Retail marketers see value of first party data rocket

shopping mall 2Retail marketers claim their first party data has soared in value, and anticipate campaigns based on their transactional insights will soon surpass any previous ROI benchmarks brand advertisers set with big tech companies.

That is the standout finding of the latest Future of Commerce report by Criteo, which quizzed 251 UK retail CMOs to understand how burgeoning demand from brand advertisers to place ads within their properties has affected strategy and investment focuses.

It reveals an overwhelming 92% of retailer CMOs reported their commerce data in particular, including transactional insights such as purchases, shopping behaviour and loyalty cards, has increased in value.

At a time where growing privacy regulations have marketers and media owners looking for new ways to reach audiences, 86% of respondents anticipate campaigns based on their first-party data will surpass any previous ROI benchmarks.

Understandably, CMOs are keen to push ahead with first party data management and matching strategies. Nearly half (45%) listed the revenue potential of such data monetisation for advertising purposes as a key driver in upweighting investment.

Victorian Plumbing CMO Joe Pascoe commented: “With insight into what consumers actually buy and how they consider various products, retailers are in an unrivalled position to inform brands about their audience.

“In many places, retailers are only beginning to scratch the surface of what they can achieve by effectively monetising their sites.”

In the last year alone, investment into first-party data strategy, partners and matching technologies has risen by 26% among CMO respondents.

Beyond creating a new revenue stream, the findings reveal additional opportunities to be realised from investment in first-party data strategy include improved customer experiences (53%) and better audience engagement (36%) with onsite and offsite media.

As first party data management and matching strategies are pursued further, better frequency management (35%), accurate audience definitions (32%) and easier data privacy compliance (30%) will enable retailers to become more mature marketing businesses.

In turn this will offer greater performance to endemic, and increasingly even non-endemic, brand advertisers.

To date, many CMOs within retail businesses have been reliant on third parties to enhance their view of the customer and drive change in these areas. Nearly three-fifths (59%) reported their reliance on existing walled gardens presents the greatest hurdle to understanding the business’ audience across all touchpoints in the customer journey.

The report points out that walled gardens can be problematic because one company’s data on its own rarely captures a full view of the whole purchase journey of several different audience groups. Success relies on retailers and publishers opening up to the idea of data collaboration.

To this end, two-fifths (41%) of CMOs raised publisher willingness to match identifiers that unlock the value of first-party data as a major hurdle to overcome. The same proportion of respondents also flagged understanding among internal stakeholders as an inhibitor.

Criteo CMO Brendan McCarthy explained: “The retail media opportunity can be taken further and deployed among non-retail media owners. ‘Commerce media’ is the broader ability to monetise anywhere where consumers spend their time, using first-party commerce data to enable advertisers to attract, convert and retain consumers across the open Internet.”

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