In the world of eCommerce, the customer journey can be as unpredictable as it can get. Not all customers will start from one stage and end up in similar stages altogether.
A majority of your customers will go through different purchase cycles, making most of their interactions unique. Your customers will have different activities during these unique interactions and so knowing what to offer can speed up the conversion process faster.
Due to your customers’ varied activities with your brand, it’s important to discover new ways to meet their demands and to engage with them better at every stage of their shopping experience. To accomplish this, Amazon DSP has several features in-store to help better your advertising strategy….
What is Amazon DSP?
Amazon DSP (Demand-Side Platform) is the digital version of buying ad space both on and off Amazon. Unlike traditional advertising, Amazon DSP allows you to purchase a wide range of display and video ads across multiple websites depending on your targeting preferences.
Good examples of an Amazon DSP ad campaign are those ads of Amazon products you’ve recently browsed that follow you across different websites and platforms.
The ads you’re seeing are those that the brand advertiser or brand owner has set and purchased through Amazon DSP in order to gather more impressions even outside of Amazon. Doing this also increases the likelihood of conversions occurring, making it a must for brands to take part.
Amazon DSP’s advertising services are not only meant for brands selling on Amazon (aka non-endemic brands). Their services are also available to brands selling outside of Amazon that want to take advantage of great ad placements and Amazon’s targeting data.
It also needs to be noted that it’s not only Amazon DSP that offers this type of advertising service.
Another type of DSP that’s gaining a lot of attention these days is Facebook Ad Manager which sells its placements on both Facebook and Instagram.
The only difference between Facebook Ad Manager and Amazon DSP is that Amazon DSP operates on a larger scale and a longer-term strategy as it has access to the brand’s historical data, especially brands with higher marketing budgets.
What are the unique qualities of Amazon DSP?
Amazon DSP differs from other DSPs in several ways based on its USPs (Unique Value Propositions) such as data intelligence and Amazon property access. Among its unique qualities include having a large collection of data on consumer purchase behavior which was made possible after they adopted Big Data early. Through their unrivaled bank of consumer purchase behavior data, advertisers can reach users off Amazon and those accessing Amazon-owned properties.
The analysis methods that Amazon implements for their targeting techniques directly affect the accuracy level of their purchasing behavior data. These methods include data collection, storage, computation, collaboration, and sharing which can all be accessed through the cloud.
But other than having access to Big Data, what else makes Amazon DSP unique from the rest?
Audience reach through Amazon-owned properties, Open Exchange, and Amazon Publisher Services
Unlike other ad platforms, Amazon DSP ads can be directly shown through the Open Exchange medium (an open digital marketplace that collects inventory from multiple partners in order to allow customers to bid and purchase ad impressions both manually and programmatically.
This includes APS ( Amazon Publisher Services), a suite of cloud services/websites that allow direct integrations with Amazon and help with improving revenue, growing earnings through bidding, and connecting with ad-tech services), Amazon-owned properties, and subsidiaries such as Amazon devices (Kindle e-readers, Fire Tablet, and Fire TV (which allows for Amazon OTT Advertising), IMDb, Woot (a daily deal website), Shopbop (platform selling designer clothing for women), Digital Photography Review (a digital photography website), Zappos, Goodreads, and Twitch (a live video streaming website).
Amazon DSP makes use of pixel-based targeting which helps with customer behavior tracking for actions such as website visits along with other actions online. With the Pixels feature, you’ll be able to target several audiences in combinations of factors such as behavioral, contextual, lifestyle, remarketing, audience lookalike, and advertiser audiences.
Collaborative Filtering Engine
Amazon has made it easier for brands to get to know their prospective customers better using the accurate data that’s generated from a collaborative filtering engine that groups data such as data points and group activities into sets. Having hundreds of data points for millions of people, Amazon interprets customer behavior data through a targeting method called, “Audience Lookalike”. When combined with collaborative filtering and the massive data of different online activities, Amazon can easily create detailed consumer profiles that are later on used to create lookalike audiences. Think of it like this: The more activities are happening inside its platforms, the better Amazon’s algorithm becomes.
The difference between DSP and Sponsored Display
Amazon DSP and Sponsored Display ads share the common goal of increasing ad reach and targeting ads both on and off Amazon. Both platforms also support third-party Amazon platforms such as streaming services, Fire TV, Amazon Live, Kindle, and other published partners. While there are many similarities shared between these two ad types, they have differences in terms of investment minimums, targeting options, cost structures, and minimum spend.
Amazon DSP: Requires a minimum of $10,000 of monthly spend
Sponsored Display: Minimum spend is as low as $1, making it cheap and easy for brands to start rolling out their ads
Amazon DSP: Allows for the creation of custom audiences based on Amazon’s user activity and demographic data as well as data from your own brand
Sponsored Display: This ad type has 3 targeting options: audience interests, product targeting, and views remarketing. It also focuses on automated retargeting, eliminating the need for advertisers to define segments for custom audiences
Amazon DSP: Uses the cost structure, Cost Per Mille (CPM)
Sponsored Display: Uses the Pay Per Click (PPC) cost structure
Amazon DSP: Its elements are fully-customizable including the brand logo, images, and headline
Sponsored Display: These ads are non-customizable and will automatically create a display ad creative that’s optimized for better results
Retargeting Store Visitors
Normally, sellers and advertisers using the basic Amazon advertising platform can only get to know their customers in the Amazon Marketplace, but since Amazon DSP can be used both on and off Amazon, the potential for retargeting your Store visitors is endless. You’ll also gain access to different audience insights for your Store, especially their demographic, contextual, and behavioral aspects. Amazon DSP retargeting helps build brand awareness no matter where your customer stumbles upon your ads.
Amazon Advertising Tag
The Amazon advertising tag helps advertisers create audiences in the ADSP (Amazon Demand Side Platform) based on your web traffic. Unlike Amazon attribution tags which measure the performance of Google ads that redirect to Amazon detail pages, Amazon advertising tags are the opposite. Amazon advertising tags allow advertisers to implement the tags on any page of your website which will then create an audience based on your website visitor behavior.
Once data is collected, the audience information gathered will be populated in the DSP. Advertisers can then create campaigns based on the audience data to make their targets more specific.
You can access the Amazon Advertising tag audience builder user interface by going to either the Events home page and clicking on “Create Audiences” under the actions column or by going to the Audiences page, clicking on new audiences, and selecting the Amazon Advertising tag traffic which can be found under website traffic.
Prime Video Targeting
With the breakout popularity of video streaming services, Amazon Prime Video has become one of the top choices for many audiences. Amazon Prime Video’s popularity has risen to the point where 39% of adults in the U.S. are subscribed to their streaming service with an average of 5 hours and 22 minutes weekly watch time (data recorded in March 2020). It’s estimated that Amazon Prime Video will have up to 243 million users worldwide in 2026.
When you create video ads for Amazon Prime Video, you’ll be able to reach an immense number of people, not just on one Amazon platform but through several mobile apps, websites, devices, and Fire tablet wake screen as well.
Your Amazon Audience Builder also has a feature where you can build audiences based on your past interactions with customers who have interacted with your Amazon Store, Store pages, listings, and ads. This tool has access to customer data such as keyword searches, purchases, and product views, allowing you to drive more engagement from potential customers coming across your ads while streaming video content such as TV series or movies in relation to your brand and its products.
Amazon Audience Builder is currently available in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, India, Mexico, and Australia.
Having more than 26.6 million daily active users made up of a majority of hard-to-reach yet highly-engaged young gaming fanatics, Twitch, a highly popular video live streaming platform, prides itself on its ability to unite different fandoms ranging from those who like gaming and music to those who are big fans of food and film. The fact that Twitch opens a market for several interests makes it a treasure trove of potential audiences turned customers. Combining the two gives advertisers immediate access to Amazon’s first-party behavioral data and the active Twitch community.
While using Amazon DSP, advertisers, depending on their targeting strategy, can choose from several Twitch Lifestyle Audience segments, some of which are Non-Gaming Viewers, Console Game Viewers, Sports Viewers, etc.
After being made available to Amazon Advertising, Twitch’s media and audiences now benefit advertisers by giving them access to unique audience insights from Twitch. This change has enabled Twitch to have an increase in advertising inventory as well as the ability to include Amazon audiences in Twitch ad campaigns.
Part of Twitch’s new video inventory is the pre-roll and mid-roll videos which can be shown in various Twitch channels for up to 30 seconds. These ads are non-skippable and include clickable “Learn more” links once accessed via a mobile divide or a desktop.
Whole Foods Market Audiences
After acquiring Whole Foods Market in 2017, Amazon has not only made further advances in the grocery industry but has attributed the grocery chain’s data to its ads services as well. This move is in line with Amazon’s plan of connecting digital to in-store data to further understand the correlation between in-store purchases and advertising. Through ad attribution, Amazon has given advertisers access to a large set of shopper data in-stores.
So not only will advertisers have access to shopper data, but they will also get a better look at Whole Foods’ customers’ purchasing habits. To give advertisers a better look at shopper data, they can use the custom lookback window back to up to 365 days. This feature allows advertisers to create custom Whole Foods audiences and use them for launching Amazon DSP campaigns.
To help US advertisers reach audiences shopping both on-site and online (pick-up and delivery) at Whole Foods Market, Amazon launched category-level audiences. Our team of Amazon DSP experts has taken advantage of this new feature by targeting the following Lifestyle Whole Foods Lookalike audiences:
- LS – Whole Foods Market Refrigerated Dairy Food Offline Customers
- LS – Whole Foods Market Produce Offline Customers
- LS – Whole Foods Market Milk Online Customers
- LS – Whole Foods Market Bakery Online Customers
- LS – Whole Foods Market Sweets Online Customers
The audiences listed above are just some of the wide variety of audiences you can target on Amazon DSP.
Hashed Audience Data
With the help of shopper data from existing audiences, advertisers are able to enhance their customer reach. This is made possible by using DMPs (Data Management Platforms), the advertiser’s hashed audiences, and through pixels. By using DMPs, you can leverage your third-party data and upload it into your existing customer data to help you set a better target for your ad campaigns. This unique feature of Amazon DSP is best used by brands with a large amount of existing customer data.
What types of ads can Amazon DSP be used with?
Here are several ad types that Amazon DSP is compatible with…
Amazon Display Ads
When it comes to onsite ads on Amazon, Amazon Display Ads are commonly the first things that come to mind. Display Ads are available in up to 17 formats varying in type, size, and shape, creating the diversity that brands need to compete better in the world of Amazon Advertising. Other than onsite ads, Amazon Display Ads can also be displayed off Amazon, increasing the chances of higher conversion rates as the ads are spread across the internet. This type of ad also allows for the custom creation of marketing graphics which then helps Stores to practice consistency and stay on brand with their ads.
Display Ads can appear on several platforms such as through mobile devices, mobile banners, website display ads, and mobile pop-ups and interstitials (ads that take over the user’s screen for a small amount of time and can only be closed by tapping on the close button).
Amazon Video Ads
If it’s more engagement your ads needs, one ad type that never fails to capture attention is the Amazon Video Ads. This type of ad immerses your potential customers into your brand and the products it offers. Video Ads can be shown anywhere from mobile apps to different Amazon-owned properties. Amazon can keep your brand from appearing on sketchy websites with questionable content as they only make sure to show your ads in brand-safe areas such as their entertainment properties.
One of the things you need to consider when launching a video ad is the allowable length that Amazon recommends which is from 15 and 30 seconds up to 3 minutes.
Also referred to as streaming TV ads, another video ad type that you can take advantage of is Amazon OTT (over-the-top). This ad type helps advertisers reach viewers who are subscribed to online video streaming services. By displaying ads while viewers are streaming videos, advertisers are able to market to 31.2 million people (in 2020) who have switched from traditional satellite providers to online video streaming.
Amazon Audio Ads
Having more than 55 million listeners, Amazon Music is one of Amazon’s top streaming platforms that offer the opportunity to reach millions of potential customers. Listeners can tune in to Amazon Music using devices such as their Amazon Echo, Android and iOS devices, and FireTV. With its ad-supporting feature, brands like yours are able to create short, engaging, and creative audio ads that can promote brand awareness and inform listeners about a new product or service you’re offering. Amazon audio ads run from 10 to 30 seconds in between songs and are open for businesses that are not necessarily selling their products on Amazon.
Another type of Amazon audio ad is Alexa Home Screen ads. These audio ads appear on Amazon devices that support Alexa as a means to financially support Amazon’s free music streaming service. Having these ads helps support Amazon’s free subscription model. Users with a paid subscription to Amazon Music do not get served any ads.
What are the benefits of using Amazon DSP Advertising?
Advertising on Amazon is made even more effective when Amazon DSP’s features are involved. When you use Amazon DSP advertising, you gain access to ad data and placements that can’t be ordinarily accessed through the Amazon Advertising Platform. Most brands who take advantage of these features are those who plan to succeed in launching campaigns at a larger scale and are constantly looking for ways to increase brand awareness. In fact, one of our clients, Tree to Tub (one of the largest vegan skincare brands for sensitive skin on Amazon), has achieved over 180% RoAS, 13+ million Impressions, and more only within 10 months of using Amazon DSP.
Below are some examples of how Amazon DSP Advertising’s features can benefit your brand…
High-level insights on Amazon DSP Ads
The vast amount of Amazon’s advertising data is unmatched and accurately detailed to the highest level. This fact makes Amazon DSP reports so much easier to create as it gives access to exclusive retail insights that lets users compare activities (during, before, and after) at different times of each DSP advertising campaign. Amazon DSP’s retail insights data gives you far more information about your customers than those who can only access Amazon Advertising’s platform.
By having this amount of in-depth information, you’ll be able to find out your customer’s activities when they first discover your brand and its products, the research they’ve put into finding your brand, and the steps that they take before eventually purchasing your products.
To add to the benefits of having high-level retail insights, Amazon DSP Advertising also plays a major role in the marketing funnel. The marketing funnel is a valuable framework that outlines the customer journey along with the paths that they take and the connections and engagements they participate in. Through the DSP platform, users are able to interact with customers at every touchpoint of the marketing funnel such as awareness, consideration, purchase intent, and loyalty.
Whether you’re advertising on or off Amazon, you can reach and engage with your target audience by having the right tools and knowledge of where your customers are specifically on their own journey.
For each stage of the funnel, there are many ways to reach them through Amazon DSP funnel marketing strategies…
During the Awareness stage, your Amazon DSP ads need to get in touch with shoppers who have not yet engaged with your brand’s category. To do this, your ads need to provide a solution to problems that customers haven’t even encountered yet. At this stage, the audiences are involved in the lifestyle (regular purchasers of items within specific categories), in-market (looking for items in similar categories or services), lookalike (audiences from existing audiences or similar audiences from Amazon), and demographic categories.
It’s also important to know that video ads are the best ad type to use with awareness campaigns as it educates potential customers about your brand.
In the Consideration stage, it’s best to create short ads that can reach potential customers who are actively looking for solutions to their problems but have not engaged with your brand. By showing that your product has more value through attractive graphics, an instructional video, and helpful descriptions, you’ll be able to maximize the opportunity to be part of a customer’s journey. Among the audiences you can reach at this stage include in-market audiences (people who have viewed similar products on Amazon) and audiences who have searched for your products on Amazon using the keywords you’re targeting.
While audiences who have used specific keywords that your brand is targeting will be reached, it’s impossible to target search terms on Amazon DSP.
When it comes to the Purchase Intent stage, potential customers with high intent are involved. Given the ability to engage with these customers, your ads must have immediate purchase as their main goal. To accomplish that, you can use strategies such as remarketing to audiences that have viewed your product detail page on Amazon and making use of advertiser audiences (make use of existing demand shown off of Amazon by remarketing audiences through their hashed audience).
Finally, in the Loyalty stage, you only need to remarket to your existing audiences by using the same strategies as those in the consideration stage. To reach existing audiences, you can remarket to audiences by basing them on the product purchases. Another strategy you can try is leveraging audiences using DMP (Data Management Platforms), pixels, and hashed audiences to push audiences to repurchase or drive discovery. Another benefit of using Amazon advertising tags is the ability to remarket to people who have already bought products from your website.
6 Tips for Integrating Amazon DSP Into Your Amazon Advertising Strategy
Now that you know the unique qualities, types of ads you can use with Amazon DSP and its benefits, you now need to learn how to integrate Amazon DSP into your advertising strategy. We’ve listed some of the best ways you can accomplish this…
Strategize your Amazon DSP Advertising
All great Amazon ad campaigns have detailed and masterful strategies behind them. Before you get started on your ad campaigns, make sure to go on a deep dive with your brand. Analyze everything from your brand’s S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) goals to the metrics that coincide with them. By assessing your goals, you’ll be able to pick out the best ad types that can better market your brand and its products. This way, you can create a customized plan that suits your ad campaign’s needs.
Take responsibility for managing Amazon DSP
While it’s easy to let the Amazon DSP platform take over the task of purchasing ad inventory, other tasks involved in the process of launching a successful Amazon ad campaign need the human element as well. These tasks include audience targeting, price setting, processing bids, and other tasks in between.
But if you lack the time or the expert knowledge to navigate through the mountain of tasks involved in keeping your Amazon DSP ad campaigns afloat, we have a team of seasoned Amazon DSP experts who can help you with that.
Comply with the Amazon DSP Ads policies
Without your Amazon ad creatives, it will be impossible to grab the attention of your potential customers. Among the creative aspects you would need to consider include your product photos, image type, file format, background color, dimensions, and file weight. You need to showcase creatives that are not only attractive but also follow Amazon’s guidelines on best practices for Storefront creatives.
To learn more about the image requirements for Amazon DSP ads, browse through Amazon’s desktop and mobile web static display ads requirements list.
Constantly analyze your Audience Insights data
With Amazon’s high level of customer data, no other DSP’s amount of data can dispute it. Other DSPs will have data on what buyers are looking for and what they’ve visited the site for, but it’s the in-depth data that Amazon DSP showcases that provides even more value. Through Amazon DSP’s large collection of customer data, sellers are able to understand what buyers on Amazon are seeking to buy. Their customer data plays a major role in building better Audience Insights which helps sellers target better audiences by knowing how and when to approach buyers at every stage of the buying process.
Audience Insights also allows brands to take a deep dive into their shoppers’ behaviors and patterns along with their makeup (gender, age, general income, etc.).
Whether you’re selling on Amazon or not, having a deeper knowledge of your audience through Audience Insights will give you access to brand-level insights like demographic data, purchase frequency, browsing and purchasing data (timing insights), and consideration period data.
Continuously optimize your Amazon DSP campaigns
Whether it’s you managing your Amazon DSP ad campaigns or not, it’s important that you know how crucial optimizing your ad campaigns is. You or your trusted experts need to be able to interpret the data you receive through your Amazon DSP campaign analytics. Not only should you understand the data you’ve received, but you must also know what strategies you need to implement in order to optimize your ad campaigns further.
Another skill you need to learn is knowing how to budget your money and invest in better and more profitable ad campaigns. Your ad campaigns should be relevant to your target audience in order to avoid wasting your budget on campaigns that are marketing to the wrong people. But if budgeting for your ad campaigns is something you haven’t mastered, there’s always an option to ask for help from a team of professional Amazon Ad Experts who can make the best budgeting decisions for your brand.
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