How do you score with retail media in your media mix?

The use of retail media – media shown on the website and in the store of retailers – can be an interesting additional source of income as part of your total online and offline media mix. For which objectives does a selection of retail media give you better scores? And how do you best combine retail media with other channels, such as above the line (ATL), shelf banners and banners on websites? In this article I share some insights.

Much has been written about retail media in recent months. Often from the perspective of retailers and with the aim of making maximum use of this additional source of income. Or from a specific part within the umbrella of retail media, such as the launch of Albert Heijn Sponsored Products, the advertising product of to give products more visibility in the search results.

What are retail media?

By retail media we mean the media displayed on the website and in the store of retailers. In addition, this is supplemented with media on the retailer’s own channels such as social media and newsletters. And also the ads online, but off-site (outside the retailer’s website), those targeted to the retailer’s data can be classified under retail media.

Why retail media?

There are a few key developments that have generated a lot of attention for retail media and set in motion its growth and accelerated professionalization:

  • Growth of visitors on retailers’ platforms and with it the growth of the reach of their websites. The sales forecasts are therefore huge for large retailers that respond to this (over $100 billion).
  • Phasing out of targeting based on 3rd party data due to new privacy legislation and the possibility to use 1st party data from retailers.
  • Rising costs and declining profitability of deployment on Google and Meta lead to the need to spread digital deployment across more platforms.
  • Scarcity in the market for TV spots, due to declining viewing figures for linear TV, and with it the call for additional channels to generate reach.

Different types of

The great thing, but also the complex aspect of retail media, is the diversity. Where with display advertisements you have a handful of banner sizes and with television different spot lengths and positions, the possible use within retail media is many times wider:

  • Digital screens in the store or in the storefront
  • Crate sampling or a flyer in the shopping cart
  • Shed banners, floor stickers and woblers (expressions on refrigerator doors)
  • Sponsored products on the website
  • Banners on the website
  • Positions in the newsletter and/or folder
  • Etc.

Role in the total media mix?

Let’s use a metaphor to make it clearer: suppose you are a coach of a football team. The striker is the performance/lower-funnel bet and the rear guard the upper-funnel, branding and ATL channels. Do you have a complete football team in your hands with the addition of retail media? Or do you use retail media as substitutions to replace other players (channels)?

In my opinion, retail media provide the coach with more players in the selection in total. Imagine, you suddenly have two goalkeepers, five strikers and a heavily occupied midfield. That can lead to more profit! Retail media therefore does not replace your current deployment or channels. The stakes listed in the previous section can be an addition to your media mix.

Objectives and choices

Which choices you make depend on the objectives, budget and your distribution strategy.

More sales/more profit?

Is the target on more sales or on a higher turnover rate? Is it about selling products with a higher AOV (Average order value) or for more margin? Retail media can help by giving certain products more visibility on the retailer’s (digital) shelves. Within the category, for example, you could push certain high-margin products – products that earn the most money – online through sponsored products and use banners between other product groups to generate additional sales.

Defending market share?

Retail media are a very effective tool to use as counter. If your competitor has a heavy presence on TV, retail media offers the possibility to claim the category online with sponsored products and bannering (targeted by retailer data or keywords). But also think about instore media such as radio as offered by some supermarkets.

Increase brand awareness?

Retail media is not just a performance channel. It is also suitable for increasing your brand awareness (obviously brand safe, because your expressions are not shown next to messages about, for example, war, such as on news websites). Here speak the more upper funnel options, such as out of home screens in the facade to the imagination. But also think of the offsite deployment based on data from the retailer or content on the owned channels (newsletter, socials, recipe sites and/or blog). This can be very valuable for both increasing the reach and effectiveness of a campaign.

Launch new products?

Crate sampling, shelf banners, instore test samples; it ensures that new products stand out and end up in the shopping cart earlier. Supplement this with digital screens in the store and top it off with onsite sponsored products, then the entire customer journey is complete and the shopper cannot really ignore the new product.


Retail media, in all its variants, can be a strong standalone medium, but are best served as part of a cross-media campaign. In addition, the more upper funnel media types at retailers can provide strong additional reach. Especially among the group of consumers who cannot be reached via TV, radio or another mass medium.

Closed Loop

Retailers offer the solution for this themselves because they closed loop can measure. The ad is shown on the same platform where the purchase is made. After all, all media efforts remain with them as ‘publisher’. We have already seen beautiful cases of this. This really measures what, for example, the sales uplift is of cross medial (eg instore, DOOH and Online) deployment.

A few examples…

If you have a heavy presence on TV or another ATL channel, you don’t want the consumer to have to search for your products in the store or website. You want these to stand out, that consumers remember the ad and be persuaded to buy. We have seen that synergy (and thus, for example, sales uplifts) is achieved by, for example, using Digital Out Of Home (DOOH), in-store media and online banners. This often happens with a recognizable expression.

But retail media is also very valuable as part of a digital campaign. For example, in addition to the use of, for example, SEA, social and programmatic campaigns where you as an advertiser bid real-time on the available advertising spaces on websites. Customer journeys are anything but linear. For example, a consumer can be the first to come into contact with your brand or product via an advertisement within the inventory from a retailer, to then show further interest via a search or social media engagement at a later date.

Only for the big players?

As far as I’m concerned, you can consider retail media for any cross-media campaign. This of course applies to major players of the FMCGbut a recent one publication of McKinsey also shows that not only FMCG brands and advertisers expect to invest more in retail media in the coming year. The attention for retail media is also growing in sectors such as electronics, beauty, fashion and more. Retail media networks, in turn, are increasingly opening their doors internationally to advertisers whose products are not directly for sale at the retailer where they are advertised. about the latter, non-endemic advertisingwithin retail media, I will go into more detail in a subsequent article.

Source: Frankwatching by

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