Amazon Display Ads VS Amazon Demand Side Platform


Amazon Advertising has grown exponentially in recent years. While Amazon itself has long been established as the world’s foremost online store, with millions of active users both buying and selling products, the advertising capabilities of the platform took a little longer to become truly viable.

Some intrepid early adopters found lots to draw them in, but others were sceptical about whether Amazon Advertising was truly worth the investment. Today, there are many fantastic benefits to joining the crowds and advertising via Amazon. Amazon introducing a re-marketing feature to re-engage with a brands audience that has not yet purchased has been a long-anticipated feature to be included. There are two ways you can re-market through Amazon advertising, one through Amazon Display Ads which is a Beta in the US found within Seller Central and the other, through Amazon Demand Side Platform, which is found in it’s own console, outside of Seller/Vendor Central.

In this blog, we’ll take a comprehensive look at both, helping advertisers, brands and vendors get more value from their activities…

What are Amazon Display Ads?

Put simply, Display ads are a way to reach and engage with customers both within and outside of the Amazon platform itself. They are particularly popular with advertisers seeking to reengage and retarget people who have searched for their items but who didn’t make a purchase.

Amazon Display Ads work by utilising a variety of different formats to ensure audiences receive the correct message, drawing them in to buy the product which is being promoted.

They can be used in campaigns both on Amazon and on other websites, as well as apps on both desktop and mobile devices.

Pros of using Amazon Display Ads

Let’s examine some of the most significant benefits of using Amazon Display Ads:

  • Simplicity

This is what often draws users into Amazon Display Ads, as the tool really is surprisingly easy to use and implement. For newbie online advertisers or those with a limited budget, using this format allows them to get to grips with digital marketing without requiring they spend too much time learning the ropes.

  • Availability

In addition to being simple to use, Amazon Display Ads is also soon to be available to most Amazon Seller Accounts, making it more accessible to a much wider audience. To users who are not yet able to access Amazon DSP, this will obviously make this tool not only more appealing, but the only option in their grasp.

  • Flexibility

These ads can be purchased even if advertisers don’t sell on Amazon, and appear on several different formats for added flexibility. Mobile browsers and devices, Amazon itself and also third-party websites can all show the adverts.

Cons of using Amazon Display Ads

Using this tool is also not without its drawbacks, including:

  • Limited functionality

Amazon DSP provides significantly more tools across the board for remarketing to customers across the web and on Amazon itself. The very fact that Amazon Display Ads are so accessible seems to lend itself to this condensed approach to targeting, and could have a significant negative impact on the success of campaigns.

  • Lower click rates

Amazon Display Ads have also been shown to have a lower click rate than harnessing the full capabilities of Amazon DSP, which could ultimately also negatively impact on sales and the overall success of any given marketing or remarketing campaign. This is because after deciding on one targeting strategy, the ads will be shown only in one format and location to suit this objective.

Why use Display Ads?

Lady looking at her mobile while working on a laptop

For users who are seeking an easy-to-use, undemanding tool which is usable whether or not they currently sell products on the Amazon platform, Display ads represent a real opportunity to get started with some online marketing. They are suited to reengage and reach customers, but beyond this, they also help create the right impression. If budget is a concern and yet a suitable solution is needed, then this could be the perfect answer.

What is Amazon DSP?

Using the Amazon DSP provides exclusive access to Amazon audiences, allowing users to track and market to their perfect audience – whether on or off the Amazon platform. The main functions of Amazon DSP give users the opportunity to reach audiences on Amazon-owned websites, many of which are incredibly popular with a wide variety of different demographic segments. It also offers access to other sites via direct inventory courtesy of Amazon Publisher Services and third-party portals.

DSP also takes brand safety and security extremely seriously; adhering to a rigid set of quality standards which further help the platform stand out from comparable remarketing options.

Pros of Amazon DSP

Amazon DSP comes with many distinctive benefits, including the following essentials for serious remarketing success:

  • An in-depth approach

The Amazon DSP offers much more depth and complexity than Amazon Display Ads, which is what helps make it such a popular option, particularly with advertisers who are accustomed to digital marketing. In the area of remarketing, the DSP is unrivalled, as it has been designed specifically for this purpose.

  • Adaptive and scalable

Using Amazon DSP is also an adaptive choice, particularly for sellers and advertisers who are keen to ensure accuracy in their targeting. Users have a lot more control over their activities on Amazon DSP, and this is sure to be appealing to savvy advertisers keen to ensure they get value for money and real results in a speedy time frame.

  • Great for remarketing

While Amazon DSP also allows the user to advertise to customers who haven’t made a purchase, in addition, it provides the capability to advertise specifically to customers who bought a product up to two months ago, or simply those who viewed products, which are similar to the ones being sold by the vendor in question.

As a great added benefit of Amazon DSP, advertisers can specifically target listings by their competitors, without them ever having to know. This is a brilliant way to grab a sale and help improve their client’s standing on Amazon.

Cons of Amazon DSP

Lady biting a pencil whole reading something on her laptop

Just as Display Ads comes with a few problems, so does Amazon DSP. These issues include:

  • Cost

Amazon DSP is conventionally viewed as the professional choice, as it normally requires a much higher ad spend and greater commitment than simply opting for Display Ads. This presents barriers to entry for smaller businesses or those who are simply reticent to commit to set costs.

  • Greater investment (time and money)

The platform is available with both self-service and managed-service options. Self-service does require a management fee and managed-services will normally only be available for users with a high minimum ad-spend.

Why use Amazon DSP?

The Amazon Demand Side Platform is perfect for companies and sellers who are ready to make their marketing activity a little more slick and professional. Harnessing optimised, relevant ads to audiences across a variety of different devices and ad formats, this is a more comprehensive tool than simply using Display Ads, and can, therefore, allow users to get much more for their investment. It uses advanced programming to give access to a huge selection of Amazon-owned and operated sites as well as more locations via Amazon Publisher Services, ensuring high-quality ads.

How do I get started on Amazon DSP?

Getting started with Amazon DSP is more complicated than using other aspects of Amazon Advertising. It requires users to set up a separate DSP account, and this in itself can sometimes prove a little time consuming, but it is worth the extra effort. The overall process requires that interested users contact an Amazon ad consultant, who will then talk them through the criteria and eligibility for taking part.

Optimising ad performance

No marketing campaign will be successful without equally successful optimisation and rigorous testing, so it’s important to try different methods wherever this is practical. This is important for checking both what works, and what doesn’t. In particular, the audiences which are selected to be marketing to – whether via remarketing or basic targeting – should be as relevant as possible to the products which are for sale. This is an obvious yet often misunderstood area of Amazon Advertising which can make or break a campaign simply through misplaced or successful targeting options.


Both Amazon DSP and Amazon Display Ads have much to offer discerning advertisers, so which option is chosen will ultimately depend upon the needs and requirements of the seller and their team – as well as their own restrictions in terms of account type and budget.

We always recommend using the DSP wherever possible, as it simply provides greater scope for using all the fantastic marketing and remarketing tools which Amazon Advertising has developed and mastered in the last few years. However, for stricter budgets, different goals and more limited resources, opting for Amazon Display Ads is nonetheless a valid and valuable way to start getting to grips with the platform and connecting with audiences.

Clear Ads Ltd does have access to Amazon DSP across all marketplaces, feel free to reach out to discuss advertising on Amazon’s Demand Side Platform.

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