What’s new in online marketplaces: 2021 Q1


Amardeep Notey

Marketplaces Account Manager


Marketplaces

In January this year, we began the first of a quarterly series that looks at what is happening in the world of online ecommerce marketplaces.

The last few months have flown by and it is time to provide our next update to see what is new in 2021 Q1. As in 2020, consumer behavior during Q1 in 2021 was largely unpredictable as countries across Europe and beyond have been in and out of lockdowns and restrictions.

While only time will tell how the pandemic has permanently impacted shopping habits, many ecommerce marketplaces have been working in the background to improve their offering to brands who want to sell to consumers online.

Criteo’s Retail Media Platform (RMP)

Criteo’s RMP is a new platform that gives advertisers access to additional data points. We tested the platform in Q1 to see what new data is available and the one we are particularly excited about is the ability to see data segmented by a retailer, something which has not been available through Criteo previously.

One advantage of the new platform is that advertisers will now be able to set up campaigns and target them at different shoppers, and then be able to test which performs best.

RMP will also have a number of additional reports available, plus its increased use of API integration means advertisers no longer need to rely on exporting reports from Criteo into Excel in order to analyze results.

Overall, RMP makes Criteo a much better platform for advertisers running retail media campaigns.

CitrusAd signs up with Dunnhumby

The big news from CitrusAd in Q1 of 2021 is that they have partnered with Dunnhumby, giving advertisers the opportunity to place sponsored ad advertising on Tesco and Booker. This is set to go live later in 2021 and presents a very exciting opportunity for brands; it has been almost five years since Tesco offered any advertising onsite, and with a grocery market share in excess of 25% in the UK the rewards could be very attractive.

Information regarding onsite placements and the costs involved are yet to be announced in full – hopefully, these will be more clear by the next blog in this series, 2021 Q2.

Amazon Advertising launches new features for Sponsored Display

Q1 has seen Amazon introduce some new features specifically for Sponsored Display Ads which make the ad format more appealing to advertisers.

The first update is the expansion of audiences that Sponsored Display Ads are able to target, which gives advertisers a greater ability to narrow down their targeting and get in front of hyper-relevant audiences. While this has always existed, adding new audiences means advertisers can use Sponsored Display Ads more efficiently.

The second update to Sponsored Display Ads is the introduction of remarketing, which means it is possible for these ads to target users who viewed a product detail page within the last 30 days. In particular, one of the placement opportunities offers an impressive ability to create awareness due to its prominence on the Amazon homepage.

 

The final update that came to Amazon in 2021 Q1, is the release of a new impression share report that allows an advertiser to see what proportion of impressions they are getting for a particular search term versus competitors.

While the report is currently only available for Sponsored Product Ads, we expect it to be introduced to other ad formats in the future.

While this data has always been available on request, having instant access to impression share for categories and position for key search terms means we can use this data to inform the strategy and make adjustments as needed.

We have even been able to pull and display the data in custom dashboards, which allow us to track performance and set goals to work towards.

One limitation with the impression share data, and something that must be considered when looking at results, is that a search term must generate a click for an impression to be tracked. This means the report cannot be used as a true view of share of voice, however, it is still a useful indicator of performance.

Overall, it has been a great start to the year for marketplaces, with some promising updates and partnerships to different platforms that should make marketplace advertising more valuable for brands. I’m excited to see what new features the next quarter brings – which I will be sharing with you soon.

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