Retail media networks are increasingly adopted across geographies. With the accelerated adoption of online retail and eCommerce due to the pandemic, retailers have amassed a large pool of captive audiences online. These pools include customers getting comfortable purchasing the goods and services online that hitherto were sold in the physical stores.
This unprecedented influx of online shoppers is only one of the two primary reasons for the retailers offering their onsite or in-app inventories to the advertisers. The other key reason is the platonic shift to embrace the online advertising industry.
The shift here is the depreciation of the 3rd party cookies arriving shortly. With these cookies gone and no apparent alternatives in sight, the marketers and advertisers are looking for newer ways to connect with their customers.
Retail media is optimally placed at the intersection of both. With 3rd party cookies gone, 1st party data is destined to play a prominent role in online advertising. And with the higher adoption of e-retail, more and more first-party data is generated, and an evolved ecosystem will emerge.
Kritter technology solutions have been helping eCommerce companies, retailers, and others in the ecosystem (like payment apps) in their endeavors to transform into robust advertising businesses. With its mission to help organizations activate, mobilize and monetize their first-party data, Kritter has delivered seamlessly integrated, highly scalable solutions within months.
Retail media or commerce advertising networks add an alternative revenue stream for the retailers and create a favorable environment for advertisers (brands, sellers, & partners) and the end consumers. Doing it programmatically provides added benefits. It enables faster & simpler order execution, access to new demand sources, limited need for in-house resources, thus reducing costs, and most importantly, easier activation of first-party data.
Advertisers get direct access to the first-party data that will get more and more precious in the times to come, thanks to the deprecating 3rd party cookies. This rich data source allows brands to deliver ads and most relevant messages to the end consumer based on their past transactions, browsing behavior, past interactions, demography, and location. Additionally, brands reach the users at the moment of truth, i.e., when they are at the last stages of their buying journeys.
With the changing buying behavior, consumers are, more often than not, even starting their journeys with the eCommerce websites & apps. As per a report by ChannelAdvisor, 53% of the US adults begin their product searches with Amazon, whereas the traditional search engines (Google, Bing) get only a 23% share of the pie. An additional 8% do so on other marketplaces like eBay, Target, and Walmart.
With new product categories and traditional retailers going online, the boundaries between product searches and purchases are swiftly getting blurred.
To defend its dominance in the search space and make a dent in Amazon's monopoly in retail media revenues, Google announced a few expansive changes that are destined to define the course of the industry.
The major update came when Google recently announced a partnership with Shopify giving the 1.7 million Shopify merchants access to Google's 1 billion "shopping journeys" across Search, Maps, Images, Lens, and YouTube. More details will follow soon. This follows with Google partnering with GoDaddy, Square, and WooCommerce and integrating these platforms with its shopping listings.
Additionally, Google Pay has introduced new money management and transit features where consumers can discover grocery deals at participating US Safeway and Target locations via search. They can purchase or top-up virtual transit tickets and cards.
Yet another update in the sequence came with Google tying up with Paytronix allowing users to download food from the participating restaurants without downloading an app.
The moves will also allow Google to enrich customer data with actual purchases and the existing (inferred) purchase intent.
In hindsight, search and commerce, though in silos, served one common goal of enabling the consumer to perform a task or a transaction. Now in conjunction, they are mirroring the consumer behavior with a better user experience.
This brings us to the end consumer. Today's consumer wants more personalization than ever while keeping their data private. They are willing to share that information with brands that ask for prior consent and tell them how they will use their data. Here retail media again proves its worth. With GDPR and CCPA in place, it's getting complicated by the day to track customers without their knowledge and get away with it.
With retail and search closing in on each other, the retailers can expect advertisers lining up for their website and app inventories.
In a nutshell, retail ad networks or commerce media are here to stay and thrive. It's up to the retailers and eCommerce players to equip themselves and their brand partners with the right tools to make the best opportunities.
And the best way to manage the sales, optimization, and growth of retail media is through programmatic platforms.