Key Takeaways from eTail West

eTail West

Last week, Marketplace Strategy team members traveled to Palm Desert, Calif. for eTail West.MPS sponsored and spent two days having meaningful discussions with others in the industry and a number of brands and retailers.

Below you can find three of the top trends we noticed during our visit.

RoAS Jail Reigns

It’s a story we’ve been telling for many months now, but one that still seems to be lost on many brands we speak with.

E-commerce is typically far more conducive to measuring the success of marketing efforts than other retail channels simply due to the direct digital link to the sale. It’s obviously far more difficult to track a consumer seeing a magazine ad and then visiting a brick-and-mortar store to make a purchase than one tracked click-by-click online.

But at this point, that benefit has turned into an expectation that is hurting so many brands we speak with on a day-to-day basis. We’re approached constantly by brands whose first pain point surrounds the rising ACoS of their Amazon Advertising efforts.

While return will never cease to be a key measuring stick of advertising success, brands need to do a better job of putting the return metric in context and understanding the greater goal of marketing. While it’s tempting to be drawn to the here-and-now of Amazon Advertising, it’s no different than other channels in that expanding a brand’s consumer-base and conquesting competitors are vital pieces of the strategy to ensure long-term health of the brand.

Self-Service DSP is Still Surprisingly Undiscovered

For nearly two years, Amazon has provided select agencies access to its DSP platform to implement more sophisticated and agile programmatic strategies for brands, most of whom were previously limited to the rigidity of AMG Managed Service.

Yet still so many brands selling on Amazon – even those with notable sales and a sophisticated presence – are unaware of this shift and the benefits it can provide.

Lower line item minimums and lower management fees, along with a more robust approach and more granular reporting make the self-service approach a virtual no-brainer (and one being sold within the walls of Amazon more and more often.) Still so often, however, we talk to e-commerce executives who aren’t aware of this option. Many of them don’t even invest in Amazon programmatic advertising because they believe they’re still limited to large spends and minimal visibility.   

Retailers Slowly Crossing Over

Until very recently, most retailers met the proposition of selling on Amazon with vehement dismissal.

But as Amazon has grown and as more online shoppers continue to bypass traditional search engines to go directly to Amazon when searching for a product, the conversation has become less of a taboo, and more of an exercise in retailers examining the future viability and growth of their company.

MPS is noticing far more traditional retailers asking questions and kicking the tires on an Amazon strategy that would help them to 1) take control of their existing third-party presence on the channel; 2) drive additional revenue, and; 3) establish a brand presence on a channel with tens of millions of weekly shoppers.

MPS already works with a few major retailers testing the waters with private label products on Amazon. It’s our estimation this number will grow in the coming months and years as more traditional retailers see the advantages to an Amazon presence, even if a limited one.

The eTail West conference cast a brighter light on some of the trends we’ve observed over the years. We look forward to visiting Prosper Show at the end of this month to continue conversations and gain even more insight. If you’re attending Prosper Show, let us know! We’d be happy to schedule a meeting while we’re in town.

eTail West
Hannah West

Hannah West