What is the Amazon Demand Side Platform (DSP)?

Selling online can be a little complex, but it’s not so bad once you get a good grasp of the terminology. One acronym, however, still eludes some folks: DSP. Short for Amazon’s Advertising Demand Side Platform, it’s a relatively new term.

Let’s go back to 2018 to explain how it came about. At that time, Amazon Advertising underwent a comprehensive rebranding strategy to simplify the seller experience. The Amazon Advertising Platform, once a component of the Amazon Media Group team’s offering for vendors, was renamed the Amazon Advertising Demand Side Platform (DSP). Not all of that is important to remember, but the DSP distinction is something you as a seller should familiarize yourself with. 

So, just what is this platform all about? Let’s take a deep dive into the subject and explore how it can aid you in your Amazon ad-ventures.

The Basics of the Amazon Demand Side Platform

Quality Ads, Quality Engagement

The Amazon DSP is designed to automatically purchase advertisements for your listings. This is known as programmatic advertising. In addition, these ads can be placed both on and off Amazon, giving your business more traction when it comes to engaging users. What’s more, you have the freedom of purchasing display, video and even audio ads, so there’s plenty of ways to get creative and maximize the appeal of your brand! Speaking of which, the DSP utilizes what Amazon calls “brand-safe” environments – a combination of their own and various trusted third-party solutions. This is done to ensure your ads meet their minimum quality assurance and brand safety standards.

The key takeaway is this: Amazon has exceptionally valuable customer targeting data that you can only obtain through the use of their dedicated DSP. So, try to make use of it! A self-driving automated software solution is a great help here, as it can harness this data to ensure your ad campaigns perform to the best of their ability. This grants access to a collection of advertising inventory including via a number of products and properties owned by the company, such as dedicated operating systems, streaming services and websites. 

You Don’t Have to Sell on Amazon to Use it

The DSP is a great choice for agencies operating on the behalf of vendors and sellers as it can be used by any advertiser. Even if you don’t actively sell on Amazon, you can take advantage of their dedicated ads platform, analytics, keyword bidding and more. It’s specifically optimized for advertisers who intend to buy ads at scale.

Self-Service and Managed-Service DSP

Did you know that the Amazon Advertising DSP platform is available in two variations? They’re as follows:

Self-Service DSP

This format is open to any advertiser. It also enables a completely hands-on approach to campaign tweaks, which is perfect for those who love to finetune to squeeze the most performance out of every ad while driving spend down. However, you need to be well-versed in programmatic advertising to get the most out of this option, so make sure you come prepared!

Managed-Service DSP

Requiring a minimum spend of $35,000 USD, the managed variant automates much of the ad campaign management process. This is an excellent choice for vendors and sellers who can afford the investment but aren’t as experienced in programmatic advertising. The most significant benefit is the integrated consultative services that take a lot of the optimization load off your shoulders; they rely on your existing data to ensure any tweaks made to your ad campaigns are thoughtful and effective. 

Amazon DSP and Ad Targeting

There’s a total of six targeting options for those who choose to utilize the Amazon Advertising DSP, regardless of whether they opt for the self-service or managed-service format. These are as follows:

Behavioural Segments

These are audiences with predictable behaviours. Advertisers can read them like a book and clearly understand their interests. Targeting in this manner usually focuses on their demonstrated buying intent and recent search habits. A great example of this is a user who is clearly looking for a smartphone, researching models to the extent where it’s clear what operating system and feature set they may be interested in.

Lifestyle Segments

Are you noticing users who are clearly passionate about a certain hobby or lifestyle choice? Those fitness fanatics, PC builders and dedicated pet owners tend to exhibit a sustained interest in related products and search terms. Your ads can be targeted to broadly appeal to a certain lifestyle group, marketing a product that can help them get even more out of their favourite activities or interests.

Contextual Segments

This is the process of acting on the here and now; following audiences that act more like moving targets as their interests and search histories continually change. Ads therefore must be context-sensitive (hence the term) and resonate with them; you need to optimize according to real-time data to take advantage of this.

Remarketing Segments

Know of a user who has a history of searching for and viewing your products, perhaps leaving a few items in the cart before deciding on something else? Or, perhaps you’ve accumulated a conversion or two from them making purchases in your listings. Either way, you want to retain and remain a relevant option to them. Remarketing can help with that by optimizing existing ads to reconnect with these same users. For instance, if someone recently purchased a desktop computer, perhaps they’d be interested in a mouse or keyboard to go along with their purchase.

Audience Lookalike Segments

Simply put, individuals in this audience share similar search, browsing and shopping histories. Their behaviours may even match those of your most recent shoppers. This makes it easier to target a larger pool of prospective leads.

Advertiser Audience Segments

Lastly, this segment refers to information available to your company already. This can include CRM databases, customer feedback sections on websites, and other areas where raw user data relevant to your operations and products accumulates. 

Automation, Amazon Ad Console and DSP: A Winning Combination

Many folks ask us at Trellis whether it’s best to use Amazon’s Advertising DSP or the Amazon Ad Console, and we always tell them the same thing: get the most out of each by using both, combined with an automated, self-driving software solution to further optimize every campaign and product listing. Any necessary changes are made in the background, informed and intelligently, with as little as a single click – it’s like campaigning on autopilot!

As many others have already surmised – which is why this is such a popular approach – doing this covers the entire sales funnel. You get to engage with new prospects, sure, but you’re also doing your bit to retain those who have trusted your brand in the past, all while experimenting with ad reach via new data sources and creative outlets. Combining search and display advertising is a great way to future-proof your brand’s appeal; you’re leaving no potential click or conversion behind, instead, taking advantage of a deeper connection with users. This is in no small part thanks to the valuable consumer insights Amazon makes available to those who use their DSP – knowledge that you’d likely never be able to harness when optimizing your ads.

Then, using Trellis as an example, there’s the matter of automation. This is especially useful if you do sell on Amazon; with our help, ensuring you’re getting the best bidding rates on keywords, driving down spend – and your advertising cost of sale – is just a click away, and it’s perfect for both newcomers and experienced sellers alike! Our state-of-the-art software utilizes every bit of data made available through Amazon DSP in addition to your own listing content, meaning even self-service DSP users can finetune their campaigns with ease. We can also generate comprehensive performance reports to inform further adjustments to your ad campaigns.

Harness the Power of Your Data

In conclusion, an advertisement itself is meaningless if you’re not getting the most out of your datasets. Empower your campaign strategy via Amazon’s Advertising DSP solutions, ideally in combination with their Ad Console and the long-term benefits of an automated ad management tool. Get to know your audience by gaining access to relevant, real-time data in addition to established behavioral histories, some of which are only available if you use the DSP in the first place. Boost the potential of every ad campaign you create, making brand decisions that are informed by the audience themselves.

The potential results? More eyes on your ads who may stop and act, which can translate to a higher clickthrough rate. Then, with high-quality products and listing content that entices them, you have a shot at compelling them to make a purchase. The potential doesn’t stop there, either – the creatives of your ads such as text and imagery can be repurposed to retain their interest in your brand. You may even be able to convince them to purchase something else. Of course, this can lead to a greater return on advertising investments if you rack up more sales, reduced cost per click, and a lower advertising cost per sale. 

Information is the new gold nowadays, especially for digital advertisers. Solutions like Trellis, when integrated with Amazon’s Demand Side Platform and Ad Console, are the tools many brands rely on to make the right impact while lowering advertising costs! Discover the potential for yourself today with a free demo of our automated software.