A Quick and Dirty Guide to Amazon Native Shopping Ads

Executed effectively in front of the right audience with the right kind of content, monetizing your website with Amazon Associates could be one of the most lucrative ways for you to make money on the Internet. You’ll still need to generate lots of quality traffic and you’ll need to tweak your application to maximize your conversion rates, but there is definitely money to be made.

And as much as Amazon may have a broad range of banners in a variety of different sizes available, the standard banners typically don’t work very well on the overwhelming majority of websites. People have come to turn a blind eye to yet another banner telling them to sign up for Amazon Prime or that they should buy their electronics from Amazon. Instead, what’s far more effective is when you can specifically cater the ad to each individual reader or website visitor.

The Native Shopping Ads from Amazon can lift your performance to the next level by leveraging contextual data. And you’d be foolish not to consider adding it to your advertising mix.

Contextual Ads for Better Conversions

When you promote a specific product on Amazon, you look up your specific affiliate link or you grab your particular ad code for that particular product. That’s great if you’re doing a product review or offering some similar sort of content to your readers, but what if you want to use Amazon ads on other types of content too? And you don’t want these ads to be random and generic?


In effect, you get two key advantages with Amazon Native Shopping Ads. First, similar to how Google AdSense works, these Native Shopping Ads are partly based on the page content on which they appear. If you have a post that’s all about cameras, the ad will likely show links to popular cameras on sale. Second, also similar to AdSense, these Shopping Ads are also responsive to the user’s own history. If they’ve been shopping for purses on Amazon, your ad is more likely to show purses to that user too.

This vastly increased level of relevance should dramatically improve your conversion rate, because it means that the ads are far more targeted to the individual user and to the content surrounding the ad.

How to Setup Native Shopping Ads

There are three main types of Native Shopping Ads available and the one that we’ll focus on here are the Recommendation Ads. There are also Search Ads and Custom Ads, but Recommendation Ads are the most robust.


After logging into your Amazon Associates account, look toward the top of the page where you’ll see a tab marked as “Native Shopping Ads.” Once you click on that, you’ll be directed to an overview page about how these “dynamic product recommendations in a stylishly designed and responsive ad unit” work. Click on the “Create Ad Code” button and choose “Recommendation Ads” from the resulting pull-down.

There are a few main fields you’ll need to complete.

  • Categories: Highlight your choices from the available categories list (you don’t need to hold CTRL), then click on the “right” arrow to push them into the selected categories list. How many you choose is up to you and these should naturally be based on your content.
  • Fallbacks: Definitely choose to have a “search keyword” fallback, because you probably don’t want your ad unit to be hidden if no relevant recommendations are found. For this, you will need to provide the category and the keyword.
  • Show interest based ads: Located in the Advanced Settings section, this is where you toggle whether or not to show personalized or targeted ads.
  • Ad Size: This is a little deceptive in that the ad will always be responsive in terms of width. If you choose the “Custom Size” option, the only two choices are if you want one row or two. Depending on the layout of your site, either could be appropriate.

Once the settings are the way you want them, grab the Javascript ad code in the window to the right and paste it to the corresponding page or page template on your site, just like any other ad code. And that’s it.

It goes without saying that your mileage will vary with Amazon’s Native Shopping Ads. But if you do have a product-centric website where there is the opportunity for visitors to buy something on Amazon, these types of ads are an excellent addition to your arsenal.

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