Topsort versus CitrusAd: Legacy solutions had their time. We’re the new world, they’re set to retire.

molly @ topsort

4 minutes
Industry Insights
CitrusAd is a great off-the-shelf solution. It was built at a time when ecommerce was just gaining traction, when brick-and-mortar stores first launched online. Unfortunately, off-the-shelf solutions simply don’t fit modern, tech-forward retailers.

What’s the big picture?

Retailers want to keep up with the new world. With flexibility and scalability at the core.‍‍

Off-the-shelf solutions have died

Retailers need modular solutions and heightened flexibility to match their individual needs, CitrusAd’s “one-size-fits-all” doesn’t fit anymore. Citrus can’t keep up, they’re running formats and processes that worked 10 years ago, this is not going to stack up today when retail is so competitive.

Every retailer has a totally different framework, and what CitrusAd offers is ridgid, and no components can be taken in-house by the retailer.

One-size-fits-all sounds easy, but with a mismatch is old vs modern technology CitrusAd take 3-6 months to integrate where as, we work at the speed of the retailer, averaging less than 1 month.

Privacy & Ownership

With no elements made or integrated in-house, as a retailer, you don’t have ownership over your ad platform. Citrus is powered by Epsilon, which is an audience solution that buys and owns customer data. They’re owned by Publicis, a HUGE advertising agency who essentially use results and data from your platform to grow their business. They own part of your business.‍

With Topsort, this is not the case. We just act as enablers, the data flows through us, but we don’t keep it.

Cannibalization & Relevance

We believe scalable ad businesses don’t cannibalize the core marketplace dynamics and the customer satisfaction flywheel. It empowers everyone in the ecosystem instead of creating friction that eats into the core margin or seller satisfaction.

CitrusAd use parallel relevance. If you run sponsored listings through them, the products shown will be what CitrusAd “think” should be shown, not what actually would appear organically. At Topsort, we use the same marketplace relevance showing only listings that would organically appear, just in a different order. As a result of lack of relevance, for CitrusAd, the ad click-through-rate is considerably low, to the point that the proceeds from ads could be lower than just showing organic products, thus cannibalizing the core business.

Unlike CitrusAd, we look at the results before we look at any other numbers. We set a target ROAS, and let the technology optimize the process. The legacy solutions use the same processes that worked before, see what the results are, and then backward engineer to increase the return.

Side by Side Differences

There's a lot of elements to look at when deciding who to partner with. This table highlights a few key points we hear:

In conclusion, CitrusAd, a pioneer of retail media, is hitting the ceilings of their growth with the limitations of its legacy approach. In contrast, Topsort has seized the opportunity to revolutionize the industry by aligning with modern retailers' needs. With a focus on privacy, relevance, optimization, and flexibility, Topsort is rewriting the rules of advertising, positioning itself as the partner of choice for retailers embracing the future.

If you're looking for a modern adtech partner, keeping ahead of all the trends... we'd love to talk, chat with us today!

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