Getting to the right customer at the right time remains one of the major challenges of e-commerce. But an increasing number of channels are supporting brands to do just that.
Consumer behaviour has transformed over the past two years. As shopping habits evolve and technology advances, brands and retailers have to grow more sophisticated in how they market and sell. In an increasingly competitive environment, digitally-savvy brands are utilising new channels to reach an ever-widening consumer audience.
To be successful in this new age of retail, brands must meet consumers where they want to shop. There is no question about it. If you want to get your products in front of purchase-ready shoppers, employing a retail media strategy is crucial.
New emerging channels
Industry expert David Spitz observes that the landscape has evolved from the well-known channels to many new and emerging ones. From Amazon, which has taken a lot of market share over the years, he says there is a “real proliferation of new marketplaces,” like the Allegro shopping site in Poland and Zalando, which has dominated the fashion vertical in Europe.
Following on from Amazon’s success with advertising programs, there has been an explosion of third-party marketplaces offering retail media advertising. In the past, digital marketing and marketplaces were distinct but he believes they have now “converged almost to a singularity.”
“Even if you are not a marketplace seller, you still want that ability to influence. So, these separate domains have really come together in an almost integrated fashion.”
Role of retail media
Historically, retail media has been dominated by bottom-funnel sponsored search ads on retailers’ e-commerce websites. Recent emphasis on upper-funnel display and video ads to advertise across a broader scope of sites give a sense of what’s ahead with this trend.
Crucial for companies is ensuring they are visible when a consumer is at a critical point in the journey from inspiration to purchase. “That is the beauty of retail media in helping do this,” he says.
Retail media is such a perfect advertising strategy, the consumer is doing a pretty specific search, they are primed for purchase.
Impact on consumers
Putting customer experience at the heart of your retail media ads is critical to success. “It leads to a bad experience if there is irrelevant ad clutter, but if search results and sponsored results are meaningful and relevant for what someone is looking for, it can actually be helpful to the consumer,” he says.
Creating e-commerce strategies
Spitz is CEO of ChannelAdvisor, which is a platform that enables brands and retailers to better execute against their multichannel e-commerce strategies within a single platform. “Our mission is to connect and optimise the world’s commerce. We are an integration platform that helps brands and retailers connect to all the different places where consumers shop online. We offer this globally on both a managed-service and self-service basis for thousands of brands and retailers,” he says.
“There are many channels out there that consumers use to find and purchase products and it is our job to help our customers meet consumers wherever they are shopping.
“Retail media is such a perfect advertising strategy, the consumer is doing a pretty specific search, they are primed for purchase, they are right there, they know what they are looking for and if you have something relevant to say, that can be a very effective place to say it.”
Many brands, he says, are still very early in the e-commerce lifecycle.
“The progress of digital isn’t slowing down, if anything it may speed up further. As a brand, keep agile, be curious about new innovations, and most of all, remember to place your consumer at the heart of what you’re doing and you should reap the rewards,” concludes Spitz.