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Episode 301
April 28, 2023

“23 Metrics That Matter”

The guys sit down and hear from Kiri Masters about her newest report, Fit For Purpose: 23 Next-gen DSP Metrics That Measure What Matter, and the incredible insights found within. As always, Kiri provides interesting ways to look at important metrics like only she can. Listen in now and hear more!

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The guys sit down and hear from Kiri Masters about her newest report, Fit For Purpose: 23 Next-gen DSP Metrics That Measure What Matter, and the incredible insights found within. As always, Kiri provides interesting ways to look at important metrics like only she can. Listen in now and hear more! 

The Gorilla in the Room

  • {00:05:13} Kiri found that her clients needed to take a step back and understand what was happening at each stage of the buyer journey based on a better set of metrics that, as her new report is called, are fit for purpose. They really fit for each stage rather than metrics that don't give the full picture
  • {00:09:41} Metrics such as Competitor Audience Acquisition and Review Page View Rate are original metrics discovered by Kiri and her team and are indicators that shed light on whether or not specific campaigns are working for a brand
  • {00:18:51} Whatever used to happen on the brand side with technology is now something that can happen inside of platforms that are actually commerce platforms, but they're actually valuable marketing tools unto themselves now for understanding not just your consumer, but potentially conquesting others, which reorients how we think about Amazon
  • {00:21:16} “All the typical non-retail advertisers are looking to Amazon as well because they have a lot of data about who we are, how we act, and what our interests are.” - Kiri
  • {00:24:58}  With all of these channels and with the complexity of Amazon's DSP that perhaps arbitrage does need a little bit of an update because the definition of what arbitrage means might need a little bit of an update
  • {00:31:11} “We had the paid media wave, the social media wave, and now we're in the retail media wave, and each successive wave had a shorter and shorter ramp up time to be something meaningful. And the ramp up to retail media spend has been the shortest of all.” - Kiri
  • {00:34:34} Are retail media networks overhyped and are these distractions when everyone and their mother is trying to build one right now?

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Brian: [00:01:04] Hello and welcome to Future Commerce, the podcast about the next generation of commerce. I'm Brian.

Phillip: [00:01:08] I'm Phillip, and today we have back on the show... I think you're like official alumni now. Kiri Masters from Acadia, welcome to the show again.

Kiri: [00:01:17] Hey guys. Great to see you.

Phillip: [00:01:18] Yeah, good to have you. We're going to get into your brand new report, which is called Fit for Purpose, and it is covering 23 next-generation DSP metrics that measure what matters for businesses that do such things. But, Kiri, catch us up a little bit on how things have been going for you and sort of what 2023 is shaping up to be for you guys over at Acadia and the work you're doing.

Kiri: [00:01:42] Yeah, thanks for having me back on. I think the last time I was on my title was Founder of Bobsled Marketing, which is a retail marketplace agency. And that company was acquired last year by Acadia, which is a digital marketing agency that has a broader scope of services around paid media, SEO, social, analytics, and CRO. And so, yeah, the past year has been integrating there and sort of at the same time navigating lots of interesting changes and maturity of retail marketplaces as a distribution channel for retail brands as well as a marketing channel for retail brands and sort of what we call non-endemic brands as well. That's where there's a big opportunity too. So 2023, really consolidating there and looking at what this maturing landscape of retail media looks like. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:02:46] And that's your like area of expertise. Congratulations on making the move over to Acadia.

Brian: [00:02:54] Yes.

Phillip: [00:02:55] And it's been great. You have been on a lot of our properties over the last year. People should know who you are by now, but it's good to get the update. Tell us a little bit about the report.

Kiri: [00:03:06] Yeah. So Amazon DSP is a programmatic ad platform that Amazon built a few years ago. We've been using it since 2017 and it's great at top-of-funnel activities, building awareness, and targeting audiences. So it does something that Amazon regular PPC cannot do, which is target based on audiences and Amazon audiences specifically. So regular PPC is targeting keywords more or less, but with DSP, we can target families in geographical areas, people with specific interests, outdoor enthusiasts, fitness buffs, people who've spent in this category, people who've been researching espresso machines but not purchasing them. So think about the hundreds of millions of people who shop or research on Amazon regularly. That's all in that data set. And we can target based on behavior and profiles using Amazon DSP. So it opens up sort of Amazon's core asset, which is all of the people interacting with and Prime video and music and all of those different properties. It allows us to reach them and serve up different types of creative to them. So we knew for a long time that Amazon DSP was really good at driving awareness and building the top of the funnel, but we wanted to understand a bit more around how that worked and what kind of metrics could we use, particularly earlier on in the customer journey besides the usual suspects of ROAS and impressions and views which can help tell you something, but they do not paint the full picture or the or the full story. And [00:05:13] we found it necessary for a lot of our clients to take a step back and understand what was happening at each stage of the buyer journey based on a better set of metrics that, as the report is called, are fit for purpose. They really fit for each stage rather than these sort of broad, in some cases, clumsy kind of metrics that don't give the full picture. [00:05:45]

Phillip: [00:05:46] And you've identified 23 of them. {laughter}

Brian: [00:05:51] Twenty-three for the year '23. {laughteer}

Kiri: [00:05:52] Yeah. Just a handy 23. Yeah. So the idea is, we don't want to have 23 metrics on our dashboard. The idea is that there are about six to eight metrics at each stage of the consumer journey based on different sort of audience targeting strategies. And we also built a self-assessment which brands can take which asks about brand objectives and a couple of questions about product attributes. And then that will actually produce six to eight metrics, again, that a brand should focus on given what their objectives and sort of competitive situation is. So the idea is, yeah, there's not 23 but a smaller handful that will paint a better picture. And we explain why these metrics, what is this actually telling you and how is this going to help?

Brian: [00:06:50] And these differ from traditional metrics. The ones that you've outlined, there are a lot of... There are a lot of metrics out there that are looked at as sort of the standard or maybe they're being called into question a little bit more recently. Why did you focus in on these? Does it have to do with how attribution works or tell us a little bit more about the reason why those are the metrics you picked are the key ones that should be focused on?

Kiri: [00:07:20] Yeah. So we actually invented a couple of metrics ourselves because we weren't finding everything that we were looking for. And like I said, Amazon has all this data about shopper profiles, and now that as we understand a little bit more about how have you as calculated and we realized that there was actually a lot more inside the DSP data set than the typical metrics were tapping into. So we actually invented a couple. I'll share... Let me dig up a couple of our favorites. Okay. So a couple of our favorites here are Competitor Audience Acquisition.

Phillip: [00:08:04] That was the one I saw and was like...

Kiri: [00:08:06] Yeah, that's yeah. So that's been a pretty popular one to dig into. So that calculates how many unique users from our competitor's audience we managed to reach in a given period. So this is when [00:08:20] in terms of a strategy that we're using, sometimes we're looking to sort of conquest a competitor's audience and expose their regular shoppers to our brand. So this metric really measures the success of that and if we're chipping away at the people who've previously bought a competitor's products. And so that's a really great leading indicator of market share. So market share is going to come later. Competitor audience acquisition is a leading indicator. So it would give us a signal of how we're doing before we actually produce better market share. [00:08:56]

Brian: [00:08:56] Gosh, this makes me think that there should be a reverse version of that where you show how many competitors you protected your brand from.

Kiri: [00:09:07] That's a good one. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:09:09] Yeah. Just in case you're feeling ideas for your next...

Brian: [00:09:12] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Next version. 24. Just 24. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:09:17] We aim to please Kiri. So how many of these are sort of concrete data points that are tracked and sort of accessible via Amazon's DSP versus something that's inferred? Is there more inference or is there much more data than what you're really cluing into here? Tell us a little bit about how that works, because I'm just not hip to this sort of stuff.

Kiri: [00:09:41] Yeah, I think there's more data that's accessible to DSP advertisers using DSP than most people understand. So another one is and these metrics that we sort of invented, they're not that difficult to reverse engineer if you're good at math, I guess. Another one is a Review Page View Rate. So out of all audiences who visit your Amazon product pages, how many are actually reading the product reviews? That is data that we can pull out of Amazon DSP and use in a calculation to see what percentage of people are actually reading product reviews, which is a really good indicator of consideration. So things like that, I think that's the level of granularity that you can get out of Amazon DSP that most advertisers are not really tapping into. So for us, it just seemed like a big missed opportunity to dig a little bit deeper and paint a better picture of how your campaigns are supporting things like market share or in some instances where we've had brands who want to understand better the customer lifetime value or how certain products sort of ladder up to future purchases. We've found some surprising conclusions where a product that wasn't really on the brand's radar was actually leading to future purchases of other products. So it was like an unknown hero product that was kind of buried because no one had really sort of thought to ask that question.

Brian: [00:11:31] Interesting. So you're talking about products that led to other purchases. It's almost like you have to have products available that are digestible for intense searches that would show up in searches and lead to other products. It's like a bridge product or a gateway product.

Kiri: [00:11:50] Yeah, this was an unknown gateway. Yeah, that was really under the radar.

Phillip: [00:11:57] Is there an example that you could reference?

Kiri: [00:11:59] Yeah. So in this particular case, it was a haircare brand that had a styling product that actually we were finding was leading to purchases, new to brand purchases, so these were people who hadn't actually purchased from the brand within the last 12 months. We actually found that this product was the gateway to other products in their sort of haircare range.

Phillip: [00:12:25] So outside of the Amazon ecosystem, more broadly, there's a suite of software that professes to be able to figure this out there for you, so if you're a retailer or an eCommerce pure play, you're probably looking at something like a customer data platform or CDP that purports to be able to find these sort of strong and weak links between customer purchase behavior. But it requires a really high amount of loyalty to get any use out of that because repurchasing lifetime value, these are behaviors that are funnels unto themselves. Very few customers wind up repurchasing five, six, seven, eight times, especially in direct relationships. Amazon, however, has the benefit of having nearly 100% penetration to consumers, at least in North America. When you're looking at something like this beyond just the purchase or the native purchase on Amazon, what can companies that you said this non-endemic brands like companies that don't necessarily sell products or services that are Amazon-centric? What do they do to use the DSP to their benefit?

Kiri: [00:14:26] Yeah. Let me actually just go back to something that you said before, which is around CDPs and Amazon having all this data. So another sort of emerging capability, it's been around for a couple of years, but we're really starting to tap into it now is Amazon Marketing Cloud. And so what we're able... That's actually more germane to what I was talking about with that introductory product example was really sourced from Amazon Marketing Cloud, which required you do need to be using Amazon DSP advertising to get insights out of that. But that's a data lake of everything going on in the Amazon ecosystem. We can use that to obviously understand how products are being purchased, how frequently they're being purchased by different audiences, geography, etc. But what we can actually do is import first-party data from the brand as well, and layer that in both to gather some interesting insights, but then also to either whitelist or blacklist DTC users, for example, so we can exclude those from Amazon marketing audiences or specifically include them and get a little bit more of a sense of what's going on in those two channels. Now the billion-dollar question is, I would like to also understand what's going on in and Walmart... So this is a little bit of a rabbit hole, but Amazon wants to sell for this. But which other retailer is going to sign on for that? There's no upside for them. But one interesting thing that Amazon did recently as part of their AMC, Amazon Marketing Cloud data set, they started to include data from Foursquare, which I didn't even know still existed, but apparently there are 50 million users that Amazon is able to import their store visits into Amazon Marketing Cloud and then also somehow sort of track some attribution from place to place using Amazon Marketing Cloud. But that comes at an extra cost. And I still have some questions about how that's generated.

Phillip: [00:17:14] Okay. So hold on. Let's, while we're on the topic 50 million users for Foursquare which by the way every time Foursquare is mentioned usually comes up around South by Southwest. That's where Foursquare kind of made a name for itself, you know, ten, 12 years ago. Whenever it comes back up, everybody is sort of aghast at the fact that it even still exists. 50 million, 50 million, coincidentally, is the same number of daily active users on Roblox. So if you want to get like an idea of a population size and density, if you give any credence to the emergence of Roblox as like a native advertising medium or a new place for commerce or taste to be developed for an emergent market, Foursquare could be the latent, last generation example of an early adopter. And so this is a really interesting perspective. It also makes me think about this idea of the role of second-party data, which is often not talked about. But in the old days of eCommerce marketing, when we used to have to figure this stuff out by ourselves on spreadsheets and build software for it bespoke in house, we would buy Nielsen data sets or we would go to third party data marts and we would buy this sort of like. Data overlay for our customer information. Like do they have a pet? Do they have a big screen TV? These were all things... Like HDTV. Like what kinds of things do we know about them that we can either know, buy or infer based on their behavior so that we can better advertise to them, and segment them. What it sounds like is that whatever used to happen on the brand side with technology is now something that can happen inside of platforms that are actually commerce platforms, but they're actually valuable marketing tools unto themselves now for understanding not just your consumer, but potentially conquesting others. And in my mind, that reorients how I think about Amazon. I don't often think about Amazon in a retail context because that's not my specialization, but it completely changes the way that I think about the role of Amazon for a brand beyond just "I sell stuff on Amazon."

Kiri: [00:19:22] Yeah. And this kind of leads into your question before about non-endemic brands. So if you think about brands that don't sell stuff on Amazon, so that would be car manufacturers, restaurant chains, insurance companies, banks, etc. They can still advertise using Amazon's DSP. And so I want to call out a couple of things. One is advertising on Amazon is not what you immediately think of, which is like the web app or a mobile app. And you're on Amazon, you're searching for diapers and you get served a college savings fund ad or something like that. That is possible and have been served ads like that. But Amazon also has a media platform outside of the shopping experience, which includes prime video and different sort of entertainment verticals. Freevee is a new one. And then also they tap into third-party ad networks as well, so that if you're on or Forbes or a whole variety of different websites, you'll be served Amazon DSP ads there as well, which can go back to Amazon in the case of an endemic brand. And you might be shown an ad for whatever widget that you were looking at last time you were shopping with the price and be reminded to go check it out. But you can also, as a non-endemic brand, tap into that as well. So if you're watching Thursday Night Football on Prime Video, you know, the few times that I watched those games, I was seeing all the usual contenders, Allstate and some CPG brands, some emerging brands like Dr. Squatch was a big advertiser initially, which was interesting. But all the typical kind of non-retail advertisers are looking to Amazon as well because they have a lot of data about who we are, how we act, and what our interests are. So it is I think, you know, there's some potential arbitrage there for other channels, more mature channels where Amazon might have like either a data advantage and we can do more specific targeting or there could be a cost advantage. And that's a little bit harder to put a finger on.

Phillip: [00:21:49] Amazon has podcasts. Amazon has music listening behavior. When you think about the kind of cultural behaviors and the media consumption that Amazon has awareness of, it becomes much clearer to me. Audible Books, Kindle, Twitch, the reach and the awareness of behavior across channels for a consumer. It becomes much clearer to me the opportunity. I'm surprised to hear you say that there's any arbitrage. It doesn't seem like there's arbitrage left anywhere anymore. And to me, that means that you can arbitrage is... What I would define as arbitrage... This is a Phillip Jackson original. An unfair ROAS. It's like a ROAS multiple in that 6 to 10 x range is that I want to be able to return an unfair multiple based on my investment. And that is when... It's no longer arbitrage when you're down at the 2, 3, 4 x. That is just a valid marketing channel. Would you characterize that still as being able to have that sort of return on ad spend, return on investment is arbitrage?

Kiri: [00:23:46] Yes. And I think, from our perspective and now that I'm part of Acadia and get a little bit of a look into what other paid media channels are doing, particularly for a DTC brand like there has been a lot of changes there in terms of what kind of ROAS can be expected through those channels. And we found in the last year and a half that a lot of those brands have started to look to Amazon. And it's been a real reversal for a lot of them in terms of a philosophical question or a business model question that some have sort of turned to Amazon as a more affordable way of acquiring customers.

Phillip: [00:24:33] Wow.

Brian: [00:24:34] Well, and you bring up ROAS, Phillip, as a measure for arbitrage. I'm looking at your sheet and your report here, Kiri, that you had review page view rates just above return on ad spend in the things to look at as you measure the effectiveness of your ads. It seems like with all of these channels and with the complexity of Amazon's DSP that perhaps arbitrage does need a little bit of an update because the definition of what arbitrage means might need a little bit of an update. It might not be as 6 to 8 ROAS, it might be 6 to 8 X some of these other metrics.

Phillip: [00:25:22] 6 to 10.

Brian: [00:25:23] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:25:25] But maybe the other part here, Kiri, just to kind of like layer on Brian's point is all of this comes back to attribution because you can't really claim any sort of return on ad spend at all if you don't have a means of attributing. And most platforms inflate their own attribution metrics.

Brian: [00:25:44] Yes.

Kiri: [00:25:45] By default because they have one perspective into the life cycle of a customer. Amazon may be different, so maybe you can kind of respond to those.

Brian: [00:25:54] And let me add on to that, because that's what I do sometimes. The attribution might drive what needs to be measured, right?

Phillip: [00:26:06] Drive behavior for sure.

Brian: [00:26:07] Yeah.

Kiri: [00:26:09] Yeah. So I think the retail media industry as a whole has sort of sprung up. I was going to say it sprung up so quickly, but Amazon's been in this game for a very long time, but it sort of sprung up as the latest and greatest business model for a retailer. Definitely is high margin, you know, very scalable, so it has become very popular to launch one. I think a couple of different points to come off from this, around the ecosystem of retail media and how effective that is for brands to leverage more than four of them, for example. But this is a challenge that the retailers have recognized themselves is measurement and standards across the different platforms and how one retailer is defining a view versus another. Those are not yet standardized. And so there is a call for standardization from brands. Retailers are very open to it because they want to be. They want to be seen as credible and think they're doing the best that they can. But because there is no standard and no one has agreed on a standard, then it's up to you to choose what that looks like. And in a lot of cases, there aren't any standards yet. So that is some work underway by different sort of measurement committees and stuff like that to actually lock that down, which would give brands a lot more confidence about what they're actually buying.

Phillip: [00:28:04] We've lived this in the podcasting space that we, for seven years have sold advertising against a podcast, and the maturation of podcasts as an advertising medium took place in that same period of time. You saw a lot of investment from like Spotify and and others in selling advertising, especially programmatic advertising. So IAB, Interactive Advertising Bureau, has in the past brought standards for advertisers and lobbied on behalf of advertisers to have standards by which these platforms, at least in the podcasting space, measure audience engagement and define things like what is a listen or a download? I hear that there are similar things happening in the retail media network space.

Kiri: [00:28:52] Yes.

Phillip: [00:28:54] That's what you're alluding to. Yeah.

Brian: [00:28:57] It's interesting. I think that's really important because otherwise context gets lost. I think on some of these metrics. Return on Ad Spend might mean one thing on one platform and like look completely different on another. Or there are a number of different metrics here that I feel could be, like Phillip said, unfairly measured. Now, retail media networks are interesting. We brought them up now a couple of times that I don't really view what Amazon does as a retail media network. Kiri, what's your viewpoint on that?

Kiri: [00:29:35] Well, I think the definition of a retail media network is evolving, and it's a very attractive business model. Like I said, very high margin. There are providers out there like Criteo and Citrus Ad and Promote IQ who can help anyone set up a retail media network pretty, pretty quickly. So there's been sort of an explosion there and even some properties that you wouldn't immediately call retail either. Like Marriott launched a media network last year. Uber launched a media network recently. So I've seen those properties lumped into retail media in some instances as well, which doesn't feel completely right. But I think it is. I think Amazon, it does make sense, but I think that as it's characterized as retail media has made it a little bit of a dark horse in the ecosystem of digital media because it gets lumped into this vertical of retail. And there are a lot of companies that don't consider themselves to be retail brands. And so they skip over it because it has this title. And then we see some data like there's a really great chart from eMarketer, Andrew Lipsman, at eMarketer about the waves of digital marketing channels. So we had the paid media wave, the social media wave, and now we're in the retail media wave, and each successive wave had a shorter and shorter ramp up time to be something meaningful. And the ramp up to retail media spend has been the shortest of all. So I think a lot of a lot of marketers outside of retail have woken up and like, "Well, what's going on with Amazon? I didn't even know that that was a place for us. Now we're starting to see that change."

Phillip: [00:31:48] I've called this Lammers Law. Brian, I don't know if you remember that.

Brian: [00:31:52] Oh yeah, definitely.

Phillip: [00:31:54] Calvin Lammers?

Brian: [00:31:55] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:31:57] Calvin Lammers was on he was he was talking with us late last year about Uber and Lyft sort of proliferating advertising in their platforms. And I attribute it to him, and it's that every pixel, every unused pixel, every real estate of pixel will eventually contain an ad unit if given enough time. And so that's the law. It seems to hold true at the moment for the five months that I've been saying that. But also when you look at where...

Brian: [00:32:29] AI media networks. That's what we're getting into next.

Phillip: [00:32:33] We're already there. Results contain sponsored ads now. That's a whole thing.

Brian: [00:32:40] Let's go. Kiri, go pioneer it.

Phillip: [00:32:43] But when you look at things like retail media networks, I'm not really well versed in them. I understand what they are and what their role is, but I tactically have no experience with them. That wasn't my beat when I was a practitioner. I have been paying attention, in the meantime, while things like retail media networks are not my area of expertise, I was never in the actual practitioning of helping brands to get online in that way. Definitely focused more on eCommerce. But what I have been looking at recently in the last number of months is the emergence of trends reports and the trends reporting industry and how the sort of future casting and global foresight industry has really taken a look at retail media networks and is maybe reinforcing this idea that there should be more of them, in particular, because the amount of spend, Kiri, to your point has come so fast and furious to wit Gartner has retail media networks at the very apex of its hype cycle coming out in 2022. And so when over the top being the only thing that's beyond that peak of inflated expectations on that upswing. And there are very, very few trends reports that have a lot to say about the amount of growth that's left in retail media networks. Not that there won't be more of them, but the amount and that would be reasonable to direct towards them. So I'm curious if you think they are overhyped or if it's you know, we love new things. We love to talk about new things, especially in the retail echo chamber. And this is new and it's an area that you said before may have some, we're all looking for places to put money that may have the ability to produce a return. Thoughts on any of that?

Kiri: [00:34:34] I think yes. I think there is an element of overhype. I'll explain that. And there is an element of this being a long term place for media investment. So I think it is both. Where it's overhyped is every retailer and their mother launching one and expecting that their vendors are going to come to the table with meaningful budgets. My experience, even speaking with enterprise multinationals is that they still feel like they don't even have Amazon optimized. And that's the the first place that you should really be optimizing your ad spend just because of the reach and the maturity of that platform. Other retail media networks are just so far behind Amazon. So if you don't feel like you've got that one right yet, chances are you're not going to be deploying a meaningful amount of budget to Gap's retail media network. And in fact, Gap just closed their retail media network because I'm assuming that it became a distraction and/or they couldn't get enough traction on it. So that's the overhype aspect for me is like for a retailer to build any meaningful revenue stream from that, although it's highly profitable, there's a lack of differentiation there for a retailer because a lot of them are using the same interface.

Phillip: [00:36:18] The backbones are the same.

Kiri: [00:36:19] Yeah. And so your main sort of carrot and stick. The carrot is, well, you can access our customer network and tap into some of that data and repurchasing and stuff like that. Okay. And the stick is you have to spend 1% of your revenue on this channel. So it's not really an option in some cases. And that has been, look, this isn't anything new. This is the retail industry for generations far beyond. What I've been exposed to is trade dollars and you need to pay for in-store trade marketing to be able to get a good shelf space and good promotional access. So this is some people sort of say in a critical tone of voice, "Oh this is just the new trade marketing." Yes, it is. It is the new trade marketing. And with Amazon, it is in some cases for very large vendors, it's written into their trade agreement that they're going to spend a certain amount on ads each year. Walmart does the same, so it's simply moved from end caps to PPC advertising. And so that's the sort of method that some of these retail media networks are using to actually get dollars in, making it a requirement rather than an option. So that doesn't like necessarily build a lot of sort of goodwill and letting that channel stand on its own two feet when it's sort of the only way to get dollars flowing in is to make it a requirement.

Brian: [00:38:24] They're cheating. It's like they're stacking the deck. Yeah, I'm sure that that must be really annoying for their partners.

Phillip: [00:38:33] They're incentivizing, Brian.

Brian: [00:38:34] Yeah, incentivizing.

Phillip: [00:38:37] That's, that's been happening since forever in retail. You could have said the same thing about planograms and shelf space. You can still say the same thing. So yeah, it's, it's an interesting thing. Yeah. It's the digital equivalent of like, it's something that honestly probably is overdue, especially since there's so much of the online growth, and online meaning a lot of things now like online can be in-store pickup. Online eCommerce can be attributed to sort of this hybrid mixed mode shopping of creating home delivery. There are so many ways that customers are digitally interacting with these brands now. It's seems obvious to me. But anyway, there's a lot of thoughts, too, in reading one of these trends reports, one of which was put out, in 2022 by Colin Lewis and Michael Islip. One thing that's come up in the question here is spend on these platforms incremental sales or are we pulling demand forward or cannibalizing other channels? And you mentioned that earlier is like means to which you can protect yourself from other channel cannibalization by identifying customers, excluding segments, that sort of thing. There must be brands that are achieving real growth here or else people wouldn't be spending on the platform. Or is that a naive point of view?

Kiri: [00:40:06] Oh yeah. Look, there's a lot to unpack here. I think one of the biggest challenges with retail media is the attribution across different channels. Is there a world where Target and Walmart have some kind of non-identifiable way to share that data so they can gang up on Amazon? It could happen. Like what if some of these retailers sort of join together and actually sort of shared some data that was shared in a non-identifiable and safe way in order to present a viable alternative. I think it's a long shot, but it could happen.

Phillip: [00:40:58]  [00:40:58]Like a cartel. There's a name. [00:41:00]

Kiri: [00:41:00]  [00:41:00]A cartel? [00:41:01]

Brian: [00:41:03] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:41:04] I don't know.

Kiri: [00:41:06] Yeah, I think the what remains true, for better or worse, is that Amazon is the gorilla in the room and it's still the best place to spend a retail media dollar until you reach a point of sort of maximizing out of that. They're just so far ahead of the capabilities of anyone else.

Phillip: [00:41:33] Amazing. We've asked you this before, Kiri, and we'll take the reins off. You don't just have to be self-referential, but what is the future of commerce for you at this moment in 2023?

Kiri: [00:41:47] I'm hearing so many mixed messages about consumers returning to stores and online going away. I look at myself, I haven't changed my habits so much. And I sort of question the motives of a lot of the sources sort of bringing out this research as well. But what's going to be interesting is seeing how online and offline unfolds. I think there is really a place for both and the sands are settling now and there might be a big difference between convenience items and more experiential shopping in store. There still are great online experiences that you can have as well that are better than in-store. So I'm really interested to see which kind of either verticals and/or buying experiences end up being clearly superior in one or the other.

Brian: [00:42:53] That's interesting. I'm interested in that as well. I'm excited. I'm excited for that to uncover this mystery and also attribution. I'm curious about in-store attribution versus online. Phillip, you mentioned that earlier. How we're attributing things to digital may be even more in-store purchases will be attributed to digital coming up here because they'll be digitally influenced. And so I am curious about the eCommerce growth numbers and what we saw recently. I think Jason Goldberg posted something about this. I want to say maybe don't quote me on that, but it was a chart of like the past couple of years of growth and the trajectory. And I'm just curious. I am curious, Kiri, as you are about how in-store is going to work with digital and how we're going to give credit to purchasing.

Kiri: [00:43:53] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:43:56] Well, this has been an amazing conversation, mostly because I'm fascinated about a lot of these topics and just don't have enough exposure to it. And I'm sure that for a lot of our audience, this might have been like an elementary overview for a bunch of things. But I'm trying to stay curious. I think that there are so many ways in which we buy and there are so many ways in which we encounter opportunities to buy today that we need to understand more about that customer journey. And this is helping us enrich that. Thank you so much for sharing it with us, Kiri. Where can they go get the report?

Kiri: [00:44:31] Yeah, so you can go to That's And we have all of our research up on that site.

Phillip: [00:44:43] Very good. Kiri Masters...

Kiri: [00:44:45] Thanks for having me on again.

Brian: [00:44:46] Thanks, Kiri.

Phillip: [00:44:47] The Future of Commerce. Thank you all for listening. You can find more episodes of this podcast and all Future Commerce properties at and go ahead and subscribe to The Senses. It'll be in your inbox twice a week telling you about the changes in consumer and culture and the way we buy things. Thank you so much for listening.

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