Retail Media and Marketplaces in 2022 – A European focus


For many years, retail marketing focused on attracting customers to a store and subsequently increasing the order value. This strategy might also be used in ecommerce: drive traffic to your ecommerce site, then encourage visitors to buy your products while they’re here. The concept of ubiquity has shifted in the age of multitasking, mobility, zapping, and marketplaces. The physical method of separating marketing from sales is dissolving with the introduction of the digital environment and with the meteoric rise of marketplaces.

Amazon began as a bookstore, then a superstore, a retail outlet, and finally a marketplace, and it is now the leading retail media, followed by several local pure players, omnichannel click-and-bricks players, and retailers transforming into marketplaces, all of which offer distinct and appealing alternatives.

Trade marketing has become second nature to brands. They are now preparing for retail media, which appears to be a huge marketing opportunity in 2022, regardless of whether they have an Amazon-fit.

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The rise of Retail Media


Retail media has emerged as the internet age’s trade marketing. It is led by pure players, and its expansion is encouraged by the continued rise of ecommerce at rates of 15–25% per year. The system is supported by a shift in consumer behavior from product searches in traditional search engines to searches in retail channels, as well as the continual collecting of monetizable user data.

Online retail is about optimizing your digital shelf, and retail media is just one part of it

Lawrence Taylor

Retail 4 Brands

The third wave of digital advertising is retail media. Amazon Ads, the retail media leader, is catching up to Meta (Facebook) and Google in the digital advertising triopoly. Retail media is taking on search and social advertising by using audience data and employing auction mechanisms similar to those used by their competitors. As the advertising channel expands, this is a powerful cash generator.

…more and more users are within the marketplaces as opposed to searching in search engines to look for a brand.

Maria Botsa

Nestlé Nespresso

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The Retail Media Ecosystem in Europe and the importance of marketplaces

In the gap between customers and brands, the retail media ecosystem exists. The internet dimension is now occupied by a system of on- and offline merchants, marketplaces, ad tech, and agencies, when it was once primarily occupied by retailers.


The Big global pure players, local pure players, vertical marketplaces, and click-and-bricks make up the European marketplace scene. Amazon is still the world’s first online marketplace, as well as the world’s largest and most popular retail advertising platform but other marketplaces, more local or vertical ones, are growing and offering more and more services to brands who want to boost their visibility and sales on their platforms. 

This wide range of marketplaces is very specific to the European market, which is particularly fragmented. This diversity of marketplaces represents an opportunity for merchants to target their audience more efficiently and also to reduce their dependence on just one or two players. 

The leading players differ by country (Cdiscount in France, OTTO in Germany, OnBuy in the UK, in the Netherlands…) but they all have one thing in common: they’re all retail media enabled.

This is the first time that a marketplace in Europe develops an ad tech tool. This was only possible because we were fully integrated.

Christophe Blot

Cdiscount Advertising


Retail media has a high level of awareness due to the significant expansion of ecommerce and the focus on the commercial offering. It is, however, considered immature, having only recently emerged and only just begun to enter a growth phase. More retailers will create marketplaces, and pure players and ad tech operators will invest more in ad tech, boosting growth. This trend will be accelerated by the shift from untrackable trade marketing to optimizable retail media.

Omnichannel solutions are being offered by retail networks and forward-thinking marketplaces, with the goal of offering more comprehensive coverage of the user journey and differentiated positioning. Ad tech companies are pursuing a ‘platformisa­tion’ strategy, which entails linking retail media assets across countries to make the offering more accessible to brands. These moves are all evidence of a fast-paced environment with numerous moving elements that can be tough for companies to navigate.

The place and challenges for Brands in Retail Media

Retail media is used by brands to increase sales, get consumer insights that they would not otherwise have, and establish top-of-mind awareness of their products. When entering the space, brands face various challenges. In terms of brand fit, product assortment, and pricing, they must position themselves in each market. Uncontrolled distribution and pricing practices might result in channel cannibalism or inconsistency, lowering profitability. Brands confront difficult tracking and measurement challenges when it comes to controlling and piloting retail media, especially when offline activities are included in the scope. This is one of the main reasons why retail media operations are progressively absorbing trade marketing.

For us, the key is to be where our audiences are and work with the marketplaces that enable us to reach them.

Maria Botsa

Nestlé Nespresso

Increase the visibility of your products and boost their performances on marketplaces & online retailers with Lengow:

-Access more than 200 general, vertical, global or local marketplaces depending on the products you sell and the audience you target.
You can pilot the Lengow platform on your own or leverage our Professional Services expert team.

-Optimise your retail media campaigns by:

You need the right content, images, have your product in stock, and have ratings and reviews, in order to reach your audience effectively.

Maria Botsa

Nestlé Nespresso


From the perspective of an organization, brands develop organically to determine the best way to organize commerce and marketing around a retail media campaign. Even with a fluid organization in place, marketing to consumers via retail channels across the whole user journey, not just at the conversion moment, can be difficult.

The fragmentation of the scene, which includes multiple technologies, economic models, and formats, is the ultimate barrier to a broad retail media deployment.

We invest in retail media because it has proven to have effect in all the funnel, not only in conversion but also in the upper funnel…

Lorena Gonzalez


The Retail Media future


We look at some of the most important trends in the business world and propose a future trajectory for its development in the next years.

What will it take for retail media to reach its full potential? How will brands be able to access the commercial offering? Will retail media seize the potential to capitalize on the social commerce trend and turn it into a brand-building opportunity? Finally, what does the future hold for merging retail media with other forms of programmatic advertising, and how likely is it to happen?


Discover it all in our full report STATE OF RETAIL MEDIA IN 2022 – EUROPE 

Retail Media Report

State of Retail Media in 2022 – Europe

This research report is based on interviews of 11 experts representing 4 types of players in the retail media ecosystem.

Research carried out by Anders Hjorth, Founder of Innovell and Marie Crolard, Content Manager at Lengow.

Source: ‘State of Retail Media 2022: Europe’

Marie Crolard

Marie Crolard is a passionate professional in the field of e-commerce and its ever-evolving trends. With a strong background in marketing, she has worked for various companies before joining Lengow's Trade Marketing & Content team.

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