After a rough couple of years for the economy, a phase which may yet be worsening on the markets, one shining light for marketers may be the growing proximity of advertising to direct commerce opportunities.

Live and social commerce is starting to show tremendous growth, whilst retail media networks are giving brands and retailers alike new opportunities.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Zach Weinberg, VP, eCommerce, Reprise Digital, paints a picture of the next few years.

Test your approach

Weinberg’s Reprise Digital is the performance marketing agency inside IPG Mediabrands.

Its stated mission is to “improve your customer flow by making better connections with your customers throughout their path to purchase”.

Weinberg is watching the emergence of so-called “retail media networks” with interest. Big retailers like Target and Walmart have followed Amazon by selling ads in their own marketplaces. More retailers are joining them.

“Brands need to constantly be thinking about what is that next area to start testing and learning, to start learning about, what are the options being presented on those retail media networks,” Weinberg says.

EMarketer says 2022 will be “the year of retail media networks“, with US spending growing another $10bn to $41.37bn, representing 17.2% of total US digital ad spending.

Retail media mindset

Weinberg says the movement kicked off when Amazon began selling ads around 2013.

Now tech vendors like PromoteIQ, CitrusAd and Instacart are giving smaller retailers the ability to undertake a similar transformation – a move Weinberg says can improve a retailer’s P&L whilst generating consumer insights.

He advises: “A strategy really has to depend on how are you balancing the consistency of message, creative ad type in store as well as online, and ensuring that whatever content you have on your package that sits on that shelf is the same content you have on that product page, is the same content that consumers are actually searching for.”

Commerce is coming

The emerging “commerce” wave is not just about retail media networks, however.

The emerging prevalence of product listings, purchase links and direct check-out capabilities inside social apps is fuelling ecommerce growth, while the new trend of live video stream commerce is taking it higher.

Weinberg says Singles Day, the Chinese celebration of singledom that has become a retail mega event for live commerce, may grow in the West.

“Right now, live commerce is where mobile was back in 2012,” he says. “Everyone sort of saw that it was going to start to happen, but it hadn’t yet materialised.

“We know, just based on TikTok and based on Facebook, that social commerce or live commerce is there from a purchasing standpoint. It’s just about what is going to be the right incentive or the right functionality that sort of clicks to make that consumer behaviour hit the total inflexion point and create double digit growth year over year?”

You are watching “The Road to Cannes 2022 – Commerce: The New Cannes Conversation”, a Beet.TV Preview Series presented by Criteo. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.