If you’re a brand marketer or eCommerce manager and you’re not yet thinking about banner display advertising for grocery retail, your competitors are going to have a massive advantage when it comes to winning on the online shelf. Let's show how you can stop that from happening.
In this article we’ll discuss:
As shoppers move online, CPGs are shifting budgets to display advertising.
Banner display advertising — also sometimes called “banner advertising” or "eRetail Media" — is a form of online paid advertising that uses graphical (image, video and text) ads on relevant third-party websites or retailer apps to obtain clicks, views and sales from interested shoppers. This form of advertising is also a great way to keep your brand at the forefront of a shopper’s mind through visual recognition at multiple points on their purchasing journey.
According to the latest report by the IAB, internet advertising continues to be by far the most dominant player across all media channels, with a massive 15.9% growth between 2018 and 2019 alone (with data taken from January to December of both years).
Any brand that doesn’t tap into such a massive opportunity — not only from the point of view of actual sales but also from a brand visibility perspective — is effectively handing their competitors an advantage in the online space.
Thankfully, gaining familiarity with banner display advertising, and especially understanding the return of investment from it, doesn’t need to be a daunting task.
There are many benefits associated with using banner display advertising for online grocery. In this section, we’ll list them, and we’ll use some concrete examples to highlight their massive potential return on investment (ROI) — from both brand awareness and revenue perspectives.
Reaching shoppers when they're most receptive is a great advantage of using targeted display banner ads on online retailers sites.
While we have seen a general “up and to the right'' trend across many aspects of digital marketing, when it comes to the online grocery space, current trends suggest that an unprecedented amount is being spent on eRetail Media as an alternative to in-store activations that are increasingly difficult to execute as a result of the pandemic.
In our latest podcast episode Get more from your eRetail Media spend our guest Ben Taylor, Head of Omnichannel Commerce at Publicis Commerce comments,
“For grocery it really is about search and favourites. You can only secure those if you have a really competitive price promotion. Obviously, retailers determine prices, but they're effectively the online equivalent of the gondola end and so are the two pieces of activity you really want to secure if you want to get a campaign right.”
At present, Amazon set the benchmark for banner display advertising and performance measuring. CPGs favour Amazon's Sponsored Products format as it allows even novices to create and measure digital ads that boost the discoverability of their products they sell on Amazon. Brands looking to succeed beyond Amazon and are operating in the US, Walmart's advertising marketplace is a serious competitor to "The Everything Store".
Walmart currently offers sellers 4 different types of banner display ads and sponsored product opportunities that increase visibility for shoppers at the point of browsing. With its placement offerings come advanced performance measurement capabilities that allow CPGs to better understand their ROI. Capabilities only few retailers can currently match which makes software like e.fundamentals' banner display tracking almost indispensable for CPGs investing in eRetail Media.
In the UK, Sainsbury's has started partnering with CitrusAd helping to streamline their media sales and ad serving. CPGs working with the British retailer can request a great degree of personalisation and targeting as well as real-time performance tracking.
This increase in spend indicates that competition is becoming increasingly fierce in the online grocery space. The IAB report concludes: “As competition for attention increases, advertisers are dependent upon creativity for cutting through the clutter combined with relevance for ROI.”
As we noted above, display advertising is perfect for targeted visibility, and its different available formats enable brands to discover which style works best — not only for them as a brand, but (where relevant) for every single item they’re looking to promote.
This granularity acts as a double-edged sword because it has the potential to overwhelm and create burnout for many brands, also as retailers still largely differ in their offering and data transparency, but the use of tools such as the e.fundamentals display banner tracking functionality make understanding banner activity simple time efficient and impactful. By knowing what your competitors are doing across the category you can start to understand spend in category, promotional strategy and combine execution to excite, engage and capture shoppers.
COVID-19’s impact on digital marketing for the CPG space began in early March 2020. Although advertising spend continued to grow year on year (up 12%), this had decreased from 17.2% when compared to growth in previous years. However, as consumers get more and more accustomed to purchasing groceries online, we have seen a massive increase in overall sales. This is largely thanks to the amount of older consumers that are now almost being forced to shop online.
According to a report from Mintel, this “new normal” of online shopping has resulted in a boom in sales — up by over a consistent 33% from last year — making opportunities such as display advertising all the more lucrative for brands that want to make sure they’re getting the lion’s share of the sales increase. In the US, some retailers have seen significant online sales growth of upwards of 280%.
Brands across e-retailers are vying for shoppers attention which is why actionable insights for the digital shelf are becoming essential to monitor spend and ROI.
With the above in mind, it’s time to go through our step-by-step guide to considerations you must make when strategising the best way to get started with (or improve your existing) display advertising.
Before diving into setting up and tracking your display advertising performance, it’s important to figure out what your needs are, both on a brand and product level. Here is a list of considerations you’ll need to work through to determine your display ad priorities.
CPGs have different needs to fulfil when identifying display banner ads formats.
When it comes to advertising, your products won’t be “one size fits all”. You need a marketing approach that accounts for differences in demographic, geography, budget and design. Thankfully, display ads are perfect for such an approach. Below, we’ll go through each type of display ad available for your campaign.
Different types of advertising enable sales and marketing to target specific shopper profiles.
The best time to start working on preparing and implementing your display advertising is straight away — there’s no reason not to. As Ben Taylor puts it in our podcast,
“[eRetail Media] sounds like it's complicated but is in fact really simple as most media is. Basically, all it is is space that turns up where you can supply a message to change people's purchase behaviour.”
Display advertising isn’t a “set and forget” exercise. As with all the best marketing opportunities, it requires careful planning and further optimisation to make the ads run as efficiently as possible. While a certain amount of patience is required for data-gathering, brands need to keep an eye on what their ads are doing at every step of the way or risk unnecessary budget churn.
Some great examples of where you may want to start with display ads in online retail:
With the right digital shelf tracking and measuring tool, brands can ensure brand execution across their eRetailers.
Monitoring an ad campaign is the key to its success. That’s why e.fundamentals is proud to be rolling out a key-turning display banner tracking functionality as an added-on part of its service offering.
This banner display tracking functionality allows you to see a category view and share of ad %. In essence, you will be able to work out the share of display spend and how much competitors are investing in online advertising, giving you vital insights to take forward both tactically and strategically.
In summary, the feature allows you to:
Linking the insights found through e.fundamentals' banner display ad tracking feature to search visibility is both efficient and effective. The ability to see “out of stock” and promotional tags allows brands to understand the ROI generated from undertaking banner display ads on a retailer’s site. Having access to this level of banner display ads service, finally allows sales and marketing teams to optimise their digital advertising spend, category promotion planning and brand execution.
Never miss a growth opportunity on the digital shelf. Ensure you can track your digital performance and ad spend with accurate, fully visualised category data insights. Outsmart the competition, book a demo of our digital shelf analytics software today.