New research exposes a gap in retailer-brand partnerships — and how to fix it

Julie Eddleman, Sarah Travis September 2019 Retail, Experience & Design, Omnichannel

“Who’s your favorite retailer?” Given the countless options available at shoppers’ fingertips, the chances of getting a firm answer is anyone’s guess.

For starters, 48% of today's shoppers say they're open to buying from new retailers during the holiday season.1 This means every customer is up for grabs all the time. How can retailers attract them in all the different ways and places they shop? How can retailers scale their individual digital marketing programs across all their partners?

An icon of a brick-and-mortar store decorated with holiday lights and gifts. Stat: 48% of today’s shoppers say they’re open to buying from new retailers during the holiday season.

Building even stronger relationships with brand manufacturer partners is a great place for retailers to start. In the recent past, a healthy retail ecosystem meant brands created demand with offline marketing, like radio, TV, and print. And retailers captured that demand with in-store displays, mailers, and more. But in a digital-first world, that delineation no longer holds true. To seamlessly engage with people through marketing (online and offline), retailers and brands must partner closely on their branding, sales, and upsell strategies in real time.

Brands are ready to increase co-op digital marketing investment with their retail partners.

MIT SMR Connections research shows that brands are ready to increase co-op digital marketing investment with their retail partners; they know it’s where they need to be to meet their customers. However, budgets have been limited by a lack of visibility into how digital investment influences shoppers.

Ad solutions, like Shopping campaigns with partners, that enable retailers to easily partner with brands — driving better returns on retailers’ digital marketing investments, highlighting omnichannel performance metrics, and bringing traditional offline co-op partnerships online at scale — are the key to bridging the gaps in retailer-brand partnerships.

Retailers who deliver these better, measurable partnership options will do more than add value to their strategic relationships. They will win incremental funding from brand manufacturers for digital co-op campaigns and gain customized, actionable, data-driven insights to drive stronger web traffic and sales.

If you're a retailer looking to punch up your partnership strategy, download the full report here.

How an industry underdog redefined the retail partnership model