Facebook Ads vs Amazon PPC for eCommerce

When you’re running an ecommerce business and selling your products on Amazon, it’s natural to consider Amazon PPC ads.  

After all, it’s all happening on that one platform.


There’s an old saying: don’t keep all of your eggs in one basket. And when it comes to Amazon PPC, it makes a lot of sense.

There are much better alternatives to running Amazon ads.

Namely, Facebook ads.

In this article, we’re going to explain everything you need to know about Facebook ads vs Amazon PPC to help you make the best decision for your business.

Let’s take a look!

How Does Amazon Advertising Work?

Amazon PPC works similarly to Google PPC. Both Google and Amazon are search engines, after all.

Whenever your potential customer searches for a product on Amazon (essentially, a keyword), Amazon will display your ad.

So if your regular Joe went looking for a shaving cream on Amazon, and you sold shaving creams, your ad would appear.

Amazon’s payment model is pay-per-click. This way, you’re only paying when someone clicks on your ad.

Amazon stats for 2020

Additionally, your ads can appear as similar products.

So if Joe is looking at some other brand’s shaving cream, they’ll see yours below the listing in the “Sponsored Products” section.

Finally, you also have the option of advertising your entire brand.

This works best if you’re only selling products in a particular niche.

If you dabble in a little bit of everything, from consumer electronics to shaving creams, well…

Facebook’s your pal.

But if you have established a brand recognized for selling a particular type of product, the Sponsored Brands option Amazon provides is fantastic.

Amazon Demand-Side Platform

Now, don’t think Amazon ads are closed away only for eCommerce owners who sell through Amazon.

Amazon also has a Demand-Side Platform (DSP) where you can run ads even if you don’t sell on Amazon, and you can run Amazon ads across the internet.

DSP features are a great way to increase brand awareness. However, the DSP advertising comes at a somewhat higher cost. Achieving those goals (retargeting and awareness) is much more affordable through Facebook ads.

Similarly to Google Ads, Amazon PPC also has two cost-effective features: branded campaigns and negative keywords.

With branded campaigns, you can bid on your competitors’ keywords.

Going back to our example, if you sold shaving cream, you could bid on “Gillette Shaving Cream,” and not just the generic “shaving cream.”

Similarly, if there are a lot of irrelevant searches driving clicks you can’t monetize, you can exclude those keywords. Simply add them to your negative keywords list.

Is Amazon PPC Effective?

Yes, and here’s the whole story as told by numbers:

  • Amazon gets nearly 200 million unique visitors every month (Source)
  • In the US, over 95 million people have Amazon Prime memberships, and an average Prime member spends $1,400 every year (Source 1, Source 2)
  • 66% of product searches originate on Amazon (Source)

With over 66% of product searches beginning on Amazon, there’s no doubt about it: Amazon ads are a great way of reaching plenty of customers.

Amazon PPC is an effective way of reaching your customers right where they are: Amazon.

However, there is one caveat: a lot of those shoppers came to Amazon with the exact idea of which product they’ll buy. You could convince them to go with your product over your competitors’, but it’s a long shot.

How Does Facebook Advertising Work?

Somehow, Facebook turned from a place where we went to read cringey comments from our parents into a veritable advertising goldmine.

The platform is continually investing in better ways to monetize their billions of users. Advertising on Facebook gives you a perfect opportunity to reach those users – plenty of which are your potential customers.  

No matter which audience you’re targeting, or where in the world you plan on shipping your products, you’ll find them on Facebook.

Facebook Ads give you plenty of options. You can choose from CPM, CPC, and CPA payment models, target your audience with images, videos, text, and even reach the people you’ve thought abandoned their carts forever.

You can choose between different Facebook-owned platforms to run your ads on, including Instagram and Messenger. This alone gives you plenty of options for reaching your (potential) customers, no matter where they are.

There have also been talks of Facebook expanding their advertising network to WhatsApp, a messaging app they recently acquired.

You can set different ad objectives that suit your goals best:

  • Do you want more people to know about your products?
  • Do you want to make them click through and make a purchase?

Facebook AI technology

Facebook’s AI technology will help you reach people who are most likely to perform your desired actions (e.g., buy your products, engage with your ad).

Finally, Facebook ads have been called revolutionary for their Lookalike Audiences feature.

Once you integrate the Facebook pixel into your website, Facebook’s AI will find more people like your existing best customers, and they’ll serve your ads to them.

Doesn’t that sound like just the thing you need to boost your sales?

Are Facebook Ads Effective?

Yep, and here’s how you can tell:

  • Facebook has over 2.41 billion monthly active users (Source)
  • 74% of high-income earners use Facebook (Source)
  • Facebook is responsible for over 80% of US social referrals to eCommerce sites (Source)
  • The number of ad impressions on FB increased 33%, and ad prices decreased 4% in 2019 (Source)
  • Average Facebook users click on 11 ads every month (Source)

And while Facebook is not a shopping search engine like Amazon, it seems that more and more people are using Facebook to find products to buy on Amazon.

With its powerful advertising capabilities, Facebook will truly be the eCommerce marketing powerhouse of 2020.

Amazon PPC vs Facebook Ads

While both platforms offer great advertising options for eCommerce owners and marketers, it’s time to take a deep dive into all the pros and cons.

Amazon PPC vs Facebook Ads: Ad Types and Formats


Amazon has three ad types in their Amazon Marketing Services (on-site PPC advertising) suite:

1. Sponsored Products

Sceenshot of sponsored coffee mugs on Amazon

2. Product Display Ads

Screenshot of product display ads on Amazon

3. Sponsored Brand Ads

Screenshot of brand ad on Amazon for Brother printers.

Amazon also has the Amazon Advertising Platform, which operates more traditionally with ad types such as:

  1. Web display ads
  2. Banner ads
  3. Interstitials
  4. Video ads

Display ads are displayed across the Amazon Network (for example, websites like IMDB), as well as Amazon devices like Alexa.


Facebook offers 6 ad formats:

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Slideshows
  • Carousels
  • Instant Experiences
  • Collections

Instant Experiences and Collections are particularly beneficial to eCommerce.

With Instant Experiences and Collections, your potential customer clicks on your ad, and you can choose what they see: from videos to forms and redirections to your website. Not even the sky is the limit.

The transition from your ad to following through with the purchase is seamless.

Amazon PPC vs Facebook Ads: Ad Costs

According to AdBadger’s latest research, the average Amazon cost per click is $0.68.

When it comes to Facebook ads, the average cost per click for retail is $0.70.

Average CPC for Facebook infographic

However, Facebook does offer plenty of targeting and advertising options, so it’s warranted.

And with a specialized PPC agency at your side, you’ll be able to increase your conversion rate so much that a few cents for clicks will mean nothing.

You’ll be earning a lot more in sales.

Amazon PPC vs Facebook Ads: Ad Optimization

Facebook is making great use of their AI tech by allowing you to optimize your ads.

When you run your ad for the same audience for a while, Facebook gives you the option of automatically optimizing it to reach even more potential customers.

You can also optimize for clicks, conversions, and even likes.

This is where the campaign objectives come in.

When you run a Facebook ad, you can choose between numerous campaign objectives tailored to your business goals:

  1. Brand Awareness
  2. Reach
  3. Traffic (drive users to your link)
  4. Engagement (Facebook’s AI reaches people who are most likely to like, share, or engage with your post)
  5. App Installs
  6. Video Views
  7. Lead Generation (create lead-gen form ads)
  8. Messages (reach people most likely to message you)
  9. Conversions (reach people who are most likely to add products to their carts, buy your items, etc.)
  10. Catalog sales (show your eCommerce catalog products as ads to drive sales)
  11. Store traffic (drive people to your brick & mortar business)

When it comes to eCommerce, three campaign objectives stand out the most:

  • Traffic
  • Conversions
  • Catalog sales

By identifying audience members who are most likely to visit your website and buy your products, Facebook is actively helping you get a fantastic return on advertising spend.

Facebook Pixel

All of this is made possible because of Facebook’s Pixel.

Facebook Pixel is a piece of code embedded into your site’s target pages (e.g., carts).

This way, Facebook stores information on people who’ve visited your pages. Then, it turns to its social network to find more people just like them.

It’s like casting a net and finding that you’ve only caught shrimps, none of those small fish you never wanted in the first place.

All of this ultimately leads to maximizing your return on advertising spend, and ensuring that you’re getting plenty of new customers.


Amazon doesn’t have advanced ad optimization possibilities like Facebook does, but you can use Amazon ads to direct traffic to your website.

Then, you can use Facebook and Google pixels to reach those customers again.

Amazon PPC vs Facebook Ads: Retargeting

Both platforms offer retargeting options.

Amazon allows you to set up ads that will “follow” people who have already checked out your products across their search network.

Similarly, Facebook allows you to integrate their pixel into your website and reach visitors again on social media (Messenger, Instagram, and other services included).

Which Platform Is Better: Facebook Ads or Amazon PPC?

Advertising has come a long way from those early banner ads.

Today, we have more and more opportunities to reach our target audiences.

From pixels that allow us to attract people similar to our best existing customers to automated optimization, it’s pointless to spend money on platforms that can’t provide the advertising features we need.

Both Amazon PPC and Facebook ads have their place in your advertising toolbox.

Amazon is a vast search engine chock full of people who are ready to buy.

However, Facebook offers access to 2 billion active users.

Their features allow every advertiser to polish their ad to perfection. No dollar is wasted.

Our verdict is…

(Drumroll, please)

Facebook ads for the win!

It’s time to roll up your sleeves and put that AI to work.

Celia Yarwood
Co-Founder @ Hey Digital. Design ninja, crystal lover and stationery nerd.

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