Cyber Week and the Holiday Season are two of the most crucial periods in the year for your business. Demand is high and millions of potential customers are looking to hand over their money for your products.
But your business isn’t the only one out there. Amazon is a crowded marketplace and your competitors will be doing their best to grab your customers’ attention and rob you of those Cyber Week dollars. And to make matters worse, CPC costs have increased in 2021, making it even more expensive for you to drive traffic towards your store.
However, there is a way to supercharge your chances of success this Cyber Week and Holiday Season. But to take advantage you need to act quick. Preparation is key, and while the majority of businesses will attempt to make the most of these busy periods, few will take the steps needed to truly capitalize on what’s on offer.
Being prepared well in advance can make all the difference, and that’s where Amazon DSP comes in…
What is Amazon DSP?
Amazon DSP (Demand Side Platform) is software that allows advertisers to buy and display video/custom image ads at scale on Amazon and other Amazon-owned websites. You can use it whether you sell products on Amazon or sell off-platform. Crucially, the automated design of Amazon DSP provides a way for businesses to buy media from multiple sources with minimal stress.
Amazon DSP helps sellers drive hyper-relevant traffic to their Amazon stores and product pages. By using CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) instead of CPC (Cost Per Click), Amazon DSP can give your brand powerful reach and added visibility while ending the excessive costs often involved with paying per click. This extra visibility helps expose your brand to new audiences, letting visitors become more familiar with you. In turn, this allows you to build a relationship in the lead-up to those busy Holiday and Cyber Week periods.
Amazon DSP is designed to let you engage in proven strategies that can help you hit your goals. Want greater brand reach? Then place a video off-site to expose your brand and your hottest products to a whole new audience. Did somebody visit your site then leave without ordering? That’s a potential buyer right there – try remarketing the products back to them while they’re on Amazon and likely in the mood to buy.
You even get provided with a host of metrics from Amazon that both show you everything you need to know and tell you where your efforts are going right or wrong. These insights will help you understand how effective your campaign is and let you observe your retail activity at every stage.
From the analytics you can determine the most effective way of turning a random visitor unaware of your brand into a loyal customer with a penchant for repeat purchases. In turn, this allows you to fine-tune your campaign to work best for your brand and help you achieve your goals.
You can also choose whether to create your own custom ads or take advantage of the templates and tools on Amazon to make your images, ads and videos. Using this latter method allows you to benefit from the performance-driving elements Amazon automatically generates in each piece.
What exactly are the benefits of using Amazon DSP?
When used right, Amazon DSP can help you ‘beat the crowds’ in extremely busy times such as Cyber Week and the Holiday Season. As every seller is aware, Amazon gets overcrowded with sellers clamoring for a slice of that multi-billion dollar pie each time the spending seasons roll around.
This means sellers need to be increasingly smart and well-prepared to truly capitalize on the potential offered by these customer-crammed periods. Thankfully, when used correctly Amazon DSP can give you everything you need to get a competitive advantage, even in your highly competitive marketplace.
So how do you achieve that advantage?
As previously mentioned, Amazon DSP helps you reach audiences at scale by tapping into Amazon’s exclusive inventory and reliable 1P data, so you can finally boost your branded searches. By increasing awareness of your brand while driving first time purchasers to your store, you also lay the groundwork for establishing a stream of loyal repeat customers rather than one-time buyers. Plus, because the targeted advertising of Amazon DSP operates across devices and formats, your brand visibility won’t be restricted by the format your audience is browsing on!
These smart targeting abilities also help you ‘hone in’ on your ideal audience when launching a product. And by getting your goods in front of buyers who are actively shopping for products in your niche, you increase the probability of executing a successful product launch.
As well as this, businesses often find customer targeting results in increased session lengths from your traffic. This is a natural outcome from receiving more visitors who are interested in your products and happy to spend more time exploring your store.
Another benefit of using Amazon DSP is the brand safety tools it offers sellers. By advertising with Amazon DSP, your brand will only appear in online environments that are safe and appropriate for your audience. This ensures your advertisements don’t end up in any of those dark corners of the internet you’d prefer to stay clear of and keeps your brand image squeaky clean.
Amazon DSP has built in brand safety tools from companies such as Comscore and Sizmek to ensure your ads and traffic quality remain safe. Additional security features can also be activated using tools such as DoubleVerify, Oracle Data Cloud and Integral Ad Science.
Crucially, Amazon DSP supplies you with detailed performance reports along with audience and retail insight data. This data includes extensive information on metrics such as your page view rate and how many viewers are new to your brand, all of which gives you the opportunity to optimize at every stage of the funnel.
Ultimately this can help you measure the success of your advertising campaigns so you can understand what truly drives performance for your brand and achieves long-term revenue.
How to get the most from Amazon DSP…
So are you curious about how you can turn these tempting platform features into tangible income for your business? Well luckily help is at hand.
Canopy Management uses a custom metrics-based strategy to help you harness the power of Amazon DSP for your business. This is designed to take the stress out of learning the intricacies of the platform and stop you missing lucrative opportunities. Crucially, this also helps you avoid those newbie errors that all too often cause a seller’s early advertising campaigns to become expensive flops.
We use a full funnel approach designed to drive sales by retargeting customers. Along with this, we test upper funnel tactics combined with display and video ads to bring new customers to your store.
Amazon DSP can be used with either the self-service(ish) option or managed-service option.
To access the self-service option, sellers must use an accredited agency such as Canopy. This gives you access to the same inventory, 1P data and reporting, without a minimum budget.
On the other hand, the managed-service option gives you access, but at a minimum spend of $35,000 to start and per order minimums for new campaigns, though this figure can vary from country to country.
Canopy does not have a minimum fee for providing assistance with the self-service option, however. This means we can help you test a new segment before allocating a greater portion of your budget to it.
We are also able to run DSP for sellers based in the US, Canada, Mexico and Brazil, giving our services extensive reach across much of the Americas.
It is important to realize that your store is totally unique, and the Amazon DSP techniques that work for other businesses won’t necessarily work for yours. This means you should thoroughly test any Amazon DSP campaigns well in advance of critical time periods (such as Cyber Week) to ensure they’re suitable for driving traffic to your store.
For this reason we advise our existing partners to begin testing their Amazon DSP campaigns at least 6 weeks ahead of busy times in the year, and for new partners to start 8 weeks in advance.
Our team tests new InMarket segments of shoppers in-aisle for your category who haven’t yet had contact with your brand. Thanks to Amazon’s 1P data, these segments can be easily identified and harnessed to allow swift scaling. This lets us test segments and custom creatives to see what truly works well for your business. In turn this helps us achieve the results you desire.
The retargeting campaigns we run drive highly targeted traffic to your store to boost your branded searches, raise your organic ranking, and increase your inventory limits for those busy periods. Ultimately these factors synergistically work together to increase your sales velocity.
Once our team can see what works best for your store, we can execute your custom Amazon DSP campaign when Cyber Week or the Holiday Season rolls around.
This is done primarily to capitalize on the opportunities offered by busy periods. However, our approach is also designed to give your business evergreen retargeting campaigns that help drive sales in your store all year round.
So should I try Amazon DSP?
While results will vary from business to business for obvious reasons, the fact remains that Amazon DSP only began two years ago and remains a relatively new and underappreciated platform.
Most of your competition will not be running Amazon DSP or will opt for less effective platforms in an attempt to make the most of Cyber Week and the Holiday Season. This leaves the door wide open for sellers willing to take advantage of this powerful new platform while making use of the expert assistance available.
By using these tools to build brand recognition and trust, Amazon DSP helps your visitors grow familiar with you so you become their brand of choice before the buying season has even begun. And by pulling traffic into your Amazon store both on and off-platform, Amazon DSP maximizes your chances of making this happen.
Put simply, using Amazon DSP with the specialist assistance provided by Canopy Management will put your business at a distinct advantage over your competitors.
However, building familiarity with your audience and discovering how to create the strongest campaigns for your brand takes time. Starting early is absolutely essential if you are to make the most of Amazon DSP and take advantage of the hordes of hungry buyers in those busy periods.
Giving potential buyers the repeat exposure they need to feel comfortable and familiar with your brand is only possible when done over a longer timescale. By simply trying to snatch your customers’ attention once Cyber Week has begun, you compete with every other seller on Amazon. This usually results in wasted opportunities and lower sales than anticipated during the most profitable times of the year.
However, by building familiarity with your audience you also create comfort in them – the comfort they need to flock to your store over the competition and part with their hard-earned cash.
When used correctly, Amazon DSP offers you a platform filled with powerful tools to make this happen. It’s true that harnessing Amazon DSP to its full potential requires time, preparation and expertise. But as more sellers begin using the platform, it no longer becomes a question of whether your business can afford to take the plunge into selling with Amazon DSP, but whether your business can afford not to. The question is, how much do you want an advantage over your competition this Cyber Week?
If you want to discover what Amazon DSP can do for your brand, get in touch with our team at Canopy Management for an initial consultation and discussion about the options available to you.
Recap of the DSP Cyberweek Optimization Strategy
- Start DSP ads 8 weeks in advance of busy period or “tent pole” event to allow for enough time to test audiences and ad-creatives.
- Run full-funnel campaigns, testing top of funnel InMarket segments and custom creatives and then making intelligent use of retargeting.
- Test Display and Video ads to reach broader audiences.
- Optimize working campaigns that reach the right in-aisle shopper segments, gain new customers with custom creatives that work, and retarget proven audiences both on and off Amazon’s platform. This creates the perfect storm for building an audience of shoppers anticipating your deals come cyber-week.
Other Important Q4 Prep Items
Aside from running DSP to maximize your cyber week, there are other important “housekeeping” items to note if you want to leverage the holidays to the fullest.
First, know your key FBA dates.
Aug 3. Holiday promotion submissions opened early this year. So get your Best Deals, 7-Day Deals, Lightning Deals and Coupons in NOW!
Sept 17. is the deadline to submit these deals. After this date, deals for Cyber week will no longer be available. (This only applies to the US and Australia. All other marketplaces have until Oct 8).
Nov 3. FBA inventory cutoff date for sellers in the US (even earlier for Canada and Mexico). This is the last day you can set up inbound shipping into FBA to have your items available for sale during the holidays.
Once you’ve ensured you will be IN STOCK, and set up promotions (remember, promotions are a key to visibility during the holidays and the volume will help in maintaining and gaining keyword rank), next you should plan your external traffic strategies.
Cut Through the Holiday Noise
Social Media: Holiday season is a great time to produce and distribute content throughout your social media channels. However, most brands use this time to share promotions and giveaways. This makes sense, since it is the gift season, but it also presents an opportunity to stand out.
Use this time to create emotionally charged content. Holidays are a time when people are more prone to feeling emotional, so if you connect with your audience on that level, you stand to create stronger relationships (and bigger fans).
Livestreaming: This may also be a good time to participate in Amazon lives. There is a good possibility that buyers will be exploring the platform more in their free time, especially if they suspect they’ll get great deals from it.
Google: Amazon very much likes traffic from Google. While it may be too late in the year to depend on SEO tactics to organically rank on Google, Adwords is a great second choice. Not only will this (ideally) lead to more sales, but also keyword rank.
Most importantly, have a profitable and safe holiday season this year!