Brands hoping to remain competitive amid the rapidly evolving commerce media landscape will have to embrace new technologies, strategies and trends such as a massive media budget migration, generative AI and sustainability in advertising, says Criteo’s Taranjeet Singh.

The world of commerce media is rapidly changing and businesses must stay up to date with the latest trends to remain competitive. In 2023, four major trends are set to alter the market significantly.

Trend 1: Agencies retool to become masters of commerce

The first trend is the rise of agencies retooling to become masters of commerce. The importance of comprehensive campaign management has never been greater and media campaigns are accountable to more granular reporting and tactics than ever before.

As the retail landscape continues to evolve, a new breed of commerce expert is in high demand. Agencies are moving beyond platform reliance and focusing on bridging the gap between retail and media. They are hiring bilingual specialists known as commerce media experts to help clients navigate the new commerce models that streamline operations and distil outcomes.

These experts are fluent in both the language of retail and media, enabling them to translate campaign goals and performance metrics across both fields. They can help businesses align their marketing strategies with their overall commerce goals and advise on how to leverage new commerce channels. Commerce media experts can also help companies leverage data insights and optimise campaigns to increase ROI.

Trend 2: Massive media budget migration continues

The Asia Pacific advertising market is expected to increase by 3.9% to reach US$259.7bn in 2023 and a further 4.7% in 2024, according to Dentsu Global Ad Spends Forecasts. Of this, digital makes up 60.7% (US$151.7bn) of the region’s overall spending. In Singapore, revenue from the digital advertising industry is expected to increase by US$930.1m (+66.24%) within the next years, according to Statista. With such tremendous growth potential in the digital arena, media budgets will likely migrate away from traditional channels.

Retailers are offering new solutions and packages to support offsite advertising and the need for ROI-driven spending means that media buyers must adapt and evolve their budget allocation strategies to remain competitive. With more measurable channels available, media buyers need to understand where their target audience is spending their time and money to ensure their campaigns are effective.

This shift towards more measurable channels is driving the need for better measurement and attribution tools to accurately determine the impact of each marketing initiative.

Trend 3: Generative AI is rewriting marketing and retail playbooks

AI is already being used in today’s advertising world to push out targeted ads but this personalisation is only the beginning. With the rise of generative AI, advertising can be pushed into the next frontier to create even more hyper-relevant and contextual ads that exert greater influence on consumers.

Generative AI is set to transform the adtech industry and gain a permanent seat on the adtech agenda due to its ability to provide a more personalised shopping experience, enabling retailers and brands to optimise their ad campaigns and improve customer service. According to a McKinsey report, 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalised experiences, while 76% get frustrated when this expectation is not met. With such high demands for hyper-personalisation from consumers, brands and marketers cannot afford to rest on their laurels and those that fail to meet these demands will find themselves at a disadvantage.  

With retail-specific generative AI tools, businesses can streamline workflows, enhance customer service and deliver more relevant results. ChatGPT is one example of generative AI that has the potential to revolutionise the industry by providing personalised recommendations and streamlining customer service.

Trend 4: Sustainability in advertising

The digital advertising industry is responsible for a significant amount of carbon emissions. A study done by fifty-five showed that digital activities contributed to approximately 3.5% of global greenhouse gases every year.

Media buyers and owners are expected to prioritise eco-conscious practices in every aspect of their business. This includes adopting carbon-neutral campaigns, utilising net-zero emissions marketplaces and leveraging attention-monitoring technology to optimise ad effectiveness. Emerging enterprise climate platforms are connecting businesses with networks of vendors that help to clean up their operations. Sustainability is no longer an afterthought in advertising – it is a key driver shaping the future of the industry.

In conclusion, the commerce media landscape is rapidly evolving in 2023, driven by a series of game-changing trends that will shape the industry for years to come. As brands and marketers seek to navigate these changes, they must embrace new technologies and strategies, such as generative AI and sustainability, to remain competitive in a constantly evolving digital landscape. By retooling their agencies and adapting to the new reality of media budget migration, businesses can take advantage of the latest trends and emerge as leaders in the commerce media space.

The future of commerce media is bright and those who are willing to innovate and stay ahead of the curve will undoubtedly reap the benefits of a transformed industry.