Criteo acquires Brandcrush

Criteo Acquires Brandcrush to Provide Additional Omnichannel Marketing Capabilities

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Criteo has acquired the Australian platform Brandcrush, in an effort to continue providing omnichannel monetization solutions for retailers across the globe, . Tapping into the combined capabilities of the companies, retail media buyers can now buy and sell inventory online and offline. The terms of the deal were undisclosed.

The Brandcrush platform, combined with Criteo’s retail media technology, also enables retailers to manage their entire media inventory across both e-commerce and physical retail. Criteo’s brand and agency partners will be able to search and buy available omnichannel media from retailers. The acquisition also gives Criteo a footprint in the growing Asia-Pacific retail media market.

Sherry Smith, General Manager for Global Enterprise at Criteo, said the Brandcrush acquisition fills in the omnichannel marketing piece of the puzzle in Criteo’s offering. With Brandcrush in its portfolio, Criteo’s clients, which include Macy’s, Lowe’s, and Target in the U.S., and media planners and brands can activate on retail media, both in-store and offline.

“Asset management and activation on the Brandcrush platform includes the ability to make in-store ad buys on digital screens, point-of-sale displays, and out-of-home activations like inbox sampling and inserts,” Smith said. “It also encompasses digital circulars, email, and social. Criteo’s suite of retail media solutions, such as sponsored ads, on-site display, and off-site ads, also empowers advertisers to scale their campaigns across the entire omnichannel retail media environment in the U.S. and some international markets.”

Besides Asia-Pacific, Brandcrush, a retail media platform, has a footprint in the U.S. and the U.K.

“Brandcrush provides us all of the in-store media, which rounds out omnichannel plans,” Smith said. “That includes digital and analog signage in-store and even product sampling in-store. Brandcrush brings that into the digital age by providing media planning and measurement for retailers and all their advertiser partners.”

Criteo, which has 3,100 employees across 27 offices, works with more than 175 retailers across the globe, specifically in online commerce—sponsored products, display, and reaching customers via off-site media by leveraging mobile location data.

The growth of retail media as a channel can be traced to three main factors:

• Covid-19, which increased online shopping exponentially and is now a more ingrained shopper behavior
• The deprecation of the third-party cookie—the retail media channel relies on first-party data to reach customers and track online behavior
• Amazon’s success—its annual retail-media sales are estimated at $30 billion—other retailers want to make their owned channels a source of revenue, too

When done right, Smith said retail media channels could lower the cost of customer acquisition, lift engagement, and strengthen CRM. Retailers can personalize media to their customers to enhance the whole experience and influence in-store and online sales.

“The pandemic pushed so much of this forward in 2020 as more customers went online,” Smith said. “Retailers had to advance in e-commerce, delivery, and pick-up,” Smith said. “Amazon has posted notable gains with $30 billion [worth of inventory sold] in its retail media. That has made other retailers take notice. The shift to online purchases produced very small margins for retailers. So the media spend actually helps offset a lot—it provides profitability as well as delivery and pick up to support the retailers as customers continue to shop online.”

Criteo executives met the Brandcrush team about a year ago. The Brandcrush name will remain in place post-acquisition. Its 21 employees will continue to report to Brandcrush CEO Teresa Aprile, while Aprile reports to Smith.

“[The acquisition] really gives us 360-degree asset management,” Smith explained. “And holistic omnichannel monetization to round out the combined e-commerce and physical retail store experience.”
In August 2022, Criteo completed its $250 million acquisition of Iponweb, a media-trading platform.

Kathleen Sampey