How can Amazon’s new Sponsored Display features drive performance?

Amazon has 43 million active monthly visitors, and over 150 million loyal paid Prime members globally, and these numbers are only growing. Brands looking to drive ecommerce performance should be utilising this marketplace, and its advertising options, to showcase their products to a global audience.

Typically, when launching campaigns on Amazon, advertisers tend to start with Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands, but we wanted to highlight how the newly-launched features in Sponsored Display are quickly becoming an essential part of your Amazon ad strategy.

Let’s recap on Sponsored Display

Sponsored Display ads allow for auto-generated creatives and display on product detail pages – as well as a handful of other pages on both mobile and desktop. Unlike with Sponsored Products or Sponsored Brands campaigns, keywords are not the focus for Sponsored Display. Instead, these campaigns are built around product, category and, most recently, audience targeting.

Sponsored Display ads are customisable, so they can be tailored to highlight the product and the brand in order to drive engagement and visibility. Within the advert, you have the ability to include a brand logo, headline and product image.

Until quite recently, Sponsored Display options have been quite restrictive, with advertisers only able to contextually target shoppers in placements related to specific products or categories. These initial options were useful for targeting your own product for cross-sell, product discovery and competitor products, as well as blocking out competitor products and accessing impressions and market share of rival products.

Figure one. Examples of product detail page ad placements

Last year, Amazon updated Sponsored Display ads to introduce targeting options that were based on user interests, and the ability to retarget shoppers based on views of similar products. The launch of these features was the catalyst for further developments which now mean we can use Sponsored Display adverts to reach the most relevant shoppers at various stages in the purchase funnel. Sponsored Display ads are now far more versatile and offer a host of refinement options.

So what’s new?

Further targeting options

Amazon has been working really hard to evolve the Sponsored Display product in the last couple of years, and recent changes have opened up new opportunities in how we can use them. New targeting options mean you can build a more granular strategy to reach shoppers in many more placements on-and off Amazon – more on this later.

Alongside contextual targeting options, we can now choose to target specific consumer audiences based on their shopping history and behaviours. This means our ads can now be shown to more relevant shoppers anywhere within the Amazon ecosystem – and not just alongside products we have chosen. So for example, if you’re selling shoes, your ads will no longer be limited to the pages specific to the product/category you have targeted. Instead, they will appear for shoppers who are in-market for shoes across any page on Amazon.

Placements outside of Amazon

From this month we are now able to target shoppers outside of the Amazon ecosystem, through Sponsored Display ad placements. This functionality has been available in the US for a little while but has now been rolled out to other marketplaces, including the UK. This update significantly increases the available inventory and reach of Sponsored Display ads.

Amazon DSP vs Sponsored Display

These additions to Sponsored Display allows for a more sophisticated advertising approach which includes a number of options that were previously only available by using Amazon’s DSP. Furthermore, Sponsored Display ads are bought on a cost-per-click basis and are available from within the Sponsored Ads interface making them really simple to set up and more accessible than DSP. For this reason, Sponsored Display ads are a great way to test the water before launching Amazon DSP campaigns.

The Sponsored Display updates mentioned in this article are hot off the press. So there is no better time to start planning and testing out these new targeting options to get ahead of your competitors. To find out more information on Amazon advertising options, or how to drive performance and visbility across the marketplace, get in touch.

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