Publicis Groupe SA, a French advertising holding company, announced the acquisition of Profitero, an e-commerce software company that provides analytics for brands, as marketer clients increasingly seek services in commerce.
Profitero provides digital-commerce software and services for brands, such as tools that allow customers to compare prices with competitors, monitor product availability, and track customer ratings and reviews. The 300-person company claims to have over 4,000 brand clients, including Kraft Heinz Co., Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, and Adidas AG. According to people familiar with the transaction, Publicis is acquiring Profitero for around $200 million.
Profitero’s president, Sarah Hofstetter, explained that the company helps brands appear on a retailer’s “digital shelf” when consumers search for terms as broad as “chocolate bar.”
“Search results will vary depending on retailer and the levers that brands can pull to ensure they are at the top…” According to Ms. Hofstetter. “Ratings and reviews, price adjustments, promotional activity, supply-chain fulfillment, which pictures, videos, and text you use, how many bullets—there are hundreds of levers you can pull just to make sure you show up more for the term chocolate bar.”
Profitero’s software examines publicly available retailer data and synthesizes it to provide insights and predictions for those brands.
Profitero will continue to operate within Publicis, with Ms. Hofstetter and Profitero Chief Executive Bryan Wiener remaining in their positions, as will the firm’s employees, according to Publicis.
Publicis CEO Arthur Sadoun stated that the deal, when combined with the holding company’s existing services, will assist Publicis clients in increasing their online sales and market share.
Marketers must monitor information such as competitors’ prices, product availability, and opportunities to improve unpaid search results, according to Mr. Sadoun, or risk becoming invisible online.
The agreement comes as advertising holding companies report that marketers are looking for more assistance with e-commerce.
WPP PLC, a Publicis competitor, launched Everymile last week, claiming that it will help brands outsource direct-to-consumer e-commerce. According to WPP, Everymile builds on WPP’s existing commerce capabilities while also adding capabilities in demand generation, online trading and merchandising, supply chain and logistics.