Independent retail media platform, Zitcha has launched with a mission to empower retailers to become publishers by monetising their entire owned and external media ecosystem.

Zitcha connects the media assets of a retail brand including email, apps, digital in-store screens, web and social media. It then automates the purchasing of media across these channels to connect directly with consumers.

“First-party data is fast becoming the most important driver of digital advertising,” Zitcha CEO, Troy Townsend said.

“Many organisations have a wealth of data available but are yet to realise its potential. This is especially true for retailers that are also sitting on a gold mine of advertising inventory which creates an unmissable opportunity to monetise owned assets while adding value for suppliers.”

The platform began as a tool for retailers to facilitate supplier advertising across social media and search channels and has evolved to include the entire extended media ecosystem.

During the development phase, retailers have been utilising the technology including New Zealand’s largest retail group, The Warehouse Group, which includes The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming and TheMarket. Additionally, more than 200 supplier brands including Panasonic, LG and Nespresso have come on board.

“Many retailers sell catalogue placement or in-store display, but do so manually which is time-consuming, difficult to scale and misses out on the opportunity of the wider ecosystem. By opening up all assets and automating that process, the sky is the limit meaning all of a retailer’s suppliers can benefit,” Townsend said.

“We can turn any retailer into a publisher in four to six weeks. They don’t have to build the infrastructure, so income generated is pure bottom-line profit. This also decreases profit margins.”

In addition to increased visibility, Zitcha gives brands selling through retailers access to rich first-party data which improves customer targeting and conversion rates.