The idea is to ramp up Overstock revenue from marketing and advertising, a high-margin way to make some money on the side. Overstock will now offer multiple types of advertisements to brands. In “tier one,” brands can have tailored native banners on high-visibility spots on either the Overstock.com homepage or category page. For “tier two,” placements are more transactional: on search pages, in a carousel format or product listing ads. For “tier three,” Overstock will focus mostly on gleaning search budgets, offering advertising on product detail pages.
The retailer, which is working with automated vendor marketing platform Spotfront, will offer brands data on click-through rate in a cost-per-click pricing model and tell them things like how many shoppers made a purchase, as well as what they bought instead, creating an attribution play very attractive to performance-minded marketers.
“Overstock is always going to be a retailer first, and nothing we do will disrupt the selling,” said Jonathan Craner, who heads cooperative advertising and media partnerships. “But we’re a publisher, too; we have unique content and traffic.”
The company gets about 30 million unique visitors to the homepage a month and also offers third-party ads for non-Overstock companies through retargeting.
Spotfront co-founder Alex Sherman said the push for retail media has emerged mainly because of Amazon. Amazon has made waves by investing heavily in Amazon Media Group and Amazon Marketing Services and makes multiple ad products, from sponsored search to product listings, available for brands that sell on Amazon — and even some that don’t.
Initially, most retailers like Walmart and Overstock used ad networks, asking for pixels on a page to sell to advertisers. But after Amazon, more retailers have woken up to the fact that they own both the ad space on their websites and crucially, buyer data, so they could do it in-house. “The biggest asks we got from retailers was transparency and hands-on keyboards. These people wanted to run and target campaigns on their own time,” said Sherman, “and ultimately, allocate marketing dollars away from Googles of the world and into these programs. E-commerce marketing really has come into its own.”