It’s fairly straightforward to make predictions about larger trends that we’ll see in the year ahead by looking at the momentum we’ve seen in the previous year. It probably does not come as a shock to anyone in the retail space to say that mobile’s share of available impressions, ad spend, and revenue will increase over the next twelve months or that local availability will continue to emerge as both a differentiator and major battlefront for Amazon, Google, eBay and other major retailers.

We’ve tried to think a bit larger than that though by digging a little deeper, looking at three major players in the retail advertising space and imagining how they could innovate to truly disrupt the status quo in 2014.

Here are three predictions of what Google, Amazon, and Facebook could do in the next year to shake up the online advertising space-

Substantial Google Product Listing Ad Placement expansion. It’s been a pretty remarkable 18 months for Google Shopping. From going from an afterthought as a completely free source of traffic for retailers to becoming a major driver of paid desktop and mobile traffic and revenue, it’s not hard to say that Google has found a winner in the Product Listing Ad Format.

It wouldn’t surprise us to see PLA’s appearing on Google properties like Youtube and Gmail in the first half of 2014 and slowly rolling out to Adsense partners in the second half of year, just in time for holiday 2014.

Amazon Advertising Platform opens up and demystifies their black box DSP platform.  Amazon, to date, has quietly opened up display advertising on Amazon.com and its network of websites (IMDB, DPreview, etc) to select advertisers.

With years of user-level data around buying and browsing habits Amazon is also home to the richest set of retail intent data an advertiser could potentially access to more accurately target display buys.

Look to see Amazon start to play a larger role in the RTB ecosystem by allowing more of its data to be used to create more targeted media buys on and off Amazon properties.

Facebook aggressively expanding their advertising offerings by launching their own desktop/mobile/app display network to allow FBX advertisers to target users when they’re off of Facebook (but still signed in).

Facebook has made real strides in figuring out how to best serve their real customers and advertisers by simmering down the hype around social targeting and introducing custom audience and programmatic ad buying for advertisers. With over a billion users and a foothold across the web in the form of like and share buttons why only serve ad inventory on site?

Seriously, they should have done this two years ago, but Facebook is the technology company best positioned to accumulate desktop browsing, affinity activity, and location data to target ads to users regardless of the device they’re on (mobile/desktop) if they choose to build a network of publishers similar to Google’s Adsense.

What do you believe 2014 holds for eCommerce and retail advertisers hungry for new audiences and customers?

How Shoppers Browse and Buy CPG Products Online And Offline

The Consumer Packaged Goods Shopper Survey 2017
 

About the AuthorNii is COO of CPC Strategy, a shopping feed management agency and is responsible for day-to-day business operations and long-term financial, tactical and strategic planning for the company. He has been with CPC Strategy since January of 2007. Prior to working with CPC Strategy, Nii was a product manager at eBay working on algorithmic merchandising and reviews and guides. See all posts by this author here.