Media Networks Are Big Business for Retailers. Here’s Why.

by | Jul 21, 2022 | Ad Networks, Digital Advertising, Media, Retail, Retail Media

The lines between retail, media, and advertising are blurring rapidly, as retailers seek to monetize expansive digital footprints. Amazon, the best-known leader in the retail media space, pioneered a vision in 2012 that’s transformed advertising as we know it. In 2021, Amazon generated more than $31 billion in ad revenue, up 32% from 2020, as reported by Forbes.

With so much to gain, it’s no wonder that brands including Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, and Best Buy are all investing in retail media networks. Pressured by inflation, supply chain issues, competition, and other business challenges, retail media networks help retailers to open up net-new revenue streams, deliver a more personalized shopping experience, and keep prices competitive.

 Salesforce Solutions for Retail Media Networks

 

Here at V2, we’ve spent the past 15 years building media and entertainment solutions leveraging the power of Salesforce. With so much dramatic change to the advertising landscape, we’re excited to share insights surrounding two Salesforce solutions focused on helping retail media networks scale, namely Media Cloud’s Advertising Sales Management (ASM) platform and marketing cloud intelligence powered by Salesforce Datorama.

In this blog series, we’ll dig into what retail media networks are, why they matter, and how to build and scale your own retail media network with Salesforce. Discover how to accelerate sales, streamline ad operations, and optimize campaign performance and reporting —with a single source of truth.  Ready to get started? Let’s dig in.

Understanding Retail Media Networks

 

If you’ve shopped online at Amazon, Target, or Walmart, you already know what a retail media network (RMN) is, even if this is the first time you’ve heard the industry term. Simply put, retail media networks are retailer advertising platforms that stretch across owned channels including e-commerce websites, apps, social media, and more. While e-commerce giants rely on their digital presence, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers can also monetize audiences in-store and offer advertisers a more diverse mix of both on-site and off-site offerings.

As a B2B business solution, retail media networks offer third-party companies access to coveted customers who are ready to buy. RMNs are an avenue for retailers to better monetize their hard-earned brand affinity, digital and in-store traffic, loyalty and purchasing behavior data, and portfolio of digital properties.

By design, retail media networks are a win-win-win for retailers, advertisers, and consumers. It’s no surprise that many of the best digital shopping experiences have a retail media network running behind the scenes.

The Benefits of Retail Media Networks

 

Retail media networks offer a wide range of benefits for retailers, advertisers, and consumers and provide a viable business opportunity to deepen B2B relationships, open up new revenue streams by monetizing audience data, and enrich the buying experience for end consumers.

Consumers

  • Tailored shopping experience during the entire customer journey

  • Personalized offers and improved loyalty programs

  • Price controls to combat inflation, logistics, and supply chain issues

  • Quicker purchasing experience

Advertisers

  • Access to high-intent consumers
  • More targeted reach and personalization leveraging rich first-party retailer data
  • Access to consumers “at the point of sale”
  • Stronger relationships with retailers and consumers
  • Powerful co-branding opportunities
  • Sales-focused reporting/closed-loop measurements
  • Strategic opportunities to overcome security and privacy/cookies concerns

Retailers

  • New and alternative revenue streams

  • Increased profitability and growth

  • Improved e-commerce sales

  • Better ability to compete with Google

  • Enhanced product development

  • Stronger supplier relationships

A $50 Billion Advertising Boom for Retailers

 

With vast digital real estate and robust customer data, it makes perfect sense for retailers to transform owned channels into advertising platforms. Already, many retailers have seized upon the opportunity and realized significant gains. 

Retail media is set to surpass $50 billion in 2023, according to eMarketer, claiming nearly 20% of all digital ad spend. In 2021, 25% of retailers generated upwards of $100 million in revenue from their retail media networks. Most report margins of 50-70%, as cited by Adweek.

How Big Brands Are Leveraging Retail Media Networks

 

How are leading retailers taking advantage of retail media networks to drive significant wins? Let’s take a look at a few examples from some of the world’s most beloved brands, and the outcomes of their efforts.

Roundel, Media by Target, Media Solutions

Target for Roundel

Target works hard to elevate the buyer experience through its in-house media company, Roundel. With wide appeal for partner brands including Disney (which shares a 70% overlap with Target customers), its sophisticated retail media network focuses on brand-positive environments across display ads, social media, search ads, audio, and TV. Launched in 2007, Roundel has grown to a $1 billion business, and expects to reach $2 billion in the next few years.

UberEats for Merchants, Media

Uber Eats for Merchants

From Uber’s rideshare service to Uber Eats food delivery and more, Uber has evolved time and time again to create new opportunities for revenue and growth. In 2019, TechCrunch confirmed that Uber was entering the ad space, with the intention to explore ads within the Uber Eats app. 

Fast forward to Q1 2022, and Uber is touting advertising as an investor highlight, with active advertising merchants growing to over 200K, nearly doubling YoY. Today, Uber Eats for Merchants invites restaurants, grocery stores, florists, retailers, and other businesses to tap into its global platform, to connect with customers, gain actionable data insights, and unlock new opportunities.

84.51, Media, Kroger Precision Marketing

Kroger and 84.51°

Kroger’s retail media program, Kroger Precision Marketing (KPM) powered by 84.51°, puts customers first with its cross-channel advertising platform. Using insights from more than 60 million annual customers, KPM creates a seamless shopping experience while protecting customer data and creating a more addressable, actionable, and accessible media landscape. In 2020, KPM’s revenue increased by 135%, helping to contribute $150 million in incremental operating profit, according to Adweek.

Embracing Change in a Shifting Business Landscape

Wherever you are in your retail media network journey, there’s one shared certainty for us all: change. Retail media networks are evolving rapidly, accelerated by market conditions including:

  • New pressures to find and add high-growth revenue sources
  • Supply chain interruptions and labor shortages stemming from the pandemic
  • Rising costs in traditional digital advertising
  • Advertisers’ desire for more transparent analytics
  • Increased privacy concerns and dramatic changes in ad tracking (i.e., browsers such as Google are moving to dismantle third-party cookies, giving rise to first-party data as an advertising premium)

At V2, we’re having a growing number of conversations with retail media networks, focused on the tech stack investments needed to scale and how to best future-proof ad sales strategies. As an official launch partner for Salesforce Media Cloud, V2 is the top firm worldwide that has implemented Salesforce as a critical retail media network infrastructure. Given this perspective, we’re excited to share insights to help you navigate the retail media network landscape, build your own retail media network and strengthen the results of your ad sales business today.

Investing in the Right RMN Tools

to Drive Sustainable Growth

When it comes to retail media networks, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. With different workflows, clients, resources, budgets, and teams, you’ll want to hone your strategy and technology to suit your business.

Retail media networks allow growing brands to create a level playing field to counter market pressures and deliver a better experience for consumers and advertisers. In our next blog post, we’ll talk about retail media network strategy to help you drive success.

Ready to talk now? Contact us today to discuss your business challenges and retail media needs. We’re happy to help you jumpstart solutions and ideas during a complimentary 30-minute strategy session — we’d love to hear from you!

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