As most businesses remain closed and people are told to stay at home amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a global social distancing economy has formed. Consumers haven’t stopped making purchases, but the things they buy and how they buy are now different. And how to deal with this capricious weather is a question on every advertiser’s mind.
Taranjeet Singh Managing Director, Southeast Asia and India, Criteo, in an interaction with BestMediaInfo.com discussed how the company is helping its retailers and brands make decisions and solve their biggest challenges during this time of rapid change.
“We’re sharing five ways for advertisers to continue to drive revenue while meeting consumers’ unique needs as they adjust to their new way of life — focus on your best-performing marketing channels, leverage loyalty to your stores to drive more online sales, invest in retail media—including native ads on retailer websites, reach new audiences that are actively shopping for in-demand products, and prioritise the in-app customer experience to build long-term user relationships,” he said.
The company has also recently launched a first-to-market, a self-service Retail Media platform in US and Canada, ensuring retailers and brands using the platform get consent-based, personalised advertising without relying on third-party cookies. So retailers are 100% in control of their data, and they are able to talk one-to-one with their customers without relying on third-party. This offering will be available in APAC later this year or earlier next year.
Singh said the most important benefit from this platform is that retailers can drive incremental revenue by providing tools that make it easy for brands and agencies to manage retail media campaigns, while maintaining control of the shopper experience.
He said, “That's truly a big differentiator between what retail media is about compared with other marketing areas. This is the next big change for both e-commerce and the ad-tech industry and Criteo is perfectly positioned to take advantage.”
Singh discussed how in the retail media, the placement of brand-sponsored advertising within retailer e-commerce sites and apps is growing rapidly as shopping increasingly moves toward e-commerce.
It is no doubt that e-commerce retailers across Asia have seen explosive sales growth during the crisis as consumers under lockdown spend online. With brick-and-mortar retail outlets virtually shut, government-enforced lockdowns have also provided an unexpected boost for niche e-commerce platforms that consumers may never have visited otherwise. In its recent survey, ‘Consumer Behaviour Survey During Covid-19’, the company found out that over 50% of respondents were likely to increase their online purchase during the crisis.
In its another recent survey ‘Redefining Shopper Habits for the Long Term’, 67% respondents see forced social distancing as an opportunity to make changes to their habits and lifestyles and 55% of shoppers have discovered at least one form of online shopping during Covid and want to continue.
And in these testing times, Singh believes the biggest challenge for brands is to be relevant to their consumers. This challenge won't be completely new for advertisers, but it does need to be asked through a new lens surrounding this pandemic.
“Many retailers are transitioning their in-store customers to online retailers and e-commerce sites. The best way forward for brands would be to stay connected in ongoing dialogues, prepare for various scenarios, and be nimble enough to adjust quickly,” he said.
Brands might not necessarily re-target their audiences but will have to take measures to prioritise what customers are seeking out of them.
With this, he advised, “It is important to consider the new audiences as well, as many people are pushed to use online platforms and as a brand it is our responsibility to be as relevant to them as we are to our prior audience. The question that brands need to ask themselves is: “What can my company and my brand do to add values to customers’ lives during this time?” Keep in mind, this pandemic has forced people who typically don’t shop online to do so out of necessity. These consumers may not know what to expect from online shopping, so level-setting expectations can be a positive step to establish trust.”
As consumers are concerned about privacy, the company laid a strong foundation and legacy of dealing with industry best practices, standards and regulations, and applying high levels of security and data privacy across its products, technologies and services.
Singh attributes this to the company’s goal of providing value to advertisers, consumers and publishers.
The company has also taken necessary steps to ensure compliance across all its platforms, including implementing a ‘privacy by design’ approach that engages a privacy expert at the onset of any product development. It also uses GDPR as its worldwide standard for all its services, implementing best-practices and data protection principles such as data security, data minimisation, collection limitation, retention limitation and pseudonymisation.
Talking about the invalid traffic largely is generated by bots, Singh said how it can be addressed.
He explained, “Basic crawlers and bots are blacklisted via our GIVT (general invalid traffic) rules, and more sophisticated complex fraud by our SIVT (sophisticated invalid traffic) rules. And because we won’t tolerate poor inventory or implementation of our ads on publishers properties that do not meet our quality industry level standards, we have comprehensive and enforceable inventory quality and traffic quality policies in place. Then is compliance to highest industry standards, most notably IAB and TAG certifications audited by a third-party auditor.”
To measure the performance of its own IVT solution, Singh said the agency partners with a best-in-class third party vendor, Pixelate, to augment its invalid traffic fighting efforts.