For those looking to scale and grow sales on Amazon, the website’s Demand-Side Platform (DSP) can certainly look tempting. According to Amazon, it “enables advertisers to programmatically buy display, video, and audio ads both on and off Amazon”, plus sellers can reach exclusive audiences, access unique, high-quality inventory, appear in brand-safe environments, and build a metrics-based strategy. Naturally, not every seller has the same ability, desire, or opportunities for that specific kind of growth. Here are the pros and cons for two official (and one unofficial) Amazon DSP strategies:
1: DSP via Amazon
Pros: Amazon provides sellers with this incredible white-glove service. For a minimum of $15,000/month and a contract that can commit to spending up to $35,000, an Amazon team will manage your off-Amazon remarketing plan. There’s no login portal to worry about, no two-step verification to deal with, no hassle at all. This most expensive option provides you with reports from the Amazon team, giving you peace of mind that the pros are looking out for you.
Cons: As mentioned, it is the most expensive DSP option, which may prevent some sellers from even considering going down this route. Furthermore, this service also involves remarketing a seller’s personal brand on their own website. This creates a lose-lose situation in which sellers are bidding against themselves, both on their website and on Amazon, for the same traffic. It becomes Amazon versus the seller, and unfortunately the seller is bankrolling both sides. Sellers may get a sale on their website, but they’re spending a lot of extra money just to let Amazon remarket to customers who’ve already bought the product in question.
2: DSP via Agency
Pros: Similar to Option One, this strategy involves hiring an agency to manage a seller’s money instead of Amazon. These agencies often have portals where, instead of just waiting around for one’s Amazon team to send a report, sellers can actually log in and check on the situation for themselves. This option, generally starting at a minimum of $5,000/month, is less pricey and more accessible than Option One, all while keeping the same benefits. Even for those already somewhat familiar with Amazon, this could provide a new, explosive opportunity for growth.
Cons: The good similarities have arrived, and now the bad similarities must come as well: For all the problems a seller will face with DSP via Amazon, that seller will face the same problems with DSP via Agency. The seller winds up pitting their Amazon listings with their off-Amazon website, paying to keep both sides locked in competition to sell the exact same product to the exact same customer. As for those sellers who already know some of the ins and outs of Amazon? DSP via Agency means that sellers wind up paying an agency fee to perform tasks they may already know how to do themselves. Also, that $5,000/month minimum is not set in stone; the actual minimum is up to the discretion of the agency in question. Expertise can be worth paying for, but sometimes the cost is just too high.
3: Sponsored Display
Pros: It’s important to mention right away that this is not officially part of DSP – though it has the potential to serve much the same purpose. This unofficial third option to DSP is, according to Amazon, “a self-service advertising solution that gives advertisers the ability to quickly launch display campaigns and reach relevant audiences across the shopping journey, on and off Amazon.” Though not actually a facet of DSP, this option still lets sellers reach relevant audiences, quickly create self-service display ads, and access key performance metrics they can make adjustments to in real time. Where official DSP options force sellers through a filter of either Amazon or an agency, Sponsored Display is in the hands of the seller. It doesn’t require a large budget, and is a fast and flexible way to advertise one’s product portfolio.
Cons: As of this writing, Sponsored Display is still in beta testing. Though a complete overhaul is unlikely, the strategy’s end result is still technically up in the air. Furthermore, the white-glove sense of luxury that both DSP variations provide can not only make a seller’s life easier, but those options can lead to the implementation of strategies, tactics, and tips that the seller may not even be aware of – but there is no such luxury with Sponsored Display. The seller still does all the work whether or not they wholly understand Amazon. This is admittedly not the best option for those who aren’t familiar enough with Amazon and who don’t hire an Amazon consultancy firm that is.
Amazon has provided sellers with countless opportunities to succeed, and its Demand-Side Platform is just another example of how sellers can get that competitive edge they need. This article is intended to just scratch the surface of each option, leaving it up to each individual seller to make their own individual decision. It’s up to each seller to determine which Amazon expert they desire: Amazon itself, an advertising agency with a login portal, or the sellers themselves. If you’re a seller and you’re still not sure, then contact Knoza, and let’s talk business.