- Microsoft revealed two new tools — Microsoft PromoteIQ and Bing for Commerce — for retailers looking to improve their e-commerce and digital shopping experiences, the company said in a blog post. The tech giant is debuting the new platform at the National Retail Federation's annual show in New York this week.
- Microsoft PromoteIQ is designed to help retailers work with brand partners to push products using intent-based data and audience insights in order to increase sales at scale. Home Depot has piloted the tool since last year. The retailer, which has the fifth largest e-commerce site in the U.S., said customer engagement increased 35% and promoted products registered double-digit growth using the tool.
- Microsoft also introduced Bing for Commerce, a platform aimed to help retailers improve search. The platform uses AI for product search, personalization and recommendations. The goal is to help retailers deliver better search results and avoid site abandonment.
Microsoft acquired PromoteIQ, a vendor that provided technology specifically for retailers and e-commerce sites, last August. Since then, the company has beefed up the platform and integrated it with Microsoft Advertising to help retailers deliver more enhanced experiences for customers.
The new platform will go head-to-head with similar offerings from Amazon, Walmart and Target who also offer ways for brands to offer ads on their sites. There's an opportunity to attract clients from Amazon, as brands including Ikea, Nike and Birkenstock have discontinued pilot programs on the site, in favor of potentially developing their own in-house e-commerce strategies, per CNBC.
Meanwhile, Walmart Media Group, the advertising arm of the retail giant, debuted a self-serve ad portal last week. The platform leverages offline data and lets marketers purchase search and sponsored product ads through direct access in a bid auction-based marketplace. In doing so, Walmart helps to streamline and enhance advertisers' ability to target ads to the right customer and the right time through automation and shopper data.
Similarly, Target has ramped up its in-house ad offerings to let brands purchase ads on its network using both online and offline shopper data. Target Media Network rebranded to Roundel as it moved to develop deeper ad integrations on other platforms beyond Target.com, including Pinterest, PopSugar and NBCUniversal.
By offering the ability to use Bing on retailers' sites, Microsoft can help them improve personalization and deliver more relevant content to shoppers. These consumers expect greater convenience, with 80% abandoning a site that provides poor search results, according to a Business Insider report cited by Microsoft.