Retail media: all you need to know to launch your strategy

  Reading time:  
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, e-commerce has experienced a real boom: retailers, for many used to offline marketing devices, have found themselves having to think about their digital transformation, and in particular about their digital marketing strategy.

In this context, retail media has become even more relevant than before. It’s an advertising technique, which consists of positioning targeted advertisements directly on your consumers’ buying journey, to encourage them to buy your product. 
It’s no surprise that retail media exploded the way it did. According to the Retail Media Advertising 2021 study, there was a 27.8% increase in ad spending on this format, making it reach 23.92 billion US dollars in 2021.

Want to discover more about it? Learn in this post the keys to retail media, and all its benefits for your own brand.

What is retail media?

As you have read above, retail media consists in placing advertisements on the consumer's shopping journey. 
Retail media can now be done in omnichannel, and you can distinguish two different types of strategies: 

  • On one hand, in-store retail media, also known as point-of-sale advertising (or POS). This type of strategy consists in positioning physical advertisements in the retailers' own stores. This is achieved through ads that are displayed on different touch points, for example when the consumer scans his products in the store via a scanner, or at the checkout, at the end of his shopping experience.
  • On the other hand, digital retail media (also called e-retail media). These marketing actions consist of placing advertisements on the e-commerce sites of distributors who offer this auction system.

Complementary marketing strategies that can help you generate sales or retain existing customers, while enhancing the customer experience you create around your brand!

How has retail media evolved over the years?

The concept of retail media is not new. In fact, "traditional" retail media is already old: many retailers have been offering devices for brands to communicate in their stores for a long time. 
E-retail media, on the other hand, appeared in the early 2000s, with firms such as Rakuten (from 2005) developing their own digital advertising devices. But digital retail media will explode only with Amazon which, in 2010, provides brands with a system of auctioning advertising space on its e-commerce site (Amazon Advertising). 

Since then, retail media has developed further, and the concept continues to grow yearly. Between 2021 and 2022, retail media has seen an average growth of 65.1%, while specialists predict that the digital share of retail media will increase by 29% in Europe over the next three years.
All these statistics prove that the concept, both in its physical and digital forms, has come a long way and has developed along with the appetite of the targets for digital.

Now, to monetize their web audiences, many e-commerce sites have launched their own advertising network: 

  • Marketplaces
  • Consumer goods stores
  • Specialised retailers

And the good news is that the more this digital advertising device has evolved, the more these retailers have given advertisers access to data, to help them personalize their messages and generate more visibility for their brand, as well as additional sales. 
So many Big Data levers to activate to ensure that you achieve your marketing goals on the customer journey that your targets go through!

Why should you embark on your own retail media strategy?

As you can see, retail is the technique to integrate into your digital strategy. Brands have understood its importance: 92% of advertisers and 73% of agencies plan to integrate retail media into their strategic media plan over the next 12 months.

Despite this, are you still hesitating to add retail media to your digital strategy? Here are some good reasons to get started!

"In a context where consumers are subjected to numerous advertising activations via various levers, it is necessary for advertisers to stand out by personalizing their messages to the maximum. So, to reach your targets optimally today, it is crucial that you adopt a retail media strategy. This ultra-granular and brandsafe targeting method will allow you to meet all types of marketing objectives. Think about the complementarity of digital and in-store strategies for even more performance! You will then ensure an optimal customer experience and a maximum reach.” Marjorie Lechardeur, Data Retail Manager pour les secteurs Auto, High-Tech & Home at Gamned!

A technique that your consumers and prospects like

First of all, you should know that retail media is an advertising technique that adapts well to your targets' expectations. Not as intrusive as other techniques, very personalised, your retail media ads allow you to create an optimal user experience for your potential customers. 
Indeed, your audience uses e-commerce sites as sources of information, or even as comparators: your prospects and customers are already well engaged in their purchasing process, and well-targeted ads can help them in their decisions.

A very diverse set of marketing goals you can reach

Of course, retail media allows you to generate additional sales. However, this advertising technique is also suitable for other types of marketing objectives: awareness, loyalty or drive-to-store. However, you will have to adapt your segmentation and personalisation methods to reach these different objectives. 

"Basket modeled" audiences are key: understanding which shoppers are the same type or which customers might be, based on what else they buy in the store.

Loyalty programs can replace third-party cookies and help identify shoppers. They share their data with the retailer with their consent and identify audiences through the retailers' wealth of data from loyal shoppers.

A very fine targeting

Among all the webmarketing advertising devices, retail media is undoubtedly one of those that allows marketing teams to access the most granular audiences. Indeed, e-commerce sites' advertising networks provide their advertisers with a huge amount of customer data. 
You can take advantage of the transactional, declarative and behavioral data available, both online and offline: shopping cart content, location, product type, buyer profile, purchase mode, purchase frequency... 
The goal being to create ultra-targeted programmatic ads, where you can optimize the message for better performance. 

An ROI oriented technique

Are you looking for advertising channels that allow you to spend your marketing budgets wisely? Then retail media is for you, as it is a communication strategy that is ROI oriented by nature
Thanks to it, you can easily track the key metrics related to your advertising campaigns and continuously optimize your device for better performance.

A brandsafe advertising method

Moreover, retail media offers, in general, an excellent Return On Investment: the competition is still weak on the market, and the latter is, for the moment, far from being saturated.

As any marketer implementing advertising campaigns knows, it's crucial for a brand to ensure that an advertising device is brandsafe. 
In a retail media strategy, no worries: you know exactly where you are communicating (on the distributor's sites selected by you), and you make sure that your ads and their environment will not harm your brand image.

A wise strategy in a cookieless world

You may have already heard that the world of digital marketing and communication is slowly becoming "cookieless": third-party cookies are bound to disappear, undermining some digital marketing strategies. 
However, retail media will not be affected by this world without third-party cookies! Indeed, in a retail media strategy, the advertiser has direct access to the first-party data of the site on which he wants to communicate, which allows him to avoid using third-party cookies. 

Thus, 91% of advertisers and 76% of agencies perceive retail media as a solution to third-party cookie depreciation.

You now know the ins and outs of retail media. Want to take advantage of an extended audience to launch your own retail media campaigns? Discover Valiuz’s offer, and start reaching your target-audience at the best moment: directly on their buying journey!


Six Steps to Sustainable Digital Advertising

Find out more


CSR: The Core Element for Sustainable Digital Advertising

Find out more



Tell us who you are, we will tell you which digital activations to adopt!