Sponsored product ads (aka paid search) are typically the starting point for retail media businesses. When consumers come to a retailer’s website or app, they’re ready to shop or buy, so there’s a high degree of intent that can be monetized by the retailer. Triad’s Cheyney calls it the “low-hanging fruit” of retail media.
Salesforce found in a September 2018 survey that 51% of retail and CPG marketers worldwide used customer communities in general, the same percentage that used paid search or search engine marketing. What about ads? As of now, ads aren’t allowed, though with the new emphasis on Groups, you have to assume Facebook is contemplating the idea.
For example, fewer than half (46%) of respondents had content support, and just 42% had paid search and SEO support in all markets. The study also found that one-third of marketers overall—including 8% of those representing the largest businesses—admitted to running the same campaigns across all markets.
According to the 2018 study from Standard Media Index, as cited by IAB UK and PwC, retail accounted for the largest share of paid search advertising in 2018, beating automotive into second place. The main reason for this pattern is Amazon’s strength in the digital retail sector and its growing influence in attracting ad revenues.
According to B2B design marketplace DesignRush, more than half (53.8%) of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) said that social media drove the best marketing return on investment (ROI) of any channel—about three times that of paid search (17.9%). In a primarily brand-building medium, however, clear metrics of ROI aren’t always easy to come by.