What Is Amazon DSP and How Does It Work?

  • #Scale Insights Team
what is amazon DSP
What Is Amazon DSP and How Does It Work?

If you're an advertiser looking to expand your reach and connect with customers, you may have heard of Amazon DSP. But what is Amazon DSP, exactly? It's a demand-side platform that allows you to buy ads to reach new and existing audiences on and off Amazon.

Amazon DSP stands out by tapping into Amazon's extensive customer data and targeting capabilities, ensuring your ads find the right eyes at the perfect moment.

Whether your goals include boosting brand visibility, driving sales, or something else entirely, Amazon DSP stands ready to refine your advertising efforts. It offers detailed insights and analytics to track your success and fine-tune your strategies.

In this guide, we'll unpack everything you need to know about Amazon DSP: what it is, its varieties, and how to wield it to sharpen your marketing strategies.

What Is Amazon DSP?

Amazon DSP stands for Amazon Demand-Side Platform. It is a programmatic advertising platform allowing advertisers to purchase and display ads to Amazon customers on and off Amazon.

Amazon DSP is a cool tool that helps advertisers find the exact people they want to show their ads to. It uses special information from Amazon about what people buy and look at when they shop on Amazon. This info is special because only Amazon has it, and it helps advertisers pick the right people to see their ads.

Benefits of Amazon DSP for Advertisers

Amazon DSP has some awesome perks for people who want to advertise stuff. Let's look at a few big ones:

Really specific targeting: With Amazon DSP, advertisers can pick exactly who sees their ads. They use Amazon's information about what people buy and what they're interested in. This helps advertisers send their ads to the right people at just the right time.


Reaching more people: Advertisers can show their ads to people not just on Amazon but also on other websites and apps. This way, they can get their ads in front of more people, even if they're not shopping on Amazon right then.

Automatic ad buying: Amazon DSP uses a special system that makes buying and showing ads super easy and automatic. This means advertisers can quickly change their ads and make smart choices based on what's working best, all without having to do everything by hand.

Types of Amazon DSP (Demand Side Platform)

Amazon DSP, or Demand Side Platform, offers various options to advertisers, each catering to different marketing needs. Let’s break down these types:

  • Standard Display Ads

  • Video Ads

  • Mobile Ads

  • Audio Ads

  • Custom Ads

  • Over-The-Top (OTT) Ads

Standard Display Ads

These are the bread and butter of Amazon DSP. They appear on Amazon's websites and apps. They're great for building brand awareness and can be tailored to target specific audience segments.

Video Ads

Video ads on Amazon DSP are a powerful tool for storytelling and engagement. These ads can appear on Amazon-owned sites like IMDb, devices like Fire TV, and across the web. They're excellent for capturing attention and creating a memorable brand experience.

Mobile Ads

Specifically designed for mobile platforms, these ads can appear in Amazon's mobile app and other mobile-first environments. They're key for reaching customers on the go and are optimized for smaller screens.

Audio Ads

Amazon DSP audio ads play on services like Amazon Music. They're ideal for reaching users listening to music or podcasts and are an innovative way to tap into a less visually focused audience.

Custom Ads

For brands looking for something unique, Amazon DSP offers custom ad solutions. These can range from interactive ad units to bespoke creative designs, offering a unique way to stand out and engage with potential customers.

Over-The-Top (OTT) Ads

OTT ads are shown on streaming services and devices, like Fire TV. These ads are unskippable and reach viewers increasingly consuming content through streaming platforms.

Each type of Amazon DSP ad offers unique benefits and can be used in different customer journey stages. By understanding and utilizing these ad types, brands can effectively reach their desired audience with the right message at the right time.

How to Use Amazon DSP to Optimize Your Marketing Funnel

You can use Amazon DSP to optimize your marketing funnel and drive conversions with the right strategies. Here are some steps to help you get started:

1. Define Your Target Audience

Before using Amazon DSP, it's important to define your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? What are their interests and behaviors? By understanding your target audience, you can create more effective ad campaigns.

2. Set Your Campaign Goals

What do you want to achieve with your Amazon DSP campaigns? Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive sales, or something else? Setting clear campaign goals will help you measure your success and optimize your campaigns over time.

3. Choose Your Ad Format

Amazon DSP offers a variety of ad formats, including display, video, and audio ads. Choose the ad format that best suits your campaign goals and target audience.

4. Create Compelling Ad Content

To drive conversions, your ad content needs to be compelling and relevant to your target audience. Use eye-catching visuals, clear messaging, and strong calls to action to encourage clicks and conversions.

5. Target Your Audience

Amazon DSP offers a range of targeting options, including behavioral targeting, contextual targeting, and audience targeting. Use these targeting options to reach your desired audience and maximize your ad spend.

6. Monitor and Optimize Your Campaigns

Once your campaigns are up and running, monitoring their performance and making adjustments as needed is important. Use Amazon DSP's reporting tools to track your campaigns' performance and identify areas for improvement.

How Amazon DSP Works

Amazon DSP, or Demand Side Platform, is a powerful tool that allows advertisers to buy and manage digital ad placements more effectively. 

Here's a straightforward breakdown of how it works:

  1. Targeting the Right Audience

  2. Ad Placement Across Multiple Platforms

  3. Real-Time Bidding

  4. Performance Tracking and Optimization

  5. Cross-Device Reach

1. Targeting the Right Audience

Amazon DSP uses data from Amazon's vast customer base. This data includes shopping and browsing habits, which helps advertisers target their ads to the most relevant audience. Whether it's targeting frequent buyers of a specific product category or reaching out to new potential customers, Amazon DSP makes it easier.

2. Ad Placement Across Multiple Platforms

Once the target audience is identified, Amazon DSP places ads across various platforms. This isn't limited to just Amazon's sites; ads can appear on other websites, apps, and streaming platforms. This wide reach ensures that the target audience sees the ads wherever they are online.

3. Real-Time Bidding

Amazon DSP operates on a real-time bidding system. Advertisers set their budgets and bid for ad placements. The system automatically bids for ad spaces matching the advertiser's target audience and budget, ensuring they get the best value for their investment.

4. Performance Tracking and Optimization

The platform provides detailed analytics on how the ads are performing. Advertisers can see metrics like views, clicks, and conversions. This data is crucial for understanding the ad's impact and allows for continuous campaign optimization for better results.

5. Cross-Device Reach

Amazon DSP excels in reaching audiences across different devices —- from desktops and laptops to mobile phones and tablets. This ensures a consistent advertising experience, which is crucial in today’s multi-device world.

How Do You Access Amazon DSP?

Accessing Amazon DSP is straightforward, but the path you take depends on your business size and needs. Here’s how you can get started:

Self-Service and Managed Service Options

Amazon DSP offers both self-service and managed service options. The self-service option gives you full control over your campaigns, including targeting, bidding, and optimization. This option is best for advertisers with programmatic advertising experience and who want to manage their campaigns directly.

On the other hand, the managed service option is ideal for advertisers who want Amazon to handle the day-to-day management of their campaigns. With this option, you'll work with an Amazon account manager who will help you set up and optimize your campaigns. This option is best for advertisers new to programmatic advertising or who don't have the resources to manage their campaigns in-house.

Setting Up a Campaign

To set up a campaign with Amazon DSP, you must create an account and log in to the Amazon Advertising console. From there, you can create a new campaign and set your targeting, budget, and bid strategy. 

Once your campaign is set up, you must create your ad creative. Amazon DSP supports a variety of ad formats, including display, video, and audio ads. You'll need to meet Amazon's creative requirements, including ad size, file type, and duration specifications.

Creative Requirements

Amazon DSP has specific creative requirements that you'll need to meet to run your ads on their platform, which are the following:

Display Ads: A creative in JPEG, PNG, or GIF format. The ad size must be 300x250 pixels, 728x90 pixels, or 160x600 pixels

Video Ads: A creative in either MP4 or MOV format. The video must be at least 15 seconds long and no longer than 30 seconds.

What’s the Difference Between Amazon DSP and Amazon Sponsored Display?

The most popular options for running advertising campaigns on Amazon are Amazon DSP and Amazon Sponsored Display. While both platforms allow you to reach your target audience and promote your products on Amazon, there are some key differences between them that you should be aware of.

Here are the differences between Amazon DSP and Amazon Sponsored Display:

Availability: Amazon Sponsored Display is only available for products sold on Amazon, while Amazon DSP can be used for brands not selling directly on Amazon.

Customization: Amazon DSP allows for more in-depth targeting method customization than Amazon Sponsored Display. With DSP, you can target users based on their interests, behaviors, and demographics.

Cost: Amazon DSP can be more expensive than Amazon Sponsored Display, but it also offers more advanced features and targeting options.

Control: With Amazon DSP, you have more control over where your ads are displayed and who sees them. You can choose specific websites and apps to target, and you can also exclude certain placements. On the other hand, Amazon Sponsored Display is more limited in control and targeting options.

Objectives: Amazon DSP is more suited for advertisers who want to drive brand awareness and reach new customers. Amazon Sponsored Display is better for those who want to increase sales and promote specific products.

Amazon DSP and Amazon Sponsored Display are both effective advertising platforms, but they have different strengths and use cases.

If you are looking to reach a wider audience and build brand awareness, Amazon DSP may be the better choice. But if you want to increase sales and promote specific products, Amazon Sponsored Display may be the way to go.

Conclusion on Amazon DSP

Amazon DSP is an advertising platform that allows advertisers to programmatically buy display and video ads. It can be an effective way to increase exposure and the brand halo effect that results from increased sales on Amazon.

Through Amazon's DSP, you can keep your brand messaging consistent with a full-funnel strategy, reaching new and existing audiences on and off Amazon. It enables advertisers to reach a vast audience across numerous devices and channels through real-time bidding and precise targeting.

Overall, Amazon DSP can be a powerful tool for advertisers looking to increase their brand awareness and reach a wider audience. Its capabilities to target customers across multiple devices and channels can be a valuable addition to any advertising strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions on Amazon DSP

Where Does Amazon DSP Show Up?

Amazon DSP allows you to reach your target audience across various devices and platforms, including Amazon-owned sites and third-party sites. This means that your ads can show up on Amazon.com, Amazon-owned sites such as IMDb and Twitch, and third-party sites across the web.

What Types of Reporting and Analytics Are Available With Amazon DSP?

Amazon DSP offers detailed reporting and analytics that allow advertisers to track key performance indicators such as impressions, clicks, conversion rates, and return on ad spend (RoAS). These insights help advertisers to measure campaign effectiveness and optimize their strategies for better results.

How Do I Measure the Success of My Amazon DSP Campaigns?

Success can be measured by setting clear campaign goals and tracking performance against those objectives. Key metrics include engagement rates, conversion rates, and overall ROI. Amazon DSP provides reporting tools that make analyzing these metrics easier and adjusting campaigns for optimal performance.

Is There a Minimum Spend Required to Use Amazon DSP?

Amazon DSP has historically had minimum spending requirements, which can vary over time and by region. Consulting with Amazon or through an Amazon Advertising representative is recommended for the most current information regarding minimum spend.

Can I Retarget Customers Who Visited My Website With Amazon DSP?

Yes, Amazon DSP offers retargeting capabilities that allow you to serve ads to users who have previously visited your website but did not purchase. This can increase conversions by reaching out to customers who have already shown an interest in your brand or products.