Amazon is one of the biggest and best online stores in the world, connecting millions of shoppers with millions of brands around the globe.
Since launching Amazon Advertising, it has also become an incredibly popular platform for advertisers. In recent months, it has taken a large chunk out of Google’s dominance in online advertising and, more and more businesses are switching portions of their budget from Google Ads to Amazon. Continual innovations occur across the platform, with new targeting and ad features plus additions to established resources and tools including Amazon DSP.
What is Amazon DSP?
Amazon DSP is the abbreviation for Amazon Demand Side Platform. It is used to facilitate programmatic purchases of both display and video adverts. Unlike the remainder of Amazon’s offerings, it can be used to buy ads both on and off the platform, and gives users the chance to significantly boost their presence and their reputation.
Ads can be purchased on Amazon itself, Amazon partners and on mobile apps and devices. The system is designed to be simple and easy to use, facilitating the discovery of new audiences and maximising opportunities.
Amazon DSP makes use of the large amount of data which the platform has access to, providing insights into audiences and customer behaviour. Crucially, to use Amazon DSP you don’t need to be a seller on Amazon – making the platform much more accessible to a wider audience of brands and advertisers.
Using Amazon DSP is also important in that it can help brands to safeguard their own quality standards by providing additional measures which protect their uniqueness. For brands who are eager to eke the best possible performance from the platform (or simply make use of Amazon’s advertising capabilities without selling directly via it), there is much to recommend Amazon DSP.
Ads generated with Amazon DSP can be created in these formats:
- In-stream video ads – These adverts can be used in video content, allowing advertisers to access customers who are streaming online.
- Dynamic e-commerce ads – These ads are generated based on prior shopper behaviour, helping to ensure their relevancy.
- Mobile interstitial ads – These ads are delivered in a full-screen format on mobile apps, and appear during applicable ‘breaks’ and transitions for a seamless advertising experience.
- Desktop and mobile display ads – These ads can be displayed on desktop and mobile devices, accessing customers (and potential customers) wherever they are.
In addition, Amazon DSP can be used as a means of reaching audiences on a variety of key platforms:
- IMDb Video
- Third-party exchanges
- Amazon partners
Each of these platforms provides numerous opportunities to reach the customers that brands want to reach, and when used with the right targeting, the ads generated can be incredibly successful.
Who should use Amazon DSP?
Amazon DSP can be used by brands who want to buy display and video advertising on a large scale. It allows users to grow their existing reach further, and can also be utilised by users who don’t currently sell on Amazon yet want to use Amazon to grow their audience.
There are two options for managing your Amazon DSP ads, as they can be either created self-service or managed by Amazon. Self service is only accessible via an agency, rather than the brand itself.
Key benefits of Amazon DSP
There are a few key benefits of using Amazon DSP, which attract brands and their agencies alike. In short, the platform can be used as a way of:
Developing brand awareness – A major consideration for brands which are still growing a following, as Amazon DSP helps them to strengthen their existing presence and improve visibility. Brands who want to get more attention can achieve this goal with strategic use of Amazon DSP.
Boosting consideration – If a brand has already developed reasonable awareness yet is still struggling to be considered alongside key competitors, then this is another area in which the Amazon DSP can help.
Fuelling purchase behaviour – Purchases can also be encouraged via the Amazon DSP, helping to re-engage with prospects who have already seen the products for sale yet, for whatever reason, did not choose to buy.
During the last few months, Amazon DSP has undergone many updates, each of them drawing on past user comments and experience to develop a more comprehensive and user-friendly platform. The major updates are all discussed below, helping to give you a greater understanding of what to expect from the platform:
Amazon DSP Interface
In March 2019, a series of updates focused on the Amazon interface. These updates were inspired by feedback from the user community, and worked to help improve the user experience in a number of key ways.
From 2018 onwards, Amazon DSP has been gradually adapted to boost usability. These changes include the introduction of a more efficient and intuitive system, with campaigns now far easier to implement. This usability includes fewer steps before launching campaigns and better reporting options – ideal for brands who are eager to keep track of their campaign activities.
In addition, the platform has undergone a range of added usability updates throughout 2019, once more designed to improve the user experience while simultaneously leading to more effective campaigns.
These updates include:
- Bulk editing
Users in selected locations (including the UK and US) can now perform bulk editing tasks, editing the audience, domain and location targeting beyond prior limits of 50 line items. Prior to this upgrade, only audiences could be replaced in bulk.
Thanks to the update, further customisations are possible using modification features which either add or remove audiences.
- Creative moderation
Amazon has undergone a range of updates which reduce the time needed to gain approval for projects, ensuring that marketing teams can make the necessary revisions to campaigns faster – and see them go live at an equally speedy pace.
- Custom reports
Custom reports are another important update to Amazon DSP. As with bulk editing, they can be generated in various locations including the UK and US. This update allows you to run reports across advertisers and orders, as well as projecting a number of dimensions and selecting specific metrics for inclusion.
This update was implemented to make Amazon DSP look and feel easier to use. Simpler navigation is aided by a range of new buttons and a new layout which helps users find their campaign status and other key information quickly.
Amazon has also given many of its advertising formats a refresh. The most important updates can be summarised as:
- Billboard ads
Now available for self-service users on Amazon DSP, billboard ads in 970x520px can be placed below the fold for a handy ad placement in desktop browsing. They are particularly effective for scaling and diversifying your placements on sites which are either owned or operated by Amazon.
- Mobile interstitial ads
These ads have now added a 2560x2560px option which can be placed at the bottom of detail pages on tablet and phone detail pages. The format uses only one image across all the orientations and each device.
Over-The-Top (OTT) measurement and video
Adding to Amazon DSP’s video capabilities has been a major preoccupation for Amazon DSP, and with the launch of IMDb TV they have been able to gain a vast wealth of video access. For customers outside of the USA, the channel can be seen on Prime Video for free, and streamed via the app across a large number of devices. IMDb can be found on Fire TV in the US.
Alongside all the other updates, Amazon DSP has also made crucial changes to its supply. Third party viewability now has more integration, alongside brand safety and invalid traffic solutions.
In addition, customers are now able to forecast the availability of their inventory while setting up their line items. This is a useful aspect of pre-campaign strategy building and will allow brands to gain a better understanding of their limitations prior to campaigns going live.
Another aspect of Amazon DSP to be enhanced is the deal reports, which provide users with more insight into issues which could influence their success. This is a helpful tool for mid-campaign optimising.
Reporting and measuring
New-to-brand reporting represents the biggest development for Amazon DSP. New-to-brand is a metric which measures the sales which have been generated from customers who are ‘new’ to your brand on the Amazon platform.
It’s a very important metric to watch, as it enables brands to find out more about the effectiveness of their campaigns and also provides them with the tools necessary to enhance future campaigns from a customer acquisition perspective. For developing brand loyalty, there are few metrics with quite as much appeal and significance.
New-to-brand metrics can be viewed in report templates, available to download. In addition, they can be seen within both the performance dashboard and campaign management tables.
Each of these recent updates is designed to make Amazon DSP more user-friendly and efficient, enhancing the experience of working within its confines for brands – and the agencies which represent them.
With effective use, Amazon DSP can help build effective campaigns both on and off the platform.