I visited the New York’s Post website--to get my fill of New York gossip--and I was shown a massive advertisement from a leading tabletop brand. (I have covered the brand's logo with yellow rectangles for the privacy of the brand.) Before visiting the Post's site, I had visited this brand's website. The ads appear because the brand has hired some advertising platform to track me around the web, show me ads, and direct me back to its DTC (direct to consumer) site.
While I understand that brands have a right to sell direct, do they have to advertise and follow me around the web? And, should the ad offer something an indie store can't afford to offer. Can an indie store afford to offer free shipping on orders over $150?
In light of the current retail apocalypse, is this DTC advertising the best way for the brand to support its indie stores?
Idea: Could the brand instead run ads that promote me finding a local store selling the brand? I think that may be better for everyone in the food chain. Maybe the brand is running these ads, and I've just not seen them.
I think that social media, online advertising platforms, and DTC brand websites may have created the perfect storm to bypass indie stores. Macy's is closing 20% of stores, cutting 10% of its corporate staff, and closing its Cincinnati office. Hitting close to home: an indie store that sells MacKenzie Childs and Michael Aram just emailed me today telling me they're closing February 28th. When I see a brand's ads following me around the web, I propose that we consider that these ads and store closings may be connected.
And this isn't the first time I've seen DTC advertising that follows me. Recently, another brand was peppering me with ads. I wrote a news post about this, and the brand's owner said that she didn't know her brand was doing this. Yet, she likely approved the payments made to the advertising platforms. My opinion: she was paying for the ads. She knew what she was doing.
I encourage brands and retailers to team up and advertise together. We can work together in our e-commerce community.