For any given brand, major online retailers and their growing retail media networks might be viewed as a boon or a bane, depending on a company’s market position and business model. But in most cases, it’s something in between, hovering right around “frenemy” territory. That’s because these retailers and their networks—industry mega-titans like Amazon and Walmart—offer tremendous opportunities to reach new customers and drive sales. But those sales come at a price: smaller margins, more competition, possible commoditization and less feedback on customers, to name just a few.

Most brands, even those that have historically prioritized direct sales to consumers, decide to list their products with major online retailers like Amazon out of a sense of “needing to be there.” But when Amazon or other retailers’ product pages suddenly start outranking a brand’s own pages, despite robust SEO and social media investments, marketers can quickly begin to question their brand’s relationships with these retail platforms.

How to Leverage the Power of Retail Media Networks

Given the tremendous buying power of Amazon and other online retailers, combined with their relationships with Google, it’s unlikely a brand will be able to spend enough in paid search to bump their Amazon listings out of the top search results. Given the need to have a presence on these sites, it makes far more sense for brands to adjust their strategies to leverage the power of Amazon and other retail sites, rather than fighting against them. Here are a few ways we’re helping clients to do just that:

1. Adjust your brand’s listings to drive direct sales

If you’re trying to get customers to prioritize purchasing on your site over a third party like Amazon, it’s not as simple as featuring a better price on your own site. Amazon’s engine will detect your price on its site as being non-competitive and will deprioritize your listings. However, there are ways you can sweeten the appeal of buying direct from your brand, such as by offering a better subscribe-and-save deal. Here at Anagram, there are a variety of ways such as this that we recommend to clients who are looking to manage their Amazon presence for maximum ROI across all channels.

2. Strategically pause your own media spend

In some cases where a brand finds that Amazon or another retailer is outperforming their owned properties when it comes to sales, it makes sense to lean into the amount of work that the other site is doing for your brand. For example, a brand might want to consider putting a strategic pause on their own paid search and social efforts to see what overall impact it has on total revenue. While such a prospect can be intimidating to marketers, brands can learn a lot about how to improve their overall customer acquisition cost and ROAS by turning certain channels off (for even just a week or two) to monitor what happens across all channels. In some cases, they might learn that Amazon and other sites are effectively doing a lot of their advertising for them.

3. Dig deeper into your media mix

Across the board, the best thing brands can do to when trying to get a handle on their relationship with Amazon and other retail networks is to dig deeper into cross-channel insights that help them gain a complete picture of how their media dollars are driving sales across touchpoints and what the relative value of a sale on each platform truly is.

This is an area where brands need to lean into their agencies and ensure they’re employing sophisticated analytics that can tie all of these efforts together and evaluate them in real time, on an ongoing basis. After all, these are complex calculations—ones that require communication among multiple teams across search, social, programmatic, marketplaces and more.

Ready to grow your retail media campaigns?

At Anagram, these kinds of complex scenarios are our bread and butter. We understand the new dynamics of shopper marketing today and the tools, calculations and communication needed to ensure every piece of a brand’s media strategy is contributing toward maximum ROAS. Is your brand looking to achieve balance within its shopper marketing efforts? We can help. Let’s talk!