Five important retail advertising trends that are still going strong in 2023

Are you planning your retail advertising strategy for 2023? We explain five trends you need to know, and what you can do to embrace them.

As we quickly approach the halfway point of 2023, we want to look into the future and share our expert perspective on what we expect to see in the remaining half of the year.

Take a look at these five big advertising trends we believe retailers need to know – and how you can make the most of them to increase your programmatic performance.

1) E-commerce

Research shows that almost 80% of us shop online at least once a month, and the value of the global e-commerce market is predicted to rise from $3.3 trillion today, to $5.4 trillion in 2026.

So how can you make the most of the opportunities presented by this trend? If people are buying online, then you need to reach them online with a campaign that finds new customers and nurtures them through your customer lifecycle, matching your messaging with where they are at the exact point in their journey.

A campaign with dynamic creative optimisation (DCO) that is tailored to each individual’s interests and place in your lifecycle will increase your conversions dramatically. You will also avoid putting potential customers off by showing them ads that are irrelevant, or featuring products they have already bought.

2) Personalisation

This moves us nicely onto the second important retail trend for 2023: personalisation. Research shows that 80% of us are more likely to buy when brands offer personalised experiences.

But personalisation requires more than just the ability to use DCO effectively. It relies on quality data – and, essentially, data that has been legally generated.

Post-third-party cookie, this is a conundrum for most brands, who are left either relying solely on their own first-party data, which restricts them to existing customers, or forced into walled gardens, where they have no visibility and no ownership on the data used.

However, there is a third option: working with a programmatic partner like Crimtan. With audience consent and our own proprietary technology (including industry-leading DCO), we analyse customer data and behaviour alongside contextual data sources such as geo-location, brand and product intent signals, content interests, weather and even pollen count to inform your advertising strategy in real-time.

Importantly, this enables us to deliver highly personalised campaigns that are legally compliant – with impressive results. For example, in a campaign for Abu Dhabi Tourism (ADT), we used a real-time weather API to create over 5,400 ad creatives using dynamic audience targeting.

The campaign highlighted real-time differences in weather between the weather in Abu Dhabi and the European city each person was located in. Not only did this personalised campaign’s CTR beat the benchmark by over 300% in Germany, and by over 400% in the UK, but the trips booked as a result were 34% longer than trips booked through regular destination communication. Our travellers also spent over 35% more on hotel stays.

This is just one example of how powerful personalisation can be when used effectively, with the right data, in campaigns.

3) Omnichannel

If you aren’t already using an omnichannel approach in your retail marketing you are missing a significant opportunity. Harvard Business Review discovered that 73% of shoppers in the US use several different channels during their shopping journey.

However, a successful omnichannel campaign relies on connected data, and this can only be achieved when you work with a single programmatic partner like Crimtan with their own proprietary technology. Otherwise you risk a disconnect in your messages and data wastage.

Here’s an example of how omnichannel can work with a single programmatic partner. Let’s say you are running your programmatic campaign across display, native, video, audio, DOOH and CTV.

It’s easy enough to connect IDs when people are viewing ads on their devices, but what happens if they are walking through a train station, or at a bus stop? How can you know if they’ve seen your CTV ad, and if that ad influenced their behaviour?

A single programmatic partner knows the time and place the ad was delivered, and can assign CTV to an IP address, giving a geolocation. Then we can look at browser behaviour and see whether activity not ID-related either increased or decreased in that location.

Because everything is in one place, we know when and where the ad was delivered, and can connect activity not connected to the ID, to an ID. This gives you more accurate campaign attribution, and ensures that any future messaging to that ID is personalised based on what you know the customer has already seen and engaged with (or not).

So, in order to genuinely run a successful omnichannel campaign, you need to work with a single partner who has complete ownership and overview of the technology.

4) Conversion optimisation

The end goal of your retail advertising is usually a sale. The average landing page conversion on a website is just 2.35%, so a big consideration of your advertising strategy should be not just sending people to a sales page, but ensuring you are sending the right people, and they are ready to make a purchase. This is known as conversion optimisation.

While you should always explore strategies to improve your landing pages to increase sales, too many retailers ignore other important conversion optimisation opportunities – namely investing in omnichannel campaigns that deliver tailored messaging, something we know helps significantly in improving performance.

To make our ads even more personalised and powerful, we developed a way to use our client’s own back-end data to serve truly tailored DCO ads. For example, with one car manufacturer client, we served potential customers ads that show the precise destination and model of car they have been searching for, and let them know the current price and availability of that model for their destination.

So when these customers click through to the landing page, they know their model is available, and the price – increasing the likelihood of conversion.

5) DCO

We’ve already touched on dynamic creative optimisation (DCO), but it is so important it warrants its own place on the list.

Most campaign creatives today are still optimised statically, which means that a few different ad creatives are developed for a campaign. These are then usually tested using a split sample to find the creative that performs best. Once this is identified, the creative is rolled out.

However, this process overlooks several important factors that play an important role in the performance of creative. These can include (but are not limited to) the time of day, day of the week, season, weather, location and even someone’s prior activity on your website.

A static campaign cannot adapt to take into account these unique variables. Instead everyone sees the same few ads.  Here’s what this would look like if you used DCO:

If it is raining where someone lives, you can serve ads for umbrellas that day. And if it is hot and sunny for someone else, you can serve them ads for BBQs.

With thousands of elements ready to go, you can build a personalised DCO ad in split seconds as your ads go live, knowing they will perfectly match where someone is in your customer lifecycle, and other unique factors.

By tailoring your ads so perfectly you are able to meet your customer needs at all times. Your ads are relevant and timely and, as a result, will reflect more favourably on your brand, and, ultimately, will perform better.

What retail trends will you maximise in 2023?

It’s been a tough few years for the retail industry, and 2023 will come with its own set of challenges. But whatever direction the market takes, you will be more prepared, and are more likely to outperform your competitors, with the right e-commerce digital advertising strategy.

We hope the insights and advice we shared in this article are helpful for you. If you’d like to find out more, download our FREE retailers’ guide to maximising the ecommerce customer lifecycle or click here to speak to one of our experts about how to improve the performance of your programmatic campaigns.