Accelerating your online retail strategy

June 02, 2021

More people are shopping online than ever before. In 2020, it’s estimated that online sales increased over 32%, or more than double the annual growth in 20191–an indication that online shopping will continue to be part of our new normal. As a result agencies and their clients are seeking help building their online retail expertise to ensure they can meet their addressable needs across Amazon and other retailers.

“Given the rapid acceleration of e-commerce, Amazon has now become the destination to discover brands via its owned properties such as IMDb, Twitch, Amazon Music, and more. Their services and Prime model offer not only a seamless shopping experience for consumers but also provides them with various ways to stay entertained on Amazon’s properties, while also servicing their basic consumer needs.”

– Amy Lanzi, EVP, North America Lead, Publicis Commerce

Media powered by a full-funnel approach inclusive of e-commerce

Amazon Ads recognizes the challenges our advertisers face as they try to connect the dots of digital media and online retail, and strive to deliver strategies to help transform their business.

In early 2020, Amazon Ads launched the E-commerce Acceleration Program (EAP) to help meet the addressable needs of our agencies and advertisers. The EAP is an immersive program designed to help up-level online retail proficiency, scale best practices, and encourage a full-funnel approach inclusive of e-commerce. With hands-on workshops, the EAP aims to close the gaps in online retail knowledge and application, while leveraging Amazon adtech integrations to streamline and automate insights for agencies and their advertisers.

“The EAP has empowered Publicis’ agencies with the ability to see the power of Amazon beyond media to identify new opportunities for our clients, expanding our range of services. By opening their access and training to include retail and content, as well as the power of additional metrics beyond ROAS (return on ad spend), Amazon is fully showcasing the power of their insights in actionable ways to drive business—allowing us to activate smarter spending across Amazon.”

– Margaux Logan, VP Head of Marketplaces, Publicis Commerce

The Publicis Group was the first of four US agencies to pilot the EAP, and they selected Spark Foundry to lead the effort given their diverse portfolio of clients. Spark Foundry dove into topics like Analytics and Insights, Content Creation and Optimization, Retail Marketing and Merchandising, Catalogue Optimization, and Supply Chain Management with the EAP over a two-month period.

Anchored around the interconnectedness of retail and advertising, the EAP delivered bespoke content, workshops, and connection with internal experts. This, coupled with Publicis leadership, made the program impactful for the Spark Foundry team. Attendees of the program were challenged to apply the EAP curriculum to existing and new endemic clients, elevating the way retail insights are integrated into media.

Following the program, we asked Spark Foundry VP Commerce Lead Brad Keeling about his team’s key takeaways.

“The EAP has been an enormous and fundamental step in up-leveling our team to think of Amazon not only as a great performance property, but also as a tool to help accelerate our clients’ businesses. As we continue to evolve Spark Foundry’s commerce capabilities, we are looking at Amazon as more than a media partner, and someone who can help us find new ways to increase the offerings that we bring to our clients through services such as content and merchandising support and vendor management operations.”

– Brad Keeling, VP Commerce, Spark Foundry

Future-proofing your business

Brands no longer have the luxury of planning for the online shopping revolution—it is here and gaining momentum. For agencies interested in increasing their Amazon retail proficiency, we encourage you to engage your E-commerce Partner Managers (EPMs) or Agency Development Manager (ADM) about the EAP. We can help you navigate the new retail landscape and deep-dive into the four core areas below to amplify and extend your online retail strategy:

  1. Develop fluency in core retail topics (1) Retail Management, (2) Content Management, (3) Merchandising, (4) Brand Building, and (5) Analytics.
  2. Understand the interconnectedness of online retail and media to both build brand and help grow sales.
  3. Gain insight into your (client’s) Amazon strategy and business.
  4. Operate with a full-funnel approach inclusive of e-commerce.


1 According to eMarketer e-commerce sales increased over 32% or more than double the annual growth in 2019. Total retail sales declined by -3.5% in Q2 2020 and grew 7% in Q3 2020.