When shopping on Amazon or even Googling an item, you may see that a product gets listed as “Sponsored.”
If you’re starting a store on Amazon, then you might also see an option to get involved with sponsoring products.
It may make you wonder what sponsoring is all about.
Here’s everything you need to know about sponsoring and what it means on Amazon.
What Does Sponsored Mean On Amazon?
Sponsored means that Amazon is bringing attention to your product or store.
This isn’t something that Amazon does for free.
You have to pay for the service.
In particular, Amazon uses a Pay-Per-Click payment system.
When someone clicks on an ad featuring your sponsored product, you pay a small fee to Amazon.
It’s similar to how Google’s AdWords works.
If you see a product or store marked as “Sponsored” on Amazon, then it means the seller is paying Amazon to advertise their product.
How Does Sponsorship On Amazon Work?
If you run a business on Amazon, then you may wonder how you can get involved with sponsorship.
It’s relatively easy provided you meet their criteria.
Amazon has two ways to set up your sponsorship program.
You can either go for an automated process or a manual one.
The automated process is the easiest method.
When you choose this method, Amazon does all the work for you.
You can still set a few things like your daily budget, when you want the sponsorship to start and end, the products that you want to be sponsored, and the daily bid amount.
Amazon will then do everything else like generating the keywords that best fit your product and writing the ad.
Using the automated process is ideal for people who aren’t sure they’re knowledgeable enough about keywords and how to write an effective ad.
It lets you take care of the important details like how much you want to pay Amazon each day.
For example, if you’re someone with a limited budget, then you may only be able to afford to pay a small daily fee.
Otherwise, you might end up paying Amazon more than what you’re taking in.
That’s especially true if people click on your ad but don’t actually buy anything from you.
The other way to get started with sponsorships is through the manual process.
When you choose to set up your sponsorship manually, you take care of everything.
That includes choosing the keywords you want to be associated with the products, the categories it falls into, and everything else.
The manual set-up is a great option for those who want complete control over the ad.
If you think you have a good handle on keywords and ad copy, then this might be an ideal option for you.
Once you’re set up, the product or products that Amazon is sponsoring will show up in ideal places.
The more you pay Amazon, the better the location of the ad.
For example, if you pay a good amount of money, then there’s a good chance that your sponsored ad will show up on the front page of Amazon.
It may also get included in the initial search results for the product’s keywords.
If you don’t pay them as much, then your sponsored ad might get buried in later search results.
As such, paying for a sponsored ad does come with some risk.
What Are The Qualifications For Getting Sponsored By Amazon?
If you want to get started with sponsorships through Amazon, then you may be unsure if you qualify.
Amazon doesn’t offer sponsorships to just any store on its marketplace.
Here are the qualifications you must satisfy to get sponsored by Amazon.
1. Active Seller Account
The first qualification you need to satisfy is that you need to have an active, professional, seller account on Amazon.
Amazon doesn’t offer sponsorships for sellers who are inactive or who regularly become inactive.
They want to ensure that they’re sponsoring products and stores that are active and ready to sell to customers.
If they were to sponsor a product from a store that isn’t active, then they’d get a lot of complaints from customers.
Since that harms Amazon’s reputation, that isn’t something that they want to do.
As such, they require anyone who wants to get sponsored by them to have an active seller account on Amazon.
2. Ships To All US Addresses
Another qualification that you need to satisfy is that your store needs to be able to ship to all US addresses.
You are not able to get sponsored if your store doesn’t ship across the United States.
The primary reason Amazon requires sponsored sellers to ship to all US addresses is that, in most cases, the sponsored ads will show throughout the United States.
If someone clicks on your ad, then discovers that they can’t buy your product because you don’t ship to them, they’re not going to be happy.
It also makes Amazon lose money since they’re also banking on you making a sale.
Additionally, being able to ship to all US addresses indicates that your business is operating on a large scale.
That means you’re probably generating a good amount of profit.
Amazon knows it will earn more money by promoting you, too.
It also encourages sellers to use Amazon’s fulfillment services.
You need to pay to use those services, which means more money for Amazon.
The benefit is that you’re now able to ship throughout the United States.
To be able to get sponsored by Amazon, you need to be able to ship throughout the United States.
3. List Products In Available Categories
Another requirement that Amazon has is that you have products to list in available categories.
Amazon doesn’t always sponsor every category.
If you have a product that doesn’t fit into one of the categories that they provide, then you may not be able to get sponsored by them.
You can always reach out to Amazon to ask them to add a category that fits your product, but it isn’t guaranteed that they’ll grant your request.
As such, it’s important to look at the categories that Amazon has available and see if your products fit into them.
There are a few reasons Amazon does this.
The first is that it’s a bit easier for them to put an ad together.
They have everything they need to plug your product in and start airing it immediately.
Secondly, they know that certain categories tend to perform better with ads than others.
If you don’t see a category available for your product, it may be because Amazon thinks a traditional Pay-Per-Click ad might not be the best way to advertise it.
Finally, it indicates that you might be selling a product that Amazon doesn’t want to advertise.
For example, if you sell anything adult-oriented like sex toys, then Amazon doesn’t always want to get involved with that market.
They might limit certain categories to ensure they’re only advertising products that they agree with.
As long as your products fit into a provided category, you’re able to get sponsored.
4. New Products Only
Amazon does not sponsor used products.
As such, if you want to get sponsored by Amazon, then the products you sell have to be new.
You can also sell used products, but you can’t advertise them via a sponsorship.
There may be some ways around this like sponsoring your store which sells used products instead of specific products, but if you want to list a product, then it needs to be brand new.
Amazon only wants to sponsor new products because that’s usually what customers expect when they’re buying them.
They also don’t want to get accused of false advertising if a customer buys a product thinking it’s brand new only to find that it’s used.
To get Amazon to sponsor a product, you need to sell it brand new.
5. Buy Box Eligible
A final qualification you need to meet is whether you have the buy box or not.
Not every seller gets the buy box.
The buy box is the orange-yellow button beside the price that lets buyers add the item to their cart.
Other sellers who sell the same product don’t get the buy box.
They get listed as “Other Sellers” on the page.
Competition for getting the buy box is fierce on Amazon.
It usually comes down to seller metrics and whether you’re part of Amazon’s fulfillment services or not.
Amazon won’t sponsor a product if you don’t have the buy box for that product.
This can make getting sponsored difficult since you’re basically competing for the buy box with someone who might already have sponsorship.
If you’re selling a brand new product on Amazon, then it’s worth getting sponsored as soon as you can to ensure you’re able to hold onto the buy box if other sellers enter the market.
What Are The Benefits Of Sponsorship With Amazon?
Clearly, it isn’t easy to get products sponsored by Amazon.
As such, you may wonder if all the hassle is worth it.
Here are a few reasons sponsorship with Amazon is beneficial.
1. More Traffic
One of the best benefits of getting sponsored by Amazon is that it increases the amount of traffic to your store page.
The more traffic you get on your page, the more likely you are to get sales.
Sponsorship leads to more traffic because it puts your product in front of more eyes.
Amazon will have an ad either right there on its front page or in Google search results.
When it’s on the front page, it’s one of the first things that people see when they click on the site.
If they’re searching for the product that you’re selling, then your product will be one of the first ones that they see.
On Google, they might directly search for your product category and see your product listed immediately.
They might also be browsing the internet and see your ad if it’s related to their activity.
The fact that your product gets put before more eyes means more people are being introduced to it.
That also means they’re more likely to buy it.
Higher traffic tends to yield more sales.
As such, getting sponsored on Amazon can lead to higher traffic and bigger sales.
2. Gain Control Of The Buy Button
Another important benefit that getting sponsored by Amazon provides is that it helps you keep in control of the buy button.
There are tons of sellers on Amazon.
Many of those sellers end up selling the same product or very similar products.
When that happens, there’s competition over the buy button.
Amazon wants to ensure its customers are getting the best price and service possible.
As such, they award the buy button to the seller who has a lot of sales and great customer service.
The rest of the sellers get listed under the “Other Sellers” category.
While buyers can still buy from those sellers, they’re less noticeable than the seller who gets the buy button.
As such, the seller with the buy button gets more sales.
Since having high metrics is a part of earning the buy button, it’s important to get as much traffic and sales as possible.
A way to do that is with a sponsorship.
Since you can only get a sponsorship if you have the buy button, it’s important that sellers get sponsored as soon as they’ve earned it.
This helps them get more traffic, which in turn, helps them get better metrics.
The more sales that they make and the better their metrics, the more likely they are to hold onto their buy button.
3. Grow Business Outside Of Amazon
Getting sponsored by Amazon also allows you to grow your brand and store that’s off of Amazon.
One of the ways that Amazon can sponsor a seller is with a Sponsored Display.
It helps you create display ads that you can use to bring traffic to both your Amazon store and your official website.
This is a great way for sellers to get their businesses off of the ground while they slowly transition away from Amazon.
It lets you build brand awareness and a strong collection of buyers before going solo.
Getting sponsored means you’re able to do so a lot faster.
Being sponsored by Amazon comes with its prices.
It’s also not always easy to get sponsored when you first set up shop with Amazon.
However, the benefits of getting sponsored can greatly improve your seller metrics and increase your sales.