Advertising opportunities on Amazon

*Updated January 2019.

Amazon is planning to merge its ad offerings, giving brands the ability to promote their products on and off the marketplace using a centralised platform. For those of you in the know, that means AMS (now called Sponsored Ads) and AAP (now called Amazon DSP) will be able to be managed from the same platform. Ideally this means we’ll also be able to analyse advertising efforts campaign-wide, but that’s yet to be confirmed.

The third biggest advertising platform, after Google and Facebook, is expected to rake in $4bn this year in ad revenue. It has the unique advantage of being able to anticipate purchase intent based on known shopping behaviour, rather than predicting shopper behaviour based on interests or behavioural patterns.

The two key advertising opportunities on Amazon are:

  • Sponsored Ads (formerly Amazon Marketing Services – AMS)
  • Amazon DSP (formerly Amazon Advertising Platform – AAP)

Sponsored Ads are Amazon’s self-service PPC offering

It allows brands and sellers to reach Amazon customers with cost-per-click ads within its marketplace. You only pay when a customer clicks through to your product or Brand Store. Ad types include Sponsored Products, Headline Search Ads (now called Sponsored Brands) and Product Display ads.

  • Sponsored Product ads put your product at the top of a search results page, and within relevant product pages. These ads allow you to learn how customers are looking for your products on Amazon, and are hugely effective at driving product views and sales.
  • Sponsored Brand ads are also keyword-driven, and allow you to direct customers to a Brand Store or Amazon page featuring multiple products. These ads are often used to generate brand and product awareness when you’re starting out on Amazon, or launching a new product.
  • Product Display ads allow you to target shopper interests, and place ads on specific product pages. They allow you to show customers an alternative to a competitor product at the point of purchase.

Sponsored Ad reporting is limited compared to other advertising platforms, but it covers the need-to-know metrics like click-through rate (CTR), conversion, average cost of sale (ACoS) and ad profitability. With the correct analysis of your ad results and keyword reports, you will be able to learn exactly how customers are finding your products, and use these insights to improve the organic rankings of your product detail pages, as well as overall ad return.

*Updates January 2019 – Amazon have released new features including an update to Bid+ that gives brands more control over ad placement. You can now set up automatic bid increases up to 900% to secure top of search, rest of search or product detail page placement. Another new feature allows you to see how many of your sales are from customers that are NEW to your brand (defined as those who haven’t purchased from you within the past 12 months). 

Amazon DSP is Amazon’s demand-side platform

It allows brands to programatically reach Amazon shoppers off Amazon, and find new customers. Amazon DSP also allows brands who don’t sell on Amazon to advertise within its marketplace.

Amazon DSP offers brands the opportunity to promote their products across the web, it’s owned sites and devices, and in apps. You can retarget customers who previously viewed your product on Amazon, and include recognised Amazon features like review ratings and Add to Cart buttons. Using behavioural, contextual and demographic data, Amazon DSP gives you the ability to target customers who exhibit a future intent to buy.

While Amazon DSP is less effective at conversion than Sponsored Ads, ad formats like mobile and video ads allow you to build brand and product awareness outside of the marketplace, taking advantage of Amazon’s unique and extensive shopper database.