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What should retail media networks consider as key factors for success

Jun 27 2022 , Silvan Peter

Become a necessity and not a choice to bring the right results

In the recent blog, we were able to understand what retail media is and the associated benefits for retail brands. The e-commerce industry is booming for two reasons: firstly, customers' willingness to trust online retailers has grown significantly in recent years with secured payment gateways and with more options to buy products in one place, and secondly, retailers' capacity to deliver products quickly with better customer service/experience. The retail media networks are not just for the retailers but for any B2C businesses like telcos and finance who want to reach a wider pool of consumer audiences in one place. 

Five points to make your retail media network stand out
Broader customer base:
A wide customer base is a prerequisite, but this also poses challenges like marketing spillage when we try to reach the right audience segment, hence the retail media network should provide a comprehensive view of the customer data at different touchpoints, channels, and devices to run more optimized ads. First-party data is no good if the advertisers are not provided with the right customer demographic information to target better. If you are a retailer selling multiple products it is best suggested to choose retail networks like Amazon Advertising or Walmart Connect which has a wide range of customers based and on the other hand, if you are selling a niche product like furniture then it would be ideal to choose retail media networks like Home Depot or Wayfair. 

A connected platform:
Off-site and on-site media options – the retail media network’s first-party data can be used by the advertisers to place display media, social ads, and other off-site ads on publisher sites to get traffic back to the retailer. The e-commerce site cannot be crowded with ads from different advertisers; hence a well-balanced network must allow programmatic advertising capabilities that can target ads to shoppers on other brand-safe sites across the internet world. Seamless connectivity and optimization between all retail media channels - on-site, off-site, and in-store is the right approach.  

Self-service and managed service options:
A retail media network should allow marketers/advertisers to run self-service programmatic ads to have direct access for better tracking of their ad campaigns in real-time, empowering them with better control and ownership. Self-service provides the following options to the mafrketers: 

  • Ad group modifications and creative changes
  • Pricing and bidding adjustments
  • Site preference and targeting optimizations 

Advertisers who don’t have the bandwidth or expertise to run self-service programmatic ads can utilize the managed service options available which have got the right metrics and reporting system in place to understand the return on Ads spent (ROAS) better. Currently, only a few platforms like Amazon Advertising and Walmart connect provide both the options with a rich user interface and user experience, while most others are strong with the managed service option, they are still catching up in the race in providing a comprehensive platform. “Both self-service and Managed Service should allow brands to track their spending to the SKU level”.

Real-time reporting:
Measuring the success of ad campaigns is the most crucial challenge to address, while branding is one of the major focuses of advertisement, a brand will fail if they are not able to make product/service purchase conversions. A granular level tracking of the advertising spends, real-time analytics to optimize campaigns, dashboards & reporting system to measure goal conversion should be the important aspects of a good retail-media networking platform. Apart from the ad campaign metrics, if the platform can provide reports on which are the recently bought products, frequently bought products, more sale happening points, etc. could help advertisers to place personalized shoppable ads. 

Operational efficiency:
Retail-media ad operations could be an evolving thing, but other digital ad operations have gone to the level of AI-based and automation-led ad operations. While choosing the retail-media networks, marketers should focus on platforms that allow programmatic ads of different media types like image, text, and video. A well-structured technical support team that provides 24/7 support and suggestions to optimize their return on ad spend make the ad operations more efficient. 

The above steps can help retailers choose the right retail media network, but to generate a better return on ad spend (ROAS), the advertisers should be clear about their goals which help to identify the platform that ticks most of the checkboxes to success. 

Let’s take a quick tour to find some of the top retail media networks out there in two broad categories and how they approach.

Retain Media Network

Platform Details

Type

Avg. Monthly Unique Visitors

Offering

Amazon Advertising

Owned by - Amazon

Loyalty Program – Amazon Prime

Ad Tech – Amazon Web/API


 
 
 e-commerce – General RMN


 
 
 200 Million+

  • Sponsored Products

  • Sponsored Brands

  • Sponsored Display etc

Walmart Connect

Owned by Walmart

Loyalty Program – Walmart +

Ad Tech – Web/API


 
 Retail out network and e-commerce – General RMN


 
 
 100 Million+

  • Sponsored Products

  • Programmatic Display

  • Social, onsite, and offsite display

  • In-store advertising

Roundel

Owned by Target

Loyalty Program – Roundel Plus

Ad Tech – Criteo

Retail out network and e-commerce – General RMN


 
 
 120 Million+

  • Sponsored Products

  • Google search display

  • On-site and offsite display

  • Connected TV

Retail Media+

Owned by Home Depot

Loyalty Program – Pro Xtra

Ad Tech - PromoteIQ


 
 
 Retail out network and e-commerce – General RMN


 
 
 
 183 Million +

  • Sponsored Products

  • Email

  • Social and Search

  • onsite and offsite ads

Kroger Precision Marketing

Owned by Kroger

Loyalty Program – Club Card

Ad Tech – PromoteIQ


 
 Retail out network and e-commerce – General RMN


 
 
 100 Million+

  • Sponsored Products

  • Banners

  • Coupons

eBay Ads

Owned by eBay
 
 Loyalty Program - 
 N/A

Ad Tech – Web/API


 e-commerce – General RMN
 
 


 
 180 Million+

  • Promoted Displays

  • Email

  • Displays

CVS Media Exchange

Owned by CVS

Loyalty Program – Extra Care
 
 Ad Tech – Criteo


 Retail out network and e-commerce – General RMN


 
 150 Million+

  • Sponsored Products

  • Programmatic display

  • Social

Wayfair Advertising

Owned by Wayfair
 
 Loyalty Program – No

Ad Tech – Web


 
 Retail out network and e-commerce – General RMN


 
 
 39 Million +

  • Sponsored products

  • onsite and offsite advertising

  • promotions

The key to a strong retail media network is a 360 experience for the brands
The future of retail media is bright and prospective, the other retail brands that want to make use of this opportunity should first build a strong customer base with first-party data to use for their own and to build an efficient retail-media network. The underlying fact is that retailers should not just focus on retail media ads but build a comprehensive goal-based strategy of covering, on-site, off-site, and in-store ads to scale ad operations and build an everlasting brand of their own. A successful retail media network must have a positive brand image and a wider customer base with first-party data to reap maximum benefits. 

If you are looking for a comprehensive solution for retail media advertising operations support or automation, write to us at [email protected] or contact us

Read other blogs from the series

Blog 1: Retail media networks redefining online advertising spend

Blog 2: Developing trends in the retail media network

Blog 4: What should Brands look for in Retail Media & Service Platforms?


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