Best Ad Exchange Shopify apps in 2023

With digital ad costs skyrocketing across all platforms, it's never been more costly to acquire customers. If you're looking for a cheaper way to drive high-quality traffic, Ad Exchange apps are your answer. Ad Exchange apps get similar brands to partner together to post ads for each other on their store pages and email newsletters at low or no cost. Because your partner brands have similar audiences, you attain targeted advertising at a much lower price. Some apps even allow you to swap audience data from other stores in your network and leverage their customer audiences to create Lookalike Audiences.

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Shopdog's Guide to Ad Exchange Shopify apps

If you're a shopify seller struggling to keep up with the rising costs of digital advertising, you're not alone. The fight for digital ad space is more costly than ever. 

Year after year, the costs of advertising on Meta, Amazon, Google, and TikTok become more expensive, and even more so since the era of digital reliance ushered in by the pandemic. With the crowding of advertisers around a few well known players, Meta’s 61% CPM increase and Google’s 75% CPM increase since last year come as no surprise. 

No one is more cognizant of steep digital ad costs than e-commerce marketers, who see their ad purchasing power decline more every year. So how can you acquire a precious piece of the digital media pie without paying these soaring digital costs?

There’s a new suite of Shopify app solutions that help you get traffic to your store for free. The only catch? You help other stores do the same.

What are Ad Exchange Apps?

Ad Exchange apps, as we like to call them, get DTC brands to band together and share their networks. 

Imagine this: A customer checks out at a store similar to yours. At the post-purchase thank you page, the customer is recommended similar products — but not from that store — from your store. And in turn, you promote their products on your store page.

Disco ad unit on post-purchase page

And it’s not just post purchase pages – its email newsletters and even other pages of their website. It’s a smart way to drive instant, high quality, free traffic to your store and acquire new customers who are already in the mood to shop for products like yours. 

It’s not just ads, it’s audience sharing

Some apps, like Disco, allow you to swap audience data from other stores on the network. By swapping audiences, you can utilize other shops’ data in all kinds of ways. For example, you can leverage their customer audiences (anonymized, of course) to create Lookalike Audiences to drastically lower your CPAs on traditional digital channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Google. You can always compare your growth metrics to other partner shops in your category.

The implications are endless. Of course, it all depends on each app and its capabilities. That’s why we’re here to discuss which of these apps come out on top in the cooperation competition.