Amazon’s advertising business, which was once a small part of the overall company, is now large enough to merit its very own conference. The inaugural AdCon 2019 event was a two-day invite-only event hosted last week in Seattle for roughly 400 people, including the company’s most senior ad executives. The intent of the conference was to educate businesses on how to use Amazon Advertising to create connections with shoppers at key moments across the purchasing journey. Direct Agent’s EVP Daniel Owen attended the conference on behalf of our Amazon clients. You can read up on his summary of the event, as well as some key takeaways below.


One of the biggest takeaways from AdCon 2019 was Amazon’s clear effort to get advertisers to consider and utilize Amazon as a premium brand destination. They are currently rolling out new features to support brands such as brand follow, brand post, live streaming, and video-in-search ads.  Brand stores are also getting more advanced, allowing videos, multiple product categories, and integration with sponsored brand ads (SBA), wherein SBA ads will now dynamically pull the most relevant products from a brand’s store when responding to a search query.

These upcoming innovations are supported by recent statistics shown during the conference which found that 87% of shoppers begin their hunt in digital channels and that 75% of shoppers are using Amazon to discover new products or brands. 


The event featured several case studies intended to highlight the impact of utilizing Amazon’s display advertising in conjunction with SPA and SBA ads. One case study showed the results of running display ads over the course of 90 days in contrast with the results of running display ads for less than 90 days. For those advertisers who ran display ads for less than 90 days, 60% outperformed on product traffic, while 49% of advertisers outperformed in the sales of their products. On the contrary, for advertisers who ran display ads for over 90 days, 72% outperformed on product traffic and 67% outperformed in the sales of their products. 


Amazon Advertising’s newest product launch is sponsored display ads, which are a relaunch of product display ads, and now bring Amazon DSP into the AMS universe. Within AMS, you can target and retarget on and across the web towards customers who have viewed an ASIN, or by their shopping interests, product types, or by product categories. These ads will appear in a wide variety of placements across Amazon and additionally on third-party sites and in mobile apps.

The setup is simple, and will dynamically generate ads from your product detail pages. It’s also done on a CPC model rather than a CPM; so you will only pay for clicks to your product detail page. However, all traffic and clicks must be driven to Amazon and not your website, as many brands may prefer. 


The last big item discussed at AdCon 2019 was Amazon Attribution. We’ve been implementing Amazon Attribution for our clients for quite some time, measuring additional spillover sales and product views from DTC to Amazon through search, social, display, email, and video campaigns. The results have been telling, showing the large effect Amazon has on consumers pertaining to its two-day free shipping, easy returns, saved credit card information, low prices, its mobile experience, and more. Their latest development is the ability to measure any sales on Amazon from social in-app traffic.  With this latest piece and their ability to accurately measure sales across devices (1st party user identification), Amazon has created a comprehensive system to measure attribution from most, if not all of an advertiser’s media channels. Amazon attribution also allows the advertiser to understand what their audiences are like based on Amazon’s audiences. This can be used to compare to any 3rd party audience targeting used by the media campaign, or simply to better understand an audience based on channel, campaign, or creative.

Overall, the inaugural AdCon 2019 was a successful and highly informative event. It was great to meet those working behind the scenes on the ad products and to meet other brands in the industry while gaining some insight into their challenges. Throughout the conference, Amazon made clear the great strides they’ve made toward positioning themselves as the most important modern brand destination. Amazon exists today not only as a brand destination but as a primary media channel for brand discovery, awareness, and consideration. Amazon now accounts for over 50% of online product searches and makes up 40% of US e-commerce sales.  Now more than ever, it’s vital for businesses to develop and perfect their Amazon strategies. We understand this, and with that vitality in mind are hosting an Amazon-focused event in Los Angeles on October 23rd. The event will feature industry experts from Direct Agents, Amazon and Belkin, who will be discussing everything you need to know to build a successful brand on Amazon.

– Daniel Owen, EVP, Direct Agents