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Sponsored Display Audiences Offers New Control to Amazon Advertisers

Sponsored Display audiences, a new feature of Amazon Advertising’s Sponsored Display Ads is now available in all current marketplaces with the exception of the Netherlands. Sponsored Display audiences is a self-service display targeting strategy available to vendors and sellers registered in the Amazon Brand Registry.

It uses Amazon shopping signals (i.e. shopper behavior) to help advertisers grow their business by not only reaching, but also engaging relevant shoppers throughout their Amazon purchase journey. While Sponsored Display audiences is an entry-level ad targeting feature, it is the first that allows advertisers who are not using the Amazon Demand Side Platform (DSP) to target audiences viewing specific products and categories, rather than just targeting specific ASINs (Product Targeting).

Display advertising is also available through the Amazon DSP as a programmatic solution, rather than the self-service format of Sponsored Display ads. The DSP offers a similar look to the Sponsored Display ads but, in general, is much more sophisticated as it offers a multitude of more insights and benefits.

DSP display advertising is currently available in all marketplaces and allows for much more fine-tuning to advertising campaigns than Sponsored Display ads, but DSP more on this later.

Audiences is the first segment in Sponsored Ads that is reflective of the specificity of the Amazon DSP. Audience actions are made up of the familiar Interests feature and the new Views Remarketing feature. Sponsored Display audiences are divided into two parts based on targeting options:
  • this new option allows you to target audiences based on products they have viewed
  • allows you to target audiences based on their shopping behavior (for example, those who have recently viewed certain categories). Interests have long been available and are now included under the “Audiences” section

Sponsored Display audiences can be used in conjunction with your existing Amazon Advertising campaigns. With onsite placements available on the shopping results pages as well as detail pages, Sponsored Display audiences complements your existing advertising strategy to expand your reach. Advertisers are able to assign separate bids for each selected audience, allowing you to set higher bids for broader audiences to expand your reach. In building your Sponsored Display audiences campaigns, you will also have access to potential reach stats as well as downloadable reports including insights into campaigns, targeting, promoted products, and purchased products.

Keep in mind that the default lookback window is set to 30 days and cannot be customized at this time.

Note: While the control of Sponsored display audiences is increased, it is still much less specific than DSP campaigns. If you are searching for even more specificity, like the ability to build and customize your audiences, check out what you can do with display ads within the Amazon DSP.

Designed specifically for retail, Sponsored Display audiences stops running ads as soon as your product becomes unavailable. You are able to add products to campaigns no matter their current availability, but you will not be charged for ads that do not result in an order.

While advertisers don’t have much room for customization with Sponsored Display creatives, they have the option to personalize a brand logo and headline, which, when used, can allow for access to all 10 available ads sizes.

Creatives are retail-sensitive and will automatically display the next available ASIN as well as reflect the changes that may occur on the PDP, including product image, price fluctuations, deals and promotions. They also automatically include all applicable badging such as best seller status, Deal of the Day and Prime eligibility. Audiences will help advertisers build awareness of their brand with the highly visible placements. You can catch shoppers’ attention throughout their purchase journey and even acquire new audiences thanks to the customizable options.

The average shopping journey is between six and seven days, from initial search to purchase 1. Audiences also allows you to re-engage audiences, targeting the shoppers that had looked at your products without purchasing. Within Audiences, Amazon introduced Views Remarketing, which is a subset of Sponsored Display audiences that enables advertisers to target audiences who have viewed specific products but have not purchased your product within the past 30 days with placements both on and off Amazon.

Key features:
  • On-site: Accesses shoppers while they browse on Amazon with placements on results pages and product detail pages
  • Control to scale: Advertisers can remarket to shoppers who have viewed products in any category, browse node or brand on Amazon
  • Branding: Tell your brand story while leveraging automated creatives thanks to the custom headline and logo features

Tip: To access all ad sizes, it is a good idea to add a customized logo and headline because certain ad sizes may only be accessible with these:

  • Flexibility: Target audiences and set specific bids for those audiences thanks to granular bidding controls
  • Accessible to: Vendors and sellers enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry in AE, CA, DE, FR, ES, IT and UK
  • The audience: Built on specific categories and products within those categories. You select the categories and products that define this audience. This allows you to leverage more flexible bidding options. Audiences may include shoppers who have: viewed your advertised products or similar products on Amazon in the past 30 days, viewed products within a given category or browse node on Amazon in the past 30 days. Shoppers that have purchased your advertised products in the past 30 days are automatically filtered out to help you efficiently manage your sponsored display budgets.
  • Potential reach: Amazon provides advertisers with data that indicates the predicted reach (estimate of how many customers will see the ad, for categories) based on the set bid and historical data.
  • Refine: Advertisers can refine certain categories based on price, brand, star rating, prime status and other filters, and refine audiences based on whether they have visited their own or similar products in the past but didn’t purchase. This allows advertisers to engage and re-engage a specific group that have previously shown definite interest in theirs and similar products and gain more control over customizing their targeting strategy.

Hint: If the refined search volume is too small, the segment will not be created

When you enter the Sponsored Display section on your Amazon Advertising platform, select the “Views Remarketing” targeting option.

Note: The campaign builder user interfaces may differ to access this strategy depending on whether you also have access to the “Interests” audiences strategy. It may be listed under Targeting as “Audiences,” and then under Audience Actions, “Views Remarketing” or just under Targeting, “Views Remarketing” (see screenshots below)

You can use the “Products” tab to retarget traffic from your paid and organic marketing campaigns, promote new products or boost reach for existing products.

When creating a views remarketing campaign, Amazon recommends using the Products as well as Categories tab. Selecting “advertised products” as well as “similar to advertised products” and the category your product is in as well as complementary categories will help you broaden your reach, and access a much larger audience.

It is also possible to add a variety of audience segments to the same ad group. You can use the reporting provided to determine which segments are performing well and, for example, remarket to shoppers that have viewed your advertised products and add audiences of a specific category or brand.

Tip: Aim for larger audience segments to achieve greater reach for your campaign. If you receive the error message “Audience is too narrow,” you need to expand your target group segment by changing the parameters

To ensure the campaign will run all day, Amazon recommends setting a daily budget of 100 USD/EUR/GBP/CAD or 400 DH. You can adjust the budget at any time, but Amazon recommends starting here and adjusting in the future based on results.

The default bid is set to 50 USD/EUR/GBP/CAD or 2 DH and can be increased or decreased depending on how much you want to pay per click. It is also possible to set different bid amounts for each selected audience in your campaign.

You can tailor the amount you are willing to spend on each specific group to help you achieve maximum results. For even more specification, you can use the downloadable reports to determine how your ads are performing in each segment, and further adjust your bids accordingly. Audience interests is a middle funnel strategy, allowing advertisers to target audiences that have recently viewed specific categories. This targeting strategy allows advertisers to build profiles of their audiences by looking at their interests in more of an abstract manner in order to gain brand awareness and recognition.

For example, if you are advertising products for baby items, you would target an audience of new parents, including categories like car seats, but also coffee machines and groceries. With the Interests strategy, you are assuming that the audiences looking at these categories are also likely to be interested in your products.

Advertisers can showcase their products to new audiences whose behaviors within the last 90 days have implied interest in products that fall into specific segments. In a single campaign for Audiences Interests, advertisers can add only one product within one campaign and choose from a variety of categories that are relevant to the selected product. Advertisers may select more than one category or subcategory, but may not create any new.

These ads appear on product detail pages and shopping results pages on Amazon. Pricing for Interests ads is on a cost-per-click basis. The DSP is a complex platform that allows advertising both on and off Amazon. Both advertisers who sell their products on Amazon and those that do not have the ability to programmatically reach audiences across the web with display, video and audio ads on Amazon sites, apps and through its publishing partners and third-party exchanges. In summary, it offers a variety of benefits including:
  • Display ads on and off of Amazon
  • Cross-device campaigns
  • Dynamic pricing based on CPM (Sponsored Ads is CPC)
  • Increased KPIs to understand your customer and reportings available with a variety of insights
  • Audience targeting based on: age, gender, location and behavior, devices
  • Advertiser-specific audiences based on advertisers’ data
  • More specific and sophisticated creatives that appeal more specifically to the customer (i.e. different CTA’s like “Add to Cart” for customers with more tentative buying behavior, or including a customer review)
  • Go beyond the entry-level ad offered by Sponsored Ads