AAP | Sports Shoe Brand Case Study
Brand building and marketplaces are becoming increasingly inseparable. Marketplaces, like Amazon, attract millions of monthly users, carry a variety of products and even offer services. Let’s not forget to mention that 49% of all product searches start on Amazon. Even if people aren’t purchasing directly via the platform, they’re still going on Amazon for product research, for building preferences and purchase decisions. Amazon has already recognized this tendency and has built an advertising platform (AAP) so brands can reach Amazon’s exclusive first-party audiences. In the last two years alone, Amazon’s DSP has surpassed other popular DSPs making Amazon the most utilized DSP among advertisers, as per Advertiser Perceptions annual industry report. Amazon shouldn’t be seen only as a sales channel, but also as a marketing and communications channel, and, a powerful one at that. Not sure how to leverage AAP into your media mix? Let’s explore how you can use Amazon ad-tech to programmatically reach new audiences.
WHAT IS AAP?
The Amazon Advertising Platform (AAP) is a Demand Side Platform (DSP) that allows you to reach Amazon shoppers and advertiser audiences programmatically, at scale. In essence, the DSP buys web, mobile and video inventory programmatically across, across Amazon properties, across the web and web apps, and on devices. The DSP can also reach leading publishers’ sites through direct inventory from APS (Amazon Publisher Services) and third party exchanges. AAP has both a self-serve option and a managed by Amazon option, for premium ad solutions.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AAP & AMG?
AMG (Amazon Media Group) is Amazon’s in-house team that sells premium advertising solutions exclusively for those who sell on Amazon and for those who don’t, providing them with digital and offline solutions. For the most part, AMG is not a self-serve product, display and custom solutions are managed by an Amazon Advertising consultant.
AMG offers ad solutions like:
- Display ads
- On Amazon: On-site display ads which allow you to engage shoppers throughout each step of the customer journey. These types of display ads enable features such as star ratings, customer reviews, call to actions and eye snatching creatives. These ads also apply to Amazon’s shopping app, Fire TV and its tablet devices.
- Off Amazon (AAP): Display ads that run across leading publishers’ sites, mobile apps, and ad exchanges. With these types of ads, you can still reach Amazon’s exclusive first-party audiences and create campaigns that drive branding or sales goals.
- Video ads
- Instream video: Premium full-screen video ads enabled for across the web or across Amazon properties which offer experiences parallel to that of TV ads.
- Outstream video: Auto-play video ads that are served across Amazon.com (mobile and app), Fire tablet devices or across the internet. These video ads are for driving video views, brand awareness and consideration.
- Custom solutions
- Custom solutions: These are request based, however, few examples of custom solutions range from drone deliveries, instant pickup at Amazon lockers or “on the box” solutions.
- Sponsorships: Sponsorships are most commonly used during key events such as Prime Day, Back to School, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With this option, advertisers can reach large audiences, capture attention in prominent placements across Amazon to highlight brand messages and increase conversions.
AAP (Amazon Advertising Platform) offers both self-serve options for serving ads (since 2014) and premium ads managed by Amazon account team. AAP is the only way to reach Amazon’s audiences off of Amazon owned-and-operated properties. Off Amazon, websites are made up of high-quality sites, sourced directly and from leading online ad exchanges. These off Amazon sites are constantly filtered to produce the utmost brand-safe media environment which is appropriate for all audiences spanning from different ages. Brands that sell on Amazon and those who don’t can use AAP.
AAP offers ad solutions such as:
- Desktop and mobile web display ads: There are several types of ad placements with their own specific creative dimensions, for both on and off Amazon. These ads have twice the resolution which provides image clarity on high-resolution devices.
- Mobile banner ads: With these ads, advertisers can reach and target mobile users on high-quality, third-party mobile applications on Android, Fire Tablet, and iOS platforms. The mobile banner ads must contain an AdChoices label in one corner and banners that link back to Amazon must have an Amazon logo or a reference to Amazon.
- Mobile interstitial ads: Mobile interstitial ads are full screen and hide inside the apps using the Mobile Ads API. They do not appear on Amazon Mobile Shopping. There are two different templates for these ads and both are responsive to match the size of any mobile device. An AdChoices icon is automatically overlaid on top of the ad and is not configurable. The ads are supported in applications for iOS, Android and Fire smartphones and tablets. Customer reviews are allowed for both of the templates. If the ad links to Amazon, the Amazon logo or textual reference to Amazon must be included.
- Video ads: Both in-stream or out-stream video ads that run 5+ seconds can be served on AAP in the following formats: MP4, WebM or FLV. These video ads run on third party websites.
Amazon has a wealth of unique first-party data. With over 20 years in business, they have observed billions of shopping patterns. They know information such as, product interests, what people want to buy, what they bought and how, their habits, life moments, and information on people who aren’t customers yet. Their data is constantly updated (real-time data) which is considered to be the best source of actionable insights and predictor of future purchases. This data is exceedingly valuable since it is able to segment their first-party audiences by lifestyle (product/category interests), in-market (users that have shown an intent to purchase), and custom segments. Additionally, segments can be created by combining your own existing audiences and overlaying them with Amazon’s first-party audience. Due to exclusive data points, Amazon has strong post view conversion and also have their own full-funnel campaign metrics, attribution and tracking.
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One limitation with AAP has is that certain types of targeted ads can only be used if they drive users back to Amazon pages, namely, those who are selling on Amazon as a Vendor or Seller can do so. Is it possible to advertise your own e-commerce with display ads on Amazon.com or through Amazon’s owned-and-operated sites? No, it isn’t possible because Amazon restricts ads from sending users to other retailer or e-commerce sites. However, it is possible to have an ad on Amazon that directs users to a landing page which isn’t linked to a marketplace or e-commerce.
IS AAP THE RIGHT TOOL FOR YOU?
First let’s start by establishing a key determinant, the type of account, followed by characteristics, possibilities and the business objectives that can be attained by leveraging AAP.
- Type of Account
- Selling on Amazon (Vendors or Sellers)
- Amazon vendors or sellers can utilize AAP to reach audiences programmatically both on and off Amazon with ads that drive traffic back to their own Amazon product pages, store page, landing page, search results page and more. Their ads can include customer reviews and customer rating stars. Both have access to use the self-serve ads or the managed by an Amazon Advertising consultant, premium ad solutions.
- Not selling on Amazon
- Brands and businesses can advertise also both on and off Amazon, the only difference between them and the aforementioned accounts is that they cannot have the ad link to another e-commerce or marketplace when clicked on. (coherence between ad and landing page without redirecting) the user to a page in which they could make a potential purchase. They have access to both self-serve ads and premium ad solutions managed by an Amazon Advertising consultant.
- Selling on Amazon (Vendors or Sellers)
- Business objectives
- Brand awareness
- New product launch
- Increase sales
- Drive traffic
- Reach new audiences
HOW CAN I GET STARTED?
If you are an agency or business you can sign up to use the AAP platform. Then you must decide whether you would like to use the self-serve ad platform or the managed premium ads/campaigns by an Amazon consultant. For self-serve ads, no minimum budget is required. For premium ad solutions managed by an Amazon consultant, a budget of $35,000 or more is required. After the decision has been made, you can upload your own creatives and messaging (that fits within Amazon’s guidelines). Then it’s time to submit the creatives which normally takes around 24 hours to be approved.
Are you ready to start allocating ad spend on Amazon this year? Let us help add Amazon to your media mix and maximize your full potential, contact us!
SHOE BRAND CASE STUDY
Brand awareness was the goal of this anonymous shoe brand which launched two campaigns using AAP along with other popular DSPs. The first campaign was for the Italian market and the second was aimed for the UK market. The objective of the campaigns was to promote a new line of shoes and both used display banners (static images and GIFs) with high impact creatives to programmatically reach the audience across the web.
For the first campaign aimed at the Italian market, AAP outperformed other DSPs for CTR by +40% and CPA by -30%. As for the second campaign aimed at the UK market, AAP beat the other DSPs also for CTR by +25% and CPA by -36%.
AAP proved to be the most successful for increasing brand consideration and recorded more sale conversions than on other programmatic campaigns. For prospecting strategies, AAP functioned better for the shoe brand because it provided a greater user segmentation thanks to its wide range of audiences available on the platform that avoid budget delivery on non-performing placements.