In the new “merchant media” wave, ecommerce operators are discovering they can turn their store sites into vehicles that capture audience data for ad targeting.

But Amar Goel thinks they can go further.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Goel, Founder & Chairman, PubMatic, says visitors to ecommerce sites can be snared from publisher sites.

Publisher to platform

“If I go to and I look at some products … Gap is saying, ‘Hey, I want to bring that consumer back to my site’,” Goel says.

“They are going to generate media dollars by reaching those consumers on another website, on some other publisher that we work with.

“I think it’s another way … that money will be spent on publishers.”

Merchants as media

Inspired by Amazon, big US retailers began turning their pages into advertising space, fuelled by first-party shopper data.

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.

PubMatic’s Goel says more retailers turned on to the idea during lockdown.

“For a lot of retailers, ecommerce was always kind of an afterthought,” he says. “All of a sudden, it became the primary channel for many retailers to sell their products.

“The light bulbs started to go off … ‘by getting into retail media, we could actually build a very profitable revenue revenue stream, and it’s very high margin’.”

DSP and beyond

The emergence of retailers as publishers in their own right may seem to pose a threat to traditional ad vehicles, especially as identifiers like cookies and IDFA crumble.

And that may seem to pose a threat, too, to PubMatic, which offers a demand-side platform (DSP) to publishers.

But Goel says serving retailers is “in our wheelhouse”. And he says the company has branched out from its DSP heritage.

“Over 65% of our revenue is now from video and mobile,” Goel says. “People think about you, maybe historically, as a display-focused SSP … 69% was actually video and mobile. And so that’s a big focus. CTV is a huge focus for us this year. We grew at over 5X 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.