Retail media in short means marketing to consumers at the point of purchase, be that in online world or in the actual physical retail space. The rise of Retail Media can be traced back to two mega trends that are taking place at the same time. Firstly, restructuring of retail profit model. Achieving traditional retail margins is getting harder - but luckily at the same time, monetizing the retailers existing audiences is becoming a very popular way to accumulate new high-margin profits.
The other factor pushing retail media is the rapidly diminishing role of 3rd party cookies used for tracking users and targeting online advertising. As Google & Apple are getting rid of cookies, retailers’ greatest asset – the 1st party data about their customers - is getting very valuable for advertisers in reaching the right audiences at the right time & place.
The majority of the retail media discussions are revolving around online. This is only natural, as e-commerce websites are fast to respond to advertisers changing needs. There are already a handful of retail media platforms that are pushing this change in the online world.
What about in-store marketing? What does retail media have to do with it? In-store retail media is basically shopper marketing for the digital age with its roots tightly in real-world stores. Despite the rise of e-commerce, brick & mortar is still for many retailers by far the most important revenue source now and in the future.
The retail media revolution is also arriving in-store – not as an extension to online but with its own unique style. There are a couple of main reasons for this.
Firstly, the digitalization of merchandising and in-store advertising has had its own independent route based on digital signage and digital out-of-home solutions for solving the unique challenges of physical space and asynchronous technical architecture. Building advanced in-store retail media for stores digital screens & audio requires expertise in these fields as well as knowledge of modern online technologies.
The second major factor is the usage of in-store data for targeting. Online targeting is based on cookies but in-store audiences for retail media on the other hand must be built on retailers own visitor data. The current digital signage solutions that retailers use, don’t have any intelligent way to do audience targeting. Online solutions for their part, cannot be directly adapted to in-store environments.
These are the two main challenges that must be solved for successful in-store retail media: How to make your in-store digital signage & audio act as a part of the retailers modern adtech stack, including enablement of programmatic media sales. And how to build a customer data platform (CDP), that is able to serve the unique requirements of the physical real-time store environment for large retail chains.
The winners in the retail media field are the ones who will be able to successfully combine online and in-store marketing: The retailers, who can build an omni-channel approach that takes into account their clienteles ever-changing multichannel shopping habits and behavior. Winners will also be retail media service providers, that can work together to offer retail customers solutions that serve both their online and in-store needs.
Doohlabs is a retail media platform for in-store environments. We monetise valuable retailer customer insight into high-margin, easy to buy in-store audiences for advertisers.