The Envision Horizons team had a great time attending the annual Amazon UnBoxed conference and Amazon Partner Award Ceremony this week. We are sharing our expert opinions on key updates and announcements from Amazon UnBoxed!
18 Key Takeaways from Amazon UnBoxed
- Sponsored Display for Non-Endemic Brands
- Rewarded Sponsored Display
- Brand Impression Share (Beta)
- Sponsored Display Video Creative, Video Builder, and Creative Services
- Digital Signage Ads in Amazon DSP
- Performance Recommendations
- Sponsored Products Campaigns with Presets
- Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) Enhancements
- Sponsored Brands Video Ads Have Top of Search Placements
- Amazon Marketing Stream Available Globally
- Streaming TV Ads Enhancement
- Amazon Continues Pushing Amazon Posts
- Going Beyond 90 Days for Look Back
- Budget Rules will be Available by Time of Day in the Ad Console
- Amazon Live for Non-Endemic Brands
- Amazon Monthly Influencer Boxes
- DSP and TV Updates
- Insights and Stats Shared by Amazon
1. Sponsored Display For Non-Endemic Brands
Amazon Ads is introducing Sponsored Display for non-endemic brands. This means brands that do not sell on Amazon’s platform (such as brands in the auto, real estate, and insurance industry) will be able to use Sponsored Display to reach Amazon’s Twitch audience.
This is currently only offered to U.S. sellers in closed beta on Twitch, and Amazon has not announced if the offering will extend to on-site Amazon.com placements and other owned media properties.
This is still a win for non-endemic brands to leverage Amazon’s growing audience. However the current limitations make utilizing Amazon Demand Side Platform (DSP) a better media buying opportunity right now.
Learn more about how Envision Horizons offers non-endemic businesses the opportunity to utilize Amazon DSP. Check out our advertising offering here.
2. Rewarded Sponsored Display
Amazon announced that brands will now be able to add an Amazon shopping credit directly into their Sponsored Display creative. Customers can receive the reward by clicking on the ad and purchasing the advertised product. This net new feature is coming soon to US advertisers soon in closed beta.
Forbes explains that “In a 2021 Amazon Ads survey of U.S. adult Amazon shoppers, 92% of respondents said they were more likely to take an action if offered an Amazon shopping credit, demonstrating the value and utility of this type of experience.”
Our Director of Performance Marketing, Todd Piechowski has this to say about the new feature: “What is still unknown about this ad credit option is who will be fitting the bill for the credit. Amazon surely wants to keep the customer coming back and buying more goods on their site, but are they willing to provide a portion of that credit like they do through Subscribe & Save products?”
3. Brand Impression Share (Beta)
Amazon is providing actual share of voice data for Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands. Additionally, brands are getting omnichannel metrics that show both online and offline measurements to help automate reporting and budget allocation beyond on-platform optimization. (Credit: Destaney Wishon)
4. Sponsored Display Video Creative
Sponsored Display now supports video for self-service ad campaigns on and off Amazon.
The Sponsored Display video creative empowers advertisers to easily create video campaigns that showcase their products and stories to millions of customers on Amazon and elsewhere online. Sellers will be able to use the tool to deliver video ads, such as tutorials, demos, unboxing, and testimonials, and measure campaign performance with new video metrics.
Amazon Ads also announced an expanded public beta program for Video Builder, which makes it easy for brands to create videos for their Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Display campaigns with customizable templates.
Using available product and lifestyle images to create more engaging ad content, advertisers can easily build video creatives in less than 10 minutes at no additional cost.
Amazon creative services is a new offering that helps advertisers discover, compare, and directly book with trusted service providers for the creation of assets such as Sponsored Brands, Streaming TV, and Sponsored Display videos. Brands can search and filter services and directly connect with providers within the Amazon ads console.
5. Digital Signage Ads in Amazon DSP
Digital Signage Ads in Amazon DSP, which will be available in November to eligible U.S. advertisers via managed service, make it easier for brands to advertise within Amazon Fresh stores. Programmatic buying gives brands more flexibility and control over where their ads are featured. Campaigns can be scheduled based on store location, by daypart, or by location of the digital signage within the store.
6. Performance Recommendations
Amazon is highlighting performance recommendations to better guide new advertisers. Performance recommendations (actionable best practices for Sponsored Products campaigns) are in-console. The tool provides Sponsored Products campaign tips such as new keywords and bid suggestions. Performance recommendations will be generally available in 10 countries in November.
7. Sponsored Products Campaigns with Presets
Sponsored Products campaigns with presets, available to U.S. advertisers, are now automatically featured in the ads console for new products. With Sponsored Products campaigns with presets, Amazon Ads recommends campaign settings, including daily budgets and bidding strategies, that look to remove the ambiguity of starting a new campaign or launching a new product on Amazon.
Amazon Ads found that campaigns launched with presets observed a 77% increase in clicks, and a 29% increase in conversions compared to campaigns that did not utilize presets.
Forbes states “The metrics Amazon shares – a 77% increase in clicks and a 29% increase in conversions – indicates that ACoS will be higher. Still, this feature could be beneficial in some circumstances, such as new product launches which usually require much higher initial bids to gain traction.”
8. Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) Enhancements
New features Within Amazon Marketing Cloud (Credit: Jeffery Cohen)
- The addition of Sponsored Display and digital subscription events offering greater visibility into the total and incremental impact of different Amazon Ads formats, more comprehensive cross-media attribution, and a deeper understanding of the customer journey.
- Sponsored Brands signals will be added to AMC in early 2023.
- More pre-built instructional queries (AMC’s Instructional Query library has increased from 10 pre-built queries to more than 50)
- Ability for brands to manage Amazon DSP audiences within AMC, coming later this year. This will enable audience creation via a SQL statement, allowing for increased customization based on campaign goals and the ease of pushing these audiences directly into Amazon DSP for campaign activation.
- Amazon Ads has begun rolling out AMC partner certifications.
- Amazon’s investments in the Sizmek Ad Suite (currently in beta) aim to further attract advertisers to AMC by offering them enhanced abilities to interrogate the efficiency of their bidding activity or perform cross-publisher attribution. (Source: Digiday)
9. Sponsored Brands Video Ads Have Top of Search Placements
Sponsored Brand video ads will have top of search placements. Amazon explained at the conference that they view Sponsored Brand Video a brand forward video approach and Sponsored Display Video as a product forward video approach where you can engage customers before they are in the consideration stage.
Amazon states that brands that included video ads in their marketing strategy see…
- 2.7x higher growth rate of new to brand customers
- 2.8x higher growth rate of repeat customers
- 2.2x higher sales growth
SBV = brand forward
- You are capturing your audience when they already have an intent to purchase. Now you need to get them to choose your brand.
SDV = product forward
- You are capturing audiences in different stages of their shopping journey. Advertise the product they should be looking for.
- Leverage audiences to narrow down customers that are more likely to consider your product
10. Amazon Marketing Stream Now Available Globally
Amazon UnBoxed brought the announcement that Amazon Marketing Stream insights are now available outside of North America. Amazon Marketing Stream (beta) is now available globally (except India). Amazon Marketing Stream enables hourly Amazon Ads campaign metrics and information in near real time, which can be used to optimize campaigns.
11. Streaming TV Ads Enhancement
Amazon Streaming TV now includes incremental household reach (beta). The solution ensures accurate, aggregated results by combining first-party and third-party signals, augmented by machine learning-based-projections. Reporting will allow brands to stay informed and make optimizations during campaigns.
12. Amazon Continues Pushing Amazon Posts
Amazon seems to expect Amazon Posts to start gaining more momentum this year, and shared information and best practices at UnBoxed 2022. Amazon shared the stat that shoppers who follow a brand on Amazon spend on average 2x more on purchases with that brand than non-followers.
Amazon’s recommended best practices for Posts…
- Use lifestyle imagery
- Highlight new products, deals, and best sellers.
- Tag multiple photos
- Schedule ahead of time
- Post at least 3x per week
Check out our team’s full list of best practices for Amazon Posts here.
13. Going Beyond 90 Days for Look Back
If you have ever toggled to lifetime view and hovered over the bar graphs in the campaign manager to see monthly metrics, then this update is for you! A limitation of Campaign Manager in the past was the ability to see historical advertising data beyond 90 days. Unless you were working with an ad tech or data partner to capture that data on a rolling basis, it would be lost after 90 days. This coming update from Amazon will give access to custom data for export and exploring.
14. Budget Rules will be Available by Time of Day in the Ad Console
As advertisers get more sophisticated and Amazon Marketing Stream gives access to hourly trends, having the ability to adjust budget rules at specific times will be crucial for sellers looking for an edge. Budget increases during the portion of the day that sales are often the strongest or vice versa, budget reductions when sales are the lowest could be a way to control spend & ad revenue on a more granular level than previously available.
15. Amazon Live for Non-Endemic Brands
Now, non-endemic clients can use Amazon Live. Auto brands have already started utilizing Amazon Live to launch new cars and answer customer questions real-time.
- In 2023, Amazon Live in vertical video will become available.
- Amazon is also testing rewarding returning customers for specific influencers or brands.
16. Amazon Monthly Influencer Boxes
Amazon is introducing gift boxes that will be available for participation in 2023. The monthly subscription boxes are sent through Amazon influencer program, and will be curated with seasonal products from various brands depending on the theme (i.e. Spring Trends, Summer Essentials, Valentines Day, Earth Day, Pride, National Pet Month, etc.).
17. TV and DSP Updates
Along with Thursday Night Football, there are now Streaming TV placements in the UK during Premier League games.
- Amazon’s recent presentation on Thursday Night Football says its football audience is younger and watching longer than TV networks’ NFL viewers. It suggested advertisers could miss out if they don’t build other Amazon ads into their campaigns. (Source: Business Insider)
- Contextual targeting is becoming more prevalent on DSP which increases overall clicks and conversions.
- Amazon UnBoxed brought a product update announcement that the IMDb app now has a video ad upon loading/starting up the app.
18. Insights & Stats Shared During Amazon UnBoxed 2022
- Over 67% of NTB (new to brand) customers in fashion come from brand partnerships such as Amazon Live, TikTok, events, etc.
- 53% of users have discovered new brands simply from Streaming TV campaigns
- GenZ (18+) rate influencers as their most trust source of information when making a purchase
- Customers are 17x more likely to click on a video ad versus a static ad
- 78% of searches on Amazon are non-branded searches
- Apparel sales are increasingly ad attributed on Amazon compared to organic sales