Amazon DSP: New-to-Category Audiences

New-to-Category Audiences
New-to-Category Audiences

Each month, Amazon Advertising sends an automated email with information about what’s new for advertisers. However, recently, MPS strategists learned of DSP’s new-to-category audiences through our contacts at Amazon Advertising. Since then, we’ve performed our own research and began testing among clients. Here we share what we know and offer predictions. Continue reading to learn more about ‘new-to-category’ audiences, now available through Amazon DSP.

A Brief Overview of New-to-Category Audiences 

New-to-category audiences can be found within the audience tab of the DSP interface. Each represents a specific category of products sold on Amazon. They’re made up of shoppers that have purchased from the respective category for the first time in the past 90 days. 

The timing in which these audiences have become available is interesting. Before the coronavirus, shoppers within these audiences likely purchased in brick-and-mortar stores. Without the shifts in consumer behavior or increased demand for e-commerce, these audiences would be limited.

MPS Case Study and Analysis of New-to-Category Audiences

When clients first gained access to the initial 12 new-to-category audiences, MPS strategists performed an overlap analysis. It was important for us to discern whether this feature was a direct result of the pandemic, or if it was more in response to shifts in buying behavior. This analysis also allowed us to understand the best ways to use them for clients.

Results showed nine of the 12 audiences overlapped favorably against more than half of the remaining audiences. This told our team there were similar people beginning to shop in these categories simultaneously.

New-to-Category Audiences

Audiences with greater overlap meant shoppers were likely buying products offline before coronavirus. On the other hand, those with less overlap were likely already shopping online for these products before the pandemic. The Personal Care Appliances category above serves as a good example. It has ‘one overlap’ that includes shoppers that likely use online marketplaces regularly. But these shoppers probably only started buying personal care products online because of the pandemic. 

To consider this further, the Laundry Products category overlaps with five of the other audiences. These shoppers are presumably more casual online shoppers than the Personal Care audience. But, they’re still relatively active. 

When looking at audiences that overlap with seven or more other audiences, there’s a larger shift happening. These shoppers may be buying products from grocery, beauty, and drugstore categories in one trip. If that’s not the case, they’re likely buying from those categories more frequently. Under either of these circumstances, a shopper’s online buying behavior would begin to resemble a brick-and-mortar shopping trip.

3 Key Uses for New-to-Category Audiences 

As of now, these audiences are somewhat limited in terms of how they can be used in our clients’ campaigns. However, there are three key instances we imagine in which these audiences will be valuable.

Challenger Brands

First, since the shoppers that make up these audiences are new to a given category, they may be more open to trying a new brand. In this case, challenger brands can use these audiences to their advantage. This will be especially useful for brands that are new to Amazon, digital-first, or with a small or non-existent offline presence.

Category Leaders

On the other hand, category leaders can often struggle to drive new customers to their listings. These brands can now tap into new-to-category audiences to grow new traffic and brand equity.

New Product Launches

Brands planning to launch a new and innovative product could consider leveraging these audiences. In this case, in particular, targeting shoppers that are new to a category and willing to being influenced makes sense. Doing so will also increase new-customer-acquisition efforts and disrupt the competition.  

More Strategic Insight

The biggest takeaway is the potential these audiences have of providing insight that could help us refine targeting. If one audience performs well, brands could try targeting any overlapping audiences and try to replicate that success. As people continue to shop online versus in-store, we expect additional ‘new-to-category’ audiences. In fact, since our first analysis outlined above, there have been many additional audiences that have become available. 

If you could use the support of a strategic partner, please schedule a free consultation. And, as always, we’re here to answer any questions about your search and programmatic advertising efforts. 

New-to-Category Audiences

Hannah West

Hannah West