In the age of large retail companies like Walmart and Target spearheading their own media companies, major Aussie retailers are utilising Citrus to grab shares in the high-stakes industry.
After just 18 months in the industry, Citrus has locked in multi-billion dollar clients, including Ocado, Techdata, Hy-Vee and Coles. The e-commerce advertising platform was “designed from day one to empower retailers with the most targeted digital advertising system in the world for their suppliers, both big and small, to utilise,” Brad Moran, CEO and Co-Founder of Citrus, explained.
Citrus, located in Brisbane, works with 20 major retailers across eleven countries, and provides its advertising platform to some of the largest names in the online retail industry. Citrus found success with the online supermarket, Ocado, in the UK and has now taken stakes in the Aussie supermarket, Coles, as well as many others.
Citrus is Shaking Up the Retail Sectors
Coles, along with other major global retailers are going head to head with some of the biggest media names, including Amazon, Google and Facebook, by deploying their own advertising platforms, thanks to Citrus. Walmart and Target Corp spearheaded this initiative with the creation of Walmart Media Group (WMT:NYSE) and Roundel (TGT:NYSE), standing up against some of the world’s online giants like Amazon and eBay. Woolworths has plans to follow suit, according to industry insiders, and will spend up to $100 million from budgets into an in-store and online media agency called Cartology. Coles have announced its collaboration with Citrus and have embedded the company as its online advertising platform.
Ocado, the world’s largest online supermarket chain has a delivery service that reaches more than three-quarters of the UK. Globally, Ocado licenses its ‘unique’ shipping and logistics delivery system to companies such as Morrisons, Casino Group, and most recently, Coles. As of March 2019, Coles has access to the services provided by Ocado, including its OSP (Osado Smart Platform). This platform includes automated pick fulfilment technology and a home delivery solution. The partnership aims to deliver a ‘seamless digital customer experience’, as well as greater grocery range and improved product availability throughout the Coles stores.
“Citrus ticks all the boxes for us,” said Ocado’s Head of Grocery Merchandising and Product, Alice Mannion. “It’s scalable, secure, easy to integrate and crucially delivers better-optimised exposure for our smaller to medium-sized brands.”
Is Australia Falling Behind the Pack?
Although Citrus is an Aussie company, the country seems to be only starting to catch up with the rest of the industry. “Australia is a little behind other countries but it’s going to move very, very quickly,” explained Moran.
“Retailers are bringing the online and offline worlds together. They have one shopper ID and they’ve realised they have so much data now across so many customers that they have the holy grail that Google and Facebook want. The retailers have it. Now it’s just whether retailers can monetise it as well as Google and Facebook have monetised their platforms,” Moran said. Citrus aims to aid in the fast-tracking of the advertising shake-up in Australia, by placing the focus away from Facebook and Google.
The $280 Billion Industry Disrupters
At this time, the global online advertising industry is worth over $286 billion, and is expected to hit over $380 billion by 2021. Alongside this ever-growing industry, suppliers are now more in demand than ever, with expectations of a precise outline of where their spend is going. “Citrus empowers retailers with the technology to provide this measurement in real time,” Moran said. “Now suppliers can launch a sponsored product and targeted banner ads right at the point of sale with the transparency and ease that the digital advertising world demands.”
The Citrus platform equips retailers to monetise their ‘digital real estate’ and create a new revenue stream by bidding in a live auction for ‘prime product positioning’, thus creating a better way to target customers. The platform aims to enhance and enrich the consumers’ shopping experience, as well as leveraging personalisation and monetisation.
With a transition from print and TV into digital, it seems that this is the perfect opportunity for brands to snag a spot in digital real estate. “We’ve seen a lot of movement of money from TV and print into digital and now this is just the next extension of digital. Google and Facebook are no longer the most interesting places to play. The retailers are the most interesting places to play, particularly for fast-moving consumer goods,” Moran explained.
What’s Next for Citrus?
The Aussie advertising giant has plans to go even further, with its latest venture with Hy-Vee. This is the first US company to partner with the e-commerce platform, with 265 stores across eight Midwestern states and annual revenue of $10 billion. This addition to the Citrus brand helps cement its importance in the retail industry, with aims to better serve its suppliers and growing customer bases.
At this point in time, CPG’s are reaping the rewards of using Citrus as a platform, with average ROIs in grocery sitting at 800 per cent, and conversion rates now at 65 per cent. “It’s pretty staggering when you’re thinking about where to spend your money,” Moran said. “Other industries aren’t as impressive – fashion tends to be half that, so it depends on the type of retailer. But across the board, our conversion rates tend to be a lot higher, somewhere in the vicinity of 20 to 30 per cent higher.”
Since it was launched in December 2017, Citrus has become the global retail industry’s preferred sponsored product and banner ad platform. Citrus brings personalisation and monetisation together for the very first time. For more information, click here.