Amazon Programmatic Advertising–Amazon DSP for non-Amazon purposes

Amazon DSP

Amazon DSP (Demand Side Platform) is often used as an advertising platform that allows Amazon sellers to break the boundaries by reaching exclusive audiences off Amazon, with ads on many ad placements. Even if you aren’t an Amazon seller, imagine all the possibilities you may have with Amazon’s user data and Amazon as a placement for your brand or products. Amazon DSP allows you to use unique audiences and many placements across Amazon, most popular websites, and apps.

You may think about this solution just as you’re thinking about starting the ads within DV360, Matterkind (ex Cadreon), or any other programmatic platform.

Should you use Amazon DSP if you are not an Amazon seller?

Yes, that could be a wise decision. Amazon DSP is a powerful tool that will allow you to create tracking for your website, conversions, use video or image ad creatives, and most important, use Amazon “intelligence.“ What does this intel have? Everything about Amazon customers and visitors. Think how important only one transaction can be. If it can give you many variables to use in advertising segmentation, we can say that those audiences are well addressed.

amazon sales graph

Why is Amazon DSP so powerful?

What if you’re selling some product, but only on your eCommerce website? You’re running various ads on Google and Facebook and working on website SEO. The constant battle with websites selling the same or similar products and ongoing competition on paid media are parts of your daily business life. Sometimes, you will recognize amazon.com as your competitor on Google. Amazon is an eCommerce website indexed by Google, and its domain authority is so enormous that you see competitors' products at top positions. Also, sometimes you will see amazon.com as a competitor within the paid campaigns on Google Search. Well, that is logical; everyone wants to take part. You must be innovative and work a lot on optimizing your assets for profitability. 

When you check the competitors selling on Amazon, you’ll see how they use content (call-outs, benefits) and how many users endorse the products with stars and reviews. When you see many reviews and sales, that is the product that you can use against your competition and for promotional purposes.

Amazon DSP allows you to create audiences towards search behavior, product visits, and purchase behavior. You can target users who visited your competitors’ product pages but didn’t purchase, show them your image or video ad within the Amazon platform or while they surf online or use mobile apps, and lead them to your website.

Since you don’t have an Amazon store and products, you can use a custom image or video ad, which is fantastic. Your creativity is indefinite, so create A/B tests and push the data-driven campaigns that will bring you value.

Note that your access to exclusive audience data is unlimited (or enormous) by using DSP, depending on your idea. Compared to other platforms, Amazon is a data giant and doesn’t have to trade with limited databases from other platforms. Amazon owns the most extensive customer base globally, not speaking only about the number of the users and their profiles (Facebook), but including user transactions blended with affinity and behavior. Also, you may find a large number of 3rd party segments.

audience data

Amazon DSP tracking for a website - DSP Pixel

You can start with creating Remarketing and Conversion tags. Those tags implemented within the website’s Head tag and Body could provide essential data for the platform. It will allow you to target your website visitors when they have more interest in buying and seek similar products within the Amazon platform–DSP Remarketing. Also, when they click on your ad, they could be taken back to the website where they can buy the product. Your transactions will be sent to the DSP platform with the conversion tracking tag, and you will easily track your purchase results and optimize the campaigns.

Amazon DSP Pixel

What triggers the pixel is up to you. You may choose some of the best fit options, and your tracking will be complete and advanced. Tracking specific events can be used as conversion within the DSP campaign so that you can optimize your campaigns by results (sales, leads, etc.).

Remarketing tag

By creating this tag, you will track your website visitors and build audience lists for future campaigns. Also, you will have an excellent opportunity to create look-alike audiences that are important in building your brand and scaling profitable campaigns.

Amazon DSP Remarketing

How the DSP Pixel Script looks?

You will get two Pixel tags, Script, and No Script, to implement them quickly within the site code. After you do this implementation, you will create campaigns with all functionalities, similar to using Facebook or Google ads or any other platform.

Amazon DSP Pixel Script

How to choose your audience?

Audiences that you may choose are significant, depending on the market, but with considerable precision, based on the user’s behavior. You will be able to use In-Market, Affinity, Life-events, Demographics with such detailed targeting options. Imagine that you can grab the audience that Amazon owns by age, gender, education, behavior, and so much more and bring them to your website where they can order your product. After they land on your website, you will be able to create blander reports within the Web analytics to understand those audiences even more. By making profound analyses, DSP could bring you the opportunity for overall digital performance improvements.

By searching your main keywords related to your products, you can find your principal competitors within the Amazon first result page. Copying their ASIN codes and implementing them within the Audience section “Products,” you can reach users who interacted with product pages back to 90 days or purchased in the last 365 days.

If your product is seasonal, why not target users who purchased competitors’ products on Amazon last year? If your product is something that users are buying monthly, target people who purchased from competitors in the previous month or a whole year. Push the ads, increase your brand visibility and capture the users within their consideration phase.

amazon data

Like you use the products, you may use the most prominent brands to bring your brand up. Users around those brands could be essential for your brand growth, so don’t miss them.

amazon audience targeting

With different strategies, and audience segments from broad to narrow, you can have the whole customer journey implemented within only one platform. Track the users within different audience segments, track their engagement and interactions, and create many rules that will define stages in the customer journey.

There is no best practice but testing. Create different A/B tests that will show you the numbers and which approach is better. Depending on your product, you may customize the whole funnel and control how much you spend on the audience segments.

Make engaging creatives

Users are engaging with image and video content. Since you are not selling on Amazon, you will not use the Amazon standard responsive ads. Even better, you get to use high-quality custom solutions that will be more engaging.

You can show your custom image banners on:

  • Amazon platform or app
  • Amazon Publishing Services (websites and apps where Amazon has its ad inventory)
  • IMDb
  • Open ad exchanges (programmatic ad inventories from other platforms)

Use unique creatives that will point out your product’s qualities and benefits, your brand, and most of all, create them to be memorized. The fact is that every display campaign provokes the search afterward. Use creative solutions that will encourage the users’ interactions! Call them to action, offer different benefits, and allure them.

Video ads within Amazon result pages or product pages could be so important during the Consideration phase while a user is warming up the credit card for a purchase. Video ads are effective and bring an emotional response, which means that your idea that is presenting your brand and product can be so strong that your ad will provide engaged users and buyers at the same time.

Use strong headlines and call to action (CTA). Show the key benefits if it’s possible and display your brand with logo and brand colors. All those elements are important within the display advertising, capturing the attention and generating the results.

Plan your costs and bids

Like most programmatic systems, Amazon DSP charges on a CPM basis (cost per 1000 impressions). When you measure your first results, you’ll see that DSP is not cheap, but we don’t need inexpensive non-precise advertising platforms. We want to use prestigious tools that give us opportunities for actual growth.

By placing the minimal and maximal bids, you can control how much you are ready to pay for 1000 impressions. Regarding the CTR, you can calculate how many clicks you can achieve for a given budget. During the campaign, and by historical data, you can control the bids by each Line item (ad group) and control each segment by results.

We found many online posts where Amazon sellers tried to explain how DSP was expensive and not bringing the results or bringing just assisted ones (attributed sales). But what would happen if they didn’t have Amazon DSP at all? What if they’ve missed new customers and possibilities for being recognized within other channels? For 1000 ad impressions, the price varies between $3-$14. CPM will depend on audience segment, placements, and how intense the competition is within the niche.

Amazon’s fee for using the Amazon DSP platform is 8.5% from an ad spend, which means that this platform costs you just as Google DV360 (former DoubleClick).


Use Amazon DSP (Demand Side Platform) even if you’re not an Amazon seller. The programmatic platform offers you an extensive database related to customers and their behavior. DSP has exclusive audience segments that will allow you to scale your website performance across the Amazon or off Amazon ad placements that other programmatic platforms lack. Use your competitors' product page visitors or previous buyers and create a whole strategy based on specific audience segments.

Before you start, make the entire path and plan the rule-based audiences. Plan the initial A/B tests, measure, and continue to use the best models. Use high-quality creatives (image or video), and bring the brand power and communication that will intrigue the potential customers. 

Develop your remarketing segments, along with competitors, visitors, or previous buyers. The internet is full of misleading articles explaining how Amazon DSP isn’t effective. Before making any conclusions, ask yourself if the strategy was well-thought and professionally executed. The complexity of using Amazon DSP for non-Amazon purposes requires a professional approach and lots of mutual understanding. Advance DSP management is possible, but only with well-experienced marketing managers who will understand your brand’s needs and plan the whole customer journey within the platform. Here at Sellers Alley, we have a team of experienced PPC experts ready to help you grow your business and reach exclusive audiences with the power of Amazon DSP. Click here to learn more about our service and schedule a call with us!

About the author

Stevan Bjedov

Stevan Bjedov is the Senior DSP Specialist at Sellers Alley. He has more than four years of digital marketing experience, covering PPC, in-depth analysis and implementation, and SEO. He has worked with many clients, from small businesses to global brands, which led him to an ascending career path as a  Amazon and Google digital advertising specialist.

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