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You probably can’t help but notice that the retail landscape is in the midst of a transformative shift. Traditional retail models have evolved into dynamic ecosystems that seamlessly blend offline and online experiences. And in the world of advertising, retailers of all sizes have discovered a potent avenue for enhancing revenue streams and engaging with customers: Retail Media Networks (RMN).

Retail Media Networks have emerged as a powerful tool for brands and retailers to leverage their vast customer base, data insights, and digital infrastructure to unlock new advertising opportunities. By providing a direct line of communication with consumers at the point of purchase, these networks enable advertisers to deliver personalized, targeted messages in real time, optimizing their marketing efforts like never before. But consumers have noticed this shift as well. The rise of retail media networks has effectively put them in the driver seat of their shopping journeys forging a direct connection between their needs and the ads they see. Much like other transformations we’ve seen in the advertising industry, these advancements have implications beyond just a new way to get your ad in front of the customer.

In this article, we will delve into six exciting trends accelerating RMN growth and differentiation not only from the perspective of how brands and retailers leverage these networks to gain a competitive edge, but also the impact to consumers at the center of it all.

Expanding Beyond Lower Funnel Placements

As RMNs reach maturity, they are diversifying their offerings to include more in the way of upper funnel awareness like their connected tv and digital out of home cousins. Though consumers are used to the monetization of those channels, advertisers may start to see RMNs take an increasing share of their brand dollars as they become more savvy with their positioning and messaging within the tactic beyond direct response.

The Digitization of the In-Store Experience

Retailers have a variety of surfaces ripe for digitization meaning more premium, exclusive inventory to sell in their RMNs right where brands want their ads: at the point of purchase. If done right, retailers can take advantage of this opportunity to enhance the automation and digital connectivity of their store format in a way that reduces friction in the in-store experience for consumers.

Expansion to Non-Endemic Advertisers

Increasingly, non-endemic advertisers are waking up to the opportunity of advertising beyond what’s sold on the shelf. Advertisers can bring their own transaction data and merge with retailers’ media impression data through data clean rooms even if their items are not sold in-store. Retailers will benefit from the increased demand, while advertisers may benefit from comparatively lower customer acquisition costs experienced elsewhere.

The Rise of the Commerce Media Network

The idea of monetizing consumer data as a growth vehicle is not limited to traditional retailers. Other industries have started to tap into this pool to capitalize on this early demand and create new revenue streams to grow their business. With unique first-party-data in a cookieless world and a plethora of owned inventory, other businesses may find they have a stake in this media game.

Diversified Ad Formats

The era of seemingly unlimited content potential is upon us. RMNs will need to catch up to continue to make the dollars count for advertisers and they’ll need a way to prove it. To keep it fresh, RMNs should get creative and collaborate with studios and partners who have a clear understanding of consumer engagement. Content budgets have been notoriously difficult to justify for advertisers as a “softer” channel. However, advertisers will find ways and metrics to quantify its impact with retailers – that is, if they want to keep the eyes and attention of the consumer.

Measurement Catches Up

Advertisers are finding that they not only need to measure individual RMN performance, but that they also need a way to measure incremental impact compared to other channels and other RMNs as the category grows larger. Retailers are hustling to deliver because as we all know: the earliest and more robust bird gets all the ad dollars. Sophisticated measurement offerings may be the key differentiator driving share of ad-spend in the future.

We Can Help!

Are you a retailer or an advertiser looking to stay ahead of competition and deliver more value for consumers? Not sure where you should start? We can help!

Leveraging years of hands-on expertise, we have armed some of the largest fortune 100 brands on either side of the RMN aisle with the consumer-centric strategies and tools they need to be effective and stay one step ahead of the competition.

If you’re ready to level up your RMN game, connect with us here.

Lauren Cerney, Sr. Manager, Accounts