Run your retail biz like D2C (Part 1)
How successful brands are using modern digital performance marketing to win at retail
Apple implemented their iOS update almost a year ago and the impact to brands has really hit hard. If you used to advertise on Facebook properties before the Apple privacy change, you know what I’m talking about.
Unless you now have tons of traffic flowing to your site through search, you’re likely struggling with an ad strategy built around social that no longer works.
I’ll be addressing brands shifting towards retail as a strategic response to an unsustainable D2C business model.
The D2C problem
Here’s what happened this past year:
· Apple implemented an iOS update where apps must now require advertisers to ask permission to track users
· With less tracking, Facebook ad performance metrics suffered
· With poorer performance metrics, brand’s cost to acquire a customer skyrocketed
· Facebook’s ad prices rose during this period as well
Rising costs and bad results have brands searching for new ad platforms. Additionally, brands are moving to new sales channels.
“We're thrilled to be partnering with Kroger and honored by their validation of our data-driven approach to creating and scaling food brands," said Caroline McCarthy, Co-Founder and VP of Growth of Starday.
Launched in 2019, nunbelievable, a cookie company battling food insecurity, has already donated over a million meals with a strictly D2C model. They’ve been successful with digital advertising but lately aren’t getting the ROAS they are used to, according to CEO Kuda Biza. The brand is pivoting strategy and test launching in retail grocery with over 1000 points of distribution.
Digital performance marketing at retail
I’ve already written about the different skill sets and additional resources required to succeed in physical stores vs online. Physical retail is challenging enough, and you definitely need to be prepared to manage it.
But in terms of advertising to get product to move off shelf, digital grocery has had its limits:
· difficulty with geo-targeting (most grocery stores are regional)
· no tie-in to on-shelf inventory (how many times has someone complained that your store locator says you sell at XYZ store but it’s not on shelf)
· lack of available data as to who is buying
What brands have not been able to do is measure and optimize ROAS for retail.
But now tech-enabled brands coming into retail can have a leg up on their legacy or incumbent counterparts. Here are the ways to take the D2C playbook to your retail points of distribution:
shoppable media - ads that link to your products on retailer ecommerce sites
integrated store locator inventory - links to real-time on-shelf inventory
attribution - data on who is clicking and buying
rewards & loyalty programs - targeted coupons and ads based on verified purchase data
search - Google ads based on keyword searches and great content from you
I’ll be digging into each one of these in the next post of this series.
All my best,
Walmart is working hard to be in your ecomm mix