Agencies Are Strengthening Their Ecommerce Chops, Including VMLY&R and Horizon Media

Tie-up with performance analytics company Profitero gives them greater access to online shopping data

Profitero can help brands boost sales on sites like Amazon and Walmart.
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A slew of agencies have inked a partnership with Profitero, a performance analytics firm that helps brands, particularly ones in the CPG space, optimize ad spend on Amazon, Walmart and other ecommerce sites.

Profitero’s clients include L’Oreal, General Mills and Revlon. By directly partnering with the agencies that service these companies and their various brands, Profitero CEO Bryan Wiener said the firm is “putting the analytics in the hands of people who can make decisions.” Essentially, the partnership ensures that the people who are actually buying ads on behalf of brands can readily make use of Profitero’s analytics and tools.

“We’re trying to help [brands] connect the dots between their sales and marketing arms and make sure that their service providers—in this case, agencies—have access to the data that’s going to help drive the most amount of value for those brands,” Wiener explained.

According to Wiener, agencies within five of the six major holding companies, plus “most of the large independents,” have signed up to partner with Profitero. All are receiving training to help them better understand how to use the platform. Additionally, Wiener said Profitero will integrate with ecommerce advertising platforms that agencies already use, such as MikMak, Kenshoo and Pacvue.

Some of the agencies that have partnered with Profitero are VMLY&R, Geometry, VaynerMedia, Horizon Media, Dentsu Commerce and Publicis.

Wiener said agencies can utilize Profitero in a number of ways. For instance, the platform can show when a certain product is out of stock so they can stop running ads for it.

“Obviously, placing an ad for a product that’s out of stock is going to be wasted money,” Wiener said. “During the pandemic, that’s more important than ever, because out-of-stock is a pretty big issue.”

It can also help agencies identify “high-converting products that are getting low organic traffic”—in other words, items that aren’t showing up high in search rankings sites like Amazon but sell well once people are able to find them. For instance, Profitero said Mayborn Group, a company that sells baby bottles, recently identified this issue with some of its products. It subsequently “ran paid campaigns to drive up search ranking and search traffic” and grew market share as a result.

The tie-up comes as ecommerce sales have grown substantially, largely because of the impact Covid-19 lockdowns and health concerns have had on spending habits. In June, eMarketer said it expects ecommerce sales in the U.S. to grow 18% by the end of 2020. In the first quarter of this year, Walmart’s online sales in the U.S. rose 74%.

@Minda_Smiley Minda Smiley is an agencies reporter at Adweek.