Big box retailers and online retailers today are building up their retail media ad networks to deliver more value to advertisers and strengthen this revenue pipeline.
Though demand side platforms offer advertisers retail media ad network inventories, retailers need to innovate to stand out from the clutter.
It's not merely about attracting a large amount of traffic to one's platform but delivering on multiple parameters. These comprise traffic, quality of first-party data, audience targeting and measurement, and the overall platform experience.
Advertisers want more bang for their buck and ease of use so that they can redesign campaigns in real-time.
Additionally, businesses with a large footprint of physical stores are also innovating with in-store advertising opportunities, leveraging tech to power engaging storytelling, content marketing, and consumer engagement.
We bring you our monthly round-up of what's brewing in this part of the commerce advertising world.
Uber-fast delivery platform Jokr, headquartered in Berlin, launched Jokr Media in March 2022. The platform has a presence in the US, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Chile, and Brazil. Boosting profitability is a core focus for Jokr post the initial expansion stage.
The platform was looking to increase its consumer packaged goods product sales as well as increase profit margins. It will now offer partner brands the opportunity to curate personalized product placements relevant to consumer interests and needs.
Jokr Media's inventory spans a range of marketing placements and solutions. These include in-app banners, sponsored campaigns, and sampling opportunities for consumers.
The platform allows advertisers to place inventory bids and autonomously manage campaigns. The platform began running global pilot campaigns for its brand partners in November 2021 and received positive feedback in anticipation of their final launch.
The platform first made a splash for its 15-minute delivery timeline and managed to establish a first-mover advantage. However, like most delivery platforms, it was built on the backs of massive venture capital funding.
Jokr is now relying on retail media ad networks to achieve higher profitability.
Marriot's Travel Network
As Google aims to phase out third-party cookies by 2023, marketers are gearing up for what has come to be known as the "Cookieapocalypse" with alternatives.
Marriot International, which operates a chain of hotels, timeshare, and residential properties, launched its media network to enable brand advertisers to target its guest list, which includes 164 million members belonging to Marriott's Bonvoy loyalty program.
Interestingly, this is the hospitality industry's first foray into omnichannel cross-platform advertising solutions.
Marriott's launch opens up opportunities for advertisers to offer customized brand experiences and place relevant products and services in front of consumers. For travelers, it opens up doors to make smarter and swifter decisions as they travel.
For instance, advertisers can leverage the Marriott Media Network to target guests via the hotel chain's website and app as well as in-room TVs and digital screens. The first phase was launched in the US and Canada.
The hotelier has partnered with Yahoo, whose ad sales team will lead demand generation across its ad network. This step is expected to have a domino effect on other hotel chains with a massive membership base.
Sam's Club was launched as a membership-based retailer owned and operated by Walmart. The chain recently rebranded its advertising business as the Member Access Platform (MAP) to build its own unique retail media ad network model.
MAP enables advertisers to buy inventory in the format of sponsored search results and product listings on Sam's Club's website and app. The company aims to grow MAP into an omnichannel opportunity to help advertisers engage with Sam's Club consumers across multiple environments.
For instance, brands that are marketers in Sam's Club physical stores can bid to place their products in interesting and relevant ways in front of shoppers within the in-store environment to create relevant engagement.
However, what sets Sam's Club apart is that its consumers are members of an exclusive club, which means that the company has access to real data about their demographics, interests, consumer behavior, and purchase history.
Hence, participating brands can plan campaigns based on access to this real-time and authentic data about Sam's Club members.
This creates a USP for companies with branding looking for a unique media partner. Relevancy and audience targeting can be very specific, which creates value for both advertisers and consumers.
In-store advertising is considered a valuable opportunity for advertisers today - as much as digital advertising is for online retail media ad networks. Take the case of Woolworths, the Australian supermarket and grocery chain founded way back in 1924.
The chain is now getting bullish on building a robust in-store retail media ad network model to be implemented across 1,400 Woolworths food and grocery stores in Australia and New Zealand.
In June 2022, the company announced that it would be monetizing in-store content and advertisement opportunities. The aim is to connect with shoppers through engaging content at a critical point of sale while they are out physically shopping.
The relevance of the content and its ability to translate into in-moment marketing will boost the in-store experience. This paves the way for consumers to increase the number or ticket size of purchases and return for more enhanced shopping experiences.
Types of inventory include front-of-the-store digital totems, behind-the-counter displays, and other types of screens. The thrust on in-store advertising also paves the way to leverage technologies such as geofencing and beacons to curate more in-moment marketing for consumers.
The combined power of these two technologies enables stores to offer discounts and special offers and also understand consumer behaviors as they move around inside physical stores.
Though Amazon kicked off the retail media ad networks revolution, businesses in other sectors such as hospitality and food commerce are catching up.
In-store advertising, a highly under-leveraged opportunity, is now being tapped by businesses to delight consumers and build unique experiences.
Having said that, retailers have merely scratched the surface of the potential for retail media ad networks to scale their models in terms of numbers as well as innovation. This is a space to be watched for the next five to 10 years, as the journey has just begun.