Digital Retail Media is simply exploding right now.
[Formerly known as Ecommerce Channel Advertising], US brands are expected to invest more than $22 billion in the channel this year and $34 billion in just two short years.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to an irreversible shift in consumer shopping habits, with grocery buying moving quickly online. As the grocery channel continues to grow exponentially, consumer packaged goods brands need to capitalize and get their products in front of consumers, in the highest selling positions at the point of purchase. As new retailers enter the digital retail media space, brands are eager to understand the value and influence of ecommerce digital shelf space in their marketing mix and need ways to remain agile while expanding reach across added advertising inventory.
Just as consumers have a variety of retailers to choose from, retailers too have a variety of technology partners to explore. The fastest growing technology company in this space, CitrusAd, streamlines media sales and ad-serving for some of the world’s leading retailers across 25 countries.
Announced today, a new partnership between CitrusAd and Skai provides more digital advertising opportunities for brands and agencies to more than 25,000 retailers across the CitrusAd Ecommerce Ad Network—including HyVee, Wakefern Food Corp, United Supermarkets, Weis, and Petco—to gain access to insights, campaign management, and cross-channel measurement on retailer inventory through one centralized platform. By allowing early access and easy onboarding to new retail media along with powerful, single-platform campaign activation and optimization, the partnership significantly expands opportunity for advertisers in ecommerce. Skai’s marketing science capabilities, which include augmented analytics for market intelligence and incrementality testing, round out the offering and drive measurable impact.
5 Questions with CitrusAd’s Dana Concepcion
Dana Concepcion is the SVP of Media Sales at CitrusAd where she is responsible for Network Sales, Account Success, building Ecommerce Advertising Strategy, and Sales Excellence. Dana is a Retail Media veteran with experience holding key leadership and sales positions at both Criteo and HookLogic. Most recently she ran the CPG vertical at Criteo. Dana has deep CPG relationships across brands and National Media agencies with over 18 years of digital experience.
With arguably as much Retail Media experience as any other executive in the industry, this edition of The Skai 5 explores some of the recent developments of this fast-growing channel.
What is CitrusAd and how does it uniquely fit into the market?
I moved to CitrusAd because it’s the most exciting Retail Media Technology company I’ve seen. There’s a number of ways that we differ, but one of the key differentiators is that we have taken the time to really listen and understand the industry. It was born from hardened ecommerce retail veterans, hence we launch features more recently than others. We’ve had the opportunity to see how things have shaped up and are able to truly offer retailers and brands a flexible solution that never stands still to fit each of their unique needs now and into the future.
Digital Retail Media will continue to evolve and each retailer is at a different stage of maturity. For example, CitrusAd has three main pillars of our business for retailers:
- We operate as a pure SaaS platform, if a retailer really wants to just use our technology.
- We can be a media sales partner. The retailer can manage the technology themselves while our internal teams handle the ad sales for them.
- As a complete Retail Media partner in which we do everything—manage the technology, sell the media, and handle the account management. In a sense, we act as their complete retail media team.
Another thing for the industry to know about CitrusAd is that we keep it simple — success in digital retail media is not difficult, don’t over complicate it, it’s very exciting and we have a knack of taking everyone, retailers, their brands and agencies on that journey.
What was the outlook for Retail Media before the pandemic—and how has it grown during the pandemic?
Even before COVID-19, Digital Retail Media was set to grow. During the pandemic, consumers were basically forced online—especially in the grocery sector—which has catapulted this channel ahead. How far ahead? Some reports show five years, while others say two or three. So, if you take the average of what the different research and analysts are saying, then the channel is probably at least three years ahead of where it would have been without this crisis.
On the retailer side, each company was at a different stage of maturity with their Digital Retail Media offerings when the pandemic hit, most of it still in a very fixed, manual process. Some of the bigger box retailers like Walmart and Target were already there in many respects before COVID-19, while others, like the big regional grocery chains, were still figuring out how they wanted to enter. But, once the crisis started, all retailers had to figure out their solutions very quickly to take advantage of the explosion of ecommerce and importantly make it profitable —and that in itself has grown the channel.
CitrusAd is seeing 200%+ ecommerce growth year-over-year, and online grocery adoption is projected to reach 55% of US consumers by the end of 2024
The big question for this channel is how much of that pandemic online delivery will persist once everything opens up?
In 2019, somewhere around 3% of all the grocery sales were coming from ecommerce and now it’s up to 10%. We’re not going to see that level of acceleration this year, but the growth is still so strong. Right now we see about 20% YOY growth so far with the retailers in our network.
There were many consumers that had never—and even thought that they would ever—order groceries online. But, now that they have, they see just how easy and convenient it is and many people will continue that behavior. Right now, the predictions are that online grocery shopping will grow around 18% year-over-year. So, even coming off of a historic year with the pandemic driving consumers online, the fact that it’s still growing at such a rate means that online grocery shopping is not just going to continue—it has the momentum to grow more.
What do you see as the next step in the evolution of Retail Media
What’s exciting to see in this channel is that every part of it is growing right now. There are new technologies and more retailers looking to add Digital Retail Media to their portfolios. Brands are seeing massive growth in ecommerce and are understanding the broader influence online shelf space and display media in ecommerce platforms has to Total Online and In-Store sales growth. Naturally they are questioning traditional digital advertising spend and are moving more of their dollars and effort into digital retail media because it’s proving to be so cost effective and impactful.
The next big thing in Digital Retail Media is that retailers are exploring how they give multiple ways for brands to reach their consumers. New ad formats. Off-site buys. It’s been kind of one-dimensional for a while, but as brands invest in the channel and see the great return it can provide, they are becoming more interested in how retailers can fit into their total marketing plan.
From a technology perspective, we see the next evolution in Digital Retail Media is that retailers are leaning into multiple platforms. In the past, retailers were limited to just using a single tech partner, and that’s no longer the case. CitrusAd is helping to give retailers a technology that they’ve never been able to get access to before. If you go back to our go-to-market strategy of providing retailers with the world’s leading retail media technology platform, that’s true market innovation. Now, retailers that for whatever reason couldn’t get access to technology that enabled them to compete for digital advertising dollars successfully, can now do it with CitrusAd.
Just how big can this channel get compared to digital advertising leaders Search and Social?
What we’re seeing is a true Digital Retail Media “ecosystem” emerging—just like it did in Search and Social as they got to this stage. And based on what has happened before, once an ecosystem forms around a digital channel, it opens up lanes for massive innovation and growth.
It’s hard to say just how big the ceiling is for Digital Retail Media but based on how far it’s come in just the last few years, it’s hard not to imagine that it has a lot more room to grow. As this ecosystem matures, and becomes a true Digital Retail Media landscape, then it could be as large as any other programmatic channel in the industry.
Skai commerce marketing solutions to win customers whenever, wherever they shop
Leading brands & agencies rely on Skai for advanced optimization and cross-channel analytics to drive massive omnichannel growth.
Unlike any other retail media platform, Skai Commerce is backed by robust, world-renowned shoppable media engineering and experts who know exactly how to advise and lead your commerce evolution in the digital era.
Learn more how Skai can help your brand or agency build a cutting-edge Retail Media practice by setting up a brief demo to see our platforms—now featuring our partner, CitrusAd.
CitrusAd is the world-leading, white-label, self-serve, ecommerce advertising platform that enables retailers to monetize their digital shelf-space while enabling suppliers to increase sales by launching targeted and cost-effective digital campaigns right at the point of purchase.
Since it was launched in 2017, CitrusAd powers the fastest growing ecommerce ad network in the USA and has become the global, retail industry’s preferred sponsored product, banner ad platform, service and retail media sales organization.
Successful retailers, across all verticals from 25 different countries are leveraging the CitrusAd platform and real-time relevancy engine to create a more personalized shopping experience and deliver greater ROI for suppliers.
To learn more about CitrusAd’s retail media technology go to https://www.citrusad.com/contact-us and Book a Meeting.