John Lewis and Waitrose to pool shopping data

The John Lewis Partnership is to pool data from across its members’ websites using retargeted advertising technology to maximise online revenues.

Waitrose John Lewis
Waitrose and John Lewis in first co-branded ads.

Waitrose, JohnLewis.com and John Lewis Financial Services are currently devising a strategy to cross-reference their data points in a bid to more effectively retarget web users that have visited one of their sites – such as users that visited a site, started to fill a shopping basket but failed to purchase. 

The behavioural targeting technology can then be used to buy appropriate ad inventory in real time from various media sources, such as online ad networks or private media exchanges. This data can then also be used to identify potential efficiencies in its offline media spend, according to the company.

Peter Burns, Waitrose, online marketing manager, says: “For instance, if someone purchases a fridge [from Johnlewis.com] then they might be in the market for some groceries [these people could then be served with a Waitrose ad].”

Burns also says the shift in strategy came after earlier trials using programmatic ad trading technologies returned significant savings. “CPA [Cost per acquisitions ] was 70 per cent lower than the target.

“Previously the CPAs we had been seeing – when we weren’t buying programmatically – were okay and the results were comparable with the likes of direct mail. But when we went [to buying display ads] programmatically, we started to see the efficiencies that were comparable with the likes of search.”

The strategy has been made possible via a partnership with Infectious Media – a company which helps brands hone their display campaigns by using ad retargeting technologies to buy ad inventory from media exchanges.

Martin Kelly, Infectious Media CEO, says: “Some people call it retargeting but I’d call it customer life-cycle management… It’s about up-sell and and we always see that as the dream with this stuff.”

The revelations were made at an IAB conference focusing on the use of automated trading technologies in the advertising sector where Facebook’s Paul Stilton presented early campaign statistics from the Facebook Exchange (FBX) – its first foray into letting advertisers buy ad inventory using cookie-based data.

Facebook News Feed ads sold via FBX deliver eight times better engagement than ad inventory on the righthand side of a Facebook page, he told attendees.

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