eCommerce Media Gets Its Own Upfront Event

At a time when retail revenue is precious and the shift to Digital 3.0 is white-hot, eCommerce media is becoming a bigger factor in the advertising world. The practice is a trade name for simply advertising on eCommerce sites. Last year, Amazon did $4.8 billion in eCommerce media in 2019. The selling point is compelling, as it places a brand’s ads in front of a customer at the exact time they are in the market.

Mondelez International, makers of Oreo and other snacks, has recently doubled down on advertising on eCommerce platforms. CEO Dirk Van de Put said at the 2020 RBC Capital Markets’ Consumer & Retail Conference that by placing ads that are “very relevant to the moment” for numerous brands – such as Oreo and Cadbury – the company is reflecting evolving consumer habits.

“We’ve also started to switch the media that we use [and are] advertising more on eCommerce channels because, of course, you see eCommerce going up,” said Van de Put. “We’ve already been shifting a lot more advertising into digital, but we are now shifting more of our advertising into the eCommerce site. There you can have the advertising together with the moment of purchase, and we see that it’s having a very beneficial effect for us. So that shift is taking place, and that is also driving our eCommerce sales.”

eCommerce media is also getting something of an upfront event. Horizon Media and Night Market, Horizon’s eCommerce data intelligence firm, are announcing what they call the first eCommerce Upfront, to be held July 13-17. It will consist of a series of virtual workshops highlighting growth, trends, best practices and strategies. Amazon, Google, Facebook, Instacart, Walmart and PromoteIQ/Kroger will all be participating.

“The ultimate question this event seeks to answer is: How can clients win across eCommerce channels?” asks Randy Browning, president of Night Market, told ad industry trade MediaPost. “Recent events suggest that we are headed into an unprecedented Q4, in which traditional shopping and consumption patterns look drastically different than in years past.”

Night Market recognized a void in the upfront marketplace pertaining to eCommerce. “During the Newfronts, we noticed there was an overall lack of integration and focus around eCommerce,” explains Donnie Williams, chief digital officer of Horizon Media and co-founder of Night Market. “This was particularly surprising given the dramatic shifts in consumer behavior and rapid acceleration of eCommerce growth spurred by COVID-19.”

eCommerce is in a hugely fortunate position: Protected a little versus offline retail, in demand from consumers, more agile, still largely able to operate among social distancing and lockdown, and with a demand for talent that means a little better job security, plus an okay flow of new entrants to the market from adjacent sectors that have been harder hit,” says a recent report in eConsultancy. “There is still great challenge for most businesses in eCommerce, and some of the bigger eCommerce businesses will benefit the most, but thinking through where you’re at in the context of your goals, and the opportunities available to you … can hopefully bring a slightly less jarring, more predictable and more positive second half of the year.”

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