New opportunities for retailers with the UK launch of Amazon Sponsored Display

There is a constant battle between biddable media platforms to come up with new ad formats, targeting capabilities and automation opportunities. With this, also comes the pressure for advertisers to stay up-to-date with the industry to ensure that companies continue to invest in the platform. In the last few months, we have seen Google Shopping open to organic listings (in the US) and Facebook introduce a new retail offering, to position themselves in a similar way to Amazon. This calls for Amazon to fight back, with a campaign type that looks remarkably like GDN.

Amazon already offers a variety of advertising products, to suit both awareness and conversion-based campaign objectives. Currently, display activity in the UK is managed through their DSP, requiring a minimum budget of £10k, with ads being sold on a CPM basis. However, this is all about to change. Sponsored Display ads have recently been launched in Beta in the US and will hopefully come to the UK by end of the year.

Sponsored Display ads will allow brands to connect with customers both on and off Amazon in a new self-service campaign format. It works very similarly to Amazon’s existing campaign types, in that you will be able to report on the same metrics within the interface, ads are bought on a CPC model and the ad creatives are largely pulled from existing product pages. The targeting capabilities differ dependent on the campaign objective: awareness, consideration and conversion.

To build brand and product awareness, you can target customers using Interest targeting. It should come as no surprise that Amazon have accumulated an extraordinary amount of customer data and have built out audiences based on their shopping behaviour. With this campaign targeting, you can also add a custom headline to tailor the creative to the audience, and even run some A/B tests. Amazon then assembles the ads from the title, descriptions and images on the product pages with your chosen custom headline, and a brand logo. We recommend that you keep the custom headline concise, with a benefit-oriented USPs with a clear call-to-action.

The consideration campaign objective allows both category and product-based targeting. Category targeting works exactly as you might expect – by selecting the most relevant for the product you are wishing to promote. However, there are additional layers that can be added to make it more granular, including customer ratings, price ranges and specific brands. With sponsored display, you will also be able to now adjust bids at category level, allowing us to better optimise the campaigns.

Product targeting is nothing new, especially with Sponsored Products being an existing campaign type within Amazon’s portfolio. However, when Sponsored Display does launch in the UK, these ads will start to be prioritised over existing Sponsored Product campaigns. This targeting strategy can also be used to cross and upsell customers, for example by targeting a camera product placement with a display ad of the tripod that you sell.

Finally, to drive sales of your product, you can target users who have visited your product with views-based targeting. This works by showing people display ads on placements off Amazon’s site, reminding them to return and complete their purchase. It is recommended to choose the products with the highest number of views, in order to reach a wider audience.

The current requirements needed to utilise Amazon’s display inventory makes it hard for some of our clients with smaller marketing budgets to make the most of advertising on the platform.  As an Amazon Agency Partner, we are always excited to see developments in this space and can only hope that it will be launched in the UK in time for Black Friday!

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