David Glaza
August 02,2023
3 min. to read

What’s changed in Retail Media in the last year?

Fellow retail media followers, it’s been one year since my appearance on the CPGguys podcast! I wondered if my answers would withstand the test of time. I have returned today with 7 key takeaways from that podcast, along with some exciting 1 year later updates!

1- MOMENTUM IS PICKING UP WITH THE BIG BRANDS

The rise of retail media has indeed leveled the playing field for established and digitally native brands to gain awareness. But in the past year, I’ve witnessed large-scale CPG momentum picking up. They’re wisely investing their resources, making it tougher for small startups to buy their way to shelf relevance.

Circle coupon count is increasing month over month. This maybe due to recession fears or a higher sense of retail media planning. Likely both. DIGITS tracks offers – get your own custom report HERE to see how your competitors are using Circle.

2- CPGs ARE MOVING TOWARDS AN INTEGATED MODEL

In the quest for success in the omni-channel world, brands need the right combination of capabilities, resources, and mindset. CPGs are moving towards an integrated model, bringing digital capabilities closer to the individual retailer via onsite sales teams. We’ve seen this with some of our top CPG partners. Search and off-site campaign conversations now occur in sales meetings!

3- PERSONALIZATION EXISTS BUT IS NOT SOCIAL

The integration of social media into retail apps had been revolutionary when Target launched Cartwheel, but that function eventually was sunset. Even though the social shopping for coupons concept hasn’t fully taken hold, those themes of personalization, trending deals and influencers remain. Target has introduced user-generated Instagram posts and leans on “buy-it again” functionality in keyword searches, just like the original Cartwheel social integrations. And influencer accounts are popping up on Instagram and TikTok. Shoppers are looking for their “friends” to help them figure out what to buy…even on boring items like dish soap and toilet paper. It seems Cartwheel’s idea was right!

4- LACK OF UX INNOVATION & LONGER TAIL SEARCH

Ah, the state of customer experience on omni-channel grocery retail sites! Sadly, not all retailers have caught up with Walmart and Target. It’s high time they improve user experience (UX) to save shoppers time, enhance product discovery, and create engaging digital shopping experiences. Meaningful innovation has been scarce from regional or national grocers. And with search, even the big boys aren’t doing it very well on anything beyond core 1 item keywords. Try searching “new food items” into Target.com and see what you get. It’s not good.

5- DRIVE-UP RETURNS

Buy online pick up in-store (BOPIS) or curbside grocery orders lead to additional in-store purchases, but Target’s genius move with DriveUp returns and add-on purchases bucks this trend. They understand what shoppers truly desire – never leaving my car. Kudos to them for rolling it out and not being worried about cannabalizing themselves.

6- SELF-SERVE PROGRAMMATIC

Retail Media Networks (RMN) are moving away from managed service campaigns, allowing brands and agencies to use their data how they see fit themselves. Both are winners here with more brand control and reduced retail overhead. Brands are taking ownership of placements, audiences, and off-site media strategies. The landscape is shifting and agencies and brand media teams are filling the void.

7- LIVE SHOPPING STILL EXCITES US, BUT HOW?

As for the future of retail media, live shopping and influencers intrigue us! Scaling and organizing fragmented influencer-driven video sales will be a real challenge, but we at Digits keep our eyes fixed on this exciting frontier. Smart brands will need to cultivate this environment of mini-sales driving campaigns. Retailers need to lean in – imagine Circle week live streamed by Krazy Coupon Lady! Wouldn’t that be cool?!

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, retail media is growing and changing but not all of our predictions come true 1 year later. The channel importance will only grow, especially for omni-channel retailers as it serves as the modern-day equivalent of traditional advertising, providing brands easier access to their target audience.

Dave Glaza, Founder & CEO of DIGITS , remains committed to bringing digital capabilities to physical stores! Join me in this quest for omnichannel marketing on LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidglaza/

Follow DIGITS on LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/company/digits-agency/