The Story Behind: Digital Circular

December 9, 2020

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James Falzone


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When I moved into a new apartment at the end of 2019, it wasn’t my new four walls that excited me as much as the apartment’s proximity to a supermarket less than 2 blocks away. No more long trips to far away markets and commuting with grocery bags. I immediately went on the store’s site to subscribe to their weekly circular thinking I’d score great digital offers. Instead, I got an email with a PDF version of the store’s print version. It was good for spotting deals, but it wasn’t taking advantage of any digital capabilities to enhance my shopping routine.

Circulars have been a very effective marketing tool for retailers. Not only do they increase foot traffic and sales, but, because we’ve all grown up with them, they’re embedded in the American consumer’s mind. We are conditioned to spot circulars at the front of a store or hunt for them inside Sunday papers. According to a study by Nielsen, 85% of US households use circulars and 90% of those circular shoppers use it to plan their menus before heading to the store. 

But times have changed. With the shift to digital, it’s been years since many of us have seen a Sunday paper. And COVID-19 has drastically reduced in-person trips to the grocery store. Consumers have adjusted quickly to shopping for groceries on devices and having them either delivered or assembled for curbside pick-up. Because of the convenience, these behaviors will likely outlast the pandemic. So how can retailers get their circulars back in the hands of a digital and mobile-first audience?

Introducing... Kargo’s Digital Circular.

The newspaper standard modernized for mobile. Recreated in a digital, dynamic, and mobile-friendly format, Kargo’s newest ad unit allows brands to scale messaging through high-performing ad creative - targeted within brand safe, contextually relevant environments.


A retailer can directly integrate their product feed into Kargo’s data platforms. From there, Kargo will build a custom API for that brand and create a dynamic shopping experience where the products and prices are relevant to the consumer's location. This experience is delivered through Kargo’s high impact units and distributed across our premium publisher network, which includes many sites where print circulars are typically found.


For Kargo’s retail team, our primary customer is the consumer. By creating a product that neatly aligns with the established customer journey of stumbling upon and shopping a circular, we’ve created a serendipitous product discovery and browsing tool that is custom to each user, generates purchase intention, and drives traffic to the retailer’s site and store. 


The unit beats Kargo’s already above industry-average benchmarks:

  • Expansion Rate: 1.0% (Q3'20 benchmark 0.76% - 0.98% based on Kargo's Sidekick)

  • Engagement Rate: 10% (Q3'20 benchmark 8% - 10% based on Kargo's Carousel)

  • Avg Time Spent: 4.7 secs (Q3'20 benchmark 4.4 secs based on Kargo's Carousel)

  • Secondary CTR: 2.7% (defined as clicks to site post-ad expansion)


Boost your business with Digital Circular! LEARN MORE

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