Retailers, and subsequently brands, have jumped straight into the deep end of retail media."

It would be an understatement to say that retail media has had a hand in transforming the retail landscape. With the pandemic-influenced, accelerated surge in online grocery shopping, retailers, and subsequently brands, have jumped straight into the deep end of retail media.

An estimated $100 billion business, retail media is viewed by retailers as a way to capitalize on their unique shopper data to draw incremental supplier investment that will help offset the increased cost introduced by digital commerce. Brands are attracted to retail media by the rich shopper targeting and because retailers are strongly encouraging them to participate.

While there is no doubt that retail media is a huge priority for retailers and brands, one key stakeholder in the retail media ecosystem often goes unmentioned: The shopper. Despite the fact the shopper, more specifically the shopper’s data and wallet, are the arrow and the target of retail media, they are rarely a primary focus in retail media discussions. For retail media to deliver on its promise of meaningful incremental revenue for retailers and deeper, lasting connections for brands, the shopper must be central to the conversation.

Below are four States of Being that both retailers and brands should consider to ensure shoppers remain paramount in the ongoing evolution of retail media:

  • Be Present — Consumers don’t think in terms of online vs. offline. Messaging and purchase opportunities must be consistently available to shoppers to meet their needs and context at the moment. Retail media must evolve to be both omnichannel and omnipresent to ensure the shopper’s needs are always met irrespective of location.
  • Be Relevant — With the barrage of messages pushed to people each day, it’s increasingly difficult to capture any share of a shopper’s attention. Retail media must mature to leverage the multifaceted data from brands and retailers to engage with shoppers in a way that matters to them at that specific point in time.
  • Be Personalized — Research shows that recall and action are significantly greater when messages and experiences are personalized to the user. It will be critical for retail media to adopt bleeding-edge approaches to using data, technology and data science to prescribe personalized messages, offers and experiences based on a shopper’s past and predicted behaviors.
  • Be Helpful — Many would argue that legacy advertising is a distraction and, in many cases, they would be right. Given the audience’s knowledge and proximity to purchase, retail media can truly benefit the shopping experience. To realize this opportunity, brands and retailers will need to embrace what is helpful to the shopper, create relevant tools and experiences, and make them available at the right moments to enhance the shopping process.

Retail media is still very much in its infancy. By keeping focus on the core needs of retail’s most important stakeholder, the shopper, retail media can avoid the pitfalls of declining efficacy and atrophy faced by other media as it matures.

Advantage Solutions

Josh Pike
Executive Vice President, Strategy and Integrations
Advantage Solutions

Josh Pike leads the development of Advantage's Retail Media Solutions, whose foundation is GIG Retail. GIG is a retail consulting agency focused on helping retailers build customer-first in-store and digital retail media solutions. He previously served as executive vice president of Advantage Media.

Visit GIG Retail.