Google Marketing Platform

Empowering the Retail Media Ecosystem with Search Ads 360

A person sits in a yellow chair looking at their phone. A large phone screen display is on the left side of the image, displaying shampoo ads. Heart, magnifying glass, lock, and shield logos are in the background.

Retail media is growing rapidly because of the benefits it provides both retailers and brands. Brands that primarily sell through retail partners are increasingly interested in using retailer data to power their advertising campaigns, especially as third-party cookies become obsolete. Retailers are responding by developing retail media networks to better connect brands with shoppers, boost product visibility and increase sales.

To help retailers and brands achieve common goals, we recently launched a closed beta in Search Ads 360 (SA360) for offsite retail media campaigns. Offsite retail media enables brand advertisers to reach more consumers in unique environments off the retailer website, while capturing product sales on the retailer website. Our offsite retail media solution in SA360 enables advertisers to improve performance by combining unique retailer audiences with Google AI and scale across channels.

In SA360, we’ve created a privacy-centric way for participating retailers to enable brands to use their first-party data to fuel AI-powered Performance Max campaigns. In addition, over the coming months, we’ll test features that allow for self-service campaign management for brands and expand the beta to more retailers globally.

We’re also excited to partner with home improvement retailer Lowe’s as one of our early beta partners. Lowe’s is launching its first offsite retail media offering on Google Search and Shopping inventory, using a managed service model today and partnering with SA360 on the journey toward self-service options for their brand partners in the future.

Increasing efficiency and scale for retail media with self-service

Traditionally, retail media networks have provided managed services for campaign management, meaning retailers carry the weight of work like campaign setup, optimization and reporting. For example, a beauty retailer can manage Search or Performance Max campaigns in SA360 on behalf of a makeup brand that is distributed on the retailer’s websites and stores. While this managed service model has helped retailers succeed in supporting some brands, it has limited their ability to scale. Additionally, brands are asking for self-serve options that provide more transparency and control over their media investments. With this style of campaign management in SA360, retailers in the future will enable brands and their agencies to manage campaigns themselves. This will also help retailers improve brand relationships and drive additional revenue, while maintaining control of the shopper experience.

Enabling retailers to protect the information they share

Retailers want to protect shopper information, valuable first-party data, to preserve consumer trust. With self-service, retailers will be able to selectively share first-party audiences with their brand partners in a privacy-centric way, without exposing user-level data. This lets brands reach high-intent shoppers with relevant ads, increasing performance while respecting consumer privacy. Shoppers will be directed to the product detail page of a retailer website where they can seamlessly add products to a cart for purchase.

In addition, retailers will be able to share only the parts of their product inventory feeds that are relevant to a brand partner, so one brand never sees inventory details such as stock levels or pricing for other brands. This also ensures that consumers only see ads for in-stock products and brands don’t waste dollars to promote products that are out of stock. Retailers can selectively share sales and performance data for their brand partners, preventing a brand from seeing the retailer’s overall performance data. And retailers maintain visibility into their own campaigns and the campaigns of their brand manufacturer partners at all times.

Providing brands with improved reporting and streamlined campaign management

In SA360’s self-service model, brands will be able to measure success of their campaigns with accurate, closed-loop reporting at the brand, campaign or stock-keeping unit (SKU) level. Closed-loop reporting enables brands to directly tie ad spend to sales at the individual product level and make changes to maximize profit. For example, a brand may choose to promote certain SKUs in a separate campaign or a brand may choose to adjust return on ad spend (ROAS) targets for a set of SKUs. When brands can optimize campaigns to drive higher performance and demonstrate efficient media spend, they can also choose to increase their investments in high-performing channels.

As more retailers come on board, brands working with multiple retailers will benefit from common metrics and campaign workflows, as well as the ability to manage many campaigns from one location. Agency partners will also be able to easily manage retail media campaigns for many brands from one centralized location and leverage SA360’s unique enterprise productivity tools.

Building on our retail media solutions

We see retail media as a cornerstone of the SA360 mission to drive reach, performance and productivity for advertisers. Going forward, we will be supporting additional campaign types for offsite retail media, including Microsoft campaigns. We will also build more retail media features unique to SA360 in order to drive greater performance. We are committed to helping this ecosystem grow and look forward to sharing updates in the coming months.

For more information about participating in the SA360 beta, contact your Google account team.