Emily Peterson is a Director of Client Services at Bobsled.
While Amazon continues to hold the top spot as the eCommerce king, there are certainly a growing number of heavy-hitting online retailers on the rise. Among them, Target.com has seen its online sales surge in the past 3 years, making it now 5th in the top 10 most popular eCommerce sites in the United States. And to make the most of this growth in shopping activity, Target has been ramping up its self-serve paid advertising capabilities and building a compelling retail media channel. Answering the demand from brands to more actively leveraging the opportunities on Target.com, Bobsled now offers Target.com in our suite of advertising managed services - along with Amazon, Walmart, and Instacart.
Why Bobsled is Launching a Target.com Advertising Service
Bobsled’s Director of Client Relationships, Emily Peterson, highlights the first-mover advantage of using Target’s online marketplace to leverage increased advertising and growth. We have listened to what our clients - and the market - is asking for right now, and discovered that Target was cropping up as a platform that holds promise for a lot of brands. With higher-than-average customer loyalty numbers on a less competitive platform, Target is becoming too big to ignore. We have now added this burgeoning marketplace to Bobsled’s Omnichannel Playbook!
Why Invest in Target.com Paid Advertising Now?
A lot of customers are continuing to adjust their buying habits in the wake of the pandemic, with the prioritization of safety becoming a normalized shopping trend. Ecommerce is, more than ever, a core means to purchase goods among the masses. But that isn’t the only reason why we might recommend looking at Target in this early-mover stage. There are several popularizing trends that online retailers can take advantage of:
Target is not very competitive when compared to eCommerce titans like Amazon and Walmart - at least not yet. When you combine that with the fact that Target has higher-than-average customer loyalty numbers (8 out of 10 US customers shop at Target), it is a good time for clients to be present and available wherever their consumers are choosing to shop online.
Besides, there are just a lot fewer brands vying for Target advertising space right now. A lot of this can be attributed to the fact that Target is a lot more selective in the brands that get invited to sell on its platform, and the assortment of items is a lot more curated than Amazon and similar retailers.
No Minimum Ad Spend
Since its marketplace is still pretty small, Target.com currently does not impose minimums on the amount of money brands must spend on advertising. This makes the new platform a really good testing ground for brands looking to try out different strategies. The platform will automatically recommend some good starting points, but there is no set requirement.
At Bobsled, we recommend that brands start with a few thousand dollars to spend on advertising through Target.com alone, gathering some of their best-sellers as well as halo products that are most likely to upsell those best-selling products. The only hard requirement is that your advertised products must already be selling on the Target.com platform.
Source: Tamara Vukovic
New Paid Advertising Capabilities on Target.com
Starting mid-February, Bobsled will be able to host paid advertising campaigns on Target.com’s website. This platform presents an opportunity to reach new customers while expanding your visibility and brand recognition across popular eCommerce sites. Ultimately, this gives some sellers a leg up in achieving a bigger bottom line at a faster rate. We are seeing Target continuing to invest in its self-service advertising capabilities - which is always a good sign of a potential first-mover advantage.
Before Getting Started on Target.com…
Those who have experience managing ad campaigns through other eCommerce sites will potentially find familiarity with Target.com’s dashboard and KPI settings, allowing for a shorter learning curve. But that learning is made even easier when brands work with Bobsled to gain access to the best technology while simultaneously shaving off extra fees.
There are a few things to know about running with the ball in Target.com’s court. It’s still a fairly nascent system when it comes to self-service advertising, which can be both an advantage and a pitfall depending on the marketing agency you choose to work with.
Target’s Vetting Process
We’ve been studying Target’s online retailer marketplace for a few years now and it has not had the substantial growth that we typically see with other eCommerce retailers. In 2019, there were only 30 brands on the Target marketplace. By January 2021, there were still less than 300. This small number definitely facilitates less competition, but this restraint on growth is due to the vetting process that we mentioned earlier. The platform can be quite selective in who is chosen to sell on its marketplace. Through this discerning practice, Target has managed to build up a partnership of understanding among those who have come to know and trust Target’s products.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to help brands win spots on Target’s platform or to improve their chances of receiving an invite. You are more likely to receive an invite if you are selling products within popular niches such as toys, entertainment, beauty, CPG, and home goods. If you have already been invited to sell on Target.com, our Bobsled advertising experts can help you facilitate secure growth in this space. The platform’s differentiation from all the other eCommerce platforms that are seeing a rise in CPCs can be a breath of fresh air for exclusive brands looking for more efficient ways to target customers.
Who Owns the Target Platform?
Target’s in-house media company was rebranded as Roundel in 2019. Roundel Media outsources all ad inventory between a few 3rd-party providers such as Criteo and CitrusAd. There are a few differences between these ad inventory partners - such as third-party platform fees, startup costs, and other performance requirements - that can influence a brand’s decision about who to store ad inventory with.
How Bobsled Can Leverage New Target.com Success for Your Brand
At Bobsled, our focus is on providing you with the right tools and resources to implement new marketplace strategies, with the least amount of barrier to entry possible, so that more of your brand’s money can go directly towards advertising rather than on platform fees. By maintaining our long-standing partnership with PacVue, a leading tech platform, while integrating with the low-cost CitrusAd, we can give you the opportunity to make a small investment and learn the essentials about ad campaigning while staying on budget. Bobsled offers a streamlined way to participate in the incremental revenue growth from Target.com.
Get One-Stop-Shop Service for Your Omnichannel Marketing Strategies!
Whether your brand is trying to secure coveted real estate on Target.com or you are looking to strengthen your strategies for Amazon, Walmart, and Instacart, Bobsled can help you take the best approach for ultimate brand growth and recognition. Though it is only offered to brands though an invite-only basis from Target, Bobsled is one of the very few agencies offering a Target advertising integration along with other eCommerce marketplace services. It’s our mission to offer a holistic solution for brands selling across the nation’s biggest online marketplaces. Get in touch with one of our experts today to expand your strategy and facilitate growing success!