Just as the retail landscape has been transformed by changing shopping behavior, so has the world of advertising. Data providers have become essential to merchants, as have firms that understand the digital marketplace. Marketing and advertising agencies that have developed technology to leverage the new ways of shopping are in especially high demand, with these three companies among the active buyers.
Criteo SA (Nasdaq: CRTO), which helps retailers advertise through personalized e-mails, bought HookLogic for $250 million to expand its retail digital marketing business. HookLogic, based in New York, helps companies including Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG), Keurig and Nespresso position ads on a network of retail websites. For example, HookLogic helped coffee machine maker Nespresso place an ad on Macys.com so that when shoppers searched the retailer’s website for the term “coffee maker,” Nespresso’s machine would show up high in the results.
Trans World Entertainment Corp. (Nasdaq: TWMC), the owner of the FYE DVD and CD retail chain, acquired digital marketing and consulting firm Etailz Inc. for $75 million in cash and stock. The acquisition will help the Albany, New York-based Trans World expand its e-commerce presence, as consumers shift much of their shopping activity to the internet and mobile devices.
Etailz helps retailers with website development, search engine optimization, email and social media marketing. The company also uses data to identify new distributors and wholesalers, product trends, price positioning and inventory purchasing. The target is headquartered in Spokane, Washington.
Xaxis, the operating company of communications and digital marketing firm WPP plc, has agreed to buy Triad Retail Media. St. Petersburg, Florida-based Triad creates ads for retailers to sell on their e-commerce sites. Some of its clients include Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE: KSS), Sam’s Club, Toys “R” Us and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT).
Triad will benefit from Xaxis’ digital advertising services. For instance, if Triad makes an ad for a brand to go on a specific home page, Xaxis can send a version of that same ad to particular customers across mobile devices and desktops. Xaxis can then track consumer behavior and interaction from those ads.