- Sam’s Club has rolled out a new feature for its Member Access Platform (MAP) allowing advertisers to attribute in-club purchases to their search ads, according to a Tuesday press release.
- The feature gives real-time, first-party omnichannel data on member transactions in-store, in-app and online so advertisers can see the revenue generated by specific ads, searches and sponsored campaigns.
- This tool comes at a time when large grocers are quickly developing their retail media businesses and trying to provide brand partners with more accurate and timely data.
The Walmart-owned club retailer’s new capability aims to help bridge the gap between grocers and advertisers in the retail media space by providing up-to-date information on sales revenue to ad campaigns, specifically based on in-store purchases, the announcement said.
Sam’s Club’s MAP gives brand partners the opportunity to advertise to members, which in turn creates an online experience to help members find new products, according to the announcement.
“This new [in-store] attribution tool is really designed to help us supplement what’s already been working and to help really close the loop from a 360 standpoint on how search ads are helping our members find products that they end up buying, whether that purchase happens online in the app or in our physical clubs,” Austin Leonard, head of sales for Sam Club’s MAP platform, said in an interview.
Around half of Sam’s Club members search for specific products and items upon entering the app, Leonard said, making sponsored products and the data gathered from them crucial for creating a personalized shopping experience. The club retailer also leverages its membership system to track specifics about which ads a member interacts with and which products they end up purchasing, he said.
The offline reporting metrics are gathered for advertisers without relying on loyalty card purchases or other types of estimations — an obstacle other retailers often face, per the press release.
“Previously, it was not possible for our advertisers to connect the in-club purchase to their online ads to know what drove sales,” Tim Simmons, senior vice president and chief product officer of Sam’s Club, said in the announcement. “With our new attribution model, advertisers can understand what’s motivating purchases across all channels accurately, especially for search ads.”
Last year, the retailer made significant strides in expanding the platform’s capabilities, such as rolling out a self-service platform that allows advertisers to run their own campaigns, Leonard said. He also noted that last fall, Sam’s Club partnered with Pacvue, establishing its first-to-market API integration with MAP and giving ad partners access to search and sponsored product ads.
Sam’s Club’s innovation with attributing sales to specific campaigns has led to increased return on ad spend (ROAS) as well as sales, per the announcement, noting that overall ROAS have grown nearly 30% since adding in-club sales to the attribution portfolio.
Retailers have expressed difficulty in accurately and quickly sharing metrics with brand partners in order to fully leverage retail media, but more retailers are taking steps to streamline this process.
During the National Retail Federation’s conference in New York City in January, Albertsons Senior Vice President of Retail Media Kristi Argyilan shared how the grocer is working to “move incrementally” to share retail media findings with its partners as well as improve transparency.