Retail Media Offers New Opportunities for Brands— Here’s How

The pandemic accelerated customers’ adoption of online and omnichannel shopping. Brand growth now depends on retail media.

Marketers have never faced a noisier advertising landscape than they do today. In fact, it has become incredibly challenging to reach the right audiences with the right messages at the right time—especially at the moment of decision.

Amidst the clutter, there is one channel that stands out for its ability to reach valuable audiences at influential moments across their path to purchase: retail media. With retail media, marketers can cut through the noise, effectively reaching their target audiences. Here’s how.

Putting retail media in the spotlight
Retail media is not new, but its value and offerings have evolved alongside today’s consumers. While ecommerce has been a boon for consumers in lockdown, its prominence started well before the COVID-19 pandemic, attracting site visits, search activity, and customers who were already progressing down the path to purchase.

Ecommerce is now a destination beyond just transactions. It is also being used for product discovery, research, planning, and more. As a result, retail media offers advertising solutions designed to meaningfully connect brands to a retailer’s most valued stakeholder: the customer. Ecommerce has taken a central position in customer’s shopping habits, and brands have taken notice.

What the pandemic has done is accelerate this trend, changing customer behaviour along with it: over half of consumers globally discovered a new form of online shopping in the last few months, and an impressive 80% of these shoppers state that their new behaviours are here to stay.

Connecting the dots in an omnichannel approach
Understanding the changes to customer behaviour is one part of the equation, but how can brands ensure that they are visible at the most crucial parts of the journey? The path to purchase for today’s customer is fragmented: they bounce between in-store browsing and online channels, discovering and researching products on an array of platforms. For instance, Walmart Canada sees nearly half of its customers researching online before shopping in-store, a strategic approach to making shopping trips worthwhile. Connecting with customers during the pre-shopping stage is therefore increasingly vital for brands to ensure they are on the consideration list for in-store transactions.

To boost recognition, brands need to be as visible on retailers’ digital properties as they are in-store—and their advertisements need to be found in locations that feel intuitive to consumers. Once a customer has engaged with one brand channel, they should receive tailored brand messaging across all channels, moving them down the purchase funnel through personalization.

The unique benefit of retail media is its ability to move shoppers seamlessly from pre-shopping to purchase. Brands can influence behaviours when customers are in a purchasing mindset and immediately offer them a seamless way to action on it, a win-win situation for both customers and brands.

Target audiences, measurable results
Famous American merchant and marketing pioneer John Wanamaker once said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half.” Because of their clear line of sight from pre-shopping to purchase, retailers can directly identify which ad dollars are working the hardest and delivering results.

The ability to tap into retailers’ rich first-party data is another major benefit to brands in today’s privacy-first landscape. Retailers hold data on customer demographics, historical purchase behaviours, campaign performance insights, and measurement metrics that reveal true return on ad spend. In some cases, retail media can close the loop from an online impression to in-store sales, offering powerful insights throughout the shopper journey.

Retail is a robust and powerful industry, so it should come as no surprise that more than three quarters of brands agree that their growth depends on retail media . The key for advertisers will be working with trusted and established partners that offer true opportunities for accelerated, shared growth.

Walmart Connect Canada can help you make the most of retail media. Get in touch to continue the conversation.

Dana Toering
Dana Toering is a digital media and technology veteran with over 20 years of experience in high growth industries. In his current role as Vice President of Walmart Connect Canada, Dana is responsible for leading and transforming the business into the number one destination for omnichannel advertising solutions. Before being named Vice President in 2020, Dana held leadership roles in leading digital media and technology-based companies including AOL Canada, Adobe, and Accenture Interactive. With his wealth of experience, Dana brings his unique point-of-view and expert knowledge of the ad-tech ecosystem to Walmart Connect Canada’s industry insight content.
1 Criteo, “Peak to Recovery” Consumer Survey (Global, May 13–29, 2020).
2 Criteo, Forrester Consulting, “Consumer Product Brands: It’s Time to Take Control of Your Retail Media Destiny” (USA, October 2020).
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