Everything marketers need to know about Amazon non-endemic ads

June 13, 2024

What is non-endemic advertising on Amazon?

Amazon Ads aren’t just for retailers anymore! Endemic means “native to,” so non-endemic ads are ads for products not native to the platform on which they appear. For example, an endemic ad would be an ad for household items sold on Amazon. A non-endemic ad would be an ad for a new car. The big picture? Now, any brand can advertise on Amazon, regardless of if they sell on Amazon.

Why should non-endemic brands advertise on Amazon?

Amazon boasts a massive, highly engaged user base. They collect tons of data on those users, like interests and purchasing patterns, so the targeting for Amazon Ads is quite advanced. Non-endemic advertisers can target users who are browsing for or recently purchased products related to their business. For example, a travel agency could target users who are shopping for swimsuits or travel gear and serve them display or video ads promoting their services.

Additionally, Amazon users are highly engaged and primed to purchase. They go to Amazon because they’re ready to buy something right now. Since they are already in that ‘shopping’ mental state, users are more likely to click on your ad and buy what you’re selling if you hit them with an ad on Amazon vs. other sites. For example, a user planning a vacation is more likely to click on an ad for a travel agency while they’re actively buying gear for their trip than they are to convert from a display ad on a random news site. These factors make Amazon a powerful advertising platform for any B2C brand.

Where do non-endemic ads appear?

These ads can appear on Amazon (of course), as TV ads during Prime Video streaming sessions, and on Amazon’s third-party partner sites like IMDB and Twitch.

Getting started

Non-endemic advertisers have several ways to access Amazon’s multi-channel ad inventory. Advertisers who have a large budget and want to make a large investment in Amazon Ads can buy ads through Amazon’s Demand Side Platform (DSP) – a platform that’s typically limited mostly to agencies. You can either launch a ‘self-service’ campaign in partnership with an agency or choose ‘managed services,’ in which an Amazon account rep will manage your campaigns for you. 

Smaller businesses looking to test the waters can start a non-endemic ad campaign right in the Amazon Ads platform. You can learn more about how small businesses can run non-endemic sponsored display ads on Amazon here

Once you activate your advertiser account, build a campaign, set a budget, and provide display and video assets, your ads can serve across all of Amazon’s platforms—including the marketplace, Twitch, and Amazon Sponsored TV. And speaking of Sponsored TV, Amazon is currently offering a $500 ad credit to advertisers who launch Sponsored TV ads for the first time. Get the details on that promotion here.

No matter your business or budget, registering for Amazon Ads is the first step.

Potential pitfalls

Amazon's non-endemic ads are a great opportunity to test out. But keep in mind that your ads will be competing with endemic ads for space, and Amazon is likely to prioritize endemic ads over non-endemic ones since they want to sell stuff on their website. Of course, non-endemic ads are promoting things not sold on Amazon, so it’s not like you’ll be competing with endemic ads for conversions. But you are competing for ad space. Therefore, a lot of the more valuable display ad real estate will be allocated to endemic ads. 

For example, a travel company might want to advertise on the results page for the search term "women's swimsuits". But if endemic advertisers are targeting that same swimsuit interest group, they’ll likely win that hyper-relevant ad space. What we’re seeing with Amazon right now is that endemic ads are getting those prime placements in the search results pages, whereas non-endemic ads are getting more generic placements like the home page. 

I’ve actually been shopping for swimsuits lately, so let’s use my experience as an example. This non-endemic Spectrum ad appeared on my homepage today below an ad for swimsuit cover-ups:

I’m not in the market for a new internet provider, so this targeting isn’t great. But I've noticed that Spectrum and AT&T seem to be going after everyone on Amazon with ads, so the internet providers must be seeing a decent ROAS. Now let’s see what ads I get when I search for women’s swimsuits: 

As you can see, every ad is endemic. I’m guessing there are so many endemic brands competing for the ‘swimsuit’ interest category that non-endemic brands really don’t stand a chance. 

My point is simply to proceed with caution. Amazon non-endemic ads sound great, and maybe they will be for your brand, but there’s only one way to know - testing.

Amazon + Marin

You can manage your Amazon non-endemic campaigns alongside all your other paid media channels in Marin, making it easier than ever to monitor and update campaigns and analyze performance across channels. We even have our own optimization suite, and our bidding algorithms have proven to be quite successful on Amazon. To learn more about how Marin can help you analyze data and act on your insights, click here.

Lauren Neels

Marin Software
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