By offering sponsored ads, digital marketplaces can unlock new revenue streams, deliver highly personalized and relevant experiences for consumers, and help sellers increase conversion rates — all at the same time. Here’s everything digital marketplaces need to know about how to implement and benefit from this win-win-win advertising strategy in its many different forms.
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What Are Sponsored Ads & How Do They Work?
Sponsored ads are ads that run in response to specific keywords that consumers use to search retail websites, digital marketplaces, or content platforms. Because they are designed to blend in seamlessly wherever they appear, sponsored ads are often indistinguishable from the native content that visitors are searching for in the first place.
When a consumer searches for an item while shopping online, their search results will include both regular listings and sponsored ads that recommend specific products or brands relevant to their search. Sponsored ads are usually prioritized among those results by sitting at the top of the page, for example.
The many benefits available to advertisers that run sponsored ad campaigns include reaching new customers, boosting brand visibility and loyalty, increasing order value and order volume, improving conversion rates, and growing return on ad spend, or ROAS.
For e-commerce websites, sponsored ads serve to unlock new revenue streams, provide a personalized experience for customers, and improve performance for sellers, all at the same time. In order to offer and benefit from sponsored ads, digital marketplaces must incorporate three key capabilities:
Budgeting: Allow sellers to set unique campaign budget caps and define the specific amount they’re willing to bid for each click.
Targeting: Sellers should be able to identify the precise keywords and search terms they want to target with each individual ad.
Analytics: Tracking and understanding campaign results will help sellers contextualize, optimize, and improve campaigns in real time.
Interested in learning more about the nuts and bolts of sponsored advertising? Read our post all about the topic: “What Are Sponsored Ads & How Do They Work?”
3 Examples of Effective Sponsored Ads
Retail media networks are a critical component of delivering effective sponsored advertisement campaigns. They provide the service infrastructure to distribute sponsored ad placements across retailer’s website and apps. Many retail media networks seek to influence consumer behavior specifically toward the end of the purchase journey, immediately before or even during the moment of a sale. Because sponsored ads unlock such powerful revenue opportunities, many major retailers have launched their own retail media networks in recent years.
Here are three times well-known brands partnered with major retail media networks to realize monumental results.
Reebok & eBay Ads
Reebok used eBay’s retail media network to increase demand for well-stocked products. Using sponsored ads to highlight products with an inventory of over 100 units, the company was able to increase overall sales by 55% and sales of promoted items by 142%. Reebok’s ROAS skyrocketed to 15:1 during the campaign, more than three times the 4:1 ratio typically seen as an industry benchmark for strong performance.
Clorox & Target’s Roundel
In spring 2020, Clorox acquired 1.4 million new customers through Target. Working with Roundel, Target’s retail media network, to deploy sponsored ads allowed Clorox to maximize that new wave of customers. They launched a survey to identify the audience’s highest value segments and then conducted extensive A/B testing to determine the best messaging for those segments. That research led to a sponsored ad campaign that boosted retention by 25% and tripled Clorox’s ROAS.
Hershey’s & Walmart Connect
What holiday is more important to Hershey’s than Halloween? In 2020, the company worked with Walmart retail media network, Walmart Connect, to keep Halloween traditions alive while keeping families COVID-safe. The “Moments of Goodness” sponsored ad campaign reached existing and new Walmart shoppers both in-store and online, boosting sales by 73% and increasing ROAS by 30%.
To read more about how these brands launched successful sponsored ad campaigns, check out our article: “3 Examples of Effective Sponsored Ads on Retail Media Networks.”Back to top
What Are Sponsored Results & How Do They Work?
While sponsored ads typically take the form of native content, sponsored results highlight those ads further by separating them out in their own section. When consumers search for something on Google, for example, sponsored results appear in a separate and clearly labeled advertising section above the list of regular search results. Retail media networks and platforms use tools like banners and carousels to display sponsored results as separate from regular search results.
Just like sponsored ads, sponsored results can deliver great results for brands. Advertisers should assess the specific capabilities that digital marketplaces make available in order to determine how, when, and where to deploy sponsored ad or sponsored result campaigns. As retailers seek to differentiate their networks and platforms, each one offers a different suite of services and features.
These are some of the most popular platforms that support sponsored results services:
Moloco: Our Retail Media Platform offers digital marketplaces and content publishers a turnkey solution for implementing sponsored results across their e-commerce websites and apps.
Amazon Sponsored Products: Amazon automatically generates ads based on sellers’ product listings and displays those ads among other sponsored listings or banners at the top of the results page.
Apple Search Ads: Basic and Advanced sponsored results options allow advertisers to choose between the App Store’s intelligent automation and manual performance optimization capabilities.
eBay Promoted Listings: Diverse features like “Sell It Fast,” simple and bulk listing selections, and automated campaigns ensure that every kind of eBay seller can benefit from sponsored results.
Home Depot Retail Media+: Home Depot’s sponsored results service supports ads both on- and offsite, and also offers retargeting options. Placement options include search grid, carousel, and banner ads.
UberEats Sponsored Listings: UberEats launched sponsored results during the pandemic to help customers expand their dining repertoire and restaurants increase revenue with 5:1 ROAS.
Want to learn how to maximize your sponsored results campaign? Check out the best practices in our article: “What Are Sponsored Results & How Do They Work?”
The world of sponsored ads, sponsored results, and retail media platforms can be daunting for e-commerce companies and digital marketplaces to tackle on their own. That’s where Moloco can help; our Retail Media Platform will help you unlock new revenue opportunities, impress customers with personalized experiences, and support sellers to increase order volume, order value, conversion rate, and other important metrics.
To learn more about the Moloco Retail Media Platform, contact us today.