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In the winter of 2019, digital ad sales represented more than half of the $306 billion global ad sales market for the first time. And while Amazon has been very successful with a self-serve platform that allows vendors of all sizes to promote their products, big brand retailers (think: Lowe’s, Rite Aid, Walmart) have for the most part been constrained to only offering advertising to their biggest vendors. 

The problem is that for most retailers, ad buying requires a team to manually run ad campaigns and manage each vendor’s requests. Few have the resources to support such hands-on services for all of their vendors, which leads to disappointing the small and medium sized vendors who would otherwise love to advertise with them. Because of this, retailers are leaving millions of dollars in untapped ad revenue on the table (which Amazon is happy to pick up). 

In this article we take a look at the common ways retailers are offering advertising to vendors today, and describe how big brand retailers can open up advertising opportunities to smaller vendors by using TapClicks as a self-service ad platform. 

Want to see how our self-service platforms can work to transform your business? Check out our free 14 day trial.

 

Here’s What Vendor Ad-Buys Look Like Today for Most Big Brand Retailers

There are two primary ways big brands are offering advertising today. 

First, for vendors with million dollar ad budgets that want to promote their products, retailers traditionally offer minimal paid search and social media ad placement. They leverage basic spreadsheets, or platforms like Adobe, Tableau or Codemy, to gain insights from customer segments that inform their campaigns. Then, account teams will log directly into native ad consoles and place ads on behalf of these vendors to increase sales for their products. It’s a manual process but it’s worth it to keep their biggest vendors happy. 

Others leverage an aggregate buyer platform such as PromoteIQ to reach buyers while they’re actively shopping on their eCommerce websites, and in some cases, smaller vendors can leverage these opportunities to increase sales of their products as well. However, this only reaches people who are already on their site, and there isn’t an option to retarget to people who have been on, or purchased from, their site in the past — which has far more potential for ROI. 

Self-service ad platforms are growing in popularity to take advantage of these missed opportunities. In the next section, we’ll look at how TapClicks enables you to tap into this major revenue stream without needing to increase overhead costs or headcount.

 

How Big Brand Retailers Can Leverage TapClicks as a Self-Serve Advertising Platform for Vendors of All Sizes

Now, let’s consider how a self-service ad platform like TapClicks can streamline the process for you and your vendors. 

TapClicks allows your vendors to:

  • Easily create an account on a white-labeled self-service portal that’s designed to match your brand standards
  • Order ads on demand
  • Customize their ads with detailed targeting, budget, ad formats, placement, and date range options
  • Pay for ads using a secure portal
  • Track results through analytics using dashboards
  • Manage their entire ad placement process from start to finish on their own

A Hypothetical Example of How This Works

A small vendor reaches out to its vendor coordinator and requests an ad campaign to drive sales for one of their products. The coordinator says they’d be happy to make that happen and sends over a login to register on your self-service platform that has been customized to match your brand’s look and feel. 

When they first login, they fill out a form with their name, email and vendor ID, and after entering that information, they are ready to begin spending their advertising budget with you. Screenshot example of TapClicks Self Service Ad Platform

To begin, they’ll click “Create Order” on the main screen, and then they can begin setting up a campaign. Screenshot example of TapClicks Self Service Ad Platform: Create New Order

They start by choosing their basic department information. All of these fields, such as department codes, have been set up in TapClicks in advance to enable a seamless ad buy. 

In the portal, your client customizes the campaign to support their digital marketing strategies. They choose open-ended targeting options for age and gender, select placement on Google, input their $5,000 budget, and select a 3-month timeline for placement on a retargeting campaign. 

After setting up these specs, this vendor is able to enter payment information in a secure portal and submit their campaign. Screenshot example of TapClicks Self Service Ad Platform: Enter payment information

Since some of your vendors may not want to, or be able to, pay with a credit card, you can also include the option for them to have an invoice automatically sent to their accounting department that requests payment fulfillment before the campaign gets underway. Screenshot example of TapClicks Self Service Ad Platform: Set Budget

Once they review their order and hit submit, the campaign is fulfilled automatically by your fulfillment partners (some retailers choose to leverage their existing relationships via our platform, while others leverage our own fulfillment partners). Even campaign management is automated via baked in optimization features that run for the life of the campaign, ensuring they get the best possible results for their investment. Screenshot example of TapClicks Self Service Ad Platform: Setup campaign

Once the campaign is underway, real-time campaign data is filtered into reports and dashboards in TapClicks that showcase campaign performance including metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and ad spend. TapClicks Self Service Ad Platform: Fulfillment Dashboard
This smaller client, while they only have a few thousand dollars to spend, is delighted and regularly returns to run campaigns through your portal. Plus, all of this happened with no intervention on your part. Everything was automated from start to finish. 

Not only have you delighted this individual vendor, but you harness the combined advertising budgets of your small to midsize vendors, quickly adding up to a major boost in revenue with few overhead costs.

 

Leverage the Combined Buying Power of All Your Vendors Using TapClicks’ Self-Service Ad Portal

Amazon may be disrupting how e-commerce works, but self-serve ad platforms open up a huge opportunity to earn otherwise untapped ad revenue for your business. 

TapClicks lets you harness this massive revenue opportunity with ease. Vendors of all sizes get the same access to running omnichannel campaigns that your major vendors have been getting, without needing a dedicated team to run them manually. 

If you’re ready to boost your revenue by offering in-house advertising services to all of your vendors, check out our free 14 day trial.

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