Publicis Groupe acquires e-commerce software company Profitero

French advertising holding Publicis Groupe HER

said it acquired Profitero, an e-commerce software company that provides analytics to brands, as marketers’ customers increasingly seek services in commerce.

Profitero offers digital commerce software and services for brands, including offerings that help customers compare prices with competitors, monitor product availability, and track customer ratings and reviews. The company, which has 300 employees, says it has more than 4,000 client brands, including Kraft Heinz Co., Anheuser-Busch InBev HER

and Adidas SA. Publicis is acquiring Profitero for about $200 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company helps brands appear on a retailer’s “digital shelf” when consumers search for terms that can be as generic as “chocolate bar,” said Sarah Hofstetter, president of Profitero.

“Search results are going to vary both by retailer and what levers brands can pull to ensure they get to the top…” Ms Hofstetter said. “There’s anything from ratings and reviews, to price adjustments, to promotional activity and supply chain execution, to the images, videos and text you use, the bullet count – there are hundreds of levers you can flip, just to make sure you’re showing up more for the candy bar term.

Profitero’s software looks at publicly available data from retailers and then synthesizes it to provide insights and forecasts for those brands.

Profitero will continue to operate within Publicis, with Ms. Hofstetter and Profitero Chief Executive Bryan Wiener continuing in their roles, along with company employees, Publicis said.

Publicis chief executive Arthur Sadoun said the deal, combined with the holding company’s existing services, will help Publicis customers grow their online sales and gain market share.

Marketers must monitor information, including competitor pricing, product availability and opportunities to improve unpaid search results, or risk becoming invisible online, Sadoun said.

The deal comes as ad portfolio companies say marketers are looking for more e-commerce help.

Publicis competitor WPP PLC last week launched a service called Everymile, which it says will help brands outsource direct-to-consumer e-commerce. Everymile builds on WPP’s existing commerce capabilities, but adds demand generation, e-commerce and merchandising, supply chain and logistics capabilities, according to WPP.

The Covid-19 pandemic has fueled an existing trend for brands to seek a more direct relationship with the people who buy from them.

“To some extent, it’s about trying to avoid the disintermediation that the Amazons and Walmarts of the world” have caused, said Jay Wilson, vice president analyst at research firm Gartner. Inc.

Marketers who sell through a company like Amazon may see lower margins than if they sell products directly to consumers online, and don’t get the same level of customer data, Wilson said, among others. factors that drive marketers to create e-commerce functions. “It’s been a bit of a perfect storm of these things coming together.”

CMOs are increasingly tasked with not only delivering marketing and advertising messages and being the voice of the brand, but also driving sales directly, Wilson added.

Write to Megan Graham at

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Appeared in the May 4, 2022 print edition as “Publicis Buys E-Commerce Software Company in France”.

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