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Is 2023 the Year for Retail Advertising Agencies to Shine?

Dec 15, 2022

According to a report from GroupM, global eCommerce will grow from 19% to 25% of worldwide retail sales by 2027. As consumers have altered their lifestyle habits drastically over the past few years, spending behaviors have also changed.

As 2023 projects recessionary numbers for the economy and shoppers conduct transactions with greater scrutiny, this may seem like a horror show for advertisers. Can you continue to promote your client’s products when people may be more selective with their spending?

In fact, a downturn in economic activity could pose an opportunity for many agencies to align their retail clients’ products more closely with their target audience. When spending decisions are heavily weighed, the quality of the purchase matters most. If a potential customer receives an ad for your client’s product that matches their exact needs, they may be more willing to spend if they believe it will meet their expectations more than other competing brands.

What Can Retail Advertising Agencies Do to Strengthen Client Strategy in 2023?

Double Down on Shopping Campaigns

Seamless checkout experiences are no longer a luxury; they’re the new norm. Whether you are serving ads through Google or on social, being able to complete a purchase in as few steps as possible can lead to higher conversions and a better user experience.

If you are to concentrate your eCommerce advertising efforts on any platforms, Google, Meta (Facebook & Instagram), and TikTok are three excellent platforms to start with.

Google’s shopping ads serve across multiple surfaces across billions of pages on the web. These include Google’s Search, Images, and Shopping feeds as well as YouTube and other partner websites. Using Google’s Merchant Center, you can focus on aligning your client’s products by their attributes and features rather than a keyword strategy as well as show in-store inventory for physical locations.

Meta’s top-two platforms, Facebook and Instagram, were 2021’s leading channels for influencer marketing campaigns. When customers learn about a new product from a personality that they admire and trust, they are more likely to feel confident in purchasing a product. Instagram alone is projected to generate $15.95 billion in global ad revenue by the end of 2022 through its Stories feature alone.

Finally, we arrive at TikTok – the social video platform that has changed short-form content forever. This year, TikTok launched shoppable ads that can appear in their users’ feeds with the benefit of the app’s next-level algorithm. If your client seeks to target young adults with more disposable income, leave TikTok out of the campaign strategy at your own risk.

Seek New Retail Clients in “Recession Proof” Industries

An industry that qualifies as “recession proof” is one where there is always a consumer demand for products in these categories, regardless of economic conditions. Some categories that hold this title can include:

  • Food

  • Toiletries

  • Cosmetics and Personal Care

  • Clothing

  • Pet Care

  • Clothing

  • Baby Products

  • Automotive Parts

  • Home Products

  • OTC Healthcare Products and Pharmaceuticals

Another major category to consider for your agency is cannabis. As more states permit the recreational or restricted use of cannabis products, consumer demand skyrockets and dispensaries become major retail powerhouses in their local markets.

Many of these products like food and toiletries are perishable, limited-use, or single-use items that are designed to meet ongoing needs. If you want to specialize in one or more of these categories, build a strong base of industry knowledge among yourself and your team to demonstrate to potential clients that you are an authority in marketing their products to their ideal customers.

Some simple ways to brush up on knowledge in any retail industry can involve:

  • Reading trade publications for these verticals

  • Studying the marketing practices of the industry’s largest competitors

  • Reading customer reviews of brands online

  • Conducting keyword research for industry-relevant search terms

  • Signing up for industry-leading brands’ email marketing lists

  • Watching YouTube reviews of popular products in these categories

  • Brush up on best practices for marketing in the cannabis industry

These above tactics can provide you with a strong baseline to gauge the pulse of the specific marketplace your ideal clients want to advertise in. This can then inform the strategy that you propose to these clients to increase their confidence in choosing your agency as their growth partner.

Encourage Pushing Through Over Cutting Back

During an economic downturn, many clients tend to cut spending as a gut-reaction to financial anxieties. Will they have the money to spend on advertising, or will they have to give up another expense to keep their current budget?

While these fears are certainly understandable, pushing through where possible always proves the wisest tactic on the other side of a recession. When other competitors are cutting back, maintaining your client’s current budget or increasing it can generate more opportunities to serve ads to target users that may have otherwise purchased a competitor’s product if the competitor had not reduced their own budget during a recession.

Adopt a Multi-Channel Strategy

Rather than concentrating all of your client’s ad budget on a single lane, adopting a multi-channel strategy allows them to reach all possible target users that are consuming content on high-volume platforms. This can also aid in remarketing efforts to help reach the same user as they navigate through various apps and websites in their regular media consumption activities.

For example, you could create a holistic advertising campaign that combines search, social, and programmatic to reach individuals in every possible ad space online. You can also combine these with organic campaigns like SEO or social content to reach consumers that place greater trust in products they discover on their own rather than through advertisements.

Deliver Elite Performance Across All Campaigns

If a client feels confident in the strategy that you present them with, they are more likely to feel inspired to spend more on their digital marketing campaigns. This does raise an important question, though: Can your in-house team deliver the elite performance your clients expect across all channels?

This is where a white label performance partner comes in.

A white label performance partner helps to round out your agency team’s skillset by providing access to their own team of expert analysts in specific channels. If crushing paid social campaigns is business-as-usual for your agency, but you lack a PPC or programmatic specialist in-house, you can partner with a white label solution to run your client’s campaigns with help from a team that already possesses the knowledge and expertise to deliver results at a high level.

As a solution-based service, a white label partner also provides additional cost-savings for your agency. Instead of the traditional overhead associated with hiring, training, and retaining a full-time employee, you have the ability to run campaigns through another team of experts for a predictable fee that you can then mark up to your clients and generate additional profit for your business.

When you are searching for your ideal white label partner, look for one that offers the following benefits:

  • A team of platform and product-certified analysts

  • Live reporting and performance dashboards

  • Sales success resources

  • Responsive, timely communication

  • A holistic suite of products to round out your own service offering

  • Case studies that prove past performance

Most importantly, look for a team that understands the responsibility of their partnership with your agency. When you succeed, they succeed, and vice-versa. Your partner should hold an equal stake in the performance and results of your client’s campaigns and treat them with as much care and attention to detail as you would for your in-house services.

Start 2023 with a Conduit Partnership

At Conduit Digital, we partner with established and successful digital agencies throughout North America to deliver elite performance across a holistic suite of channels, including Paid Search, Paid Social, Programmatic, SEO, and more. If you are looking to round out your suite of services and take your retail advertising clients’ campaigns to the next level in 2023, schedule a 20-minute discovery call today to learn more about the power of partnership.









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