With the possibility of a serious economic downturn looming, Amazon is hedging its bets by making available to sellers (on and off Amazon) several new advertising features.
By broadening its appeal to advertisers (offering additional ad types and more diverse brand accessibility), Amazon seeks to capture a larger percentage of the retail media ad space.
These new advertising self-service tools will help Amazon to boost its highly profitable advertising revenues, as operational costs continue to spiral upwards, and ecommerce growth is expected to slow down in the coming months.
It's important for every seller to understand the potential of these features to help them to be more successful in their efforts to reach relevant audiences and convert them.
New Amazon Advertising Features for Q4 2022
Sponsored Display Video
Sellers can use customized video creatives such as product demos, tutorials, and testimonials to increase engagement and relevant traffic that can help shoppers to better understand how their products solve a need or desire during the Consideration phase of the Customer Buying Cycle.
Amazon Video Builder
With Video Builder, sellers can now quickly create videos in Sponsored Display campaigns (using customizable templates) for their entire product line, and test multiple versions of those videos, experimenting with different types of messaging.
Video Builder allows sellers to upload product and other images from creative assets or desktop (e.g. lifestyle images), pull copy from detail pages, and edit the color, font and music options. Sellers can create multiple videos in under ten minutes. These variations can be used in A/B split tests to determine how best to fully engage and influence shoppers to buy a seller’s products.
Rewarded Sponsored Display
This feature will be available "soon" in closed beta (launched in Sponsored Display exclusively) in the US. Rewarded Sponsored Display will permit sellers/brands to directly add an Amazon shopping credit into the Sponsored Display creative. Shoppers obtain the reward by clicking on the ad and purchasing the featured product.
This new feature broadens the placements that are already available for sellers, including Twitch and Fire TV.
The value and utility of providing this type of experience was confirmed by an Amazon ads survey (2021), in which almost 100% of respondents in the US said that they were more likely to purchase a specific product if offered an Amazon shopping credit.
Historically, special discounts and coupons displayed prominently in Amazon ads have generated higher conversion rates and ROAS. Over time, the results from this new feature will provide interesting data because they will give actionable insights into whether shoppers prefer a special discount or a credit that can be used later.
Digital Signage Ads in Amazon DSP
This feature is available to eligible sellers/brands in the US (through managed services) and allows them to purchase ads programmatically* via Amazon DSP, in order to make it easier for them to advertise in Amazon Fresh stores.
Digital Signage Ads in Amazon DSP provide greater flexibility and control for sellers/brands over where their ads appear. Campaigns can be scheduled based upon store location, use of dayparting, and/or by location of the digital signage within the store.
Theoretically, this feature will create additional opportunities for brand discovery and strengthen the shopping experience of the shopper through having a wider selection of in-store ads.
The caveat...sellers and brands should keep in mind that this feature is only available for Amazon Fresh stores and not Whole Foods.
* Terminology Tip: Programmatic advertising is an automated form of advertising where ad placements are bought and sold by computers.
Sponsored Products Campaigns with Presets
This feature is designed to help remove any ambiguity for sellers at the beginning of a new campaign or when launching a new product on Amazon. Sellers benefit from Amazon’s years of experience/expertise in running Sponsored Products ads.
They will have available to them Amazon-recommended campaign settings such as bidding strategies and daily budgets. Presets are available to US sellers/brands and are now automatically featured in the ads console for new products.
According to Amazon, Sponsored Products campaigns launched with presets experienced a 77 percent increase in clicks, and a 29 percent increase in sales when compared to SP campaigns that did not use presets. Sellers should keep in mind that a 77 percent rise in clicks, along with a 29 percent increase in sales means ACoS will also be higher.
However, the Preset feature may be useful/beneficial for a new product launch, which usually requires a more aggressive bidding strategy in order for the product to gain traction, and is valuable for brands who are just starting out with Amazon advertising and may need guidance.
Performance recommendations are in-console, actionable best practices for Sponsored Products campaigns.
As sellers use the ads console, this feature labors in the background, continuously searching for Sponsored Products campaign tips that can be adopted with one-click (e.g. new keywords to prioritize, or bid suggestions). This gives sellers real-time recommendations to enhance campaign performance based on meticulously evaluated and validated best practices.
Amazon has been making performance recommendations for a very long time. This feature is designed to bring their recommendations to centerstage to help better guide new sellers.
Implement Now To Become A Master Later
In general, these extra advertising features are welcome additions for sellers/brands who advertise on Amazon. They represent Amazon's desire to expand its reach and usefulness to different types of advertisers in order to significantly increase their ad revenues in the coming months.
The key to any new feature is implementation - learning the little nuances, testing, and discovering how features may be useful for your brand’s unique needs. Taking the time to learn the ins and outs of these new features now will put you on the fast track to mastering how to make more money off of them later.
Entourage: Software to Scale Amazon Ads and Results Driven Management.