The China-Based, Amazon-Based Brand Giant Anker Has Big Plans For Ad Tech Services

The past year has seen a huge influx of consumer brands launching their own advertising businesses.

Buy-now-pay-later service providers, ride-share companies Uber and Lyft and food and grocery delivery apps have all recently launched search ads and programmatic sales or data services.

The publicly traded multilevel marketing skincare product brand Nu Skin bought an ad tech business last month, and Zoom started serving ads to free service users on browser pages after a meeting ends.

Yet another example of this trend came with last month’s North American full launch of Oceanwing, an ecommerce ad tech and agency services subsidiary of Anker, the Chinese electronics company that’s a huge seller on Amazon. The company first started in the US market last year with APAC clients.

“We have the tech and the skills, and it was a few years ago that the company really started to invest in the idea that, ‘Hey, this is something we could commercialize ourselves and offer to other sellers,’” said Alex Ai, Oceanwing’s director of marketing services.

Ai is also familiar with the challenge of straddling the Chinese and American markets. He was previously a Procter & Gamble senior brand manager in China and a senior brand manager for Chinese tech giant Tencent in America. Based in Seattle, he’s now tasked with creating a business selling the ecommerce services and ad tech crafted by Oceanwing in China to American sellers.

Oceanwing has a few advantages. For one thing, although it’s a Chinese company and trades on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, Anker is a perennial top seller on Amazon in the United States. And since Oceanwing is backed by Anker, it can plug into a huge preexisting supply chain for warehousing and fulfillment.

Oceanwing operates in a crowded field of Amazon-based ad tech services, but almost none of those companies also have warehousing and fulfillment capabilities, Ai said.

Amazon has its own ad tech and fulfillment operations, of course. But as an Amazon seller with its own supply-chain service, Oceanwing has advantages there as well.

Amazon wrings its warehousing vendors for every ounce of efficiency. Bulky or heavy items, for example, and perishables (god forbid you sell frozen goods) or anything that takes days or weeks to sell are downgraded by Amazon. If an item sits, takes up space or doesn’t deliver well, Amazon lowers the product’s Inventory Performance Index score, a metric Amazon’s ad platform uses to decide whether (or not) to list certain items high in search results.

For Oceanwing, roadblocks on Amason are an opportunity to offer those same services.

Consumer electronics like vacuums and speaker systems, pet care goods and healthcare products are among the major verticals for Oceanwing, Ai said. Those are all product types that struggle with Amazon’s fulfillment metrics.

“Being in the first stage, our key focus is to prove that the model we are practicing really works for general clients in the United States,” he said.

And Anker benefits from its Oceanwing subsidiary, too. Aside from the potential agency and ad tech revenue, Anker has invested in and bought Amazon-based brands in other categories since it went public last year.

Multiple global sellers who worked with Oceanwing were later invested in or acquired by Anker.

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