Amazon is currently testing off-Amazon ad retargeting as part of their Sponsored Products product expansion. Currently limited to automatic campaigns in Sponsored Products, this new beta feature will enable sellers to expand the reach of their SP ads to off-Amazon websites and apps for retargeting purposes.
An invitation to the Extended Ad Network Beta was sent out on 18th May 2018, and is currently limited to Amazon US sellers.
How does the Sponsored Products ad retargeting work?
Your Sponsored Products automatic campaigns will automatically be activated for off-Amazon retargeting, and your SP ads will be displayed on both Amazon and third party external sites. The ad format will remain unchanged and your ads will continue to link to the product listing page. Pay-per-click, the auction system, sales attribution and billing will remain the same. On and off-Amazon retargeting will also use the same CPC bid.
For manual campaigns, the beta is not yet available. Campaign control and reporting functionalities are still limited in the beta. You will not be able to limit or select the external sites you wish for your SP ads to be displayed on. Based on Amazon’s automatic retargeting, your ads will be displayed to “users who have expressed interest in your product or similar products to yours…on Amazon owned and operated sites as well as non-Amazon websites and apps.”
Differences to the Amazon Advertising Platform (AAP)
Advertisers can also place ads on third-party sites through the Amazon Advertising Platform (AAP). However, the AAP provides more extensive control capabilities, such as audience segmentation, device and browser targeting, etc. In addition, AAP can be used to design your own ads or banners, and the payment model is impression-based (CPM) rather than click-based (CPC).
However APP also requires significantly higher minimum budgets, and therefore may not be a viable alternative for all advertisers exploring retargeting opportunities for their product range.
The ability for sellers to extend the reach of their SP ads to off-Amazon sites is a very interesting addition to Sponsored Products and Amazon PPC in general. How the new retargeting capabilities will affect PPC sales overall however, is difficult to assess at the moment.
Currently, the reliance on Amazon’s automatic retargeting means you do not have direct control over where your SP ads will (or will not) appear. The lack of ad display control can be risky for advertisers, and will require testing over time to compare the performance of on-Amazon and off-Amazon advertising sales.
The effectiveness of Amazon’s new retargeting feature will also depend on whether Amazon will introduce further campaign retargeting capabilities (i.e. individualized CPC bids for off-Amazon ads), and if they will extend the new feature to PPC manual campaigns.
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