What Every Amazon Business

Needs to Know About Amazon DSP

It may be hard to believe, but Amazon DSP advertising isn’t just for Amazon-owned channels. Think about the powerhouse that Amazon is in general, and then think about the data behind their channels. That audience data represents behaviors and desires across all channels—and you can use that to create targeted campaigns for any advertising channel. What makes Amazon DSP advertising so vital to your advertising strategy is that it helps you optimize your targeting strategies across the web. That’s a powerful tool. We’re going to share exactly how Amazon DSP works and how you can get started using Amazon’s rich data-resources today.

What Is Amazon DSP?

Amazon DSP is Amazon’s demand-side platform that lets you manage and programmatically buy ads both on and off of Amazon. This tool also gives you access to the audience targeting data that is exclusive to Amazon, helping you reach customers across many platforms.

  • More important that what Amazon DSP is, well—everything else:
  • How it’s used for targeting your ideal customers
  • What kinds of ads work with this demand side platform
  • How to use Amazon DSP ads versus sponsored display ads
  • When and why to use this advertising option
  • And definitely how to incorporate Amazon DSP into your overall advertising strategy.

How Does Amazon DSP Work for
Audience Targeting?

How Does Amazon DSP Work for Audience Targeting?

Amazon uses its audience-identifying algorithm to target and retarget customers who may be interested in your product. For example, when someone looks up your product, the algorithm will remember the customer’s purchasing behavior and show them ads for your product. But that’s just one way Amazon DSP can target your audience. In total, there are six unique targeting options you can use to reach customers:




Advertiser Audiences

Audience Lookalike





Advertiser Audiences

Audience Lookalike


  • Behavioral: Like in the example above, this option will remember a customer’s buying intent, searches, and clicks from the previous 30 days.

  • Contextual: Your audience will be segmented based on what they are currently searching for.

  • Lifestyle: If your audience demonstrated search or purchase behaviors that reflect a certain lifestyle, they will see your ads.

  • Re-marketing: To re-engage shoppers, your ads will appear if customers have searched for, viewed, and/or purchased your products or products that are similar to yours.

  • Advertiser Audiences: Amazon will use your brand’s data to pull certain information, like email lists or webpages with tracking pixels, to target your audience.

  • Audience Lookalike: If a person has similar shopping behaviors as your current or previous customers, they will see your ads.

What Kind of Ads Work with Amazon DSP?

Amazon offers an entire toolkit of advertising platforms so you can better connect with your audience. Amazon DSP ads fall into three different categories: display, video, and audio.

Amazon Display Ads

Display ads are banner ads you see on websites, social media, and other digital media. These ads encourage users to click and navigate to a landing or product page where they can learn more about your product.

Most often, customers will see these ads on the side margins of a web page or in their search engine. If the customer links their account across different devices, they can see your ads on all their devices.

Amazon Video Ads

Most Amazon video ads are short, branded videos that give customers a glimpse at what your product has to offer. These videos will play automatically as long as half of the video is in view on the screen.

Amazon video ads will be seen on all Amazon websites, both on desktop and mobile. This applies to both homepages and product detail pages.

Amazon Audio Ads

Amazon audio ads let you reach customers who listen to Amazon Music channels. This helps you maintain your connection with your audience even when they’re not on their screens. Audio ads are still in the beta version, so they are not as widely available.

Your audio ads will play on the free Amazon Music, as well as Alexa-enabled devices, like Amazon Echo and Fire TV.

Amazon DSP vs. Sponsored Display

Amazon Advertising Management

Sponsored Display Ads

  Amazon only
  Pay per click modal

Demand-Side Platform Ads

  All Amazon Properties
 +Other Platforms
 +Video Format
 +Audio Format
 Less Effort
 Better Targeting

The services Amazon DSP offers may sound similar to sponsored display ads, which is the Amazon advertising solution that distributes ads to customers both on and off of Amazon. The main similarity between the two tools is that they both help you advertise outside of Amazon and are self-service tools.

There are also plenty of key differences between Amazon DSP advertising and display ads. For example, sponsored display ads are PPC models. DSP is a Display or CPM model, meaning that you pay for the number of impressions your ad makes (or how many times it renders on a screen).

Amazon DSP also does more for your advertising than sponsored display. Think of it as an extension of what’s offered with sponsored display ads, since it also encompasses video and audio advertising.

Why Use Amazon DSP?

Amazon DSP lets your business run better-organized advertising campaigns across more channels for less effort. With its streamlined management of Amazon advertising, you won’t have to worry about falling into any pitfalls that lead to not-so-profitable advertising strategies.

With Amazon DSP, you get all of the tools found in other DSP services with the added benefit of using Amazon’s data. This means gaining access to exclusive audiences and getting to advertise on Amazon-owned platforms like IMDb and Prime Video, along with the rest of the web.

Where Is Amazon DSP Available?

You can use Amazon DSP if you operate out of any of the following countries:
North America




United States of America

South America








United Kingdom

Middle East

Saudi Arabia

United Arab Emirates

Asia Pacific





Who Qualifies for Amazon DSP

Amazon DSP is not restricted by whether or not you sell on Amazon, but there are best practices to consider.

For example, if you choose to use Amazon DSP through an Amazon account executive, they require a $35,000 minimum investment. You’ll also be relatively limited in how you can spend that money.

But going through Amazon to access your DSP isn’t your only option. Specialized agencies, like Buy Box Experts, have garnered a lot of attention from both vendors and Amazon with how they approach DSP differently.

With Buy Box Experts on your side, this is what you can expect:

  • A lower barrier to entry. Buy Box Experts offers to operate DSP for a minimum of $10,000, provided that you have enough data points to build your audience. Or, if you’re just interested in display ads, that only costs you $5,000.

  • Specificity in your targeting. You can customize exactly who you want to reach with your advertising.

  • No minimum for line items. Otherwise, Amazon charges you $10,000 per line item.

  • Clear communication when designing campaigns. We’re more willing to put in the time and effort required to build out campaigns that work well.

  • Inclusion of customer reviews. Showing your 5-star rating in a DSP ad can help its performance. However, you need at least 15 reviews with a 3.5-star rating or higher for this to be effective.

When Should You Use Amazon DSP?

Amazon DSP is great for any company that wants to expand its reach and take advantage of Amazon’s audience. Of course, that encompasses the goals of a lot of companies—who wouldn’t want access to Amazon’s data?

To better illustrate the utility of Amazon DSP, consider the following examples:

New Amazon Sellers

When you first open your Amazon shop, you’re putting yourself up against fierce competition. And you need to find a way to outshine veteran vendors and name-brand products quickly if you want to stay in business. That’s where an aggressive advertising strategy with DSP can help.

After you’ve established a modest base of customers and have a few positive reviews in tow, you can use Amazon DSP to further raise brand awareness. Potential customers will start to notice you both on and off of Amazon with display ads and sponsored product placements. And as you raise awareness, you’ll see your sales increase too.

New Products for Established Sellers
Visibility campaigns are just as crucial for new products as they are for new companies. Just because you’re an established vendor does not mean everyone will flock to you when you put out a new product. Amazon DSP advertising can help you promote your new products to your current customers and people who haven’t even heard of you yet.

Get Started with Amazon DSP

If you’d like to start using Amazon DSP you have two options:

Option 1
Have Amazon manage your DSP with a $35k minimum budget with additional line item minimums.
Option 2
Utilize Amazon DSP in a self-serve capacity with a partner like Buy Box Experts. The minimum budget is $5k and there are no line item minimums.

So, if you want more control of your advertising dollars to target your audiences while spending less overall, Buy Box Experts is the clear path to victory.

Sign up for a free analysis  to learn how you can maximize your Amazon advertising DSP opportunities.

Will Amazon DSP Help Lower My ACoS?

Your ACoS will probably decrease significantly when you utilize Amazon DSP. However, you also shouldn’t focus too much on lowering your ACoS—oftentimes, it will cause more harm than good. For more on ACoS, read our article, Why Too Much Focus on Your Amazon ACoS is Actually Hurting Your Business.


We heard some great questions about Amazon DSP’s effectiveness in attracting customers during our DSP Webinar. To help summarize, we’ve included those questions and our responses in these FAQs.

For most brands, we recommend a $5K monthly budget for Sponsored Advertising (for products sold on Amazon). If you are an Amazon seller ready to expand into DSP (or are a non-endemic advertiser whose only option is DSP) we recommend $10K/month to properly leverage the platform.

No. Because Amazon is the number one marketplace in the U.S and attracts a wide variety of consumers, there are ways we can leverage their shopper data for almost any industry, whether or not you sell on Amazon.

There are a number of reports available that measure several KPIs useful for tracking progress toward advertising goals. Buy Box Experts uses advanced software to organize and visualize that data and watch trends over time, so you understand what it all means, and how to act on it.

Amazon has doubled down on its advertising business the past few years. Paid placements on the marketplace have increased exponentially and often all “above-the-fold” search results are paid placements. Your competitors are certainly advertising both in search results and on your product pages and, if you are not, your market share will erode over time. If your goals include growing your Amazon business, advertising is a must.

Done well, and when coupled with listing conversion rate optimization, effective advertising can dramatically increase traffic and conversions. Beyond that, a lot of performance metrics on the platform depend on advertising, and it’s difficult to succeed in, say, SEO for instance, without a complimentary ad campaign.

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