Retail media: Why has it become essential to develop brand awareness and formidable for boosting sales?

The health crisis has accelerated the digitalization of consumption. In this context, retail media is more than ever an essential lever in the communication strategy of brands. Retail media is an increasingly widespread advertising lever. It is indeed an extremely complete device that enables brands to meet their challenges throughout their entire funnel: from branding to developing their sales. Cdiscount, the leading French e-retailer and a pioneer in the development of this market, has been developing an innovative retail media offering for the past 4 years, supported by its advertising agency Cdiscount Advertising. Presentation of a new technological advertising solution made in France: CARS, a self-service search and display purchasing platform optimised for retail media.

Retail Media: a fast-growing advertising lever

Today, retail media takes two main forms: retail search, which consists of sponsoring products in the first positions of requests made on the internal search engine, and retail display, which allows advertisers to use all the power and granularity available with the transactional data of an e-retailer. The particularity of retail display is that it can be used for ROI purposes (to generate sales of products on the retailer's site) and/or very early in the purchasing process, with the aim of increasing awareness and consideration in order to enrich its own brand ecosystem via banner, display, video or Native ADS formats.

Both of these advertising activities are growing very strongly: the total budget allocated to Retail Search grew by 39% between 2018 and 2019 and that of Retail Display by 31%*. E-commerce sites represent the advertising category whose revenues have increased the most. They have the advantage of providing brands with a significant amount of behavioural and affinity data. To support this growth, advertising agencies are becoming more structured and the trend is to platform the advertising offer to provide optimised self-service visibility and targeting solutions. These platforms have a double objective: to increase the Retail Media market by dedicating these tools to media agencies; to establish a common attribution model for the entire market so that advertisers and agencies can manage multi-platform strategies efficiently.

Cdiscount, with more than 9 million active customers per year, launched the CARS solution - Cdiscount Advertising Retail Solution - at the beginning of 2020, which includes the CARS Search component to boost sales on the e-commerce site and the CARS Display component to develop brand awareness and track the impact on sales. The tool was developed entirely in-house by the Cdiscount IT department in conjunction with the Cdiscount Advertising teams.

How can you increase your sales with Retail Search?

When consumers are in an active purchase intention phase, they no longer only go to Google to do their research. They also make their requests directly within e-commerce sites, via search engines: 74% of Internet users make searches directly from the search bar of a website**. It is now essential for brands to be at the top of the search results.

Cdiscount's CARS Search solution meets this objective by allowing brands to position themselves in strategic locations via selected keywords and thus optimize their referencing on

Retail Display for branding, awareness and sales objectives...

Retail Display allows advertisers to use the full granularity and power of transactional data through impactful display formats. New buying platforms allow brands to cover their needs across the entire funnel:

- Generate awareness, notoriety and desirability around the product/brand. - Boost sales by activating campaigns on brand or promotional highlights.

To do this, they are provided with a complete inventory of data, both socio-demographic (families etc.), behavioral (purchase data), intentional (luggage, DIY, 4K TV) depending on the navigation and queries made.

Our CARS Display platform offers a total of 400 shopper segments derived from Cdiscount data. The advantage of first-party data from an e-retailer is that it is reliable, with the impression rate on target being 51% more accurate than the market average***.

The particularity of this platform is that it allows you to choose your redirection: brand space on Cdiscount or the brand's eco-system (website, social networks) while keeping a measure of direct or indirect sales, and thus "rationalize" your investment.

Post-confinement: new opportunities for visibility thanks to an increased buying reflex on the Internet

The period of confinement has resulted in an acceleration of e-commerce sales with a significant recruitment of new customers. We have observed 5 main trends in the new consumption habits of the French:

Protection / food: the purchase of masks and mask-making equipment (sewing machine, elastic...) but also hygiene, cleaning and food products (non-fresh) are experiencing a peak in demand which should remain high. Cdiscount has also launched a new "Mes Courses" offer with a promise of 24-hour delivery of food shopping.

The home office: products related to teleworking are also more in demand, such as computers, printers, office chairs, companies have adapted and the French are equipping themselves accordingly.

Avoid public transport: electric scooters, bicycles and car care products are among the top keywords searched on the site.

Preparing for the holidays at home: the French are preparing to spend the holidays in their main or secondary residence: swimming pools and garden furniture are booming, one month ahead of the usual peak sales period.
Do-it-yourself projects are booming because the French have taken advantage of this period of confinement to carry out work at home: a third of French people have indicated that they have done more maintenance or DIY work over the past two months****.

These popular categories are new opportunities for advertisers to reach new consumers and gain access to large volumes of prospects through contextualized and intentional targeting.

Cédric Chamoux, Director of Purchasing and Key Account Relations - Cdiscount Advertising


Source: Observatoire de l'e-pub 2019

Source: Sensefuel, France; desktop perimeter

Source: Médiamétrie / DAR

**** Source: Harris Interactive