Retail media refers to digital advertising on retail sites, marketplaces and apps, leveraging the first-party data that retailers have on their customers. Major retailers (and now marketplaces!) like Amazon, Carrefour, Walmart and Tesco have rapidly grown retail media networks (RMNs) where brands can advertise to high-intent shoppers.
These networks have exploded in popularity as advertisers seek alternatives with strong measurement amid rising digital media costs and data restrictions.
Sellers on marketplaces need to pay attention because retail media represents a huge opportunity to find and influence customers. By embracing it now and having the right analytics discipline, marketplace sellers can unlock tremendous business growth.
Here are some of the key reasons marketplace sellers should be actively exploring and investing in retail media:
The great advantage of retail media is it allows you to reach customers when they are closest to making a purchase decision. Searching for a product on Amazon or browsing categories on a retailer’s site indicates a strong intent to buy. This presents a prime opportunity to get your products in front of these high-intent shoppers right when they are ready to purchase. Retail media puts your brand and products in the path of customers who have indicated what they want to buy.
Retail media allows you to actively promote products and gain visibility. This can influence where you rank both in paid and organic search rankings. Winning sponsored product slots and running impactful display ads can help elevate your products above competitors fighting for that coveted digital shelf space. It gives you a chance to connect with shoppers earlier and potentially earn your way into the buy box.
Major retailers and marketplaces hold incredibly valuable data on customer behavior and preferences. Their platforms allow you to target ads using this data. You can identify and reach segments like past category purchasers, loyal customers, high-value shoppers, and more. RMNs also provide rich reporting on the audiences you reached. This retailer shopper data is extremely insightful for both targeting and optimizing your spend.
As retailers and marketplaces continue prioritizing retail ads, sellers gain access to improved ad products, formats, and capabilities. Self-service platforms, automated campaign management and new ad placements are just some of the benefits as retailers and marketplaces invest in this space. Sellers riding these coattails avoid major development costs and gain cutting-edge functionality.
Simply running a few sponsored products campaigns will provide some incremental value. However, to fully capitalize on this opportunity, it is required to combine retail media with robust analytics like mimbi. Sellers must take an analytics-first approach, with a rigorous discipline around monitoring performance. Here are some best practices:
You need to track core ad metrics like impressions, clicks, click-through rate, etc across all networks. However, the priority must be monitoring direct sales and orders driven by your retail media budgets. Look at overall revenue and return on ad spend. Are you seeing a positive return? How much incremental revenue is directly attributable to retail media? Which campaigns are the top performers? Keeping a pulse on bottom-line sales impact is crucial.
Analyze performance by specific factors like product, campaign type, creative, landing page, audience segment, placement, time of day, day of week, etc. Find out what’s working and what’s not. Turn off poor performers and expand winners. Retail media provides the luxury of optimization based on direct sales data. Use this to your advantage and optimize aggressively.
Put your retail media sales in context of overall sales both on the marketplace and other channels. What share of revenue is retail media driving? Is it additive or just shifting share? How are retail media shoppers different from other shoppers? Ensure retail media budget is truly incremental and not just displacing other sales.
Add factors like competitor pricing, stock levels, review ratings, etc. to your analysis. Identify gaps where you can win vs. rivals. See which competitors are aggressively advertising and stealing share. Make decisions with the full competitive picture in mind, not just your own performance.
Tie your retail media analytics back to your overall product catalog and merchandising strategy. Reveal which products are hot sellers vs. those struggling to gain traction. Adjust your catalog assortment and product launch plans accordingly. Ensure you are advertising the right products to the right audiences.
In summary, retail media networks represent a huge opportunity amid rising digital media costs for marketplace sellers to find and influence high-intent shoppers. As retailers and marketplaces invest heavily in building out ad platforms, sellers must embrace retail media to remain competitive both on and off-site. However, the key to long-term success will be combining retail media with robust analytics across media performance, sales data, and business context.
With the right analytics discipline, sellers can optimize retail media campaigns for sales and ROI.
For savvy marketplace sellers who embrace retail media networks and master the analytics, the potential business impact is tremendous. The time to start investing is right now.
Retail media refers to advertising within retail environments, both online and offline. It is a form of marketing where brands pay retailers to feature their products prominently in the retailer’s digital platforms such as websites, marketplaces, mobile apps, or even in-store displays. This marketing strategy leverages the retailer’s customer base and data to place relevant product ads where customers are most likely to make purchasing decisions, thus driving sales and improving product visibility.
A Retail Media Network (RMN) is a platform created by a retailer that allows brands to advertise their products directly to consumers on the retailer’s digital properties, like their e-commerce site, marketplace or app. This network utilizes the retailer’s data on consumer shopping habits to offer targeted advertising to shoppers. Brands can use RMNs to reach consumers at critical moments when they are making purchase decisions, thereby increasing the likelihood of conversion.
On Amazon and other marketplaces, retail media operates by offering brands various advertising options to enhance visibility and drive sales. Brands can purchase sponsored product ads, banner ads, or even branded pages within the marketplace. These ads are then shown to customers based on their search history, buying behavior, and other data-driven targeting criteria. For instance, on Amazon, Sponsored Products allow brands to promote individual listings, which appear in search results and on product detail pages, helping to increase the discoverability of the products.
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