It's that time of year again. Holiday shopping is here, and we’re faced with the challenge of what to buy for family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, and more. The holidays can be stressful.
Brands, too, experience challenges when strategising on how and where to dedicate ad spend to reach consumers during the holidays. From deciding which platform to activate first to wondering if consumers will engage with their ads, sometimes—just like you may wonder if your cousin will love the ugly sweater you gave him—brands also wonder if consumers will like their ad and product enough to purchase.
How to reach the purchase-cautious consumer
One of the most glaring holiday challenges for both consumers and brands is the current economic climate coupled with the pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve heard that each holiday season is unprecedented, and this year is no exception.
With inflation rising and economic conditions uncertain, consumers are looking to spend less. According to a report by Auctane, 58% of US consumers expect to cut back on non-food spending this holiday season. With a potential reluctance to purchase, consumer attention becomes paramount to brands. Brand strategists and ad teams try to forecast where consumers are shopping online and how to incentivise consumers to purchase in a few seconds. This year especially, every dollar spent on retail products and holiday gifts matters.
How do brands capture shopper attention? And how do brands know whether they’re reaching an audience with strong purchase intent—and in contextually-relevant environments?
First off, what the ho ho ho is Retail Media?
Retail Media is an advertising strategy used by brands. In short, it’s a methodology advertisers leverage to post targeted ads on retailer websites—and it’s the perfect tried-and-true solution for brands as consumers shop for holiday gifts on retail websites. Brands have the opportunity to create attention-grabbing ads to connect with customers along their shopping journey.
By November, our hope is most brands have already integrated this strategy into their ad planning for the holidays. Keep in mind that Retail Media is a powerful tool whatever month your campaign launches, and continuing your advertising beyond the holiday season allows you to reach post-holiday shoppers.
Six reasons why it’s smart to add Retail Media to your advertising toolkit
Brands and advertisers can leverage a Retail Media strategy to create an exceptional shopper brand experience. This means creating contextualised ad experiences that result in deeper engagement and more brand impressions.
So, for a brand promoting products, these six reasons illustrate what makes Retail Media both efficient and scalable. The bottom line is that when brands meet consumers where they are—shopping online on e-commerce sites—brands reap rewards.
With Retail Media, advertisers can:
1. Reach high intent shoppers with ease
Digital marketing traditionally has been challenging for consumer packaged goods (CPG) verticals because consumers typically don’t buy toothpaste directly from the toothpaste manufacturer’s website. Retail Media solves that. CPGs can reach high-intent shoppers on their retailer partner's website and reach relevant audiences across the open web to drive them to those retailer partner websites.
2. Meet consumers at the point of purchase
Retail Media is more effective than advertising strategies because it sits at the point of purchase. Rather than seeing ads on TV when a shopper isn’t interested in buying a product, Retail Media lets consumers see an ad for the very item they’re looking for. All up, Retail Media generates higher return on ad spend (ROAS) because it sits at the purchase stage of the marketing funnel, where shoppers are ready to buy. Additionally, by being at the front and center during the point of purchase, you’re reaching shoppers with the intent to buy.
3. Gain access to detailed consumer information (first-party data)
One of the great potentials of Retail Media is that brands can gain access to retailer first-party data. First-party data is valuable because it reaches the very shoppers that brands want to reach. That’s because the retailer knows which customers are relevant for a brand's product. For example, if a famous soup brand wants to promote their tomato soup, they can tap into a retailer's audiences to discover who searched "tomato soup" in the last two weeks or who bought the brand’s tomato soup in the last month. Other advertising platforms don’t offer this key information about the customer, which is what makes Retail Media so lucrative.
4. Track and measure the customer journey in a closed loop environment
What’s closed loop measurement? It’s the valuable insights retailers and their brands gain as they track the shopper journey. When people are shopping online, all data is lost after the shopper clicks on the product ad and leaves their website. But with Retail Media, we can see that the shopper saw an ad, clicked “add to cart," and bought the item because it's all on the retailer's site—which the retailer controls. There’s a clear path to purchase, and brands can assign accurate attribution because the data shows exactly which ads the shopper looked at to ultimately convert.
5. Gain analytic transparency
Retail Media finally provides transparency into marketing efforts with retail partners. For example, the sea-salt potato chip display in the grocery store is most likely seen by many shoppers walking past it, but that placement is expensive and impossible to report an ROI on. Retail Media gives brands a real-time view into all the sales metrics they want.
6. Achieve organic reach
Advertisers may think their Retail Media results align solely with paid advertising, but organic customer awareness is also possible with Retail Media.
According to McKinsey, almost 70% of advertisers report seeing better performance with Retail Media than with other marketing channels.
Off the wish list and into Santa’s sleigh
Budgets are tight in this economic climate, and customers will be scouring the internet, looking for the best deals on multiple sites to stretch their dollars. As you consider advertising budget allocations this holiday season, or anytime, we highly suggest prioritising your Retail Media spend. Be there at the top of the page when your customers are making purchasing decisions by leveraging a strong Retail Media strategy. Point-of-sale advertising’s goal is driving brand impressions and product “add to carts,” but you can make that first-party data work for you further by using it to uncover seasonal trends, reach more customers, and increase your sales.
PromoteIQ can help get your products under the tree
Being top of mind with holiday shoppers is hard to do. But there’s a solution to add to your advertising strategy.
You, too, can make your way to Santa’s nice list by providing shoppers with a customised ad experience powered by Microsoft PromoteIQ. PromoteIQ understands your business and goals with retailers. It’s a Retail Media platform connecting brands with the world's largest retailers and their loyal shoppers. It was designed to uncover seasonality and incrementality with retailer data, relay your feedback to influence the retailer’s product roadmap, and facilitate fruitful relationships.
Retail Media makes it easy for advertisers to promote their products to in-market shoppers with first-party data, increasing customer lifetime value while also generating strong ROAS. Our platform powers many of the industry’s leading Retail Media networks. When you leverage PromoteIQ, you’re empowered to maximise impact by reaching customers where they’re making decisions.
We provide unified reporting that enables you to combine various dimensions and metrics to generate rich insights. This streamlines campaign management and drives more agile marketing strategies—so advertisers have access to 100+ sales and engagement performance metrics, all the way down to the product level.
Now, that’s a holiday gift brands will love. Learn more about Microsoft PromoteIQ and get started today.
Sign up for the Microsoft Advertising Insider newsletter to keep up with the latest insights, product news, tips and tricks, thought leadership, customer success stories, and resources.