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04/21/2021

Target Turns on New Solution to Connect With Shoppers

Integration of CitrusAd platform will mark new ease-of-engagement era for company's retail media
Mike Troy
Editorial Director, Grocery Group
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Target Turns on New Solution to Connect With Shoppers CitrusAd
Dramatic growth of Target's digitally engaged shoppers has created new, effective and affordable advertising opportunities for brands to reach a large audience.

Target’s retail media group, branded as Roundel, is making it easier for advertisers to connect with its growing digital audience by integrating the CitrusAd platform.

Beginning in May, brands and advertisers will have the ability to seamlessly launch and manage their Target Product Ad campaigns via CitrusAd’s self-serve platform, or work with the CitrusAd managed services team to drive and optimize digital media activity. Brad Moran, CEO and founder of the Australia-based company, revealed the integration on Linkedin.

“Target Product Ads can be activated quickly on the CitrusAd platform, going live on Target.com and on the Target app within 24-48 hours,” noted Moran. “Additionally, CitrusAd provides robust, real-time reporting dashboards giving advertisers full transparency of the performance and analytics of their media at a product SKU level.”

Target established its retail media group in 2016 as a way for brands to target shoppers who were engaging with the retailer digitally. The service was originally known as the Target Media Network, but was rebranded as Roundel in May 2019, when the company became more aggressive about encouraging suppliers to advertise on its platform.

However, doing so isn’t always easy, and the same can be said of other retailers’ platforms, so that has opened a new competitive front for retailers around ease of use and effectiveness. A retailer with a large digital audience that makes its platform easy to use, provides transparency and delivers results could be reasonably expected to attract a larger percentage of brands’ ad budgets. That’s where CitrusAd comes in. The platform is already in use by retailers such as Wakefern Food Corp./ShopRite, and, thanks to a partnership with Toronto-based Mercatus, Weis Markets, Smart & Final, and Piggly Wiggly Midwest

“Brands will find more flexibility in search term selection and a one-click automated campaign feature to make it easy to create campaigns," added Moran. "This feature automates many steps, including keyword, category targeting, bidding strategy and product selection.”

Other benefits are designed to prevent ad budgets by ensuring that ads aren’t served for out-of-stock SKUs, and flagging campaigns that have low click-through rates. CitrusAd also touts a transparent reporting dashboard that highlights detailed campaign analytics such as pacing visibility and search term metrics.

The move by Target comes as its online business has exploded throughout the pandemic. The company said that its digital sales increased by nearly $10 billion in 2020, driven by 235% growth in same-day services. Overall digital comparable-sales increased 145% in 2020.

“In 2016, our digital transformation was only beginning. We weren't even a top 10 e-commerce provider, and we were just getting our same-day services off the ground,” chairman and CEO Brian Cornell said in early March, when Target reported its fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 results. “Today, we have the most complete suite of same-day fulfillment services in the industry. We're one of the leading e-commerce players. And for click-and-collect same-day services, we continue to deliver industry-leading growth and dollar volume as well as net promoter scores over 80% despite record demand.”

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. is No. 7 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, with more than 1,900 locations. Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern is No. 25 on PG's list. Commerce, Calif.-based Smart & Final, operating 255 stores, and Sunbury, Pa.-based Weis Markets, with 197 stores, are Nos. 57 and 58, respectively.