Lowe’s builds its own ads business

Home improvement giant Lowe’s today announced that it has launched its own retail media company, dubbed Lowe’s One Roof Media Network. Here’s what you need to know.

What happened

  • Lowe’s has announced the debut of Lowe’s One Roof Media Network, a platform offering omnichannel advertising services for brands in the home improvement and home furnishing category.

  • Capabilities of the new ads business include: ad placement on Lowes.com pages and in the retailer’s mobile application; digital and social media services; sponsored editorial content shared on Lowe’s website and social channels; and bespoke research on shopping trends as well as reporting and media measurement.

  • The company says the impetus for creating the business stems from both consumers’ evolving “relationships with their homes” as well as the shifting media ecosystem, which has rendered personalized advertising and meaningful brand connections more difficult.

  • Lowe’s One Roof Media Network will rely on “Lowe’s deep understanding of the home lifestyle customer and real-time trends” to help brands “develop custom, comprehensive approaches designed to deliver on their business goals,” Marisa Thalberg, Lowe’s executive vice-president, chief brand and marketing officer, said in a statement today.

  • Over 100 brands – including Kohler, GE Lighting and Samsung – participated in the new platform’s beta tests. Results of these tests were largely positive: one kitchen and bath brand saw a 700% return on ad spend. The retailer says some brands generated returns over 1000% and that many have seen spikes in daily revenue. Lowe’s plans on launching its next public beta stage soon. These tests will involve increasing store inventories and selecting offsite partners.

  • The new platform was developed in partnership with adtech firms Criteo and CitrusAd.

Why it matters

  • This move speaks to a larger trend happening in the retail space. “This announcement at Lowe’s follows the playbook set by Walmart and Amazon, to open the black box of retailer data in exchange for brand dollars,” Chelsea Gross, director, analyst in the Gartner Marketing practice, tells The Drum. “The clear benefit for Lowe’s is to support revenue growth and drive richer brand partnerships.”

  • For brands, Lowe’s One Roof Media Network “helps marketing teams be smarter about their ad dollars, and maximize their campaigns with improved targeting,” says Gross. She anticipates that other retailers will follow suit within the coming three years, “to diversify their own revenue as we recover from the pandemic.”

  • Lowe’s also cited “a changing media landscape” as impetus for the new ad platform. There have been a flurry of changes imposed by tech titans including Google and Apple, as well as lawmakers, that give consumers greater say over how their personal data is used, but create hurdles for marketers and publishers hoping to serve targeted ads and track user behavior across the web. With a focused ads platform for home improvement and home goods-related brands in particular, Lowe’s is better positioned to deliver relevant, timely and personalized messages to their target audiences.

  • Furthermore, as things get murkier for Facebook and Amazon advertisers, it’s likely that brands will increasingly invest in media placements with smaller publishers and independent companies.

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