Know Your Marketplace Choices and Make Growth-Minded Decisions
Running an eCommerce digital media program has never been simple. Today, in addition to analyzing which channels, campaigns, and products are driving the greatest return, marketers are faced with the big question of ‘WHERE?’
Where will you sell your products online?
Enter: retail media, the massive world of partnering with marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and more to drive even more sales for your brand.
Whether you’re already selling across multiple marketplaces or overwhelmed at the thought of getting started, read on. We’ll cover what you need to know to make an informed decision about where, how, and why to sell your products through marketplaces.
The 101 of Each Marketplace
Each marketplace is unique, but they can be bucketed in two major ways based on how you will use them.
Self-Service Marketplaces: The two primary marketplaces that are truly self-service are Amazon and Walmart. This means brands can work directly with the marketplaces (or through an agency) to sell their products. These partnerships break down even further depending on your business goals:
Sell as a 3P Seller: Manage the fulfillment, pricing, and promotion of your inventory. Great for brands focused on maintaining as much control over brand image, price, and profit margin.
Sell as a 1P Vendor: Sell your products to the retailer who will then manage the fulfillment, pricing, and promotion of your products with a guaranteed commission for your brand. Great for brands looking to expand their market share.
Retailers as Marketplaces: The fastest growing area of retail media today is midsize retailers turning their websites into marketplaces via middleman technology, like Pacvue or Criteo. This requires brands and their agencies to work with that middleman, often resulting in higher media cost but more access to a previously unreachable audience.
|Retailers as Marketplaces|
The Ever-Expanding Definition of Marketplaces and Retail Media
As covered above, what was considered a traditional marketplace years ago has rapidly expanded. Retailers have capitalized on the massive shift to online shopping in the last decade and monetized their placements, mutually benefitting brands who seek opportunities to tap into new markets and audiences.
As outlined in Forrester’s research of the retail media landscape, brands have an important choice to make in their partnerships for campaign management. How will you set up your retail media campaigns, and who will you work with, to make the most efficient and results-driven program?
Rise sits squarely in the arena of servicing brands through media management and optimization, streamlining the process and offering brands a true business partner in managing their retail media strategy and execution. Of course we’re biased, but there are significant advantages to brands working through a performance marketing agency like Rise:
Industry partnerships where it matters most: agencies like Rise have established relationships with marketplace giants like Amazon, Walmart, Criteo, and more resulting in deeper expertise, more historical performance data, and increased visibility to tech support.
Cross-channel integration: digital media is at its weakest when siloed in channels. One agency managing multiple digital channels for your brand can be a powerful launchpad for business growth. For example, Rise leveraged Search competitor insights to track overlap rate with Amazon’s own advertising, resulting optimizations led to a significant increase in sales and revenue.
Rich expertise with leading brands: as one of the first performance marketing agencies to announce an Amazon Advertising practice, Rise has been driving retail media success for leading brands since the beginning. Backed by a history of success, Rise knows where and how to drive the best ROI for each unique brand.
Which Marketplace Does Your Target Audience Use?
In addition to the experience of using each marketplace, essential knowledge for every marketer is the audience profile of each. This not only serves as an important prerequisite to negotiating where your brand belongs, but will be key insight into how you design content to speak directly to your target audience on that marketplace. While this is not meant to be prescriptive, understanding different shopper insights and behaviors will be vital to developing the right product mix and budget strategy by retailer:
Sources: Business Insider, Investopedia
Defining Your Marketplace Goals
When developing your retail strategy, it’s important to work with internal stakeholders to align on what success will look like - will there be different goals by retailer? If you sell D2C as well, how will you prioritize budget between retail and D2C? Additionally, brands should consider:
Profitability: each marketplace has unique pay structures, varying cost and competition levels. Being able to easily and swiftly reallocate media spend to the campaigns, ads, and PDPs driving the highest ROAS will be important, thereby minimizing wasted spend and going all-in in real-time where customer intent is surging.
Seizing Market Share: to accomplish this goal, you’ll need a marketplace strategy that rigidly tracks competitive analysis, such as Overlap Rate, Impression Share, and Share of Voice in paid vs. natural search to capture intent on competitor pages and understand changes in the landscape.
Defending Territory: similar to seizing market share, accomplishing this goal requires ongoing and granular attention to Impression Share and Overlap Rate with a significant contribution to branded campaigns.
Get Ahead of the Curve with Technology & Automation
Deciding on ‘where,’ as you can expect, is only step one. The practice of actually managing a marketplace (or multiple marketplaces) requires constant attention to beat back increased competition and make every dollar stretch the farthest. The work never stops - in fact, it will become more demanding.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you are not alone. Retail media is an extremely robust channel that has taken over our industry faster than many brand marketers could have anticipated.
Thankfully, Rise has been developing proprietary technology for years to manage this shift. Enter: Connex Alerts, the proactive intelligence included in our cross-channel media optimization platform, Connex. Automated notifications detect media anomalies to keep marketers informed by the minute on the results of their media spend.
Why did we make Connex Alerts? By the time marketers have aggregated and analyzed performance data within and across platforms like Amazon, Google, and Facebook, the moment has passed to make real-time optimizations. As digital media channels continue to rapidly expand, so too does the data that comes with them. To make any kind of valuable change, marketers need to see granular performance metrics now.
See how Connex Alerts work:
We mean it: you’ve got this. Wherever you are in your retail media journey, there is a segment of your target audience waiting to find you on marketplaces. Reach out to Rise for an agency partner ready to help you meet them there.