The first quarter of 2023 marked a cautious beginning for both businesses and consumers, as financial conservatism and deliberate spending behaviors prevailed over the top advertising trends observed.
To overcome challenges in the retail media landscape, brands and agencies are seeking industry insights to guide their near-term strategies. Pacvue’s comprehensive research in Q1 advertising performance for Amazon, Walmart, and Instacart Ads, as well as their recently published quarterly CPC report, provides a valuable resource for these industry players.
Pacvue’s Q1 report highlights several notable trends in advertising performance across the three platforms. CPC for Amazon’s Sponsored Products and Brands ads decreased QoQ and YoY, while CTR trends diverged for Amazon’s Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands, with the former increasing and the latter decreasing. Walmart Sponsored Ads CTR increased significantly YoY, and Instacart Sponsored Ads ROAS also increased QoQ and YoY.
Despite a pullback in ad spending during Q1 2023 caused by rising inflation, some brands increased their budgets in March, indicating confidence in the economy and a willingness to invest in advertising. This shift may lead to more strategic and targeted campaigns and provide more opportunities for brands to connect with their audiences as the economy stabilizes.
Regarding Amazon’s diverging CTR trends for Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands, Pacvue suggests that brands are opting for more intentional and focused ad strategies, such as investing in Sponsored Products ads over Sponsored Brands, leading to the observed divergence in CTR.
Walmart’s Connect Sponsored Ads experienced remarkable growth in CTR and ROAS, following a second-price auction and changes to search relevancy. Meanwhile, Instacart Sponsored Ads demonstrated promising signs with ROAS increasing QoQ and YoY after three consecutive quarters of decline.
Across platforms, retail media is constantly evolving. Amazon’s European Expansion Accelerator program, AMC Sizmek Ad Suite integration, and AMS expansion to include Sponsored Display in North America are some of the shifts that impacted Q1 results. Walmart’s text-to-shop feature, display auction, and WMT Connected TV capabilities are also worth noting. On the other hand, Instacart’s plug-in for ChatGPT, shoppable video, and launch of 23 health-related tags across 500k+ items demonstrate the platform’s commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction.
For those interested in the full Q1 insights, the report is available for download to benchmark their performance on Amazon, Walmart, and Instacart. Book a demo with Pacvue today to see how their services can help businesses get a head start on the future.