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Digiday: The Rundown: As e-commerce grows, the eCommFronts address data and communication issues

May 25, 2022

Does the red-hot world of e-commerce — estimated to be in the neighborhood of $100 billion according to Boston Consulting Group — even need its own “upfront”? Horizon Media’s topical Night Market unit certainly thinks so.

Night Market, which specializes in guiding clients through e-commerce and retail media offerings and inventory, hosted its third annual eCommFronts beginning Tuesday through today. The virtual event examines the changing and growing world of e-commerce and shoppable media, focusing more intensely on the collapsing funnel (the coming together of brand gain with performance results) and the melding of data sets, said Randy Browning, president of Night Market. The event had 539 registered users.

The companies presenting cut across the growing swath of retailers that have opened up new revenue opportunities by selling ad inventory on their own digital presences and weaponizing their data to help other media hungry for insights on consumer behavior.

“The opportunity is that you have an ability to create a collapsed funnel in a purchase journey that is starting online,’ said Browning.

Here are some takeaways from the event:

Retail media players Among the companies presenting are retailers Walmart and Kroger, both of which have committed deeply to building out an e-commerce and retail media revenue stream, but are now also generating data that has its own revenue value.

“People assume retail media is just sponsored product listings in e-commerce,” said Jill Smith, director of agency partnerships with Kroger Precision Marketing, which now operates within a data science division called 84.51°. “But we’ve entered a new phase of retail media. Now brands are using Kroger Precision Marketing’s first-party sales data to target and optimize programmatic ad campaigns on the open web.”

That said, retail media is still fighting for a greater share of media buyers’ attention, even if it’s caught on pretty well with marketers. A recent Digiday+ Research survey of 59 agency and marketer executives found that the bigger retail players haven’t yet seen a significant uptick in media investment. That could have something to do with why the eCommFronts are taking place.

Click here to read the full Kroger Precision Marketing article.

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