12 Advertising Capabilities Unveiled at Amazon unBoxed

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Advertising experts across the board gathered at unBoxed 2022, an Amazon Ads conference, to talk about innovation and strategy as the future of ecommerce and consumer behavior continues to evolve. Amazon unveiled new ad features and capabilities to make things easier for advertisers, and we pulled together 12 of the biggest updates for you here.

1. Amazon Live 

Recently announced, non-endemic clients can now use Amazon Live to launch new offerings and answer questions in real time. In 2023, the vertical view format in Amazon Live will become available for eligible advertisers. 

2. Sponsored Products: performance recommendations 

New performance recommendations, which are in-console, actionable best practices, were unveiled and are now available in ten countries. By troubleshooting in the background, advertisers can utilize these tailored recommendations to boost Sponsored Products ad campaign performance. 

3. Sponsored Products: campaign presets

Advertisers will now be able to create Sponsored Products campaigns with recently launched preset campaign settings, which include the following: 

  • Daily budget 
  • Bidding strategy
  • Targeting strategy
  • Associated bids 

These pre-populated campaign settings are based on historical performance and will be pulled to provide advertisers with estimated performance data, including impressions, clicks and conversions. According to Amazon, campaigns launched with presets observed positive results, including a 77% increase in clicks and a 29% increase in conversions.

Combined with expert knowledge, this feature can assist in selecting the right ASINs to run paid advertising. It's important to note that while advertising drives the most highly qualified traffic, your brand needs to be retail-ready to drive conversion and achieve the results you want. 

4. Sponsored Display: Twitch and non-endemic businesses

For non-endemic businesses in verticals not available on Amazon (e.g., restaurants and gyms), US advisers can run Sponsored Display ad campaigns to connect with audiences on Twitch. These campaigns are focused on driving outcomes and improving business performance on the Amazon platform, confirming Amazon's opportunities beyond its own ecosystem. SVP of Ecommerce John Ghiorso talks more about it here

While Sponsored Display ads already appear on the Twitch browse tab and directory page, they will now be integrated with Twitch live streams, which bring in 30 million daily visitors on average.

Monk Thoughts Amazon Ads has invested a tremendous amount into enhancing their products to make it easier for both endemic and non-endemic advertising experts to use. It’s not the same DSP from a few years ago and we look forward to more innovation to deliver on behalf of our clients.
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5. Rewarded Sponsored Display 

To incentivize further shoppers, shopping/streaming credits can be added to Streaming TV, Display, and Video campaigns. Brands can add an Amazon credit directly to Sponsored Display creatives, which shoppers can redeem by clicking on the ad and purchasing the advertised product. This will come in closed beta for US advertisers soon. 

To demonstrate the value and utility of this type of experience, a 2021 Amazon Ads survey of US adult Amazon shoppers showed that 92% of respondents are more likely to take action if offered an Amazon shopping credit.

6. Sponsored Display: Brand Store traffic 

To drive traffic and brand growth on the Amazon platform, advertisers can now use their video ads to redirect shoppers to the Brand Stores with Sponsored Brands video creatives. This new feature introduces a broader product catalog and increases engagement with shoppers without distractions from competing offers. 

7. Sponsored Display: video creative enhancements 

New video capabilities to enhance Sponsored Display’s creative allows advertisers to showcase products and the brand through immersive storytelling such as tutorials, demos, unboxing and testimonials. This means advertisers using Sponsored Display audiences can build awareness on and off Amazon with 45-second videos and link shoppers directly to the product detail page for further purchase consideration. 

It was also recently announced that non-endemic advisers will soon be able to run Sponsored Display ad campaigns focused on driving outcomes and improving positioning on Amazon O&O. 

For smaller brands with limited creative capabilities, a new beta Video Builder tool provides customizable templates to create ad campaigns in under ten minutes. Video ads can appear above the SRP for Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Display campaigns. As advertisers, it's still vital to keep in mind the importance of organic placement and avoid being a pay-to-play brand on Amazon.  

According to third-party research from Wyzowl, 73% of consumers say they prefer video ads to learn about products and services, and 88% say video ads have convinced them to buy.

8. Amazon Demand-Side-Platform (DSP): performance enhancements 

Campaign improvements have been made to decrease setup time to 15 minutes, optimizing efficiency and productivity. A few notable changes include: 

  • Addition of a "Change History" feature to track campaign changes and impact on performance 
  • Updated algorithm to include "keep learning" and ingest more signals that result in better outcomes 
  • Amazon Ad Tag is moving from IMG to JS, which will enable 1 pixel for all events that are being tracked and drive richer insights with no requirements of third-party identifiers.
  • Amazon Audiences are automatically updated to improve signals beyond third-party identifiers
  • Contextual Targeting (beta) based on Amazon's retail taxonomy and in-the-moment content consumption with 40K categories available 
  • Amazon Brand Lift is now available for UK advertisers in Amazon DSP 

These changes show that Amazon DSP's extensive targeting capabilities will continue to evolve, allowing advertisers to dial in on what's working and what's not. 

9. Digital Signage Ads

Starting in November 2022, eligible advertisers can programmatically purchase ad space in Amazon Fresh stores by utilizing the new inventory opportunity within Amazon DSP. With these Digital Signage Ads programmatically placed in Amazon's stores, customers will see more relevant ads and have the opportunity to physically engage with brands. Brands and advertisers can customize ad placements, daypart and measure performance for meaningful results, which allows for efficient optimization and improved customer experience.

At unBoxed 2022, Amazon shared that Digital Signage Ads within Amazon Fresh stores resulted in a 40% sales lift for Kraft.

10. Streaming TV Ads

Along with Thursday Night Football, streaming TV ad placements during Premier League games are now available in the UK. Advertisers can also utilize incremental household reach, a post-campaign reporting solution, to measure incremental audience reached. By combining first-party and third-party signals, advertisers can ensure accurate, aggregated results augmented by machine learning-based projections.

Monk Thoughts Amazon’s continued investment into video and streaming TV ads is a real game changer for marketers. Amazon is in a unique position with their Prime Video partnerships rolling out features such as Virtual Product Placement. This may be an experiment for some advertisers but this move is representative of a lot of future innovation on the horizon.
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11. Amazon Marketing Stream

Amazon Marketing Stream launched globally in October 2022, with the exception of India. By expanding to all countries within the Amazon Ads API, this new service delivers hourly campaign metrics to advertisers’ AWS accounts via a push-based model. It provides details such as targeting expression performance by placement and budget consumption messages. 

Advertisers can expect additional hourly Sponsored Display data to come soon, which can be used for further campaign optimization. Amazon goes on to say that brands can benefit from Amazon Marketing Stream in the following ways: 

  • Optimize campaigns more effectively
  • Respond quickly to campaign changes
  • Improve operational efficiency 

12. Amazon Marketing Cloud 

Currently, Amazon advertisers can utilize ad signals of Sponsored Products and Amazon DSP media. With the recent addition of Sponsored Display signals in Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC), advertisers can dive deeper into cross-media attribution and better understand the customer journey. Along with the additional signals, companion instructional queries (IQs) were launched to guide advertisers on cross-media attribution, the overlap into Amazon DSP, and other common Sponsored Display analytics. 

Based on customer feedback, Amazon Ads has focused on building AMC capabilities across four areas: 

1. Signal coverage. Advertisers can now build queries to analyze bidding efficacy, cross-publisher attribution, and total reach through integration with Sizmek Ad Suite. These Sponsored Brands signals will be added in early 2023. 

This integration is valuable as it allows advertisers to measure the impact of non-Amazon media on Amazon conversions and achieve more comprehensive cross-channel attribution, further fine-tuning the planning strategy across each phase of the marketing funnel. 

Christina Bender, Director of Amazon Partnerships, noted, “If you use Amazon Attribution to measure the effectiveness of your non-Amazon media driving Amazon.com metrics, testing out Sizmek would be a natural next step to see how that data can be queried within AMC.”

2. Ease of use. Within the past year, AMC's Instructional Query library increased from 10 to more than 50 pre-built queries serving as advertising playbooks on AMC.  

3. Actionable insights. Brands will soon be able to manage their Amazon DSP audiences within AMC, enabling audience creation via an SQL statement. 

4. Partner programs. Ask us about your Amazon services!

Monk Thoughts Insight-driven and privacy-safe solutions are crucial to our advertisers’ success. We’re excited about all the enhancements Amazon is making onto AMC as it allows us to better answer our clients’ critical business questions.
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Final thoughts from Amazon unBoxed

With the recent updates, Amazon has laid a landscape that brands can utilize for incremental business growth. A revenue increase in Q3 turned things around for Amazon, who reported total sales of $127 billion (a 15% increase compared to last year), and a 13% jump in ecommerce sales YoY.

That growth brings opportunities for brands to end the year on a strong note. Not keeping up with Amazon’s innovations may lead to missed opportunities in revenue, especially as it remains the go-to marketplace in the US. Through the power of storytelling and advertising, advertisers can showcase their brand story and products without the distractions of competitors or offers, on and off Amazon. 

There is a lot to unpack here, but our team is eager to explore these new rollouts with you! Reach out to an Amazon Ads Specialist today to game plan a winning strategy on the Amazon platform.

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