Criteo CEO on why companies want to track consumers across platforms

Eustance Huang, Special to CNBC
It's the next frontier for Asean e-commerce: Digital advertising firm

In the fickle world of advertising technology, it can be difficult to exceed expectations. But in February, multi-billion dollar digital performance advertising agency Criteo reported quarterly earnings that bested industry expectations.

"Business is very good. We've been a public company now for 13 quarters, and we've achieved, over-achieved, expectations as a public company," CEO Eric Eichmann told CNBC's "The Rundown" on Thursday.

Eichmann said the main reason behind the company's success was simple: "What we do is basically help retailers maximize their sales by using their data and serving personalized ads that consumers will click on and hopefully buy."

It's a formula, according to Eichmann, that is working for clients.

"We have high retention rates, over 90 percent now for over 24 quarters in a row," he said.

Commenting on the state of affairs in the digital world, Eichmann noted that globally, more consumers are purchasing across platforms.

"Forty-one percent of transactions globally are happening across devices," he said. "That means, you start on your smartphone, and end up on the desktop or vice versa."

This paradigm shift has necessitated a change in looking at how advertising dollars are spent.

"If you don't know whether the user is the same, you might not spend your dollars — or your Singapore dollars or your Yen — profitably so it's very important to be able to match the users," Eichmann said, adding that Criteo achieves this by working closely with a network of over 14,000 advertisers and e-Commerce companies to identify users across devices.

Having found success in the West, the company is now looking to Southeast Asia as the next frontier.

Unlike their contemporaries in the West who may prefer shopping on the desktop, though, many shoppers in Southeast Asia actually shop on mobile, he said.

Eichmann did, however, express caution that there was still much work to be done in the region before e-commerce could truly take off, with infrastructure around logistics and payments still relatively under developed. Additionally, mobile penetration remains modest.

"The penetration of online commerce is only 3 percent in Southeast Asia. Compare that to the U.S., and the U.S. is about 14 percent," he said.

Looking ahead, Eichmann said that companies operating in the region should also think of ways to retain customers over the long-run: "In a new market, one of the priorities is also acquisition, is making sure that as the population that shop grows, that you're capturing a lot of that population."