What is Amazon Demand Side Platform? [2019]

In the following blog post, we will focus on the structure of the Amazon Demand Side Platform and how advertisers can leverage DSP to retarget customers and drive new demand.
 

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What is Amazon DSP?

 
As of September 2018, Amazon rebranded all of their AMG, AMS, & AAP features under a new name called, “Amazon Advertising”.

The Amazon Advertising Platform (AAP) is now called Amazon DSP.amazon-dsp

 

The Amazon Demand-Side Platform (available within Amazon Advertising Services) enables advertisers to programmatically buy display & video ad placements. It also allows advertisers to reach, educate, and re-engage customers on and off Amazon.

 

amazon-dsp

 

There are two sides to Amazon Advertising including the Advertising Console and Amazon DSP — one is geared towards PPC (pay for clicks), and one is geared towards Display (pay for impressions).

You can use Amazon DSP to reach audiences on:

  • Amazon website
  • Fire TV
  • IMDb
  • Freedive (IMDb Streaming)
  • Kindle
  • Apps
  • Published Partners
  • Third Party Exchanges

amazon-dsp-ad-examples

Amazon DSP ads can appear in any of the following forms:

  • Desktop Display Ads
  • Mobile Banners Ads
  • Mobile Interstitial Ads
  • Image & Text Ads
  • In-stream Video Ads

 

amazon-dsp-ad-placements

Who Can Use Amazon DSP?

 
Amazon DSP is available to brands who sell products on Amazon (vendors and third-party sellers).

Amazon DSP is best for brands who want to:

  • Programmatically buy display & video ads at scale.
  • Expand their customer reach beyond Advertising Console capabilities.
  • Cannot sell their product through Amazon but want to leverage Amazon Audiences.

 
There are two management options including:

  • Amazon managed
  • ESS managed

 
What is Enterprise Self Service (ESS)?

You can choose to let Amazon manage these ads (Amazon Managed Service) or manage them through ESS (Enterprise Self Service). ESS is Amazon’s Enterprise Self Service portal in which agencies can access Amazon’s Display/Remarketing (Amazon DSP), rather than going through Amazon’s Internal Managed Services team.

Pro-Tip: Keep in mind brands must go through an agency to gain access to ESS.

 

How Does Amazon DSP Work?

 
Amazon DSP is a programmatic display advertising platform—meaning it uses technology to more efficiently buy and manage your display and video advertising mix.

“Basically, vendors can layer first-party data (3P demo data, client advertising match via Advertiser Audience, and traditional retargeting) across exclusive 1P advertising inventory (Amazon & IMDb) and all of the major exchanges.”

– Jeff Coleman, VP, Marketing Channels at CPC Strategy

 

Amazon DSP can be used to:

Grow Brand Awareness

  • Upper-funnel, visibility
  • Attract attention to your brand

 
Increase Consideration

  • Mid-funnel, engagement
  • Consider your product over a competitor

 
Drive Purchases

  • Low-funnel, highest intent
  • Re-engage customers to win back the sale

 

 

amazon-dsp-full-funnel

 

“While Amazon Advertising Console (previously known as Amazon Marketing Services) is where we are able to drive significant sales volume for clients, we can only drive so much volume until we hit a plateau. Having the capability to retarget customers gives us the opportunity to target past shoppers and stay top of mind as well as prospect in an effort to gain new customers.”

 Jordan Berry, Lead Marketplace Channel Analyst at CPC Strategy

 

Amazon DSP Retargeting

Brands can use DSP to re-engage shoppers that have high purchase intent for your products via:
 

  • Pixel based – Shoppers who visit your brand’s site
  • Product remarketing – Retarget shoppers who viewed your promoted products but didn’t convert
  • Brand halo remarketing – Retarget shoppers who viewed other products of your brand
  • Similar product remarketing – Reach shoppers browsing products similar to yours

 

What are Dynamic Ecommerce Ads?

Ecommerce Ads boost product visibility through advertising and reach millions of Amazon shoppers with ads linking to product detail pages.

They also help brands drive sales with interest-based or product targeted advertising. Dynamic Ecommerce Ads take consumer targeting a step further by showing your potential or returning customer an ad creative based on their past purchasing behavior.

 

 

 

Amazon DSP Prospecting

 
Amazon DSP also allows brands to target a wider range of potential customers referred to as “in-market” or “lifestyle.”

In-market Audiences:

In-market Audiences are leveraged to reach customers who are likely to take action or make a purchase based on a recent search, browse, or purchase behavior in the past 30 days.

Examples include:

  • “Nutrition Bars”
  • “Baby Apparel”
  • “Headphones”

 

Lifestyle Audiences:

Lifestyle audiences reflect broad interest groups. Advertisers can reach lifestyle audiences to plant their brand in the minds of shoppers who have regularly shopped for related products in the past year.

Examples include:

  • “Foodies”
  • “Harry Potter Fans”
  • “Pet Lovers”

 

Amazon DSP Interface Updates

 
In March 2019, Amazon introduced 4 new updates to the Amazon DSP user interface including navigation, bulk editing, custom reporting, and creative moderation.

Navigation – One of the biggest changes Amazon made was the “overall look and feel of the Amazon DSP”. According to the announcement, navigating within the Amazon DSP is now more intuitive and efficient than ever before. In the new layout, buttons, toggles, and campaign status information are much more prominent.

Bulk editing – Advertisers can now bulk edit the domain, audience, and location targeting settings for line items. Once you specify the new settings, you can apply them across all of the line items selected (as seen in the example below):

 

 

Custom reporting – This feature allows advertisers to create a report based on your unique requirements and save it within the Amazon DSP report center. You can now select the exact columns you would like to include. Once you run a custom report, it will appear in the report center and will be emailed to the recipients you specify.

 

 

Creative moderation – Lastly, Amazon is working on a number of improvements that will reduce the turnaround time for creative approval. For example, they significantly reduced the average time it takes for advertisers to be notified if your creative needs to be revised.

 

Amazon DSP Success Stories

 
As you can see in the client data below, in Q4 2018 we saw a significant jump in ROAS for many of our Amazon DSP retargeting campaigns on Black Friday.

  • Orange Line – Represents ROAS
  • Blue Line – Represents Spend

 

(Brand name removed for confidentiality)

 

(Brand name removed for confidentiality)

 

 

(Brand name removed for confidentiality)

 

Our Experts Chime in on Amazon DSP

“It was important to the overall Amazon strategy to be running DSP ASIN retargeting during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With the natural increase in clicks and impressions, we saw our retargeting pool grow.”

“The CPCs also became more competitive so even if a click did not convert into a sale, we do not view that as wasted spend but rather that click turns into a potential future customer.”

“Purchase intent is higher during this time of year and combining that with a strong advertising strategy, we were able to use retargeting to grow overall revenue.”

– Karen Hopkins, Marketplace Channel Analyst at CPC Strategy

 

 

“For our clients running off Amazon campaigns, specifically targeting customers who have reached the detail page of their products, we noticed a significant spike on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.”

“In some cases, purchases increased 4x to 5x on these particular days. It goes to show that once advertising is controlled on Amazon, having a solid off Amazon strategy is key to capturing all potential customers.”

– Evan Walsh, Senior Marketplace Channel Analyst at CPC Strategy

 

 

“The purpose of running Awareness campaigns is to literally drive awareness of your brand which enables you to generate demand for your products on Amazon.”

“With DSP, you are exposed to audiences on and off of Amazon.com, so leveraging these types of campaigns during Black Friday and Cyber Monday expands your reach during the highest traffic period of the year. Layering in coupons adds another level of engagement and can drive consumers to purchase.”

– Jen Acosta, Sr. Marketplace Channel Analyst at CPC Strategy

 

For more on Amazon DSP, email tara@cpcstrategy.com

 

About the AuthorTara graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Journalism / Business. Her passion for creative publishing and quality reporting landed her work opportunities at several companies in Massachusetts, New York and California. She is a leading voice behind CPC Strategy’s Blog. See all posts by this author here.