There’s been a lot of talk regarding what are the best type of ads to use from Amazon: AMS or AMG (AAP). We believe that everything depends on your objectives, so here is the information you need to know before taking a decision.
Amazon Marketing Services: AMS
The Amazon Marketing Services are paid digital advertising platforms that help sellers run marketing activities on Amazon. AMS works in a similar way to Google AdWords, or other Social Media advertising tools (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).
AMS ads are also called “search” ads as they are appearing only on Amazon, when users are searching for specific queries or products.
Management: AMS is a self-managed platform. You can do the management by yourself, or employ a specialised Amazon Marketing agency to do it for you.
Price model: click-based= eCPC.
AMS ads are best for:
- Targeting shoppers in the last stages of the purchase funnel (Consideration and Purchase).
- Generating clicks and sales for products on Amazon.
- Targeting shoppers based on the search terms that they enter on Amazon.
Amazon Marketing Group: AMG
The Amazon Marketing Group manages both the AMS and the AMG side of marketing. AMG ads take the shape of banners/videos displayed on Amazon’s websites and on third-party websites (i.e. AAP = Amazon Advertising Platform). There are 2 types of creatives available: Lifestyle – built by you with your own messages; or Dynamic Ecommerce ones – automatically generated by the system.
AMG ads are also called “display” ads because of the type of creatives used. The targeting for these ads are based on customers’ interests (i.e. targeting segments)
Management: AMG ads can be managed either by Amazon (i.e. Amazon Managed – for 25% of your budget), or self-managed (i.e. via ESS) – here too, you can employ a specialised Amazon Marketing agency to do it for you.
Price model: View-based, Click-based [paid for supply] + AAP Platform and Management Fee + Data Fee= eCPM.
AMG ads are best for:
- Targeting shoppers in the earlier stages of the purchase channel (Awareness and Consideration).
- Generating impressions and brand awareness for large groups of consumers.
- Targeting shoppers with broad interests inside and outside of Amazon’s websites.
AMS or AMG – Which one to choose?
So, which one of these two marketing tools should you use? A combination of both AMS and AMG ads usually works best. You can use AMG to create brand awareness and drive shoppers from 3p sites to Amazon, and you can use AMS to target customers searching already on Amazon. This way, you make sure you are targeting consumers in all stages of the purchase funnel (Awareness>Consideration>Purchase).
Amazon takes this into account also. Therefore, a sale is reported only on the last platform that the user clicked on (be it AMG or AMS). It will not report the same sale on both platforms, to avoid duplication.
In terms of targeting shoppers, AMG ads offer you higher coverage as it allows targeting users both inside and outside Amazon’s websites. With AMS ads, you can only target shoppers on Amazon.
AMG offers the possibility of retargeting previous customers or previous users that accessed your website, or your products on Amazon (i.e. via Retargeting segments). AMS ads don’t have retargeting functionalities.
AMG ads also allow some type of search-based targeting (via Contextual segments).
In terms of creatives, AMG ads can be again seen as more advantageous compared to AMS ads. AMG ads allow you to be creative and use unique banners or videos, while AMS allows very limited customisation of the creatives. On the other side, AMS ads were made to look more similar to the usual organic products that you are seeing (especially Sponsored Products Ads) – this actually improves the conversion rate of the campaigns.
In terms of costs, AMG ads are more expensive to run than AMS ads. With AMS, you are only paying for the supply (i.e. pay for each click); on AMG though, besides the supply fee (view-based and click-based), you are also paying two other fees: the AAP Platform and Management fee and Data Fees for each targeted segment.
AMS and AMG ads are both beneficial for generating traffic that will improve organic rankings for products: bringing more people to your product detail pages will improve your organic rankings.
In terms of sales’ attribution, the AMS reports are more accurate as they are recording only click-based conversions. AMG ads record both View-based and click-based conversions. This means that with AMS ads, you are sure that a user has interacted firstly with the ad, while with AMG you are not sure how much a view of the ad has impacted the sale (Read about Ad blindness).
In terms of ACOS/ROAS, AMS ads are usually outperforming AMG ads. This is because of 2 reasons: Firstly, as AMS ads are served on the last stages of the purchase funnel and on Amazon sites only, there are more chances that a user will make a purchase. Secondly, AMS ads are halo sales, while AMG ads report on both sales for the promoted ASINs and on brand ASINs (halo sales).
As you can see above, there are advantages and disadvantages for each one of these two platforms. Depending on your objectives, we recommend you select the one that suits you best. If you do have the budget though, we recommend you use both AMS and AMG ads together to target shoppers in all stages of the purchase funnel.