Saturday, July 29, 2017

Criteo to Launch Data Cooperative to Help Retailers Take On Amazon

The Robin Hood of digital marketing, Criteo, is getting some pub from the Wall Street Journal for their efforts to eat away at Amazon. 2Q revenues of over $600M are nothing to brush off, so they must be doing something right. I found the article to be interesting because it touches on a multitude of points that we spoke about in class as well as making some other interesting points that were not readily apparent.

Criteo's business model is built around the idea of retargeting, or showing a consumer an ad based on what they had viewed previously. Instead of pointing these "retargeted" consumers to Amazon, Criteo will show them other online marketplaces where they can find the same goods, possibly for a better price or with better terms. The way in which Criteo succeeds here is crowdsourcing enough data to be competitive with the major online ad players that are Facebook and Google. They are banking on their relationship with publishers as well as this "Robin Hood" type play that appeals to smaller retailers who have been hesitant to give their business to the internet giants of the world.

Unfortunately for Criteo, more and more companies are succumbing to the pressure to sell on Amazon. The article talks about how Nike finally relented earlier this year through a partnership and how important it is viewed as to be on the site in order to be relevant. I, myself, am a fairly big Amazon user and "Prime" subscriber but definitely support free-market competition that Eric Eichmann, Criteo CEO, is looking to drive.

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