The Amazon Demand-Side Platform (DSP): An Advertiser’s Compendium (2024)
perpetua-2024-blog-cover-Amazon DSP An Advertiser-s Compendium
30 min

The Amazon Demand-Side Platform (DSP): An Advertiser’s Compendium (2024)

Martin Saunders, June 5, 2024

The Amazon demand-side platform (DSP) is the premier system for advertisers to connect with shoppers at scale, on almost any device, on and off of Amazon through programmatic ad purchasing.

With the Amazon DSP, advertisers can create impactful video and display ads and use Amazon’s unparalleled consumer purchase data to target highly qualified audiences at all stages of the customer purchase journey. All of this while automating purchases of online ad space from the Amazon demand-side platform’s extensive and exclusive ad inventory.

This compendium was designed to be your source of truth for everything related to Amazon DSP advertising. Whether you're looking for explanations of what it is and how it works, details on specific inventory types, or tips and strategies on how to set up and optimize your campaigns, our compendium can help you along every step of your Amazon DSP journey.

What's new in our Amazon DSP compendium in 2024?

As well as ensuring all the information is up-to-date and in line with our recommended best practices for 2024, we’ve expanded our Amazon DSP compendium to include the following:

Part 1: The fundamentals: Amazon DSP advertising

In part 1 of our guide to Amazon DSP, we run through the most important fundamentals, from what Amazon DSP is, to why you should use it and how much it costs.

What is the Amazon demand-side platform (DSP)?

The Amazon demand-side platform (DSP) allows advertisers to buy video and display ads at scale, both on and off of Amazon, using programmatic ad purchasing. Harnessing the power of shopper and advertising inventory data, programmatic ad purchasing automatically selects which digital ad slots to buy, and at what price.

Top sellers use cutting-edge advertising tools

Perpetua offers the most advanced Amazon PPC solution on the market, with all the tools, resources, and expert support you need to build successful campaigns for your products. And what’s more, it couldn’t be easier to get started. Request a free demo today to discover the industry’s premier optimization and intelligence software for Amazon Ads.

So what can Amazon DSP advertising do for you? Here’s a quick summary of the most exciting aspects of the Amazon demand-side platform:

  • Amazon-exclusive insights and shopping signals to target relevant audiences

  • robust reporting to track progress towards your goals

  • availability for advertisers that don’t sell on Amazon and those that do

Growth 101 with the Amazon DSP

If you're looking for a quick run-down of the most important aspects of the Amazon DSP, then check out this video from our Growth 101 series. Here, Perpetua's Ben Turner walks you through how you can use the Amazon DSP to amplify your brand and boost sales. Once you’ve watched the video, you’ll be well prepped to dive into the details covered in this comprehensive guide.

What is the difference between Amazon DSP and Sponsored Ads?

Sponsored Ads refers to Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Sponsored Display ads. Generally, each ad type is a self-service solution that targets a distinct area of the advertising funnel. Sponsored Ads appear primarily on Amazon, where shoppers go in order to consider a product or make a purchase.

The Amazon DSP, however, offers advertisers full-funnel advertising capabilities—both on and off of Amazon—with the option to choose between self-service and managed-service. While Amazon did start trialing off-Amazon Sponsored Products ads in 2023, the Amazon DSP still offers far greater off-Amazon advertising capabilities than Sponsored Ads, meaning it can reach shoppers earlier in the purchase journey, driving brand awareness and consideration.

Funnel Infographic: Amazon Sponsored Ads vs. Amazon DSP

The Amazon demand-side platform (DSP) and Sponsored Ads also differ in their eligibility requirements, targeting mechanisms, and cost structure. We’ve summarized all the essential differences in the table below.

MANAGEMENT

SELF-SERIVCE SOLUTIONS ON AMAZON

SELF- AND MANAGED SOLUTIONS ON & OFF AMAZON

Platform

Amazon Sponsored Ads

Amazon DSP

Name

Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, Sponsored Display

Display Ads, Video Ads

Do you have to sell on Amazon?

Yes

No

Where do they show?

On Amazon and (for Sponsored Display) off Amazon on third-party websites and apps

On Amazon, Amazon devices, Amazon owned websites, other websites. Video Ads also appear within video content.

Who can buy them?

Amazon Vendors, Amazon Sellers (enrollment in Amazon Brand Registry required for Sponsored Brands/Display)

Generally, marketing budget of min 15K/month needed, though exact requirements depend on use of Amazon or an agency and self- or managed service.

Eligibility details

Must be eligible categories (not used, not adult) and Buy Box-eligible (performance-based)

If advertising directly through Amazon, minimum spend requirements apply.

Where do the ads direct the user to?

Amazon pages

Any page on or off Amazon

How are the ad placements charged?

PPC – Pay per Click (also vCPM for Sponsored Display)

CPM – cost per thousand impressions

What are the targeting options?

Keyword, ASIN, categories, brands

Behavioral, Lifestyle, Contextual, Remarketing, Audience Lookalike, Advertiser Audiences and more, including advanced AMC Audiences.

Another core difference between Amazon Sponsored Ads and the Amazon DSP is in how success is measured. As Amazon DSP ads tend to reach users higher up the funnel than Amazon Sponsored Ads, different metrics are important. You can learn more about how to best measure the performance of your Amazon DSP campaigns later in this article: Analyzing Amazon DSP campaign performance.

What are the benefits of using the Amazon demand-side platform (DSP) for advertising?

In the first half of 2022, Perpetua conducted a DSP study that analyzed approximately $18 million in Amazon DSP advertising spend in the United States. Its findings highlight four core benefits that the Amazon demand-side platform provides. We found that advertisers using the Amazon DSP see:

  • Benefit 1: improved Sponsored Products performance

  • Benefit 2: a larger share of mid- to long-term purchases

  • Benefit 3: a larger share of new-to-brand customers

  • Benefit 4: performance in line with, and sometimes surpassing, Sponsored Ads

Benefit 1: The Amazon DSP boosts the performance of Sponsored Products ads

Perpetua Sponsored Products ads perform better when used in combination with the Amazon DSP

Perpetua’s analysis found that Sponsored Products ads performed better when used in combination with the Amazon DSP. Conversion rate was 19% higher for Sponsored Products ads that were run alongside the Amazon DSP than for Sponsored Products ads used by themselves. Similarly, Sponsored Products ROAS was 3% higher when used alongside the Amazon DSP.

Top sellers use cutting-edge advertising tools

Perpetua offers the most advanced Amazon PPC solution on the market, with all the tools, resources, and expert support you need to build successful campaigns for your products. And what’s more, it couldn’t be easier to get started. Request a free demo today to discover the industry’s premier optimization and intelligence software for Amazon Ads.

Benefit 2: Streaming TV (STV) video ads and the Amazon DSP see a large share of mid- to long-term purchases

STV ads see the largest share of mid- to long-term conversions, followed by Amazon DSP

Although they are a part of the Amazon demand-side platform, for this section of our analysis we placed Streaming TV ads (STV) into a separate segment to better understand what type of customers these brand-centric, large-screen-format ads reach.

We found that 70% of STV purchases occurred within 3-14 days after first ad interaction, followed by 33% for DSP purchases (excluding STV), and only 9% for Sponsored Products.

These results reflect that DSP and STV ads are more focused on driving awareness and new-to-brand sales than Sponsored Products, and that they are an effective way of building mid- to long-term demand.

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Benefit 3: Streaming TV (STV) video ads see a greater share of new-to-brand customers than other Amazon ad types

Customers who have seen an Amazon DSP STV ad are more likely to be new to brand than those who have not

Advertisers looking to introduce new customers to their brand and product portfolio often use the Amazon DSP to run Streaming TV video ads (STV, also known as OTT).

Our study showed that the share of new-to-brand purchasers was higher among those customers who had seen an STV ad than those who had seen only other types of advertisements on Amazon. Among customers who were influenced by an STV ad, 57% were new-to-brand versus only 45% among customers who were not exposed to STV.

These results suggest that advertisers who use STV ads with the Amazon DSP are more likely to be successful in gaining new-to-brand customers than those that do not use STV.

Benefit 4: Amazon DSP advertising is high-performing

Amazon DSP ad efficiency is in line with, and in some cases better than, Sponsored Ads

We found that the Amazon demand-side platform’s ROAS was 43% higher than Sponsored Display, 9% higher than Sponsored Brands, and only slightly lower (-4%) than Sponsored Products ads. Note that for our ROAS analysis, we used the standard attribution models for each ad format—"last-click" conversion for Sponsored Products and "view-through” conversion for the Amazon DSP.

Top sellers use cutting-edge advertising tools

Perpetua offers the most advanced Amazon PPC solution on the market, with all the tools, resources, and expert support you need to build successful campaigns for your products. And what’s more, it couldn’t be easier to get started. Request a free demo today to discover the industry’s premier optimization and intelligence software for Amazon Ads.

How much does the Amazon demand-side platform (DSP) cost?

The cost to use the Amazon DSP depends on several factors, like the country you’ll use it from, the service model you choose, and the size of your advertising budget. There is also a minimum ad spend threshold that you will need to meet.

For those running their Amazon DSP ads with Perpetua, there are no strict minimums, but recommended amounts that advertisers should aim to spend to make their Amazon DSP activities worthwhile.

Service Model | Region

North America

EMEA

Managed Services

$15,000/month

$15,000/month

Self Service

$75,000/month

$25,000/month

Product

$75,000/month

$75,000/month

In addition to the minimum DSP ad spend requirements, a self-service or managed-service provider will typically charge a minimum monthly fee. The fee can be either a set amount or a percentage of ad spend, depending on your advertising budget. Please note that the minimum ad spend requirements above are for advertisers in the United States. For more information on your country or specific requirements, contact Amazon or Perpetua.

Case study: Driving branded search and new-to-brand sales with the Amazon DSP

One core benefit of upper-funnel advertising with the Amazon DSP is the ability to work intentionally with specific audiences. Crocs, the global shoe giant, was able to focus Amazon DSP budget on InMarket and Lifestyle audiences to build awareness and capture attention from shoppers who hadn't yet purchased from the brand.

As a result of their approach, Crocs saw a boost for branded search and an increase of 6x in new-to-brand sales from their 3P inventory exchange. For more details check out the full case study.

How Crocs drove a 147% increase in branded search on the Amazon DSP

CTA Image

Part 2: What makes the Amazon DSP unique

In this section of our Amazon DSP compendium, we look at what makes the Amazon DSP unique, both in terms of the key differentiators between the Amazon DSP and other forms of Amazon advertising, and how the Amazon DSP stands out from other demand-side platforms.

Leveraging the Amazon Marketing Cloud for deeper Amazon DSP insights

Using the Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC), brands can take their Amazon DSP advertising to the next level. Access to metrics like add-to-cart or Subscribe & Save opens up enhanced reporting capabilities and opportunities to build audience segments tailored to specific goals. With AMC, you can gain insight into how users interact with your ads across the funnel—including Amazon DSP and Sponsored Ads—and how your ad campaigns complement each other. Learn more about leveraging the Amazon Marketing Cloud with these resources:

Amazon DSP for non-endemic advertisers

A unique aspect of the Amazon demand-side platform is its availability to non-endemic advertisers. This means that you don't have to be selling on Amazon to run Amazon DSP ads. While Amazon Sponsored Ads always point to an on-Amazon property like a Product Detail Page or brand store, Amazon DSP ads can direct users to brands' own sites.

This is of particular interest for brands in verticals that aren't represented on Amazon's marketplace—think service industries like insurance or hospitality. With Amazon DSP, large, non-endemic brands can access Amazon's audience data and leverage the targeting opportunities that the Amazon DSP offers.

Furthermore, the Amazon DSP is the only way non-endemic advertisers can appear on Amazon's Owned and Operated inventory, so this unlocks additional reach on platforms like Twitch, Prime Video, or IMDb.

Audio ads on Amazon Music

Though still a rather niche inventory type, advertisers can run audio ads on Amazon’s audio streaming service, Amazon Music. These short, 10-30 second adverts not only provide a unique way of communicating a brand’s message direct to consumers’ living rooms—or wherever else they might be—but also make interactive advertising possible. If a consumer is listening via their Alexa, they can respond to a call-to-action in the advert simply by speaking, and make an immediate purchase.

Amazon DSP vs other demand-side platforms

The Amazon DSP isn’t the only demand-side platform, with Google Display & Video 360 (DV360) and The Trade Desk (TTD) the two established leaders in the space. In fact, a Digiday survey of ad execs found that 64% had used Google DV360 in the past 12 months, and 56% had used TTD. These figures are well ahead of the third-placed Amazon DSP, which came in at 33%.

So why is uptake of the different demand-side platforms so different? Let’s take a look at some core features that make each platform unique.

Inventory

Google DV360 stands out as offering access to video ad placements on YouTube, which are not available via other demand-side platforms. The Amazon DSP can also exclusive placements on Amazon’s own properties. The Trade Desk, while not offering first-party owned placements, is considered less limited with its ‘vast range of inventory across multiple exchanges.’

Access to data

Access to first-party consumer data from Google search and Google’s other sources makes sophisticated targeting possible with Google DV360. The Trade Desk cannot boast such first-party data, and the Amazon DSP uses Amazon’s data, which is primarily shopping and purchase data from Amazon users. These different data sources impact the capabilities of each demand-side platform around available targeting strategies.

Integrations

The Trade Desk emphasizes seamless integration with third-party ad tech providers, while Google DV360 integrates with Google Analytics and the rest of Google’s tech stack. The Amazon DSP, of course, is best integrated with the Amazon tech platform, making it most advantageous for those selling on Amazon.

Closed loop vs open internet

The Trade Desk is a fierce advocate of the value and importance of the open internet, while Google DV360 and the Amazon DSP have the advantages offered by closed loop systems that offer tighter, more robust tracking. While this could be viewed as an ideological issue, advertisers should study the pros and cons of the different options and how they relate to what they are trying to achieve with their DSP advertising.


Part 3: Amazon demand-side platform (DSP) inventory, targeting, and creative types

The Amazon DSP provides advertisers with a variety of different creative, targeting, and inventory types to help them achieve their advertising goals. Because a wealth of choices can make for difficult decisions, we’ll go through all of them below, explaining key features and use cases.

Amazon DSP advertising inventory

Before getting into the different types of Amazon demand-side platform advertising inventory, let’s take a look at what the term ad inventory means, and how it is different from a supply source.

What is Amazon DSP ad inventory? And how is it different from a supply source?

Ad inventory refers to the channel where you want to display your ads. An example of an ad inventory type would be Amazon Owned and Operated mobile (AZOO MB). A supply source is the specific exchange or site your ads will show on. So for example, Amazon mobile app, Amazon mobile web, and IMDB mobile web are three examples of AZOO MB supply sources.

Amazon DSP Inventory vs. Supply Source

Thinking of inventory types as one level above supply sources can help conceptualize the relationship.

Types of Amazon demand-side platform inventory

The Amazon DSP’s advertising inventory allows you to reach Amazon audiences at scale wherever they are: on a desktop or laptop, phone, or streaming device. The Amazon DSP offers the following inventory types:

  • Amazon owned & operated mobile (AZOO MB), desktop (AZOO DS), and mobile app (Mobile AAP): exclusive inventory from Amazon retail sites and O&O properties such as IMDb

  • Amazon Publisher Services (AZPS): inventory from leading publishers via Amazon Publisher Service's header bidding integrations

  • Third-party exchanges (3P): inventory on sites not owned or operated by Amazon, but available through leading exchanges such as Google Authorized Buyers

Top sellers use cutting-edge advertising tools

Perpetua offers the most advanced Amazon PPC solution on the market, with all the tools, resources, and expert support you need to build successful campaigns for your products. And what’s more, it couldn’t be easier to get started. Request a free demo today to discover the industry’s premier optimization and intelligence software for Amazon Ads.

When setting up your Amazon DSP campaigns, we recommend using a variety of inventory types. This provides scale to achieve your campaign goals. It also diversifies ad formats and content for all customer touchpoints. And finally, by utilizing different supply sources, you can see which supply source is performing best and optimize your campaign accordingly.

To give you an idea of the performance of each supply source, we’ve provided H1 2022 benchmarks from our Amazon DSP Deep-Dive. For more, read the report.

Perpetua Amazon DSP performance by inventory type

Amazon DSP Metric

Definition

CPM

Total cost per thousand impressions

CTR

Click-through rate (total clicks ÷ total impressions)

CPC

Cost per click

DPVR

The number of detail page view conversions relative to ad impressions (DPVR = DPV ÷ Impressions)

CPDPV

The average cost to acquire a detail page view

PR

Purchase rate (purchases ÷ impressions)

NTB PR

New-to-brand purchase rate (new-to-brand purchases ÷ impressions)

ROAS

Return on ad spend (ad revenue ÷ ad spend)

AOV

Average order value (ad revenue ÷ number of orders)

Targeting types

Using the Amazon demand-side platform, advertisers can locate, engage with, and activate shoppers at all stages of the purchase journey. Each targeting type maps to a different stage of the advertising funnel.

Amazon DSP Ad Targeting Types

The following provides a summary of what each targeting type does, sorted by where in the funnel the audience is:

  • Top of funnel

    • In market: People with activity that indicates they’re likely to purchase in a certain category

    • Lifestyle: People whose shopping activity indicates a lifestyle similar to the one targets

    • Demographic: People who have certain desired characteristics according to age, household income, education, gender, or marital status

  • Middle of funnel:

    • Search prospecting: Consumers who searched on Amazon and your specific ASIN appeared in the search results page

    • Competitor conquesting: Shoppers who have recently viewed, but not purchased, competitor products

    • Complementary: Shoppers who previously purchased complementary products

  • Bottom of funnel:

    • Contextual retargeting: Targeting the detail pages of products that are frequently viewed or purchased with the products on your ad

    • Cross-selling: Consumers who have purchased complementary products within your brand’s catalog

    • Retention: People who purchased a product in the last 365 days but not in the last X number of days, where you choose the threshold

    • Retargeting: Shoppers who have recently viewed your brand’s products, but have not yet made a purchase

Creative types

The Amazon demand-side platform offers ad creatives that can be used to target any area of the advertising funnel. Generally, video ads are most effective at driving awareness and consideration, while display ads create purchase intent and turn shoppers into customers.

Amazon DSP Creatives

Video ad types

The two main video ad types offered via the Amazon DSP are Streaming TV ads (STV) and online video ads (OLV).

Top sellers use cutting-edge advertising tools

Perpetua offers the most advanced Amazon PPC solution on the market, with all the tools, resources, and expert support you need to build successful campaigns for your products. And what’s more, it couldn’t be easier to get started. Request a free demo today to discover the industry’s premier optimization and intelligence software for Amazon Ads.

Streaming TV ads (STV, also known as OTT)

Amazon STV ad example

Streaming TV (STV) ads play before and during content on streaming platforms. Similar to traditional television commercials, they cannot be skipped and they cannot be clicked. STV ads appear on services like IMDb TV, Fire TV, and 3rd party on-demand apps. Additionally, Amazon introduced STV ads into Prime Video shows and movies in 2023, greatly expanding the potential reach of this format. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when creating STV ads:

  • A logo on the creative throughout the ad can help increase brand recall and relevance.

  • Selecting the CTA carefully can ensure it's aligned with the campaign objective.

  • Emotional immediacy and original messaging can help to capture your audience’s attention and create a memorable brand experience.

Online video ads (OLV)

OLV Ad Example

Online video ads (OLV) ads appear on web browsers and apps before or during video content. These ads are clickable and can lead back to Amazon product detail pages or to your own website. The following best practices can help you craft highly-effective OLV ads:

  • Introduce your brand early in the video, especially if you’re including speech. A study by Amazon showed that detail page view rate (DPVR) fell by 22% when speech was delayed by even one second in an ad.

  • Avoid micro-videos. The same study showed that videos that lasted between 24 and 29 seconds had a DPVR 181% higher than video ads that were 6 seconds or less.

  • Use consistent voices. The optimal number of speakers is 2, increasing DPVR by 10% compared to just 1 speaker. More than 2 speakers may decrease DPVR by up to 45%.

You can find more video ad best practices for the Amazon DSP here.

Display ads

Now we can look at the various options for display ad creatives available to Amazon DSP advertisers.

Responsive eCommerce creative (REC)

Responsive eCommerce Creative (REC)

Responsive eCommerce creatives (REC) can generate an ad for up to 20 ASINs per creative—and they can be served on all five Amazon DSP inventory sources. Amazon provides reporting across all creative sizes so advertisers can determine which placement performs best for each creative.

Top sellers use cutting-edge advertising tools

Perpetua offers the most advanced Amazon PPC solution on the market, with all the tools, resources, and expert support you need to build successful campaigns for your products. And what’s more, it couldn’t be easier to get started. Request a free demo today to discover the industry’s premier optimization and intelligence software for Amazon Ads.

Dynamic eCommerce Ads (DEA)

Amazon used to offer a creative type called Dynamic eCommerce Ads (DEA), which you may still find referenced in some literature. However, DEA ads were sunset in late 2022. The table below, which outlines many of the key differences between DEAs and RECs, makes it easy to understand why DEAs were deprecated.

Perpetua Dynamic e-Commerce Ads (DEA) vs. Responsive e-Commerce Creative (REC)

More details about Amazon’s eCommerce display creatives can be found here.

Custom image creative (Custom Image)

Custom Image creative (Cumstom Image) example

Custom image creative (custom image) uses brand-specific design, layout, and copy, replacing the product detail page image. This ad type links to product detail pages, store pages, custom landing pages, or Whole Foods Market.

Amazon Desktop, Amazon mobile, and third-party websites are the inventories where custom image ads can be served. This creative type is ideal for an advertiser who is looking to craft a more brand-centric experience because it provides the opportunity to use brand-specific messaging, brand images, and branded fonts.

Display ads best practices

For display advertising campaigns, focus on clarity and getting your brand message across concisely. Here are some guidelines to craft ad creative that will appeal to shoppers:

  • Imagery should be clear, either product-focused or lifestyle; it’s best to keep the product as identifiable as possible.

  • The logo should be visible to identify your brand and encourage recall and affinity.

  • Copy should be simple and direct, focusing on the unique features of the product.

  • Headlines should communicate a strong statement that provokes action.

For more information, visit the Amazon DSP Help Center where you can find additional best practices and strategic advice.

Top sellers use cutting-edge advertising tools

Perpetua offers the most advanced Amazon PPC solution on the market, with all the tools, resources, and expert support you need to build successful campaigns for your products. And what’s more, it couldn’t be easier to get started. Request a free demo today to discover the industry’s premier optimization and intelligence software for Amazon Ads.

Performance benchmarks by creative type (H1 2022)

Amazon DSP performance by creative type

* Note that, though no longer available, the DEA and DEA Custom Images are included here for completeness, as they had not yet been sunset when this study was conducted.


Part 4: Goals, campaign setup, evaluation, and optimization

Now that you've got a handle on what the Amazon demand-side platform is, and the range of options it offers, it's time to learn how to get started. This section of our compendium looks at setting goals, building campaigns, and evaluating and optimizing your Amazon DSP ad performance.

Setting goals for your Amazon demand-side platform campaign

Before setting up your campaign, it’s essential to have a clear goal. This is especially true because you can use the Amazon DSP to target any area of the funnel or multiple areas at once—and because certain creative, inventory, and targeting types are better suited to some goals than others. To keep things simple, we'll outline three goals that can guide your decision-making as you set up your Amazon DSP advertising campaign:

  • Brand awareness: The objective of brand awareness is to introduce people to your company and its products, and to ensure that your brand stays top of mind throughout the purchase journey.

  • Consideration: A consideration campaign aims to address a pain point, highlight an interest, or answer a question for consumers so that you, the advertiser, can show how your product meets the shopper’s need.

  • Conversion: This is the end goal for every marketer—sales. You’ve introduced yourself and educated the audience about your offer. Now it’s time to stand out, differentiate your products from the competition, and encourage a purchase.

Top sellers use cutting-edge advertising tools

Perpetua offers the most advanced Amazon PPC solution on the market, with all the tools, resources, and expert support you need to build successful campaigns for your products. And what’s more, it couldn’t be easier to get started. Request a free demo today to discover the industry’s premier optimization and intelligence software for Amazon Ads.

We’ll pick up with more tips on how to structure and optimize your campaigns for the goals we’ve outlined above in the next section.

You have to introduce yourself before you can take someone on a date; similarly, brands also need to say hello—i.e., initiate brand awareness—before they can expect shoppers to become customers.

Amy Mckissock, Social Media Strategist @ Perpetua

Campaign setup

In this section, we cover all the key settings you need to understand when creating your Amazon DSP campaigns. We also talk about what “self-service” and “managed-service” mean in practice.

Managed-service vs. self-service

Before getting into the finer points around campaign setup, advertisers interested in using the Amazon DSP need to understand that they have two potential options: self-service and managed-service.

With the managed-service option, someone else will take care of the campaign strategy, execution, and optimization. This is the ideal solution for an advertiser that lacks the know-how or time to develop and implement their own advertising strategy.

In contrast, an advertiser interested in a self-service solution would need the time and know-how to implement and fine-tune their own campaigns on an ongoing basis.

Optimize 20% better than Amazon

Perpetua’s always-on optimization dynamically shifts budgets between line items based on performance, and even outperforms Amazon’s native optimization by over 20%. Get started.

Understanding the views in the DSP console

The Amazon DSP Hierarchy

The Amazon DSP consists of a hierarchy of different levels. From the Amazon DSP campaign manager page, check the top left-hand side of the screen to identify which level of the hierarchy you're on. Your level will be accompanied by information about your selection (advertiser name, order name, line item name, creative name, etc.).

Top sellers use cutting-edge advertising tools

Perpetua offers the most advanced Amazon PPC solution on the market, with all the tools, resources, and expert support you need to build successful campaigns for your products. And what’s more, it couldn’t be easier to get started. Request a free demo today to discover the industry’s premier optimization and intelligence software for Amazon Ads.

Order setup best practices

Once you have established yourself as an advertiser within your new entity in the Amazon DSP console, the first step to setting up a new campaign is to create an order. Remember that you cannot delete orders once they are created, so consider the following details carefully before proceeding.

Order naming convention

Following a uniform naming convention for your orders will make navigating them and analyzing their performance easier. We recommend including the product name, the targeting tactic, the goal KPI, and the level of the funnel in your order name. This way, looking at all the orders in the advertiser view, you can quickly identify an order’s advertised product, its goal, and the success criterion.

Our recommended best practice for naming orders is as follows:

  • Template: Product_Tactic_GoalKPI_LevelOfFunnel

  • Example: Playstation5_Retargeting_ROAS_BOF

Selecting an order goal and KPI

Next, you’ll need to select the goal for your order and the KPI that best aligns with the creative you plan to use. Below is a table to help you decide which KPI to choose. Note that Streaming TV (STV) ads are non-clickable and non-skippable, so any video metrics that gauge viewer clicks or completions are unsuitable for STV ads.

GOAL

KPI

QUESTION IT ANSWERS

Awareness

Reach

How many people are being exposed to my brand?

Awareness - Online video ads only

Video Completion Rate (VCR)

How engaged is the viewer with the ad?

Awareness - Online video ads only

Cost per video completion (CPVC)

How efficient is this ad at exposing viewers to my brand?

Consideration

Click-through rate (CTR)

Is the ad driving consideration?

Consideration

Cost Per Click (CPC)

How efficient is the ad at driving consideration?

Consideration - Online Video Ads only

Video Completion Rate (VCR)

How engaged is the viewer with the ad?

Consideration - Online Video Ads only

Cost Per Video Completion (CPVC)

How efficient is this ad at exposing viewers to my brand?

Consideration

Cost Per Detail Page View (CPDPV)

How cost-efficient is the ad in getting users to your product detail page?

Consideration

Detail Page View Rate (DPVR)

How well does this ad drive product consideration?

Purchases

Return On Ad Spend (ROAS)

How efficient is this individual ad?

Purchases

Total Return On Ad Spend (TROAS)

How is advertising impacting my total sales, including brand halo sales?

For your bid strategy, we recommend choosing “While spending full budget, maximize performance.” We’ve found that campaigns with this setting pace better—i.e., spend more consistently and evenly—than those that use the “maximize performance” setting.

Max bid is the primary bid control when using the “while spending full budget, maximize performance” bid strategy, and “base bid” is the primary control when using the “maximize performance” bid strategy.

Budget and delivery

Flights Screen Shot

Flights allow you to further segment your budget by date. Up to twelve flights can be created at a time. Our recommended best practice is to create one flight per month.

The budget cap option limits the order ad spend by day or month, allowing you to further calibrate your budget. We recommend setting a monthly budget cap, which ensures that your full budget will be spent each month and that your campaign will run with optimal pacing.

Top sellers use cutting-edge advertising tools

Perpetua offers the most advanced Amazon PPC solution on the market, with all the tools, resources, and expert support you need to build successful campaigns for your products. And what’s more, it couldn’t be easier to get started. Request a free demo today to discover the industry’s premier optimization and intelligence software for Amazon Ads.

Line item setup best practices

After you’ve created your order, you’re ready to set up line items. Each line item type provides access to different devices, inventory types, supply sources, and targeting options.

Our recommended best practice is to create one line item for each of the five inventory types. Having line items segmented by supply source will make it easier to identify which is performing best, allowing you to allocate resources accordingly.

Best Practice Order Setup

Line item settings

Type: Choose the type of creative you would like to run (display, video, etc.).

Name: In your line item name, include the product being advertised, the targeting tactic, and the inventory type. Our best practice naming convention goes as follows:

  • Template: Product_Tactic_InventoryType.

  • Example: PlayStation5_Retargeting_AZOO_DS.

Category: Select the category that aligns best with the advertised product. For maximum reach, you can choose the whole category that encompasses your advertised product. For example, if you’re advertising lipstick and want to maximize reach, you would select the “Beauty & Fashion” category.

Inventory: Choose the inventory the line item will run on. By default, the line item will run on all available real-time bidding exchanges, Amazon-owned sites, and Amazon Publisher Services (APS) inventory.

A recommended best practice is to separate line items by Amazon-owned sites, APS, and 3rd party bidding exchanges to have more control over bucketed bidding strategies.

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Because the selected inventory limits your line item and creative type choices, you should know where you'd like your ads to serve or the supply source before setting up your campaigns.

Below are two tables that map inventory types to device type, ad environment, line item type, and supply source for display and video ads. You can use this for reference when creating your campaigns.

Inventory types for Amazon DSP display ads

The table shows which line item types and supply sources you need for your display ads, depending on the inventory, device, and type of ad environment.

Inventory

Device

Ad Environment

Line Item

Supply Source

Owned and operated (O&O)

Desktop

Desktop web

Standard display

Amazon IMDb

Owned and operated (O&O)

Mobile

mWeb and mApp

Amazon mobile display

Amazon mobile app Amazon mobile web IMDb mobile web

Open exchange inventories

Desktop

Desktop web

Standard display

Amazon Publisher Services Third-party ad exchanges

Third-party

Mobile

Mobile web

AAP – mobile app

Amazon Publisher Services Third-party ad exchanges

Third-party

Mobile

Mobile web

Standard display

IMDb mobile web Amazon Publisher Services Third-party ad exchanges

Private marketplace (PMP)

Desktop

Desktop web

Standard display

PMP deals

Private marketplace (PMP)

Mobile

Mobile web

Standard display

PMP deals

Inventory types for Amazon DSP video ads

The table shows which line item types and supply sources you need for your video ads, depending on the inventory, device, and type of video campaign.

Inventory

Device

Video Campaign Type

Line Item Type

Supply Source

Open exchange inventories

Desktop

Streaming TV ads (STV)

Video

Amazon Publisher Services Third-party ad exchanges

Third-party

Mobile

Streaming TV ads (STV)

Video

Amazon Publisher Services Third-party ad exchanges

Owned and operated (O&O)

Mobile

Streaming TV ads (STV)

Video

Twitch IMDb

STV PMPs

Desktop

Streaming TV ads (STV)

Video

PMP deals

STV PMPs

Mobile

Streaming TV ads (STV)

Video

PMP deals

STV

Desktop/mobile/Connected TV

O&O

Video

STV

O&O PMPs

Contingent on PMP terms

O&O

Video

PMP deals

Twitch

Desktop/mobile/Connected TV

O&O

Video

Twitch

Targeting: This is where you can select the device type, the mobile environment (web vs. app), region, and more.

Audiences: Audiences allow you to reach shoppers in a highly-specific manner in the Amazon DSP. Amazon Ads offers two types of Amazon audiences based on shopping interactions:

  • Pre-built Amazon audiences based on Amazon shopping and streaming signals

  • Custom Amazon audiences based on shopping interactions with your brand’s products or related products in Amazon's store

Below, we go through a quick rundown of the different types of audiences you can target.

Amazon DSP Audiences

Audience Type

Description

Advertiser

Custom audiences based on your advertising data

Contextual

Product category audiences that reach Amazon customers when viewing products within specific categories in Amazon's store

Custom

Custom audiences based on interactions with your brand's products or related products

Demographic

Audiences based on age, gender, income level, education, geography, and household size

Device

Users visiting from specific devices or browsers

In-market

Groups of customers that have been browsing for products within a certain category in the last 30 days

Interest

Audiences based on what shoppers frequently browse and buy

Life event

Audiences shopping for products related to specific milestones in life, like moving, getting a pet, or having a child

Lifestyle

Based on shopping and viewing activities that suggest certain lifestyles, like gamers, movie enthusiasts, foodies, etc.

Lookalike

Shoppers that have similar purchase and browsing histories to existing customers

Third-party

Audiences based on off-Amazon activity that can provide a more holistic view of all the relevant audiences, both on and off of Amazon

Campaign setup best practices

Run cross-device campaigns to find shoppers wherever they are—on sites, apps, and devices. This will extend your reach and ensure your brand is always top of mind.

Segment line items. At the beginning of this section, we recommended bucketing your supply sources. Depending on the number of line items you’re creating, it may also make sense to break out your campaign’s line items by device and audience type. This added layer of segmentation will help you achieve more granular performance measurement, and it will allow you to optimize more easily.

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Build out audiences on both Amazon O&O inventory and across third-party sites and apps. Incorporating diverse inventory and supply sources into your campaign increases the likelihood of reaching relevant audiences.

Analyzing Amazon DSP campaign performance

Before fine-tuning your campaigns, you first need to understand what is working and what isn’t. Collecting Amazon DSP advertising performance data takes time because of the platform’s 14-day attribution window. Below, we explain the attribution model, plus important KPIs and reports that will help you measure performance.

The Amazon demand-side platform attribution model

Attribution models determine which ad should get credit for a conversion event. In the Amazon DSP, conversion events include purchases and other types of events, like viewing a detail page or adding an item to a cart.

The attribution model also determines the length of the “look-back window,” or the timespan within which an ad interaction can happen in order for it to be credited for a conversion event. This is why understanding how the Amazon DSP attribution model works is essential to interpreting the metrics in the Amazon DSP's reporting.

Perpetua The Amazon DSP uses a 14-day, “last-touch” attribution model

For display and video ads, the Amazon DSP uses a 14-day, "last-touch" attribution model. This means the conversion will be credited to the last customer touchpoint with an ad—that is, a view or a click—that took place up to 14 days before the conversion event.

The exception to this model is that clicks trump views. The last click that took place within the 14-day lookback window will receive credit, even if there are views that occur later.

Clicks trump views in the Amazon attribution model

For more information on the Amazon demand-side platform’s attribution model, check out this article.

Amazon demand-side platform (DSP) performance metrics

The Amazon DSP provides advertisers with metrics to track their performance at every stage of the customer purchase journey. That’s why our overview of the key metrics for evaluating your progress toward your goals is broken down by funnel stage.

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When analyzing the performance of your campaigns, it’s important to remember that results take time. Because of the Amazon DSP's 14-day attribution window, there may be a delay of up to 14 days in learning that one of your ads has been credited with a sale or another conversion event.

Amazon DSP performance metrics: Awareness

The table shows the key metrics for measuring Amazon DSP performance during the awareness stage of the funnel.

RELEVANT AWARNESS METRICS

DEFINITION

CALCULATION

Impressions

The number of views your ad receives.

# ad views

Click-through rate (CTR)

The percentage of people who clicked the ad out of everyone who saw it.

CTR = clicks ÷ impressions

Amazon DSP performance metrics: Consideration

The table shows the key metrics for measuring Amazon DSP performance during the consideration stage of the funnel.

RELEVANT CONSIDERATION METRICS

DEFINITION

CALCULATION

Detail page view rate (DPVR)

The number of detailed page view conversions relative to ad impressions.

DPVR = DPV ÷ impressions

Video completion rate (VCR)

The number of video completions relative to the number of video starts.

VCR = video complete ÷ video start.

eCPM

Total cost per thousand impressions.

eCPM = total cost/impressions x 1000

eCPATC

The average cost to acquire an Add to Cart conversion.

eCPATC = total cost ÷ ATC

eCPP

The average cost to acquire a purchase.

eCPP = total cost ÷ purchases

eCPVC

The average cost to acquire a video complete conversion.

eCPVC = total cost ÷ video complete

Amazon DSP performance metrics: Purchase

The table shows the key metrics for measuring Amazon DSP performance during the purchase stage of the funnel.

RELEVANT PURCHASE METRICS

DEFINITION

CALCULATION

Add to cart (ATC)

The number of times a promoted ASIN is added to a shopper’s cart

Units sold

The quantity of promoted products purchased.

Attributed sales

The total value of products sold attributed to your ads.

Purchase rate

The number of purchases relative to impressions.

Purchase rate = purchases ÷ impressions

Return on ad Spend (ROAS)

The ratio of attributed sales to spend.

ROAS = attributed sales ÷ spend

Amazon DSP performance metrics: Loyalty

The table shows the key metrics for measuring Amazon DSP performance during the loyalty stage of the funnel.

RELEVANT LOYALTY METRICS

DEFINITION

CALCULATION

Subscribe & Save subscriptions (SnSS)

The number of new Subscribe & Save subscriptions attributed to an ad view or click.

Subscribe & Save rate (SnSSR)

The number of Subscribe & Save subscriptions relative to the number of impressions.

SnSSR = SnSS ÷ impressions

This is just an overview of some of the metrics that the DSP reporting provides. This article provides a more extensive list of metric definitions and use cases.

Reporting in the Amazon DSP

The Amazon DSP provides advertisers with access to comprehensive and in-depth reporting that will help you monitor and make decisions related to your campaign goals. Below is an overview of the key reports and the information they provide.

Console reporting

Ad Console Example

The console reporting provides you with all of the fundamental performance information about your Amazon DSP advertising campaigns. From here, you can evaluate your campaign data at the order, line item, and creative level, with more than 100 metrics to choose from.

Audience insights

Amazon Demand-Side Platform (DSP) advertising console - Audience Insights Report Example

Using audience insights, advertisers can view highly granular data on customer purchases and views. You can, for example, see the time elapsed between when a customer views a product page and makes a purchase (pictured above).

View and purchase data can also be segmented by demographic status (e.g., age, gender, household income), timing (hour of day, day of week, and weeks/months of the year). Data on purchase frequency—like repeat purchase rate, number of repeat purchases, and time between repeat purchases—is also available via audience insights.

Overlap reports

Overlap Report Example

Overlap reports allow you to discover other audiences your target audience is a part of. This is a great way to identify opportunities for increasing your reach and introducing new shoppers to your brand and product portfolio.

The affinity score measures the similarities between a target and an overlapping audience. The higher the affinity score, the more similar the audiences are. Size measures how large the audience is compared to all Amazon audiences. A size of 6, for example, would indicate that the audience is larger than 60% of all Amazon audiences.

Taken together, size and affinity scores help you identify the most significant complementary audiences that may be interested in your products, opening up opportunities to attract new customers to your brand.

Segmentation reports

Amazon DSP advertising segmentation report example

The segmentation report allows you to evaluate the performance of directly targeted segments and uncover new segments you have not yet targeted. This report can be a great way to identify high-potential audience segments you have not yet targeted. Using the example above, you can easily sort by click-through rate (CTR) to see that the 50+ Active and Healthy Living Products line item has a CTR of 12.6%.

Amazon ASP advertising Segmentation Report

This is a great start, but you can also use a pivot table to group the line items according to segment, and analyze performance at the segment level. In our example, we see that the segment with the best DPVR overall is 50+ Active and Healthy Living Products, with a detail page view rate (DPVR) of 26.1%, making this an ideal audience to target.

Retail insights report

Amazon DSP advertising console - Retail Insights Report Example

The retail insights report can help you understand shopping activity for your brand’s products on Amazon before, during, and after a display or video advertising campaign. This allows you to gauge whether your video ads are having the intended impact.

Metrics in this report include:

  • search impressions

  • earned media impressions

  • glance views

  • orders shipped

  • conversion rates

  • number of reviews

  • average ratings

  • percentage of 1- and 2-star reviews.

Optimizing your Amazon demand-side platform (DSP) campaigns

Once you've understood how your campaigns are performing and identified the areas in which you’d like to see improvement, you can begin to make changes to ensure that your campaigns achieve their intended goals.

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In this section, we’ll review the different manual levers and strategies that advertisers can use to optimize their campaigns. Most advertisers will either optimize towards delivery (that is, how often the ad is served) and/or performance (frequency or cost of conversion).

Levers for manual optimization

  • Audiences: Advertisers should make sure the audience that is being reached is right for the product the campaign is promoting.

    • Before campaign setup, advertisers may reference overlap reports. These reports can be built from two sources:

      • from the advertiser's audience through the use of a pixel traffic, DMP, or advertiser hashed audience

      • from Amazon audiences which are created based on shopping interactions and built through audience builder

    • Once the campaign is live, advertisers can download an audience report to see the performance on selected and unselected audiences.

    • Alternatively, advertisers can use historical campaign reports to identify top-performing selected and unselected audiences to target.

  • Bids: How much an advertiser is willing to pay for an impression, represented in cost per thousand (CPM).

    • Bid strategy: Set up base and maximum bids, then shift bids and allocate more budget to high-performing line items. Use incremental bid increases to increase scale while avoiding overpaying for inventory. The right base bid and maximum bid for a line item depends on factors like optimization type, audience segments, supply sources and budget.

  • Budget: Shift from under-delivering lines into highest-performing lines that are also scaling.

  • Creatives: Optimize to show the highest-performing creatives and remove underperforming ones.

  • Frequency: The number of ad impressions seen within a given time period.

    • Frequency cap: A set limit on the number of times a unique user can see an ad during a specific time period.

    • When to adjust and why: Increase the frequency cap to serve more impressions to a line item meeting or beating the campaign goal, yet under-delivering (i.e., not displaying enough).

  • Supply: Select any unchecked supply sources if you notice that a campaign is under-delivering.

  • Viewability: Measurement of how viewable an impression is based on the visibility of an ad when it was served. The MRC (Media Rating Council) defines viewability as when 50% of pixels are in view for at least 1 second.

    • Viewability tiers: greater percentage = greater viewability

    • When to adjust and why: relax the viewability setting to serve more impressions to a line item that is performing well yet under-delivering.

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Perpetua offers the most advanced Amazon PPC solution on the market, with all the tools, resources, and expert support you need to build successful campaigns for your products. And what’s more, it couldn’t be easier to get started. Request a free demo today to discover the industry’s premier optimization and intelligence software for Amazon Ads.

Optimization strategies

Here we outline key best practices for Amazon DSP advertising optimization. A good starting point for deciding which strategies to take is looking at the line item’s performance and delivery.

  • High performance, low delivery

    • Assess bids and increase if necessary

    • Increase frequency caps

    • Add additional supply

    • Relax viewability constraints

  • High performance, high delivery

    • Maintain bids and frequency caps

    • Shift budget to this line if other line items have lower performance

  • Low performance, low delivery

    • Determine if delivery or performance is a goal

    • If delivery is a priority, depending on the campaign setup, you could increase bids or frequency caps, or adjust 3rd party pre-bid filtering

    • If performance is the priority, you could explore adjusting their audience solutions, and expanding bids and frequency

    • Review secondary metrics to determine if other goals are being met

    • Consider pausing the line item

  • High delivery, low performance

    • Decrease bids and/or frequency caps

    • Shift budget to higher-performing line items

Summary

The Amazon DSP is a massive opportunity for online advertisers, offering ad targeting based on Amazon’s unparalleled consumer purchase data, exclusive and comprehensive ad inventory, and industry-leading campaign reporting and insights.

A few key takeaways:

  • Apart from having high-performing ads, advertising with the Amazon DSP also has ancillary benefits like improved Sponsored Products performance, plus a higher share of mid- to long-term purchases and new-to-brand customers;

  • Amazon DSP advertisements can target any area of the funnel, yet STV and OLV ads can provide unique upper-funnel reach to build your brand.

  • Remember that the Amazon DSP has a 14-day attribution period and that results may take time to appear in your reporting and your dashboards.

  • Solutions like Perpetua’s DSP optimization software can simplify an inherently complex platform, allowing you to quickly build orders, generate line items, and efficiently scale ROAS. Get started with Perpetua’s Amazon DSP ad engine.

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