Personalised retargeting company, Criteo, has tied up a deal with Waitrose that will see the grocery store’s products appear on selected media sites. Personalised retargeting will see shoppers presented with relevant Waitrose products while they browse other web properties, hopefully developing the supermarket’s relationship with consumers.
Waitrose will be the first supermarket in the UK to use online personalised retargeting for groceries. The store chain has invested a lot into its ecommerce platform over the last year, and has said that this represents an important part of its online strategy. The company’s hard work appears to be paying dividends, too: Waitrose’s online channel saw its online sales increase by 49% in the seven days leading up to Christmas 2011.
The retargeting mechanism works by utilising the behaviour of those browsing Waitrose.com to show adverts. Criteo has its own predictive engine capable of recommending products based on this behaviour. The clever part of the process is that the system takes into account stock availability and pricing when creating the ads. In the future, Waitrose plans to take the clever step of re-advertising purchased items once they’re likely to have been consumed.
Personalised retargeting for groceries
Personalised retargeting isn’t a new concept – it has been around in some form for nearly ten years. But does it work for grocery products? Yes, according to Nick White, Head of Online Commercial at Waitrose. “We are already seeing a tenfold increase in the click-through rate compared to non-targeted display activity, as well as a high level of conversions,” he confirmed.
Consumers are likely to treat these developments with trepidation; some may even be concerned about their buying – and hence eating, in this case – habits being constantly monitored. White disagrees with this notion, feeling that consumers have now become accustomed to this form of advertising, “Our research shows that customers who shop online increasingly expect us to know more about them in order to provide a tailored online shopping experience,” he told us. “Retargeting is an extension of this personalisation off-site.”