Advertising is the fastest growing segment of Amazon’s business, and a recent study has Amazon DSP leapfrogging Google as the most-used and most-preferred option for demand side platform advertising. Conducted in July 2018, the study by Advertiser Perceptions interviewed 483 marketers and found that 41% were using Amazon’s display search compared to 35% for Google and 26% for the Trade Desk.
Why Brands are Shifting to Amazon DSP
Amazon has been squarely positioned behind Google and Facebook for a few years now as the possible force that could dethrone the advertising duopoly. Until this year they have merely seemed like an outsider looking in, but Amazon Advertising is now making significant gains. So what is leading more and more brands to move budgets away from Google advertising and towards Amazon?
According to the Advertiser Perceptions study, audience targeting and reach were the top criteria for choosing a DSP, followed by factors like analytics, tech expertise, and transparency with pricing. But one of – if not the most – important advantages Amazon has over its competitors is the fact that Amazon DSP ads lead directly to the point of sale, on a website where hundreds of millions of people are already active users.
This advantage is massive, and it’s resulting in many brands, particularly those in consumer packaged goods, to move 50 to 60 percent of their Google Search ad budgets to Amazon. This amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue for the growing Amazon Advertising wing, taken directly from their rival. And while this is still a relative drop in the bucket in relation to what Google makes overall as the online advertising kingpin, it does indicate a shift in the paradigm.
How Amazon DSP Fits into Your Advertising Strategy
Unlike search ads that are served through Amazon Advertising, display ads with Amazon DSP appear on a wide variety of sites outside of amazon.com, and can utilize product images from Amazon, video clips, and different elements from Amazon product pages. These ads focus on generating large numbers of impressions to cast a wide net, hoping to pique the interest of those who have looked at product pages but didn’t buy, or those who have been researching products on brand sites.
Amazon search ads are a microscope that allow ads to target specific customers, like finding a needle in a haystack. Amazon DSP ads are the binoculars that let brands scan vast areas for potential customers, even those who weren’t actively looking to buy at that point and time. Together, search and DSP ads create a comprehensive advertising solution that covers the most online ground and puts ads in front of the most high-intent shoppers.
Quantifying Success for Amazon Display Advertising
Time and time again, we’ve seen brands test DSP, spending $100,000 over the course of 2 months. While the brand receives tens of millions of impressions, it’s common to only receive a small fraction of that traffic in directly attributed sales.
Does the lack of attributed sales make the campaign unprofitable? Not necessarily. Brands need to go beyond standard metrics of DPVR (Detail Page View Rate), CTR (Click Through Rate), and Sales to see how DSP impacts the full sales funnel.
DSP, when done right, will improve a brand’s channel sales, organic sales, and increase branded campaign sales as well.
We’ll dive deeper into DSP success metrics in a later post. For now, it’s important to remember that while some shoppers click on a display ad, go to the product page, and make a purchase, many shoppers take a more indirect route.
Some consumers spend a significant amount of time researching products prior to purchase. Others don’t click on display ads at all. And still others discover that while the advertised product doesn’t work for them, they love the brand and will purchase a different product.
Successful DSP campaigns help marketers quantify a wider sales path.
While we will detail out the different metrics and KPIs that are valuable in a future post, remember there’s a lot more to Amazon DSP success than DPVR (Detail Page View Rate), CTR (Click Through Rate), and Sales.
All Amazon Advertising Roads Lead to Content
The advantage of Amazon search and display ads leading directly to the point of sale is negated if the content on the product page is poor or lacking important information. Customers need to find the information they’re looking for on the product page or it’s likely they will abandon the sale. It is essential that brands ensure their basic and A+ content follows Amazon’s best practices for written content, otherwise their on-page conversion rates will suffer.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Investing heavily in advertising that leads to bad product content at the point of sale is an unwise strategy.