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Explaining Amazon DSP and its Benefits for Brands

30 Jul 2020 Juliet Savignano

in Digital, Amazon, SEM

Amazon DSP is a demand-side platform that allows brands to programmatically reach relevant audiences on Amazon and off, via publishing partners on third-party exchanges.

Amazon has the largest database of online shoppers in all stages of the customer journey across hundreds of retail categories. Leveraging this data can improve brand recognition and return on ad spend (ROAS). Running advertising via Amazon DSP allows brands to maximize Amazon’s wealth of data and is comparable, in certain ways, to digital advertising on Facebook or Google. Brands can drive valuable top-of-funnel awareness through lookalike, lifestyle, and in-market audience segments while pushing them further down the funnel to consideration and purchase intent phases using various methods of retargeting and data collection.


Amazon DSP is the only advertising platform that allows advertisers to run extremely targeted display ads on and off Amazon, reaching Amazon shoppers who visit product detail pages but don't convert. These ads can also target shoppers at the beginning of their shopping journey in a category. When done properly, Amazon DSP ads can play a powerful role in the growth of a brand’s Amazon business—or even that brand’s business off Amazon.

Reasons to consider advertising through Amazon DSP:

  1. Increase discoverability and accelerate growth; find new customers both on and off Amazon who are actively browsing relevant products with an intent to purchase.
  2. Hyper-target and segment high value customers based on purchase intent, recency, and consideration period, with relevant dynamic creative ads.
  3. Reach shoppers where they are: run display ads on and off Amazon to reach buyers at every stage of the shopping journey. When used effectively, Amazon DSP offers dynamic e-commerce creative and audience targeting to reach shoppers, allowing brands to maximize audiences, grow brand recognition, and, demonstrate strong ROAS.
  4. Make advertising dollars work harder and stop wasting ad impressions. Measure your brand’s success on the Amazon DSP by starting small and scaling after a few months of established data.
  5. Gain actionable insights about your product viewers and purchasers using Amazon’s Audience insights and learn about your brand’s target demographic, purchase frequency, and consideration period. Leverage this data and make it part of the overall Amazon strategy. It will help to inform bid adjustments and increase chances of winning desired ad placements and audience segments.
  6. Promote new brands, customer reviews, and special offers with dynamic e-commerce creative that looks similar to an Amazon listing. Dynamic creative helps increase the effectiveness of CTR and conversions to brand stores and product pages.

Before Launching:

  1. Promote top selling ASINs when introducing your brand to new customers. Amazon DSP is an entirely different ad delivery platform, so it is important to think of creative execution and which products are introduced to new vs. loyal customers. Best-selling ASINs—or those with great reviews and a minimum of 3.5 stars—are the ones to promote.
  2. There is no minimum ad spend threshold or budget commitment for Amazon DSP campaigns. As an agency we are able to waive any minimum buy-in commitments.
  3. Amazon DSP itself is extremely manual, even when compared to other DSPs. The bidding structure is not as evolved as other DSPs, making campaign management a manual and outdated process. While Amazon has acquired new technology and made consistent improvements to automate the process, it is important to understand the time commitment of a DSP campaign before launch.


Calculating a ROAS benchmark depends on many variables, including audience targeting, media spend volume, and industry. Overall, we achieve between 200% to 1,000% ROAS (or higher) for our clients. Audience tactics that reach shoppers earlier in the buying journey can result in lower direct ROAS, but these broader audiences often create a nice brand halo effect and increase in new-to-brand customers.

It is not uncommon to see a positive ROAS directly from prospecting strategies. Most of the converters will be retargeted before they convert. Direct ROAS from prospecting audiences can range from 50%-400%, averaging around 100-200%, depending on certain variables. Prospecting tactics are critical to a brand’s success in maintaining brand awareness and driving incremental customers and sales. Prospecting tactics range from in-market, lifestyle, competitor ASIN targeting, and look-a-like audience.

Navigating buy-side platforms like Amazon’s can be difficult and time consuming. Not only do we help achieve ROAS goals through an expert use of Amazon DSP, our team offers a full range of services to ensure brands are set up for success before we begin to facilitate clicks, views, and traffic to brand pages on Amazon.

If you would like to get started, please connect with us to discuss an Amazon DSP strategy session.

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