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Retail Media: The Power of Creative

Authored by: James Oyedele, Senior Product Manager

In last month’s feature from our retail media blog series, we explored the challenges and opportunities we see in today’s retail space, specifically around offsite advertising. In that post, we touched on the importance of creative in retail media. Today, we’re taking a deeper dive.

Creative Has Been an Afterthought in Offsite Advertising

Online shoppers primarily focus on the items that initially brought them to a retailer’s site. However, when executed well, intentional creative can drive shoppers to explore products they never knew they needed. So, it’s no wonder Google reports that creative execution drives 70% of a campaign’s success.

On-site ads can drive significant results for advertisers. These ad experiences blend seamlessly into the retailer’s content and are contextually relevant and enriched with their first-party data. 

Moreover, creative elevates on-site advertising with helpful additions, like an item’s cost, customer ratings, availability, and the option for consumers to add items to their shopping cart. 

Often incorporating rich media elements, such as carousel touchpoints and video, on-site advertising excels in repurposing product listing assets into engaging creative.

On the flip side, offsite retail media campaigns do not reach the same levels of creative innovation that we see on-site. Advertisers typically have to repurpose standard display ads used in programmatic campaigns, making them undifferentiated and unsuited to the specific outcomes advertisers desire from retail media investments, resulting in poor engagement and performance. 

Here’s the reality: retailers are missing out on the huge potential to set themselves apart from other media networks by offering their advertisers differentiated creative. 

Perhaps the best example of retail-specific creative lies in Amazon’s Responsive eCommerce Ads. These allow advertisers to include product listing assets such as prices, customer ratings, offers/promotions, and prime shipping, to both on and offsite ads. Amazon, who account for roughly 75% of the retail media industry, have established a standard for retail creative. 

Performance Relies on Creative

Creative must be considered when trying to improve the performance of offsite campaigns. Campaigns executed through a retailer’s network typically have a specific objective: bring a customer to the retailer’s site to buy a product. Standard display banners often do not communicate that objective. 

There is the opportunity to enhance creatives with retailer-specific customization, re-creating intuitive e-commerce across publishers where customers are reached at higher stages in the purchase consideration funnel. As brands and agencies push retailers to provide better offsite capabilities, we are starting to see a pathway for creative to replicate onsite creative experiences in the open web. 

Harnessing the Power of Creative In Retail Media

Improved and expanded creative capabilities are the key to overcoming many challenges facing the retail space today. Poor creative impacts all advertising—and creative in the retail media space in particular needs an upgrade. Offsite campaign performance will suffer without better creative. But it’s not all doom and gloom. As brands and agencies push for better experiences and retailers look to differentiate themselves, the space will continue to evolve to better meet the needs of retailers and brands alike.

For more information on retail media, CTV, first-party data, and so much more, check out our resource center.

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