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Marketplaces Archives - acronym

The Five Factors That Drive eCommerce Loyalty

By eCommerce and Marketplaces, Social Commerce, Social Media No Comments

As we all know, brand loyalty was disrupted during the pandemic, and it changed nearly every part of the eCommerce playbook.

Over these past couple of years, marketers needed to find a way to attract shoppers and convert them into repeat customers. One of the best ways for brands to understand their customers’ wants and needs is through harnessing social media, which provides opportunities to create personalized marketing campaigns.

The Five Factors

The five key factors that can help online brands with digital loyalty are relevance, a seamless shopping experience, convenience, personal connection, and community endorsement.

  1. Relevance: Shoppers want the ability to discover relevant products they desire and need that they hadn’t thought about.
  2. Seamless shopping experience: Consumers prefer technology that recommends products that meet in-the-moment needs.
  3. Convenience: Shoppers expect to receive their products within a couple of days at a reasonable delivery cost (and a no-hassle return experience).
  4. Personal Connection: Consumers expect a personal customer service experience, where the brand reflects their identity and knows them enough to provide relevant offers.
  5. Community Endorsement: Shoppers want to feel part of a community and will naturally trust recommendations or reviews by other like-minded members.

This shift in the eCommerce reality has forced many businesses to rethink their approach to customer relationships. With more users online, fostering digital loyalty can yield a real and significant revenue boost.

By focusing on these five factors, marketers drive loyalty to your brand by harnessing the best social media tools and creating personalized marketing campaigns.

You can ensure a seamless experience that prioritizes usability, but also delights shoppers with new and innovative experiences. If possible, offer curbside or locker pickup, which will cut the cost of delivery and time, in turn making customers satisfied.

We also recommend employing new tools, like customer care online chat platforms or messaging apps, to improve responsiveness to consumers. These kinds of tool are highly desired. In fact, a recent Accenture study shows that 90% of U.S. consumers and 86% of businesses prefer apps and mobile chat. This can also help create a more personalized experience.

And, bear in mind a recent Yieldly report indicated that 75% of consumers say they are more likely to buy from brands offering personalized experiences. It’s also important to ask loyal customers to leave reviews and recommendations; this tactic can broaden your brand’s social reach through enlisting creators who have credibility in a particular product area.

If you’d like assistance with your integrated social media, eCommerce, marketplace or app strategy, contact us today. Our experts are here to help.

Sam’s Club Overhauls Its Ad Network with a Self-Service Platform

By eCommerce and Marketplaces No Comments

As retailers continue to invest in new ways to let advertisers reach consumers via their online properties, Sam’s Club is the latest to give its ad network a major overhaul.

In addition to giving online shoppers new search capabilities, Sam’s Club now lets advertisers buy sponsored product ads through a self-service platform called the Membership Access Platform (MAP). The platform allows clients to target shoppers based on search behavior, past purchases and membership info.

The Walmart-owned company today is rolling out a number of updates across its website, app and curbside pickup e-commerce options. Along with giving online shopping new search capabilities, Sam’s Club will now let advertisers buy sponsored product ads through a self-service platform called the Membership Access Platform (MAP) to target shoppers based on search behavior, past purchases and membership info. Marketers will also be able to retarget people off Sam’s Club’s platforms through programmatic ad partnerships with The Trade Desk, IRI and LiveRamp.

Marketers will also be able to retarget people off Sam’s Club’s platforms through programmatic ad partnerships with The Trade Desk, IRI and LiveRamp.

Acronym’s EVP, Performance Marketing, Gregg Manias offered his perspective:

“Sam’s Club is joining Target, Walmart and a few others who already share their first-party data with Trade Desk. As brands decide whether they should build their own clean room to deal with data sharing, Trade Desk provides more measurement value to their programmatic partners than they did just two years ago.

The new partnership will help brands understand the lifetime value of a customer. It also helps trace what customers are searching for both online and offline because it can all be traced back to the credit card.

Although Amazon has had the lead for years, competition is heating up. Retail media also helps marketers get better behavioral targeting data and more quickly track sales data rather than waiting for an entire quarter or longer to see how products are moving on shelves.”

Retail media continues to see significant gains. In the U.S. alone, retail media ad sales are expected to climb 39% from $29 billion in 2021 to $40 billion in 2022, according to Forrester, which predicts that could double to $85 billion by 2026.

And as third-party cookies become less effective, marketers want new ways of reaching consumers beyond traditional search and social media. If you’d like more information or want guidance on how your brand can drive conversions through programmatic ad partnerships with The Trade Desk, IRI or LiveRamp, give us a call. Our eCommerce and Marketplaces experts are here to help.

U.S. Consumer Spending Expected to Increase Heading Into the Holidays

By eCommerce and Marketplaces No Comments

According to eMarketer, US eCommerce sales are expected to be more than $1 trillion by the end of 2022, with a 9.4% increase YoY.

The pandemic shopping habits consumers over the past two years are here to stay, which is why
eCommerce is expected to continue to make up a larger share of retail sales this year. Despite high inflation, consumers are keeping up with the rising costs of essential items like food and household products. But analysts do anticipate growth to slow in discretionary categories like apparel, toys and hobbies, and furniture and home furnishing.

Amazon Continues to Lead in eCommerce.

Leveraging fast shipping and competitive pricing, Amazon continues to lead eCommerce sales in 2022, with 37.8% of total sales.

Back-To-School To See Slight Increase in Sales.

While it’s predicted back-to-school eCommerce shopping will see a slight (6.8%) increase from last year, holiday eCommerce sales are expected to see an overall 15.5% increase.

Holiday Retail Sales Expected to Increase.

We expect 2022 holiday retail sales to increase 3.3% to $1.262 trillion, with brick-and-mortar
increasing 0.9% to $1.026 trillion and ecommerce climbing 15.5% to $235.86 billion.
Consumer spending momentum and an extended holiday shopping season should contribute
to topline gains, but inflation, supply chain instability, and rising digital ad costs are likely to hit
retailers’ bottom lines

While consumer spending is increasing, the unstable supply chain, inflation, and growing ad costs, may impact retailers’ bottom lines, especially for companies with non-essential products.

Always-On Holiday Thinking.

Faced with supply chain disruptions and rising inflation, consumers will most likely turn to brands they know they can trust as they search for the best deals and prices.

In order to be successful in the eCommerce marketplace, brands must establish themselves early to stay in the top-of-mind for consumers. The shift to an “always on” holiday season allows consumers to break away from traditional holiday shopping days like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Sunday, and Cyber Monday.

What Brands Should Do Today

Ensure you are promoting a strong evergreen eCommerce presence and plan to run media for large events like back-to-school and holiday shopping season early (not just Q4), because consumers are shopping earlier to avoid inventory/supply chain issues.

In other words, you want to execute a strategic media plan in place for the upcoming shopping season, which is starting right now. If you need assistance with your eCommerce, marketplaces or overall media plan, please contact us today. We are ready to help.

Navigating the Modern Retail Landscape

By Brand Engagement, eCommerce and Marketplaces, Insights & News, Paid Media No Comments

Since the pandemic began, we have seen an accelerated convergence of brand and performance media where now all brand outcomes are measured.

While millions quarantined and conducted business from their homes, we witnessed a massive expansion in the retail world as retail-built networks (e.g. Amazon, Walmart, Target, Kroger) and retailer partner networks (e.g. Criteo, Ad Citrus, Promote Iq, etc.) began to monetize their first party data.

In the past, a shopper marketing strategy focused on traditional tactics such as in-store promos, circulars, and co-op tv spots. However, over the last decade these strategies evolved to include co-op digital media such as search, display videos and social media that – for the most part – was run by the retailer on behalf of the brand.

During the pandemic, this changed as retail leaders such as Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, Kroger, Target, etc. allowed brands and agencies to combine their first-party data and leverage the retailer first-party rich audiences to buy media within their own media platforms, and in return receive a wealth of measurement metrics such as sales data. This ability to analyze the shopper at a more intimate level allowed both shoppers and brands to develop better marketing mixes that target the retailers’ consumer with more precision and develop more persuasive marketing strategies to target the general category consumer as well.  

This is important as we move to an uncertain world without a cookie identifier, brands are seeking ways to leverage their first-party data. Moving forward, brands are focused on spending retailer dollars with a maximum use of data that allows them to make smarter decisions with their investment choices. This can help mitigate wasteful spend and provide a self-serve space that allows retail media performance to be directly tied to brand outcomes.

Brands know about their category and retailers understand the consumers who are buying in that category. The combination of this intelligence through a omni-retail media mix can result in precision targeting with persuasive messaging in the upper funnel and creates the ability to capture demand from onsite search.

While these brands will always need a traditional national branding strategy, they now can focus less on national branding and more time, budget, and attention on supporting retailers with connections to the outcome. This can be particularly advantageous when retailer contractual commitments continue to grow, reducing brand media dollars.

What has caused brands to gravitate to retail media?

  • The ability to understand media’s correlation to SKU outcome and to access a retailers’ first-party data..
  • Using co-op dollars on self-serve media platforms for measurable outcomes
  • Retailers built their own on-site search platforms. Kroger, Amazon and WMT (O&O only) have also built their own programmatic platforms for offsite media.
  • DSPs like Tradedesk and Data Onboarding tools are fighting to help these retailers and brands partner together to build full self-serve models that allow the combination of first-party retail and brand audiences to be targeted across a funnel approach including ad exchanges and media types (OTT, Display, Remarketing, etc.).         
  • Brands can understand a shopper at an individual level and through retail media strategies, they can better understand what drives a consumer to purchase.

Why do shoppers lean into this?

  • Having a media mix that is both tied to Media Mix Models and digital measurable outcomes enables shoppers to build a better omni-channel mix using data.
  • Almost everything is measurable; they no longer need to rely just on in-store promotions and coupon clipping.
  • By combining a Performance Media and Shopper Strategy, brands are better able to understand the consumer more intimately. This allows them to drive a better omni-channel mix.
  • Omni-channel support that is targetable and trackable not only drives in-store and online sales, but media that is also married with in-store makes the insights more useful than just what we have mined from digital. This can also help inform future creative testing ideas.            
  • Understanding consumer behavior better than they can with their own first-party, brands have the precision of targeting that allows for more effective persuasive messaging.

POV By Gregg Manias, SVP, Performance Media