Amazon DSP vs. Sponsored Ads: Differences & Opportunities for Advertisers

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Many consumer journeys begin and end on Amazon. The platform has evolved into much more than an ecommerce marketplace, also serving as a destination for inspiration, exploration, and research. In addition to buying products on Amazon, 80% of US and UK customers have used the platform to search for and compare products. Now the company has built a range of ad products to help brands better connect with, and eventually sell to, their customers exploring the platform.

Amazon DSP

Amazon DSP (Demand-Side Platform) enables advertisers to programmatically buy display and video ads on Amazon sites, mobile apps, devices, and across the wider web. It is available to both advertisers who sell products on Amazon and those who don’t.

Why Use Amazon DSP?

• Data: Amazon knows more about what customers want than any other platform. The company has access to billions of observed user and purchase patterns across countless industries and throughout every stage of the funnel. This knowledge helps advertisers better understand and target audiences on the platform, in order to scale their messaging on Amazon and beyond.

• Access: Amazon DSP is the only way to access Amazon owned-and-operated inventory (such as IMDB, Fire TV Stick, and Freedive) through a programmatic buy. Amazon Publisher Services (APS) allows advertisers to bid directly on Comscore top 100 sites as well as a range of inventory available through leading ad exchanges.

• Scale: Unlike most other platforms, Amazon allows advertisers to take their knowledge of what’s happening on the site and use it to scale efforts outside of their walled garden environment. By using real buyer insight to create and segment audiences, advertisers can scale their efforts across the funnel and on multiple platforms.

How It Works

• Buy: Amazon DSP uses technology to programmatically streamline the ad buying process. Pricing is based on a dynamic model where advertisers bid on real-time impressions with the ultimate goal of reaching an intended audience across Amazon sites and devices as well as on the wider web.

• Build: Amazon DSP enables advertisers to extend their reach by leveraging a combination of their existing audiences and Amazon-exclusive audiences to connect with users who have shown real interest in their brands or products. Overlapping insights can then be used to discover other audience groups a customer might be a part of.

• Attribute: Amazon DSP allows for cross-screen attribution, enabling brands to measure campaign effectiveness across devices and throughout the customer journey. First-party data offers detailed audience insights that can be used to optimize performance across campaigns, touchpoints, and phases of the funnel.

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads help advertisers boost visibility and sales across the Amazon platform by placing content right where it’s visible to users. Ads appear on the first page of search results or in a prominent place on product detail pages, for example.

Sponsored Ads are only available to brands that currently sell on the Amazon platform, helping them connect with shoppers at every stage of their journey – from awareness to purchase and beyond.

Three Separate Opportunities

Sponsored Products: Ads for individual product listings on the Amazon platform, helping to drive sales and awareness of a company’s product offering. This format enables advertisers to get in front of customers who are actively searching for items like the ones offered by their brands.

Sponsored Brands: Ads showcasing a brand and its portfolio by featuring its logo, a custom headline, and up to three of the company’s products. When shoppers click on an ad they are either taken to a custom landing page, Branded Store, or particular product listing.

Branded Stores: Customized multi-page shopping destinations that enable brands to create their own ecommerce experiences within the Amazon platform. Branded Stores help shoppers discover a company’s product portfolio in an accessible, on-brand setting.

How Sponsored Ads Work

• Reach the right customers with keyword targeting.
75% of Amazon experiences start with search. By using keyword targeting, advertisers can make sure their ads reach customers who have expressed real interest in brands or products similar to their own.

• Control costs with cost-per-click advertising.
Advertisers only pay for the clicks their ads receive, and they can control spending by setting a maximum budget and choosing how much to bid on each individual click. Branded Stores are entirely free to use.

• Measure success with Amazon Attribution.
The platform’s measurement solution (currently in beta) allows advertisers to assess the impact of their ads based on how customers search for, discover, and purchase products on Amazon.

Many brands have already discovered the opportunities presented by Amazon. Their ad business is quickly gaining momentum and, according to forecasts, will grow by 50% in 2019. As customers increasingly turn to the platform to research and discover products, advertisers are wise to utilize Amazon’s ad products to connect with audiences across devices and through every phase of the funnel.