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Retail Media Networks: Transform Shopper Habits into Powerful Ads


“The $45 billion US retail media market is surging as retailers capitalize on the consumer shift to e-commerce while offering advertisers access to their unique audiences and data insights.” (Insider Intelligence)

Retail media networks (RMNs) are revolutionizing the advertising landscape by transforming shopper data into impactful ads. Through these networks, retailers allow brands to showcase tailored ads on their digital platforms, hitting potential customers at crucial purchasing moments. As a result, shoppers enjoy a more personalized experience, while brands access a unique, direct advertising channel. In this article, learn how brick-and-mortar retailers harness RMNs to elevate consumer reach and diversify revenue streams.

What is A Retail Media Network?

A retail media network (RMN) is a system where retailers let other brands advertise on their digital platforms, like websites or apps. These ads are tailored using shopper data to show relevant ads to customers when they’re shopping, making it more likely they’ll buy something. It’s a way for brands to connect with shoppers when deciding what to purchase.

How Can Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Benefit from Retail Media Networks?

Retail media networks lead to smarter inventory decisions based on what’s trending or popular, thereby optimizing the in-store experience. In addition, RMNs contribute to sustainability efforts, as digital signage reduces the need for paper-based advertising materials, cutting down on waste and environmental impacts. 

Precision Advertising: Retail media networks, underpinned by first-party data, enable retailers to deliver highly contextual and relevant advertisements to consumers right when making purchasing decisions. Analyzing shoppers’ behaviors and preferences allows retailers to offer advertisers unparalleled insights into customer behaviors, allowing for more tailored and effective advertising campaigns. 

Monetization and Revenue: Retailers can monetize their in-store digital spaces, such as digital signage, by offering them as advertising spaces for brands. When combined with in-store analytics, retailers can measure the impact of the displayed ads and determine which messages are most effective in driving conversions. This provides revenue streams to the retailer and opportunities to collect data that can be sold to marketers, thus turning data into a monetization engine. 

Enhanced Customer Experience: Retail media networks offer a curated shopping journey for customers, ensuring that they receive consistent and relevant messages across different touchpoints – whether online, on mobile apps, or in-store. For instance, if a shopper browses items on a retailer’s website, the same products or related promotions can be displayed when they visit the physical store. This omnichannel approach creates a more seamless and personalized shopping experience, encouraging increased customer engagement and loyalty.

Harnessing the potential of retail media networks, brick-and-mortar retailers can stay competitive, increase revenue, and offer a superior shopping experience.

Which Retailers Use Retail Media Networks?

Amazon, Walmart, and Target are examples of retailers that use RMNs to monetize their online platforms by offering advertising space to brands: 

Amazon Advertising

Amazon Advertising stands as a behemoth in the retail media network landscape. Amazon’s vast user base and data-driven insights allow advertisers to target and reach consumers effectively. Being a digital-first company, it has accumulated vast amounts of user data, which it leverages to offer precision-targeted ad spaces for brands. 

Walmart Connect

Walmart Connect is giving fierce competition to Amazon Advertising. What sets Walmart apart is its brick-and-mortar presence in addition to its digital platform. This combination enables Walmart to provide a seamless online-to-offline shopping experience for its customers, making advertising on its platform more effective in bridging the online and in-store gap. 

Target Roundel

Target Roundel offers a unique blend of digital and in-store advertising opportunities for brands. With its strong retail presence and commitment to enhancing the online shopping experience, Target Roundel allows brands to interact with consumers at multiple touchpoints in their shopping journey, thus increasing the chances of conversion.

These companies collect first-hand data from their customers to provide personalized ad experiences, ensuring higher relevance and engagement. This makes advertising on their platforms more attractive for brands as they can be assured of better visibility and reach. 

How Do Amazon, Walmart, and Target Leverage RMNs?

The transition from traditional in-store advertising to digital advertising on RMN platforms means brands can now reach consumers right at the point of purchase. This is especially valuable as online shopping grows in popularity, making the digital advertising space even more crucial for brands to access. In short, RMNs provide retailers with an additional revenue stream, diversifying their income sources and positioning themselves as more than just shopping platforms.

Can Small-to-Medium-Sized Retailers Take Advantage of RMNs?

SMB retailers can tap into Retail Media Networks (RMNs) locally, using community platforms and their strong customer relationships. When these retailers leverage local sites, apps, or digital directories, they can craft ads tailored to their community. For instance, Facebook and Instagram’s location-based ads enhance local RMN efforts. Local retailers can collaborate with local businesses to expand their audience, and in-store digital screens show relevant local deals.

Deeply rooted community ties allow local retailers to adjust RMN tactics based on immediate feedback. Participation in local events like farmers’ markets, coupled with digital promotions, reinforces community connections and integrates RMNs. SMBs, being smaller, can pivot faster, fine-tuning their approaches more effectively than big retailers. While operating on a different scale, SMBs have distinct assets that make local RMNs exceptionally influential.

Retail Media Networks offer unmatched opportunities for retailers and brands to connect with consumers. Retailers use RMNs to diversify revenue streams and enhance shopping experiences, while brands achieve precise targeting and greater visibility. The success of Amazon Advertising, Walmart Connect, and Target Roundel highlights the transformative power of RMNs. In today’s digital era, these networks emphasize the essential blend of in-store and online interactions for lasting customer loyalty.

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