantly for keywords as well.

It may lead you to think “Is Amazon PPC even worth it?”

Maybe you will just let organic rankings be responsible for your sales and call it a day.

But I’m here to tell you that Amazon PPC is not only worth it these days, it’s a fundamental pillar to success on the platform.

In this post, we’re going to go over 3 crucial reasons why PPC is so important to your success on Amazon.

Reason #1: Amazon Ads show up in places Organic Listings never will

When your products only show up on organic listing spots, then you’re essentially limiting the amount of customers that will see your products.

If you're not getting impressions, you're not getting traffic. If you're not getting traffic, you're not getting sales.

While you might think it's fine to sacrifice some sales to save money, keep in mind that more traffic and more purchases from any traffic source (ads included) will help with your organic rankings as a bonus (more on that in Reason #3).

Spending a bit to show up everywhere you possibly can on Amazon will do wonders for your catalog’s overall sales.

And sales are what we want, right?

Look at this search for "barefoot shoes" on Amazon:

Entire above-fold results for "barefoot shoes" are ads.

Incredibly, within this screenshot of an Amazon search result there are zero organic listings immediately visible.

To see the first organic results, you'll have to scroll down the page:

Scrolling down one full screen you get a whopping 4 organic product listings. The rest is ads.

Scrolling down, you finally manage to see some organic listings, but you only get 4 results until you're served a video ad that takes up an entire row.

And what's that? Another ad to the left of all of this.

It's never ending ads!

Let's open up a listing and see what we find:

Four separate ad spots immediately visible on a product listing page. Four.

If you thought a product listing was safe, you were wrong.

In this listing there are 4 areas above the fold for advertisements of different shoes.

In case you were wondering, there are more ads if you scroll down.

Reason #2: Amazon PPC is the most effective tool for launching new products

There’s a lot of confusion around the topic of a product launch on Amazon.

Content around a product launch seem to be full to the brim with tactics.

It can get pretty extensive:

  • Giveaways
  • Email blasts (What if you're a new seller? Who are you "blasting?")
  • Gray-hat and black-hat tactics (bot campaigns with steep discounts, anyone?)
  • Influencer marketing
  • Spam Facebook groups
  • and more

With so much to do just to launch a product it can seem difficult and daunting.

Not to mention a lot of tactics you read about seem like a generally bad idea.

But I’m going to reveal the magician’s trick right now: Most product launches on Amazon use PPC as the only promotional tactic.

That’s right, for the vast majority of product launches you only need a great listing, a great product, and a budget set aside for PPC.

If your listing is solid, then people will still purchase even with no reviews (shocking, but true).

You can do a more aggressive spend at first to really milk the “Honeymoon Period” of when your product hits the warehouse, and then adjust campaigns as rankings improve and reviews start coming in.

I’m not saying other promotions aren't effective, but the 2 fundamental pillars to your product’s initial (and sustained) success are PPC (on Amazon) and SEO.

Get those right, and you’ll have many successful product launches under your belt.

Reason #3: Amazon PPC Performance is linked to Organic Performance

Amazon PPC is a straightforward system:

  • You bid on a keyword against other sellers (this determines the price)
  • Your listing shows up on designated ad spots for the chosen keyword
  • When someone clicks on your ad, you are charged

There’s more nuance to this, of course, but that’s a general breakdown.

If your listing and offer is great, someone will click your sponsored ad spot and you’ll make a sale.

More than making a sale, however, are complementary benefits to running ads.

What kinds of benefits exactly? No one is entirely sure because Amazon’s A9 algorithm is shrouded in mystery, and precisely how it works is unknown.

Any experienced seller will tell you is that a sale generated from an advertisement will help boost your rankings organically.

At the very least, a sale made from an ad will help with sales velocity.

Some think that the keywords people typed in the search bar and eventually bought your product could help with organic rankings for that specific term.

So if you’re launching a product or looking to maintain rankings for your listings, you should be utilizing Amazon PPC to help with keyword rankings.


So what can we take away from all of this?

Put simply, Amazon will continue to emphasize ads now and into the future, and will reward sellers who use them effectively.

While this might seem "unfair" to some, if you work advertising spend within your budget and your margins, it provides a very helpful way to start the sales engine of your new listings, and can be an advantage if you use them correctly.

If you utilize funding to restock your inventory, you can even have part of the funding be dedicated to advertising.

So is Amazon PPC worth it? More than worth it, it's required for success on the platform.