How advertisers are leveraging Roundel’s best practices to maximize retail media spend

Renee Doerre, senior director of strategy and enablement, Roundel

Creating impactful e-commerce strategies begins and ends with the consumer experience. From websites to apps to in-store experiences and third-party platforms, shoppers can connect with brands at many touchpoints. Consumers want a convenient and personalized shopping experience and advertisers must create lasting ways to capture and retain interest across the funnel. 

As e-commerce continues to expand, omnichannel approaches, brand loyalty, and testing strategies are essential. Successful brands and advertisers use these to drive discovery and strengthen campaign outcomes.

How advertisers pair on-site and off-site channels to improve ROAS

Media strategies with a successful omnichannel approach at their core strive to maximize campaign effectiveness by leveraging multiple off-site channels for traffic and enhancing on-site media efficiency.  

In a recent internal study, Roundel, Target’s retail media network, observed a positive return on ad spend (ROAS) when off-site channels were incrementally paired with on-site channels. Pairing on-site with two off-site channels drove ROAS 1.4x above the baseline, and three off-site channels led to results 2.4x above the baseline.

In-store advertising is also a powerful tool for reaching consumers, with 85% of retail sales occurring in-store. Leveraging in-store media can be effective in supporting both brand-building and demand-generation strategies. For instance, Target has been testing the addition of digital screens across highly visible and prominent spaces at the end of store aisles. Early testing shows a significant growth in item-level and total-brand sales for the advertised products. 

By incorporating a comprehensive retail media approach throughout the shopping journey, advertisers drive sales, enhance brand awareness and foster deeper brand loyalty. Ad-buying across the funnel in tandem with a first-party retailer allows advertisers to deploy highly relevant ads that create an inspired shopping experience at every touchpoint.

Advertisers are leveraging loyal customer bases to tap engagement

Retailers that cultivate a strong sense of loyalty and trust command advertisers’ attention when allocating budgets. According to a June 2023 Target guest survey, guests are 4x more likely to trust ads from Target than brands they haven’t purchased from previously. 

Advertisers are tapping into the customer loyalty of trusted retailers via media formats that feature a brand’s products alongside retailer branding. For example, Roundel’s shoppable CTV ads have prominent Target branding alongside visually engaging creatives, including QR codes like “Add to your pick-up order” to drive strong results. 

For instance, in a collaborative campaign with Mead Johnson featuring its Enfamil baby formula product, Roundel used shoppable CTV ad formats to drive awareness of the product with relevant customers. With the Target red background and familiar Bullseye logo surrounding the QR code, the Enfamil CTV creatives stood out, leading to double-digit ROAS for this campaign. High guest engagement with the ad was likely due to the strong association with the Target brand and consumers trusting the QR code destination. 

Trust builds loyalty, and that loyalty has proven benefits for advertisers working with retailers. According to internal Target data, the retailer’s Circle members are willing to spend 5x more than nonmembers and drive 5x more shopping trips than regular guests. Rich first-party data acquired from these loyal guests allows Roundel to create highly personalized experiences. Furthermore, by tapping into audiences during tentpole events like Circle Week, advertisers increase visibility and drive sales when consumers have a heightened interest in purchasing goods.

Testing tailored creative and strategies connects advertisers with consumers

To uncover the strongest strategies for their specific brands, savvy advertisers use a test-and-learn approach and optimize based on data-driven learnings. 

For instance, Roundel primarily tests campaigns across two controls: creative design and platform mix. While tests are tailored to each advertiser’s business objectives, an internal study highlighted some common themes. 

Through these cross-category creative tests, Roundel determined that portfolio images, which include a suite of products, drive stronger returns than single-product images. Additionally, product-only images outperform lifestyle images. Finally, brightly colored creative positively impacts performance compared to monochromatic or dark-colored creative.

Among the platform-mix findings, Roundel discovered that owned-and-operated platforms are the most effective for reaching lower-funnel shoppers. For new product launches, upper-funnel tactics generate the most value for engagement and sales metrics. Additionally, advertisers should consider including social media in their conversion business strategy. 

Focusing on better consumer experiences unlocks greater brand returns

Research shows that shoppers are raising their expectations. Three-quarters want brands and retailers to offer tailored, highly personalized experiences based on previous in-store or online interactions. 

Building a highly personalized customer experience starts with a test-and-learn approach that pairs the best channels with the right messages for each brand. Working with a trusted retailer with a deep knowledge of their customers provides an added benefit from the halo effects of consumer loyalty and naturally drives results. 

Sponsored by Roundel