Unleashing the Power of Retail Data – What Modern Marketers Need to Know

By R. Larsson, Advertising Week

Article takeaways:

  • What is retail data
  • Why retail data represents the holy grail of advertising
  • How Australian food brand Yumi’s used retail data to transition into the premium snack category

Every now and then digital advertising gives us a gift that can shake up the industry as we know it. That gift today is retail data — and it’s the holy grail of all gifts in our industry.

Retail data is data that’s owned by retailers, representing insights into various kinds of shopper data, including average spend, product preferences, purchase frequency, shopping cart content, loyalty program data and more. The rapid shift towards ecommerce has enabled to gather such meaningful customer preferences in the last few years.

The rise of retail data couldn’t have come at a better time for modern marketers. With the imminent death of cookies, advertisers are looking for new (and arguably more effective) ways to personalise targeting.

Three powerful aspects of retail data

Retail data is probably the fastest-growing consented and accurate datasets we have in the digital ecosystem today. Since it is based on actual transactions, retail data provides brands with an accurate insight into customer behaviour. With retail data, advertisers can deliver more relevant ads and determine if their marketing investment is actually driving sales.

The benefits aren’t limited to just targeting. During the course of the campaigns, advertisers can leverage retail data to uncover holistic customer insights across the entire customer journey. With these new insights, advertisers can look to optimise their campaign in real-time, and shape their future media buys and creative strategies.

Finally, with retail data, advertisers can close the loop between brand awareness campaigns and real-world sales, giving brands the ability to measure business impact of their advertising campaigns across offline and online sales channels.

How Yumi’s successfully transitioned to the premium snack category

One Australian brand that has used retail data successfully is snack foods brand Yumi’s.

Yumi’s was looking to reposition itself as a premium snack brand.  Their media agency, PMG Australia found an opportunity for online-and-offline sales measurement solution between The Trade Desk — world’s largest independent media-buying platform and Flybuys — Australia’s most popular loyalty programme, which connects to Australia’s largest retailers, like Coles and Liquorland.

The company used Flybuys data within The Trade Desk’s platform to target premium snack buyers and buyers of premium refrigerated foods from competitors across broadcast video-on-demand and premium short-form video. As a result, the brand saw a 158% sales uplift on one product set and 147% on another product set.

As Yumi’s sales conversion data were loaded into The Trade Desk’s platform, the team was able to gain a near-real-time view of their campaign’s effectiveness across different audiences and strategies. Furthermore, through The Trade Desk’s Inferred Brand Intent (IBI) solution, Yumi’s was able to track how their ads impacted audiences’ online browsing behaviours. They discovered that 11% of people who viewed the ads subsequently conducted online searches related to the Yumi’s brand, competitor set and category. In particular, majority of them were searching for vegetables. Yumi’s then used this insight to further optimise its campaign and work towards driving consumers through the sales funnel.

Most importantly, the online-and-offline sales measurement solution was pivotal in driving conversions and Yumi’s achieved its goal of repositioning itself as a premium snack brand. The company became the second-most popular brand in its category, with a 31% market share — a 3.3% increase during the campaign period.

Best Practices

For advertisers looking to unlock the value of loyalty and ecommerce data in a safe and secure way, there are several best practices to implement.

  • Leverage retail data to enhance existing advertising campaigns driven by first- and third-party data. With first-party data, advertisers can build relationships with current customers through CRMs, pixels and more. Third-party data provides additional signals like demographics or behavior from other data partners to accelerate scale. Retail data allows advertisers to differentiate beyond these existing datasets, reach new customers and drive market share.
  • Consumers are now discovering, researching, and making purchase decisions about products in multiple ways. This is why it’s important for brands to engage with shoppers wherever they consume media. To reach the right balance of precision and scale, advertisers should create ad groups for each targeting strategy with a combination of each relevant dataset. These segments should be layered on across retailers to drive the most incremental reach, and it is important that these audience targeting strategies should be applied across media plans and channels.

With these best practices, advertisers can future-proof their businesses against shifting consumer habits and privacy policies to deliver the right messages to the right people at the right time.