Asda has rolled out new online ad technology that allows the retailer’s suppliers to target consumers based on their browsing and purchase histories for the first time.
Drinks giant Lucozade has become one of the first to take advantage of the technology, which comes after Asda rolled out its US owner’s Walmart Exchange platform in the UK.
The supermarket claimed brands using the ads, on Asda.com and its social media sites, would experience up to seven times the average click-through rate for standard online banner ads.
But it was also at pains to reassure customers the new ads were not an intrusion into their online shopping habits.
Asda’s digital media sales agency, Triad Retail Media, said shoppers were increasingly their expecting e-commerce experience to be personalised.
Asda stressed while first-party data would be used, it would not be sold to advertisers but used by Asda to target particular groups of consumers.
“This is not some sort of Big Brother-type exercise. It’s not us handing over data about our customers to advertisers, but about providing them with more intelligent and more targeted advertising opportunities,” said a spokeswoman. “We are not giving brands access to our first-party data. This is about offering brands the opportunity to buy advertising space with us that we can target their products at groups whose shopping behaviour suggests they might be interested in those products.”
Triad Retail Media’s executive vice president international, Jill Orr, added: “This is a great example of how digital retail media can benefit advertisers.”
The move was praised as a “bold and brave step forward” by Matt Lee, director of shopper media agency Capture, who said it was a “massive positive step for retailers’ online advertising”.