Retailers have opened their digital shelf space – allowing advertisers to win first-in-search placement via exclusive, in-grid real estate … just a click away from the buy button.
The Retail Search Exchange by HookLogic places your brand in front of millions of active shoppers at the moment of truth across a network of retailers. Think of it as paid search on retail sites, which have now eclipsed search engines as the first place shoppers go to research products.
Watch how it works.
Last week, VP of Search Media for HookLogic, Steve Elson, presented a webinar about a new search marketing opportunity – the Retail Search Exchange. Attendees learned all about what it takes to win top product placement on retail sites, saw real client examples, and heard case studies that demonstrated how brands have used the Retail Search Exchange to achieve higher market share and more sales. Key takeaways included:
- Shoppers go to online retailers first: Seven out of 10 consumers start their online shopping /research on a specific merchant site.
- Using the Retail Search Exchange increases pageviews: An outdoor playset manufacturer was able to increase consideration share (product page views) by over 12 percent by using the Retail Search Exchange.
- You can extend your brand: The Retail Search Exchange allows brands that were once buried deep in the pages of retailers’ sites to get their products on the first pages of search results.
- The Retail Search Exchange is growing…fast: Categories opening soon include Sporting Goods, Home, Pet, Health & Beauty, Auto, Office, and more!
For those of you that missed the webinar, it is available to view here:
There’s big competition playing out on the search results and category sorts of major online retailers. Little Tykes, along with category killer Fisher-Price, dominate the webpages of retailers like Toys “R” Us in the outdoor playset category, but Step2 is innovating with their search budget to unseat their rivals by winning top-of-sort placements in relevant search results.
“More and more our customers’ purchase decisions are occurring online, specifically on retailer sites,” said Tena Crock, Online Marketing Director for Step 2. “So we are moving a portion of our search budget closer to shoppers on the Retail Search Exchange.”
As an early adopter of The Retail Search Exchange powered by HookLogic, Step2 is winning market share via the CPC auction marketplace which exclusively targets consumers actively shopping on a network of ecommerce websites that includes BabyAge, Rakuten.com Shopping, and the largest baby and toy retailer online. With the Retail Search Exchange, brand marketers like Step 2 have the unprecedented opportunity to seamlessly influence shopper decisions with “featured” product listings that are served against relevant site searches and category sorts.
The Retail Search Exchange takes a proven paid search model and puts it where shoppers are doing most of their product research and making purchase decisions – on retail ecommerce sites. A winning bid on the Retail Search Exchange means advertisers can influence a highly-engaged, in-market audience while they are actually shopping.
“It fits perfectly into our marketing mix without the need of additional time or resources – there’s no keyword research or creative asset creation needed on our end,” said Crock.
Last week, the HookLogic team ventured out to eTail West in sunny Palm Springs, California for a week of networking, learning, and knowledge-sharing with some of the biggest and best in the ecommerce industry. The action-packed event was buzzing with conversations surrounding customer experience, the future of ecommerce, and the two darlings spotlighted at every present-day industry event – mobile and social. And, as could be expected, popularized statements such as, “Mobile is big” and “This is the year of omnichannel retailing,” were heard throughout the exhibit hall and conference rooms throughout the duration of the conference.
At HookLogic booth #405, we were talking about something different. Something brand new. Something that made everyone’s ears perk up. That something was The Retail Search Exchange. This was the Retail Search Exchange’s debut conference, and it was fantastic to hear the initial reactions from attendees. It seems like everyone is as excited about it as we are! Some of the things that resonated the most were:
- Advertisers do not select individual retailers on which to run ads: For retailers, this network opacity guarantees that the Retail Search Exchange functions as a media program, not a trade program, to ensure the revenue coming in does not impact co-op dollars. Advertisers tap search marketing budgets to take advantage of the Retail Search Exchange, and are able to enjoy real-time return on ad spend (ROAS) reporting.
- The customer experience remains relevant and in-tact: the Retail Search Exchange is powered by machine learning models that crunch hundreds of variables to ensure that the most relevant product ad is always served. Customers only see products that are relevant to their search.
- Shoppers are never taken off-site: The Retail Search Exchange only shows products that the retailer actually sells. The ads click-in, so shoppers are never taken away from the retailer’s site.
For those of you that could not attend eTail, click here to check out one of the handouts we had on-site that gave attendees a glimpse at something different and exciting.
The Retail Search Exchange was announced to the world via this press release on Tuesday, March 6. To learn more about becoming part of this groundbreaking network of retailers and brands, please send an email to email@example.com.
At last week’s iMedia Brand Summit, HookLogic’s VP of Search Media, Steve Elson, enlightened the crowd during a spotlight session entitled, “Getting Closer to the Shopper.” During this presentation, Steve led a highly-engaged audience full of brand marketers to discover ways that they can deliver targeted media to qualified customers at the most influential time in the purchase cycle – the Moment of Truth. Key learnings from the presentation include:
- In the near future, the web will further influence retail sales both online and offline. Forrester Research predicts that 44% of total retail sales will be impacted by the web in 2016 (Forecast: US Cross-Channel Retail, 2011-2016).
- Retailer websites are the leading research source for purchase decisions across nearly all product categories, even if consumers end up buying in stores. Brands should increase exposure on retail sites to become bigger influencers in the purchase-making journey, regardless of where the conversions happen.
- Many brand advertising budgets are spent on impressions and audience buying rather than reaching the real thing – shoppers. If brands and retailers meet in the middle, they can serve shoppers with the most relevant ads, at the most opportune time.
- A new, real-time CPC marketplace, known as the Retail Search Exchange (RSX), puts this ‘meet in the middle’ concept into practice by offering paid search opportunities on top retail websites. Brands in the RSX place bids to seamlessly influence shoppers with relevant product information at the Moment of Truth – while their minds are open and wallets are out.
- The RSX represents a shift in key ad performance measures, causing brands to stray away from Reach and CTR and instead work towards increasing more relevant measures, such as Sales, ROAS, and Share of Pageviews.
- It’s very simple for a brand to use the RSX to run campaigns. All the brand has to do is log-in to the user interface, add budget, and place SKU-level bids. The product then gets featured in relevant site searches and category listings across a network of retailers that carry its products – voilà!
We are pleased to announce the debut of the Retail Search Exchange by HookLogic.
The Retail Search Exchange CPC bid marketplace moves the power of SEM closer to the buy button on retail ecommerce sites. It grabs the attention of shoppers when and where they make purchase decisions. Think of it as paid search on retail sites, only the “ads” are featured product listings served against relevant searches and navigation across a network of premium retailers. It’s top-of-sort visibility that delivers a brand’s message in a seamless format that fosters consumer behaviors.
Because The Retail Search Exchange is built on a CPC model, brands only pay for ads that perform. The real-time insights interface provides reporting on average bid price, transactions, share of voice and return on ad spend (ROAS). Over the last year in beta, advertisers regularly saw an average ROAS between 350-450%.
In the coming weeks the rolling launch of the Babies and Toys category will continue as some of the biggest well-known retailers in that space light up later this month. In addition to Babies and Toys, the Consumer Electronics and Home Appliance categories are scheduled to launch in the second quarter of this year.
Zavvi.com, part of the Hut Group and major entertainment retailer with a focus on Games, Consoles, DVDs and Electronics, has decorated its ecommerce website with engaging and new display media opportunities this holiday season. One campaign that shined during the last month was Sky Movies’ full-site re-skin, promoting the superlatively wide assortment of movies offered by the UK’s number one subscription television movie provider.
Goal: For Sky Movies, the goal of the campaign was to target online shoppers at scale, presenting them with the opportunity to access and enjoy more of the year’s biggest blockbusters. Driving brand awareness and engagement were both very important. Zavvi.com’s goal was to monetize its website with relevant, non-competitive, reputable advertisements.
Strategy: The ‘skin’ creative and messaging ran for seven consecutive days, across all categories of the Zavvi.com website including the homepage. An eye-catching creative treatment and clear call-to-action helped guide website visitors along their shopping journey, and exposed them to a product directly complementary to their purchase intent.
The media placements ran in November to capitalize on the opportunity to drive large, pre-holiday sales. Sky Movies’ media on Zavvi.com was strategic piece of a larger, cross-channel campaign consisting of video, television, and out-of-home advertising.
Results: Zavvi.com saw over 600,000 unique site visitors during the campaign, with an average time on site per user of 3 minutes, who were each exposed to the creative. Sky Movies benefited from having major share-of-voice on the site in delivering their campaign message to a highly relevant audience of in-market shoppers with maximum impact.
The abovementioned media program development stems from the formation of the retailer’s newly-formed relationship with HookLogic, the industry leader in understanding and influencing shopper decisions to Win the Moment of Truth™. Contact us today to learn more.
As we look back and evaluate our progress since the launch of the HookLogic Digest this summer, we recognize that we’ve gained so many new readers! We would like to take this opportunity to say Thank You for subscribing, and give you a chance to check out the five most popular stories from 2012.
- TravelAds Featured on Hotel Impossible: Hotel “fixer” Anthony Melchiorrias travels to Music City to rescue The Fiddler’s Inn in a recent episode of the Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible. In Anthony’s bag of tricks is HookLogic’s TravelAds product on Expedia.com. (Watch video)
- Advertising Doesn’t Have To Be Creepy: An ambitious e-privacy directive recently went into effect in Europe which requires all marketers and websites operating in any EU country to obtain consent from users before dropping tracking code onto their Web browsers. This has advertisers across the globe in a tizzy because they rely on cookies and similar tracking technologies to make online experiences more personal, relevant and, unfortunately, creepy.
- CallSource Joins Forces with HookLogic: HookLogic’s Lead2Show platform will integrate CallSource’s call tracking data, enhancing the conversion of leads to showroom visits. The integration will allow dealers to reanimate leads that show offline buying behaviors. Lead2Show dealers experience a closing rate as high as 47 percent. (Read press release).
- Pioneering New Revenue Streams: After you are done pioneering new ways of selling online, stealing market share, and building your brand, how do you continue to innovate in ecommerce? Find out how this panel of some of the sharpest minds in e-tail stay on the cutting edge. Read the blog post for some key takeaways from the discussion. (Read article).
- Back to School Tip Sheet: Online back-to-school shoppers spend 40% more than those who only shop in stores. Advertisers, check out these tips on how to find, follow, and convert these busy shoppers…(View tip sheet).
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Consumers have seized control of their path-to-purchase. They rely less on distracting advertising and are now empowered by digital tools to make smart buying decisions on everything from televisions to toilet paper. So, why are we still trying to interrupt them? Why don’t we work towards facilitating the shopping experience rather than hindering it?
HookLogic ventured out to Boston for the FutureM conference last month to share real examples and insights that indicates how consumers say they want to be engaged by brands, and how advertisers and retailers are actually doing it. Key findings from the presentation include:
- Shoppers research on retail sites: Even with a wealth of online channels at their disposal, retailer websites are the leading research source for purchase decisions across nearly all product categories according to eMarketer.
- Ad spend is not caught up to consumer behavior: Especially when it comes to time spent on the Internet. Although a full 36% of their time is spent online, marketers are only putting 19% of their dollars there. They’re still spending proportionally too much of their advertising budgets on print and TV.
- Digital does influence online purchases: And it will influence them even more as time goes on. According to Forrester Research, there was 1.12 billion dollars in web-influenced online sales in 2011. By 2014, this number will rise to 1.41 billion.
- There are smarter ways to engage shoppers today: Brands should be relevant, and in context. For example, branded landed pages on retail websites can act as digital ‘endcaps’ that catch the shopper’s eye when they’re browsing for a certain type of product. Also, pay-per-click advertising opportunities are continuing to open up across the ecommerce landscape. It makes sense to take advantage of media placements like this – that engage the shopper at the moment of truth – the very instant that they are ready to make a purchase decision.
To learn more about these types of advertising opportunities, click here to contact HookLogic.
Smart online marketers are always looking for new ways to grow and influence incremental sales. Ecommerce media and flash sales, for example, are two avenues of growth to consider. After you are done pioneering new ways of selling online, stealing market share, and building your brand, how do you continue to innovate in ecommerce?
The answer to this question was a hot topic during Brand Innovators Ecommerce, Part 2, held in New York earlier this month. Each panelist shared their response:
Mike Beaulieu, Director of Media Sales, Wayfair - There are a few interesting ways that Wayfair.com drives incremental revenue. One, the “Get It Near Me” program, allows smaller furniture and home good vendors to target potential customers who are actively researching and shopping for the kinds of items they offer. This tool caters to shoppers that need to see and feel the product before they buy. For high consideration purchases such as furniture, this makes a ton of sense. The furniture vendors in the program pay Wayfair a cut for this added exposure, and in the end, shopper, vendor, and retailer all reap the benefits.
Wayfair also uses its HomeProductAds program to generate additional revenue. HomeProductAds is a performace-based media product, powered by HookLogic, that allows the manufacturers and vendors who sell on Wayfair properties to grow exposure and sales by putting their product on the top of the search results. Wayfair’s partners have access to the detail they need to see their performance and tune their spend directly against the results they want to drive, and shoppers see a more of the types of product they are searching for. Yet again, everyone benefits.
Katherine Wu Brady, VP, Operations, vente-privée USA - For this retailer, it’s whole business is essentially a “new revenue stream.” Flash sales is the vice that vente-privee chooses to use. But unlike other sites, vente-privee creates custom boutiques with original photography and video that breathe new life into excess inventory, offering a beautiful and enjoyable experience for its members and brand partners alike. For brands, partnering with vente-privee to feature their products not only leads to revenue and sales, as expected, but also generates consumer insights. Brands can gather post-sale data that offers quality insights across a spectrum of filters and consumer trends – such as popularity of a certain item by region.
vente-privee aims to ‘”surprise and delight” its shoppers to keep them engaged. They consistently strive to maintain the brand integrity of their partners by consciously limiting the amount of pre-promotion or product previews, as is the case for many other flash sale sites. And because they choose to work with brands their members truly desire, they have created a strong loyalty and excitement at 10 AM ET every day to see what new brands and products have made their debut. vente-privee also manages its own shipping and fulfillment, offering brands additional ‘parceling’ opportunities to reinforce their connection with shoppers via samples, designer lookbooks or retail offers exclusively for members. This is another great added value that ultimately benefits all parties involved while “surprising and delighting” customers.
Adam Stave, Director of New Business Development, GSI Media, GSI Commerce, an eBay company – At GSI, Adam is responsible for leveraging media to tap new revenue streams for hundreds of retailers including Ace Hardware, GNC, Radioshack, and Quicksilver. One tactic he utilizes is opening up premium advertising inventory on retail websites. During the panel discussion, he mentioned that one of the important things for brands to remember when entering the ecommerce media realm is that the content should be custom. For example, the ad that brand places on GNC.com should not be the same ad they use on a site like that of CNN. It should fit into the look, feel, and overall tone of the GNC website.
Adam shared an entertaining example with the audience, involving KY Lubricant products being advertised on 1800Flowers.com. Although this may sound like a strange fit at first, the media placements ran within the ‘Guy’s Guide to Flowers’ microsite, and performed well in this relevant context. 1800Flowers was able to generate additional revenue from KY, KY drove a high return on ad spend (ROAS), and men shopping for flowers were exposed to ‘complemetary’ items that might be of interest.
Special thanks to all of our panelists for sharing their stories, and to our moderator, John Haake, for keeping the conversation flowing.