Pacvue Expands From Advertising to Retail

  • Retail firm Pacvue is expanding beyond advertising.
  • The firm made its name in e-commerce advertising but will now pitch advertisers on retail tech used to manage sales.
  • The move highlights the growing competition for companies to stand out in selling e-commerce ads.

Retail adtech firm Pacvue is moving beyond retail advertising, an industry that will be worth $45 billion in the US this year, according to Insider Intelligence, Insider’s sister company

Four-year-old Pacvue is one of the biggest players in this space, handling $150 billion in gross merchandise value for retailers. Its technology helps brands and agencies buy and measure advertising sold by retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Gopuff.

But the company is moving beyond advertising and is now pitching other e-commerce tools that will help brands identify the right price to sell products, help them manage their stock, and troubleshoot problems. For example, Pacvue’s tech can identify if an Amazon listing is missing the button to buy a product, and will file a support ticket with Amazon. 

Pacvue will get these capabilities by combining with its sister company Helium 10, which are both owned by PE-backed Assembly. Assembly will take on the Pacvue name, said Pacvue cofounder and president Melissa Burdick, and  Assembly CEO Sandeep Kella will become Pacvue’s CEO.

Pacvue is making these moves to stay competitive, as holding companies and consultancy giants acquire startups to build huge commerce stacks. Publicis Groupe bought Profitero and CitrusAd, for instance, and Accenture snapped up commerce agency The Stable in 2022.

At the same time, traditional adtech firms like Pubmatic, Magnite, and The Trade Desk are rolling out retail media products, creating even more retail media tools that brands must navigate.

“Brands and sellers really don’t need to have 20 different tools to rely on,” said Burdick. “The space needs consolidation, and they don’t want multiple tools.”

Pacvue is also expanding beyond retail media because it recognizes that there is a ceiling on how much brands will spend on retail advertising. So the company is betting it can convince brands to spend more if it offers a greater variety of e-commerce software.

Pacvue is also working on generative AI features in the coming months that can help brands create many versions of product detail pages and ads.

“This stuff has grown up overnight [with] lots of new brands, an explosion of complexity and inefficiencies, and it’s ripe for tools that have APIs,” Burdick said.

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