The history of Sponsored Products and staying visible

The history of Sponsored Products and staying visible

Do you ever get that sinking feeling when you refresh your sales dashboard and the numbers aren’t moving quick enough or worse – moving at all? Back in the good old days when Amazon first opened up for FBM there were no sponsored products and the competition pool was small. As long as the keywords were correct, the title was indexable and the images were clear and relevant, all it took was to list a product, press publish and watch the sales roll in. 

Like all good things in commerce, once the word gets out, the competition quickly grows. Standing out from the crowd was still good, as established well reviewed listings managed to organically remain relevant and visible. Then sponsored products came along and changed everything. 

Overnight, sellers could buy their way to the top of the Amazon listings depending on what keywords they wished to ensure they appeared in the top few results for. A neat feature of this is that amazon will provide the listing with the organic benefit from the extra sales this extra visibility provides which then has a ‘fly-wheel’ effect which compounds the additional sales and consequential ROI. As time when by the features available increased and Sponsored Products has developed into quite a specialist but powerful tool. The benefits of this advertising remain the same but getting the results is becoming a lot harder due to the increased competition. If you’ve heard the phrase ACOS ‘advertising cost of sale’ being spoken by a colleague with sheer panic in their eyes ‘particularly if prefixed with the word – high’ then it is time to pay attention. 

A high ACOS is what keeps an Amazon seller awake at night. I’ve been there and lost hair over it and unfortunately there is no quick fix other than learning the system, the tools inside out and forensically analysing every data point result. Those who know, know that getting to grips with Amazon advertising has come a professional skill outright much like google PPC as a specialism. 

If you’re not there yet, out top tips are: 

  • Ensure daily monitoring and optimisation.
  • Use a daily or campaign budget cap.
  • Make full use of negative keywords to phrase out costly unnecessary searches.
  • Make sure all ad types are used, tested and linked for best results.


This article was written by William Johnson who is a Sponsored Products expert with years of experience in PPC and returned multi-millions of revenue from sponsored product sales campaigns.