Every online shop and “brick and mortar” that lost market share to Amazon over the last 20 years might think Amazon is “the enemy.”
A few businesses are starting to think … If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right?
Whether your sales come via an ecommerce platform on your own website or from customers walking through your “real-world” front door, there’s a good chance you could do more to get real traction online. And there’s a good chance you can sell on the Amazon platform.
Knowing how to use Amazon’s reach to your advantage is the tough part. That’s why Symphonic Digital is offering up a few secrets for SMBs who are thinking about growing their business on Amazon.
In today’s installment (part one of 2; click here to see the second part), we’ll be talking about Amazon DSP. You may be familiar the Google Display Network (GDN) or exchanges like Trade Desk and Criteo. You may think that you have to be a seller on Amazon to take advantage of DSP.
Read on to learn more!
How DSPs Work
In the early days of Internet advertising, your sales team would have to negotiate ad rates and and manually fax ad insertion orders to publishers. DSPs make the process of buying and selling digital ads cheaper and more efficient by removing humans from the process.
DSPs are like ad networks, except they give you the ability to buy, serve and track ads using one central dashboard. For example, DSPs automatically find the right impressions for you to buy, often using a real-time auction (a process known as real-time bidding). This make is it easy for you (or your campaign manager) to optimize campaigns.
Ads are automatically selected from your inventory, then displayed on sites visited by your target audience. If you want to change an ad or introduce a new one, simply add it to the inventory of ads and it will be served where appropriate. Using programmatic ads, your business could appear on both Amazon-owned sites and other third-party websites in the form of display ads. Automating the buying and selling of ad space gives you (the advertiser) greater freedom to deliver the right ads at the right time.
Meet Amazon DSP
Amazon’s programmatic advertising platform is known as Amazon DSP, or Demand Side Platform. Amazon DSP automates the purchase and distribution of display, video, mobile and search ads, allowing businesses to efficiently reach Amazon shoppers on Amazon sites, across the web, and in mobile apps. It is the preferred DSP for 41 percent of marketers (it surpassed Google Marketing Platform, formerly called DoubleClick Bid Manager, in 2019).
“DoubleClick was primarily used for on-site bulk advertising,” explains Brian Johnson, Amazon selling expert and founder of Canopy Management. “Amazon DSP allows either managed or self-directed advertising outside of Amazon (retargeting) that includes additional targeting for interest and demographics.
With Amazon DSP, you can spread your spend and creative across varying formats and inventory sources. If you’re looking to drive sales directly through Amazon Advertising, nothing boosts product visibility quite like dynamic ecommerce ads. These ads use data gathered from any given potential or returning customers. Using that data, your ads can target people who are more likely to make a purchase based on their past purchasing behavior.
What’s so great about that? The most effective ads are specifically designed to target searchers who are looking for what you have to offer. Targeted advertising means showing your ads only to people who are likely to actually make a purchase.
Automate Delivery of Your Creatives Across Platforms
To get started, you’ll need a DSP account, which is separate than an Amazon Ad Console account that may have for running Amazon Advertising options like Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands and Product Display Ads.
Just as in GDN and any programmatic campaign, you’ll also need assets, like banners, interstitial and short videos, created to Amazon’s specifications – depending on what you want to do.
Amazon gathers multiple data points from every user’s purchasing behavior to automatically deliver ad creative that maximizes campaign performance at scale. Display ads with ecommerce creative enable businesses to quickly and easily produce creatives that automatically update to highlight product attributes (such as availability, price, coupons, and star ratings).
These ads are also available across screens so brands can reach current and future customers with relevant messages, wherever they are. These include:
Desktop & Mobile Display Ads: Reach and target customers with high-quality display ads on all of their devices. Standard banner sizes optimized for display on Amazon and other sites around the web include:
• Medium Rectangle (300 x 250 pixels)
• Leaderboard (728 x 90 pixels)
• Wide Skyscraper (160 x 600 pixels)
• Large Rectangle (300 x 600 pixels)
• Billboard (Offsite only) (970 x 250 pixels)
• Mobile Leaderboard (320 x 50 pixels – 640 x 100 pixels @2X required)
• Mobile Detail and Search Result Page (414 x 125 pixels – 1242 x 375 pixels @3X required
In-Stream Video Ads: Five-plus second in-stream and out-stream video ads let you reach customers with targeted video on Amazon mobile apps, Amazon’s website, Amazon Echos, Kindles, IMDb and Fire tablet wake screen.
Mobile Interstitial (Full-Screen) Ads: Full screen ads served inside mobile apps during natural transition points allow. Interstitial Ads are supported for iOS, Android and Fire smartphones and tablets.
Mobile Banner Ads: These ads allow you to target mobile users on third-party mobile applications on Android, Fire Tablet, and iOS platforms.
There are four ad banner sizes:
• 320 x 50
• 300 x 250
• 728 x 90
• 414 x 125
Where Should Businesses Begin?
If a business is interested in dipping its toes in Amazon, where should it begin, Seller Central, advertising console, or Amazon DSP?
I asked Gurpreet Singth, founder of the Indian inventory management software company Browntape, for his thoughts.
“To begin, a seller must first do the research of which product to sell and at what price,” Gurpreet says. For this, she should do rigorous competition research on Amazon and determine if she can source products at the right price.”
He says all too often, businesses fail to calculate ROI before selling on Amazon.
“From our research, sellers must have at least 50 percent margin from their supplier on products if they wish to make any money from Amazon after deduction of selling fees, FBA fees, shipping etc.”
Often, the answer about where to begin depends on your competitive landscape. Are you a national brand just starting to sell their products on Amazon?
“I’d say start with listing products for sale via Seller Central,” says Brian. “DSP requires working with an approved agency.with access to DSP in order to enter and setup properly.
“Amazon can be an extremely competitive marketplace to sell in,” says Drew Jordan, Senior Customer Experience Specialist at Viral Launch, software and services that helps brands find their way on Amazon. “Before taking any steps towards entering the market, we would strongly recommend investing in data to research the competitive landscape of the market your products fit in.”
What is a big mistake businesses often make when they start out selling on Amazon?
“Often times brands treat Amazon like any other sales channel,” Drew says. “Ignoring the difference in shopping behavior and alternative solutions that are unique to Amazon.”
For Brian, the problems come about when businesses take on more than they can handle at once.
“Trying to list entire portfolio of products at once rather than entering with the products having the highest conversion rate.”
Need Help Getting Started?
Even with the numerous tools available through Amazon Advertising, there’s a lot of work required to create an effective marketing campaign.
With Symphonic Digital managing your campaigns, you can unleash your business in global marketplaces. Our managed campaigns can deliver up to three times the revenue of “autopilot” campaigns, meaning your products will be seen by more people. After implementing search management and display strategies, our team will consistently check the reports and optimize your campaigns based on the latest data.
Our team can help your advertising efforts every step of the way, from store setup to conversion optimization. With our expertly designed, targeted ads suited to your unique audience, you can target customers at any point in the purchase funnel. Contact us today to get started!