Identity-led retail media can now help brands connect with real people on off-site channels. Transparent measurement is just one of many potential wins.
It's hard to ignore the buzz of excitement around a new generation of off-site retail media, where campaigns are based on a deterministic and unified customer ID. Marketers love the idea of targeting individuals rather than personae identified by cookies. Speaking to identified people makes digital ad campaigns more effective. And cookies won't be around much longer, anyway.
There are many benefits to identity-based off-site retail media versus the partner-funded open web programmatic approach.
What is Epsilon's role in identity-based off-site retail media?
Epsilon is a driving force in helping retailers profit from their data. CitrusAd, powered by Epsilon CoreID, is leading a new generation of identity-led retail media. Publicis Groupe launched CitrusAd in June 2022, as the industry's first unified on-site and off-site retail media platform.
Together, we are pushing the boundaries of retail media platforms. The platform helps brands reach shoppers beyond their retail partners' e-commerce websites. This empowers brands to connect with real people across the full customer journey. They can make ad spend decisions based on real-time measurement. They can confirm outcomes by transactions. They can tie digital campaigns to on-site and offliene sales.
The strength of the technology has enabled us to breathe new life into the brand/retailer partnership. In this new era of off-site, both parties collaborate to strengthen the backbone of customers' understanding. This puts everyone in a strong position as the cookieless world draws closer.
Five key benefits of identity-based off-site retail media versus the partner-funded open web programmatic approach:
- You can deliver one-to-one personalisation
- You can get a greater return on ad spend and efficiency
- You can achieve transparent measurement, validated by transactions
- You can run simultaneous campaigns at scale, driving up revenues
- You can win customer trust thanks to the relevance of ads
1. You can deliver one-to-one personalisation
CPG brands can take a more targeted approach with identity-based off-site retail media campaigns. They can deliver one-to-one personalisation. This might be marketing emails tailored to a person's birthday, for example There's more relevance in tailored messaging when you deliver identity-based campaigns off-site.
Once you've delivered a high level of personalisation, so what? A big win is allowing smaller and longtail brands to enjoy your retail media solution. This broadens the reach of the market and scales up revenues for retailers.
If you've booked out your retail site based on a segment or key categories, it precludes smaller brands. They have no voice on that platform. But with identity-based off-site retail media they can claim a voice with engaged and relevant audiences.
2. You can improve your return on investment
Thanks to this targeted approach retailers and brands get a much better return on their ad spend.
With a traditional partner-funded programmatic opportunity, you are dependent on budget allocation for an audience segment. You're buying third-party data for an audience segment that might not be the best for your product push.
An electrical retailer promoting a new iPhone may pump ad cash into a segment featuring early adopter tech enthusiasts. There may be no ad budget left to target high-end gaming consumers. If you max out on one set of criteria, you exclude many others. The authenticity of that audience is hard to keep as well. The analytics are not sophisticated enough to drill down to 'sure bet' buyers.
If you can engage with individuals, your ads are relevant. Conversion rates are going to be higher. Return on digital marketing investment is proving to be better with this technology.
3. You can measure transparently, validated by transactions
With identity-based off-site retail media, SKU-level reporting is possible. So, you can clearly see the return on investment thanks to the visibility of real-time transactions.
Other digital marketing channels are less transparent, and results are difficult to measure. For instance, on paid media channels, or search, where there's a direct correlation and intent from the user point of view, it's hard to report back on spend. With identity-based, you have a powerful one-to-one dialogue and can report back on SKU level.
A great example is Gopuff, the US e-commerce platform that has expanded into off-site media with CitrusAd, powered by Epsilon's first-party purchase and future intent data. Gopuff now delivers amplified, relevant reach for its brand partners. Product sectors include cleaning and home products, pet care, baby products, and niche food and drink products.
Gopuff is expanding on-site ad inventory beyond sponsored products and search to include relevant sponsored product carousels. Gopuff can manage and measure on the full-scope platform. Brands leveraging Gopuff ads are seeing ROIs as high as 430%. Platform revenue grew nearly 170% YoY in July 2022, as active products more than doubled on-site.
With these enhancements, brands can influence consumers at the point of purchase with on-site advertising. They can also generate demand across the open web by reaching Gopuff customers with relevant, off-site display, video and connected TV advertising, tied to in-stock inventory. Brands can understand their ad performance through SKU-level sales reporting that combines both on-site and off-site campaigns.
4. You can run many campaigns at once, driving up revenues
There is a big efficiency win for retailers with identity-based off-site retail media. Nothing stops them from maxing out their returns by hosting multiple brand ad campaigns simultaneously. They can run more campaigns, with more brands, over and above what is possible with a traditional partner-funded, programmatic opportunity. This creates a virtuous circle between off-site and on-site retail media, enabling retailers to infinitely scale multiple campaigns at the same time.
A unified platform like CitrusAd, powered by Epsilon, maximises retailers' monetisation opportunities and increases reach on-site and across the open web.
There are no concerns for brand advertisers about privacy and data use. Privacy-centric clean room technology is in place. This enables both retailers and brands to securely collaborate on permissioned data, to optimise brand sales in a cookieless world. Brands want to work with retailers that have a bigger retail media network and can offer identity-based targeting. This drives up retailer revenues.
With the CitrusAd real-time reporting dashboard, brands can use a single attribution method for all online and offline activity. Brands can optimise as they go, seeing results as they happen. It makes them more likely to stay with your retail media network, and earn you greater revenues.
5. You can win customer trust thanks to the relevance of ads
Identity-based retail media campaigns aim to reach more shoppers, on more channels, with personalised messages. A major benefit of an identity-based off-site retail media platform is the heightened relevance of the ads. This is achieved by gathering multiple data sources using a cleanroom technology framework.
Epsilon is helping retailers including Pretty Little Thing and Deliveroo make use of their first-party data from loyalty schemes, website data, transaction data, and owned insights. An identity partner like CitrusAd can enhance retailers' data. In the new era, brands and retailers can personalise the customer experience by accessing our CoreID data. This includes online and offline attributes, location data, intent data, and behavioural and interest data.
We have an 'always on' view of the customer. We anticipate customer intent based on browsing and purchase behaviour. This informs us where a customer is on their purchase journey. If they are poised to make a purchase decision, we can send tailored ads to suit their mindset at that time. Perhaps the offer of free delivery for the winter coat they are viewing will ensure they click the buy button, having researched coats for a week.
Customers who received more targeted, personalised, pertinent messaging are more likely to convert than those who feel they are being spammed with irrelevant ads and emails. When ads are relevant trust grows.
Retail media is growing and evolving fast
Ad spending in retail media is forecasted to reach c.$60 billion by 2024, according to eMarketer.
Why are we seeing such rapid growth? Because it's an amazing way for retailers to leverage their data and drive a high-margin area of their business.
At Epsilon with our CoreID platform supporting CitrusAd, we can help retailers and brands leverage and monetise first-party data on-site, off-site, and in-store. We have years of data analytics and identity expertise to tap into.
Brad Moran, co-founder and CEO of CirtusAd says: "No one else in the market can provide brands with a simple and trusted platform to capitalise on retailers' assets for media investment. The CitrusAd DNA has always been to help retailers maximise their revenue potential from retail media and strengthen their relationships with suppliers.
"With CitrusAd powered by Epsilon, we are delivering the promise of the retail media revolution."