How To Read and Analyze Amazon Advertising Reports for 2020 (Sponsored Products Report)


Whether you are selling on Amazon as private labeling, wholesale, or retail arbitrage, running paid advertising is a great way to get sales. But if not careful, Amazon Advertising can get expensive and ineffective. Continuous campaign optimization is required to keep advertising costs under control.

There are several ways to monitor and optimize advertising performance. In this post, I will cover the most accurate way to do so without needing to pay for a service or use any tools other than excel.

Amazon Advertising Reports

Amazon collects a large amount of data that can help sellers get more insight into how the seller account is performing. However, the only way to access these data is by generating and downloading respective reports in amazon seller central.

Where To Find Advertising Reports?

Amazon Advertising Reports are some of the most useful and important reports available in Amazon Seller Central. You can find all advertising reports in Amazon Seller Central -> Reports -> Advertising Reports

You can also access the advertising reports page by clicking the advertising reports tab in any campaign manager.

Generate & Download Reports Before It’s Too Late

It is strongly recommended to set up a weekly or monthly scheduled reporting in the advertising reports generation page. As Amazon will only keep 60 – 90 days of data available to sellers on, if a report is not generated in time, you will not be able to create any reports in the desired date range.

Since some of the advertising data will not be available until 48 hours after, please make sure you pick a report end date that is at least 2 days earlier than the report generation date. This helps to ensure all data is populated in your advertising reports.

Type of Advertising Reports

There are two campaign types to generate reports for : Sponsored Products, and Sponsored Brands Video. We will only be covering sponsored products in this blog post, Sponsored Brand Video will be covered with a different post later.

There are 7 types of reports available: Search Term, Targeting, Advertised product, Campaign, Placement, Purchased product, and Performance Over Time. Each report provides an angle to help analyze advertising performance. Their contents and differences are also summarized in the following table for you to review.

Report TypeKey Report ContentBest ForData In Report
Search TermSearch Terms customers used to find your products and their conversion dataKeyword Optimization, Monitor Target SpendingDate, Portfolio, Campaign Name, Targeting, Match Type, Customer Search Term, Impression, Click, Click-Thru Rate (CTR), Cost Per Click (CPC), Spend, 7 Day Total Sales, ACoS, Total Return on Advertising Spend (RoAS), 7 Day Total Orders, 7 Day Total Units, 7 Day Conversion Rate, 7 Day Advertised SKU Units, 7 Day Other SKU Units, 7 Day Advertised SKU Sales, 7 Day Other SKU Sales
TargetingTargeting Keyword Summarization across all campaigns with match typeReviewing All Keywords used, Remove DuplicationSame as above but without Search Term
Advertised ProductProduct Centric Performance Data by SKU and Product ASINReview performance on product/SKU levelSame as above but without targeting, search term.

Has Advertised SKU, this is the only report that contains this data
CampaignCampaign Level Performance DataReview all campaign status in one place
PlacementCampaign level performance for diffrent ad placementFind out performing placement for each campaign
Purchased ProductAttributed keyword for product purchaseIdentify contributing keyword for each productAdvertised ASIN, and Purchased ASIN
Performance Over TimeGeneral Data for Advertising over certain periodSame generic data can be found in dashboard

Among these 7 reports, Search Term, Targeting, Advertised Product,, and Purchased Product reports are the 4 reports that provide the most value. The others provide generic data and can usually be accessed via campaign manager.

For the rest of the blog, I will explain in detail how to read and use these four key reports.

Metrics Used in The Reports

When you open each report, you will notice there are quite a few different metrics. Some of them are self-explanatory, some of them are not very striaght forward if you are not familiar with the advertising jargons. The following table has included some of the most common and crtucial metrics and their defintions.

Metric NameMetric DefinitionFormula
ImpressionOne impression = One display of ads
ClickHow many times shopper clicks on the ad
Click-Thru-RateThe percentage of customers who clicked on your ad after seeing itClicks ÷ Impressions
Cost Per ClickOn average how much do you for per click for this keyword
SpendFor each target, how much have you paid for ad clicksClick × Cost Per Click
ACoSAdvertising Cost Of Sales, the lower the better and more effective your ad campaign is. Total Ad Spend ÷ Total Ad Sales
RoASReturn on Ad Spend, ROAS is the inverse of ACOS. ROAS represents the effectiveness of ad campaigns in a different style than ACOSTotal Ad Sales ÷ Total Ad Spend

Search Term Report

The search term report is one of the most useful reports for advertising optimization. The search term report provides detailed data on which search term is used by customers to find your products.

Differences between Search Term and Keywords

It’s important to know the difference between a Search Term and a Keyword. A Search Term is a string of words or phrases a customer used to type into the Amazon search bar when looking for a product. A keyword is a sequence of words sellers bid for in campaign managers, with the hope to match the search terms a customer might have used. Depending on the match type, a Search Term, and a Keyword will match based on the matching rules.

In the search term report, you can view search terms used by customers that at least generated one click for the chosen period. For each search term, you can review data on match type, clicks, Click-Thru Rate, Cost Per Click, Spend, Total Advertising Cost of Sales ( ACoS ), Total return on Advertising Spend ( RoAS ) and some other weekly data.

How to use Amazon Search Term Report

The search term report will only include search terms that have generated at least one click for the chosen period.

Add Converting Search Term From Auto Campaign To Manual Campaign

When creating an ad campaign type, you will have the option to create an automatic campaign, the automatic campaign allows Amazon to automatically run your campaigns with the most optimal settings and placements.

When the automatic campaign generates sales, you can see the search term in the campaign manager. The best practice is to add such converting search terms as targeting keywords in the manual ad campaign as the exact match type. However, due to the way that campaign managers are setup, it is extremely tedious and repetitive if you have many search terms to add.

You can do this with ease with the help of the search term report with the following steps

  1. Sort out search terms generated by Automatic Campaign – In Column “Match Type“, filter for “-” Match Type. This will show only search terms in automatic campaigns
  2. Sort column “Clicks” with descending order
  3. Review each search term in combination with CTR, CPC, and ACoS to determine if the search term can be converted to a manual campaign targeting or negative keyword

Although it is desirable to add search terms with low ACoS to targeting and high ACoS to the negative keyword list. I would recommend to include only high converting search terms to manual campaigns from automatic to manual campaigns. Because the top priority here is to find keywords that generate sales, as long as they are converting, you can find ways to reduce the ACoS by either going into long-tail keywords or reducing bidding cost.

Find Out Which Competition Is Giving You Traffic

In the search term report, you can see search term contains only numbers and letters such as “b011ua1ik8”. The corresponding Targeting column shows “asin=SOME ASIN NUMBER“. This means shoppers came to your listing from a competitor listing. And the ASIN included in the targeting column is where they are coming from.

You can do a google search for each ASIN included in the table to find the product from Amazon (Note: You will not get any result if you search in the Amazon search bar with just an ASIN). You can also copy & paste ” https://www.amazon.com/dp/“ASIN” in your browser address bar to go directly to the exact ASIN page. You will see which product your customer looked at before they visited your listing.

You can then target your paid advertisement to appear in product pages that you are getting traffic from. This is a great way to get quality converting traffic from your competitions. I will cover how to do this in a different post.

Targeting Report

Targeting report is just like search term report, it contains the same information and metrics; however, the targeting report data is grouped and summerized by targeting keywords, instead of search terms. This has provided Targeting Report with some unique use.

Identify Poor Performing Keywords

  1. Open Report in Excel, Locate Total Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS ) Column and Spend, sort Spend by descending order
  2. Filter ACoS column that is Blank, or higher than 30%
  3. If a product is not ranking, the ACoS should usually be lower than 30% ( you can set the threshold depending on specific category, but a general rule of thumb is 30% ), review search terms that have high ACoS, and add them to Negative targeting in Campaign Manager as an exact match.
  4. Pay special attention to search terms that have a BLANK ACoS, this means no sales was created by such search term. Take a look at the corresponding spend column. You should review if there is something wrong with the listing or add the search term to negative targeting depending on your specific situation.

Unless you have just launched the product or are ranking the product, the ACoS should be lower than 30%.

Pro Tip: ACoS should not be your only metric to determine if a keyword works or not. A general rule of thumb for acceptable ACoS is that it should be equal or less than the percentage of the product cost.

Identify Problematic Listings

I go through the following steps to filter out potential problematic targeting keywords and listings :

  1. Sort column “Click-Thru Rate (CTR)” fomr High to Low
  2. Filter Clicks to display results with 5 or more clicks ( you can change base on your mean sales volumn )
  3. Filter 7 Day Total Sales with $0 Sales results
  4. Review each search term and targeting keyword, look for entries with high CTR, high clicks, but $0 sales. This usually means people are clicking your ads, and are viewing the listings;however they ended up not buying anything. Review the listing and ensure the content or the five bullet points are on point with the search term.

Identify Duplicated Keywords

Because targeting report is the only report that contains all the keywords used in all campaigns. You can quickly do a search for duplicate targeting keywords for the same product to prevent bidding against yourself.

Advertised Product Report

The advertised product report focuses on performance metrics summarized by advertised products. It shows campaigns that have received at least one impression. Note that Search Term and Targeting reports both show campaigns that receive at least one click. So if your campaigns receives no click but at least one impression, the data will show up here in this report.

The advertised product report is also the only report that shows data with SKU information. If you need to analyze advertising data based on SKU, this is the report you will need to dive in. For example, if you need to find out how much you have spent in advertising for a specific SKU, this is the report you can extract the data from.

Optimize for ROAS

To better train the advertising althogrism, it is recommended to group ad sets with high ROAS together. You can archieve this bay sorting campaigns in the advertised product report in order of RoAS and group products and campaigns with similar level of RoAS toghether.

Purchased Product Report

The purchased product report exist for a very specific purpose. Since customers who ended up purchasing your product might not have clicked the same product they purchased. The purchased product report provides insights into for each purchased product, which ASIN brought them into the listing.

You can filter the report to highlight entries that have different Advertised ASINs and Purchased ASINs. If a product has several variants, it is perfectly normal for a customer to buy one of the variants which are a different ASIN compared to the advertised product. You should pay attention to purchased ASIN that is not part of the parent-ASIN variant structure. This signals that your two ASINs has some connections that make customers want to purchase. A google example would be pillowcase and pillows. When two products have inherent connections, you should try to identify that in your A+ content or product description.

Find More Insight With Other Reports & Tools

If you dig really deep into the reporting section of amazon’s seller central, you will very much likely to get a lot of insights into how your Amazon FBA Business is working.

In addtion to the advertised products, there are quite a few other extremely valualbe reports that can provide crucial insights. Such as fulfillment reports and return reports. However it is quite a daunting task to analyze all these reports manually. Not everyone has seasoned excel skills to navigate the hundres reports available for review provided by Amazon. Lucily, there are quite a few tools available to help sellers in this situaitn better understand the report by automatically analyzing the data and create dashboard that are easy to navigate and understand.

I have included a list of tools which I have used and found them useful in the below table. Please note that I am not associate with any of these tools. The options I provided below is only based on my own experience and nothing else. It is just one sided opinion for your consideration only

List of Tools That Can Help Understand Amazon’s Reporting Better

Name of ToolMost Useful ForMy Biased Opinion
Seller LegendAnalytics & BIExpensive but comprehensive, overall a useful dashboard tool. Sales Data is not as accurate
HelloProfitAnalyticsAll-In-One product that has fairly accurate sales data
JungleScoutProduct SelectionJS is moving towards an all-in-one product, if you already paid for JS, their sales analytics tool is OKish. Do not count on getting accurate sales and profit data, at least for now.

I will cover the use and reviews of some of the most common tools and products for Amazon Sellers later. Thank you for reading and have a great day.

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