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How to Use Amazon DSP in a Post-Cookie World

February 28, 2024
Xmars Team

The shift away from third-party cookies in internet browsers is sparking concern among advertisers and eCommerce vendors. These tiny data files that sit on users' devices have been key to helping us understand visitor behavior, make ads more relevant and improving online shopping experiences. But with these cookies set to vanish, there's a bit of worry about how this will affect things like analytics, understanding the customer journey, and personalizing ads.

As we continue to move forth in 2024, eCommerce businesses must explore and adopt new methods for tracking and engaging users to maintain the efficacy of their advertising campaigns. Despite the existence of alternatives like data clean rooms, the changing landscape of online privacy is forcing advertisers to rethink their data collection and personalization tactics.

Data Clean Rooms and Privacy Initiatives

In response to these challenges, the industry is leaning into innovative solutions like data clean rooms, which lets businesses pool and examine data in a privacy-friendly way. This setup supports targeted ads and deep analytics while keeping privacy in check.  

Recent privacy initiatives by major tech companies like Apple and Google have also accelerated the move away from third-party cookies. Apple's introduction of App Tracking Transparency with iOS 14 requires apps to obtain user consent before tracking activities across other apps and websites. Similarly, Google has announced that it plans to eliminate third-party cookies by 2024, aiming to enhance user privacy while ensuring the web remains open and accessible.

Amazon DSP: An Alternative to Cookies

Amazon's Demand-Side Platform (DSP) emerges as a powerful tool for advertisers in this new landscape. It allows for smart ad buying across different formats and platforms, making the most of Amazon's deep dive into consumer behavior. With Amazon DSP, you can target specific groups using first-party data, sidestepping the need for third-party cookies.

What is the Strategic Advantage of Amazon DSP?

Amazon DSP offers direct access to Amazon's exclusive audience insights and the power to engage customers based on their Amazon activity. This not only makes your ads more relevant but also streamlines the process of bringing back those almost-customers. Leveraging Amazon’s own data, advertisers can navigate the post-cookie digital landscape more effectively, reaching their desired audiences with precision and scale.

Let's break down the smart targeting Amazon DSP offers:

  • Behavioral Insights: Why rely on assumptions when you can make decisions based on solid actions? With Amazon DSP, you can target customers based on their recent Amazon activities. Imagine being able to tailor an ad for someone who just added your product (or a competitor’s) to their cart.
  • Lifestyle Targeting: Connect with customers through real-life moments and preferences. This strategy groups buyers by specific characteristics, like age, location, shopping habits, or significant life events.
  • Contextual Alignment: Place your product in the spotlight at the perfect moment and place. This approach finds customers based on when or where they're likely to engage with your ad.
  • Lookalike Audiences: Expand your reach by identifying new customers who share characteristics with your current fans. This feature finds new groups that match the profile of your existing customers or other target segments you’re interested in.
  • Custom Audiences: Put your data to work in a privacy-conscious manner. You can safely incorporate information from your customer base, like contact details from previous purchases, to refine your targeting.

Who Benefits from Amazon DSP?

Amazon DSP is invaluable for brands and agencies aiming for a comprehensive advertising strategy that addresses all stages of the consumer funnel. It's especially beneficial for "non-endemic" brands that do not sell directly on Amazon but can leverage Amazon's data to inform their advertising strategies.

DSP ads provide the opportunity to engage potential buyers at every stage of the buying journey, ranging from initial brand discovery to consideration, and finally, acquisition. For instance, by running your DSP ads on video streaming platforms, you have the potential to captivate audiences who might not currently have your brand on their radar. Furthermore, a DSP banner on Amazon or a re-engagement ad on an external site can nudge shoppers towards completing a purchase.

Integration with Amazon Marketing Cloud

For advanced users, the integration of Amazon DSP with Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) offers unparalleled insights and targeting capabilities, allowing you to create highly specific audiences and optimize advertising strategies based on deep data analysis. When DSP's targeted ad placements meet AMC's analytical prowess, the real magic happens:

  • Granular Audience Segmentation: AMC’s insights allow you to slice and dice their data, identifying very specific customer segments. DSP can then target these groups with custom ads, ensuring the right people see the most fitting messages.
  • A Cycle of Continuous Improvement: Running DSP campaigns generates heaps of data, which flows back into AMC for analysis. This cycle of learning helps refine future campaigns, ensuring ads get smarter and more effective over time.
  • Mapping Detailed Customer Journeys: With AMC, you can chart the complex paths customers take. Armed with this knowledge, DSP helps place your ads strategically along these journeys, making every touchpoint count for more engagement and conversions.


The phase-out of third-party cookies is a significant pivot in digital marketing and retail media, prompting advertisers to find new ways to track and engage online audiences. As privacy concerns grow, alternatives like data clean rooms and platforms such as Amazon DSP present viable paths forward. These innovations promise to sustain, if not enhance, the efficacy of your campaigns in a world that's increasingly privacy aware.

For anyone aiming to elevate their Amazon advertising and connect with their audience more effectively, the combination of Amazon DSP and the insights provided by AMC presents a precise and impactful solution. It’s all about crafting smarter advertising strategies that truly hit home with your target audience. If you’re in search of assistance to streamline this process and enhance its effectiveness, Xmars provides tools designed to simplify and amplify your advertising efforts. Seize the opportunity to refine your advertising strategy and stay ahead in the fast-approaching cookieless future!

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