Amazon unveiled a slate of new advertising products and capabilities at its unBoxed conference, touting its ongoing mission to “make marketers’ lives easier” and help them adapt to the changes taking place in digital marketing (read: deprecation of the cookie and ongoing privacy regulation).
“We have to provide our advertisers the flexibility, efficiency and scale to be nimble and responsive as their needs change,” said Alan Moss, VP of Global Advertising Sales at Amazon Ads in a statement. “We spend a lot of time focused on how we can help them move faster, make more informed planning and optimization decisions and access our products in ways that meet their varied needs, so they can direct resources to what’s driving the right outcomes and maximize the impact of every marketing dollar they spend.”
As other retailers continue to roll out and enhance their own media offerings, Amazon is clearly bent on maintaining its lead in the space. The ecommerce giant currently accounts for 78% of all retail media spend in the U.S., according to eMarketer, with Walmart a distant second at 5%. Amazon made a whopping $31 billion in advertising revenue last year, and that marketing money will be increasingly important as the retailer, like many others, continues to see inflation and reduced consumer spending weigh down the retail side of its business.
Among the most notable new offerings unveiled at unBoxed were:
- The ability for brands that don’t sell on Amazon to advertise on its livestreaming platform Twitch;
- New capabilities allowing advertisers to better target in-store shoppers at Amazon Fresh locations; and
- A host of new streaming TV ad offerings.
Amazon also touted the growth of the Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) clean room service, which is designed to support more flexible analytics and enable marketers to build their own ad tech solutions. The company reported that the number of active AMC customers has quadrupled in the past year.
“We are constantly thinking about how we can better help marketers, particularly as they grapple with accurately measuring campaigns and adapting to the changes happening in digital advertising,” said Keerat Sharma, Director of AMC and Ad Tech Solutions in a statement. “Offering more actionable insights and increasing interoperability across our ad tech suite are examples of how we’re building to help brands operate more efficiently and make more informed business decisions.”
Expanded Access to the Twitch Audience
Businesses that sell products and services in verticals not available on Amazon, such as restaurants and hotels, can now use Amazon’s Sponsored Display ad product to market to viewers on the interactive livestreaming service Twitch, which Amazon bought in 2014. Sponsored display ads were previously only available to brands that sell products on Amazon. The new offering, which is currently in a closed beta period in the U.S. only, could spell the beginning of bigger opportunities to come as Amazon increasingly looks beyond its own ecosystem for revenue.
Digital Signage in Amazon Fresh Stores
Available in November to eligible U.S. advertisers, this new offering in Amazon’s demand-side platform (DSP) will allow brands to programmatically purchase ad space in Fresh stores, giving them 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. The idea, according to Amazon, is to create “more opportunities for brand discovery and enhance the customer shopping experience by creating a wider variety of in-store ads.”
Expanded CTV Integrations and Metrics
In the world of streaming TV, Amazon has two huge advantages over other retailers — its own content platforms and its own TV-viewing hardware. Amazon’s Prime streaming platform now includes the most expensive television show ever produced (Rings of Power) and the exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football, not to mention the Twitch audience of gaming fans. According to the company, Amazon streaming TV reaches an unduplicated potential monthly U.S. audience of more than 135 million viewers (including Twitch viewers). To top it off, Amazon has its own suite of Fire connected viewing products, including TVs and tablets.
Now, interactive video ads on these platforms can feature a range of customer call-to-action (CTA) options, including “Add to cart,” “Add to list,” “Buy this” and “Shop now” for brands selling on Amazon. Brands not selling on Amazon can include the CTA “Send me more” and deliver follow-up information via email or through a QR code.
Additionally, Amazon wants its CTV advertisers to know just how valuable its audience is, so the company has introduced a new “incremental household reach” feature in its ad solution that will help brands measure the unique, incremental audience they reached through Amazon streaming TV ad campaigns, above and beyond their linear TV campaigns.