Blog posts

Retail aims to be an advertising media

Teemu Kurri
Teemu Kurri
Co-founder, Chief Growth Officer
Connect via LinkedIn
For major retail chains, the next big digitalisation business opportunity may not lie only in e-commerce, but also in better monetisation of their in-store target groups. The best ones have already started the transition.

For the better part of the past two decades, we have grown used in seeing headlines about the new sales records broken by Amazon and other digital players, or about their new innovative business models and customer experience innovations.

With all the attention in e-commerce, the more traditional retailers have seemed to accept their position. However, they still have something extremely valuable and steadily rising in business value. And it is ready to be monetised: The last-mile audience. This audience, which the retailers know inside out, is ready to shop and open to targeted advertising. And the best part is that the retailers already have this audience - no need to pour endless resources to customer acquisition.

The biggest asset of a retailer is a loyal customer group and the retailers have been masters in raising and nurturing this relationship. As technology has evolved and digitalisation created new ways to utilise the customer data, the retailers are now able to take full advantage of the in-store advertising automation.

Digital-Out-of-Home (DOOH) screens in stores offer a new high margin revenue channel, as well as ways to deepen the relationship with customers and raise the amount of the average purchase. The forerunner retailers have already discovered this opportunity and are rapidly growing their in-store networks.

It is estimated that advertising margins can be as much as six times the amount of typical retail margins of 5% or less.

The new data can give the suppliers insight into the customers' minds to efficiently reach the wanted audience. As a result, now for example giants like Walmart and Target are quickly finding ways to intelligently target their audiences and to automate their advertising sales and management.


The obvious consequence of monetising the audiences with Digital-Out-of-Home screen networks is the increase in the value of the average shopping basket.

The retailers can utilize the DOOH network by presenting precisely targeted advertising to different customer groups, close to where the actual purchasing decision is made. The message can be enhanced by giving the customer various reminders with well-placed and timed messaging along their shopping path.

The dynamic content (and dynamic pricing if required) can also be very useful in promoting for example fresh products to shorten their shelf life-cycle and also in getting the products on sale moving fast and making room for new items.


In addition to external advertising and increasing the value of the shopping basket, another area waiting to be digitalised is trade marketing.

Why is this a big deal for big retail? Firstly, because we are really not talking only about advertising as such. Retail is very much about different kinds of trade marketing efforts & co-operation with manufacturers, suppliers and brands.

The value of trade marketing on global scale is 500 billion dollars annually and only 15% of this is digitalized.

The in-store advertising automation enables much of this marketing to be targeted to relevant audiences and the results reported to the trade marketer.

Secondly, because the inevitable wider opening of the programmatic markets will make the available advertising market size much larger than it already is.

And thirdly: DOOH marketing enables the retailers to build their core operations better: to target audiences and advertise and sell products in the best way to benefit their business, at all times.

On a tactical level, retail benefits from in-store advertising by converting large external marketing budgets towards in-store advertising and raising the awareness of their own brands, for example.

The digitalization of the in-store trade marketing and a well-managed and automated advertising inventory ready to be served in programmatic marketplaces, requires partners with the know-how and the suitable talent mix that combines the vision for digital ecosystems with in-store advertising. This combination is currently not widely & readily available.

Doohlabs has been working with major retailers for years. We've have helped them in monetizing their advertising inventory and making already tens of millions in revenue. We take best of the both worlds: our team is a combination of top digital business professionals and Digital Out-of-Home pioneers which enables us to apply the latest developments in the digital sphere to DOOH with confidence.

We are ready to take your in-store advertising to the next level.

According to Forbes magazine 70% of the purchase decisions are made in-store with an average of 41 min per visit, 2-3 visits per week in the US.
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Teemu Kurri

Teemu Kurri

Co-founder, Chief Growth Officer

Connect via LinkedIn