The Secret Weapon That Targets Your Customers Whether They're on Amazon or Not
Find out how to use Amazon’s demand-side platform to target your customers wherever they are online.
5 min read
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The following excerpt is from Timothy P. Seward’s book Ultimate Guide to Amazon Advertising. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Apple Books
One of the most significant opportunities to extend your advertising reach on and off Amazon is to participate in Amazon’s demand-side platform, Amazon DSP. With Amazon DSP, brands can target shoppers in real time as they browse the internet. This approach allows brands to reach customers on and off Amazon through programmatic display advertisements.
Through Amazon DSP, Amazon can partner with third-party sites to place ads across the internet. Because these ads can show on Amazon and on other sites, brands can exponentially increase their reach through Amazon DSP. These ads can show in the following placements: desktop and mobile web display ads, mobile banner ads, mobile interstitial ads, and video ads.
This option might be a great opportunity for you if your brand is awareness-driven and you value the reach of your ads over the initial return. This isn’t to say you won’t see a return from your advertising efforts through Amazon DSP, but your expectations should be much different from your expectations of your search advertising efforts. Search advertising aims to increase awareness and sales from people who are already searching on Amazon for products like yours and are therefore likely to convert. With DSP, you can reach customers throughout the purchase cycle using a variety of retargeting and programmatic display methods. You may be targeting a customer who’s very early in the research process, who was a cart abandoner on your website, or who’s of a certain demographic that is of interest to you and your brand. Targeting based on demographics or interests will lend itself to more of a brand-awareness play.
Many companies use DSP primarily in two ways: programmatic display ads and retargeting ads. Through programmatic display ads, brands can reach a larger audience both on and off Amazon by targeting specific audiences and segments with real-time bidding. Brands can also use DSP to reengage site/page visitors, cart abandoners, and past purchasers by placing pixels on their own websites to track the customers. Amazon Advertising can also track and engage customers based on the ASINs they viewed and/or purchased on Amazon.
Now let’s look more closely at programmatic display and retargeting ads in DSP.
Related: How Amazon Prime Day Can Bring in Prime Sales for Your Business
Programmatic display strategies
Amazon DSP allows advertisers to target various audiences on and off Amazon through Amazon-exclusive sites (Amazon and IMDB), Amazon Publisher Services, and open exchanges such as AppNexus, Rubicon, and OpenX. You can build audiences to target using Amazon’s first-party data, which provides insights into shopping behaviors on Amazon-owned and -operated properties.
Additionally, you can target specific segments of shoppers. For example, if your brand sells high-end purses, you might want to target the fashionista lifestyle segment or the health, beauty, and fashion in market segment. The types of segments available to target include:
- In market: customers who are browsing in a specific market (e.g., parents shopping for baby products)
- Lifestyle: customers who are in broad categories based on their interests (e.g., pet lovers)
- Demographic: customers who fall into specific categories based on their characteristics (e.g., age, gender, income, etc.)
You can layer multiple segments on top of each other to create a unique targeting approach. Within the DSP interface, you can also see the estimated reach of each segment defined in terms of estimated number of impressions per day.
Related: 5 Amazon Ad Settings You Shouldn’t Ignore
DSP also allows you to retarget shoppers who’ve visited your website or viewed your products on Amazon. You can reach and reengage existing customers through pixel and ASIN retargeting. With pixel retargeting, you can track your customers with pixels that are placed on your brand’s website and linked to your DSP account; you can then follow customers on and off Amazon to show them ads for your product. ASIN retargeting is similar to pixel retargeting in that you can target existing customers off Amazon, but instead of tracking them via a pixel on your website, you’re tracking them from their initial viewing of your product detail page on Amazon.
There are a variety of ways to use DSP’s retargeting capabilities to grow brand awareness and increase sales. Some of the most common retargeting strategies include:
- Targeting cart abandoners: Reengage site visitors who added a product to their cart but didn’t purchase the product within a specific time frame.
- Cross selling: Target previous purchasers or site visitors by promoting complementary products or new versions of products.
- Increasing brand awareness: Reengage previous site visitors to promote brand value and influence them using calls to action.
- Highlighting new product launches: Target previous purchasers or site visitors and announce a new product they may also be interested in.
- Reminders for renewals: Reengage previous customers when the product they purchased is at the end of its life cycle, and remind them they’ll need to purchase again soon.
Amazon DSP data and supply sources
Amazon uses their first-party data to target specific consumers based on their shopping behaviors and interests. You can build off this data by adding any data you have on your existing customers through email lists.
There are three primary supply sources Amazon allows you to choose from when setting up your ads on DSP. You can have your ads run on Amazon-owned and -operated sites, Amazon Publisher Services, and/or open exchanges. Amazon-owned and -operated sites include Amazon and IMDb. Amazon Publisher Services consists of direct publisher inventory for high-visibility impressions. Open exchanges are real-time bidding exchanges, including sources such as AppNexus, Rubicon, and OpenX.