Retail media growth is exploding, and this growth is far from over—in fact, it’s really only getting started. While retail media already accounts for 10.7% of ad spending worldwide and will likely reach $101 billion by the end of 2022, some experts project it growing another 60% by 2027.
Adopting a retail media strategy is an excellent way to grow revenue and remain competitive, but it’s not easy. And, though one of the hardest parts of establishing a retail media network is getting started, scaling an existing retail media strategy can be just as challenging (if not more).
So, how can you refine your strategy and boost your returns?
As the powerhouse behind retail media networks like Walgreens Advertising Group, Epsilon has a wealth of experience in this department. Below, we’ll walk through some top strategies.
Assessing your existing retail media strategy
Before deciding how to proceed with your retail media strategy, it’s important to ensure that what you have in place sets a firm foundation for any future developments. The ideal retail media strategy will vary depending on the nature of an organisation and its goals.
However, most successful approaches share the following common elements:
- They understand their audience’s demographics, priorities, and desires
- They prioritise brand safety and consumers’ privacy
- They maintain strong relationships with their customers and their partners
- They have analytics tools in place to leverage data in decision making
- They know where to place ads on- and off-site and across the customer journey
- They create ad campaigns that are relevant, creative, and engaging
- They have the tools, talent, and departments in place to manage the network
- They understand in-house capabilities and when to hire or outsource talent
How to scale an existing retail media strategy?
Building a scalable retail media strategy is equal parts science and art. The following are actions you can take to make the retail media strategy you already have in place even more effective.
Analyse and leverage your first-party data
Few things are more important to a retail media strategy than first-party data, which takes much of the guesswork out of targeting audiences for ads. First-party information allows advertisers to target specific consumer audiences based on their searches, interactions, and past buys.
First-party data empowers more successful ad campaigns.
Monitoring user behaviours along with other data can give your business a sense of the rate at which your consumer audience is growing. If you can demonstrate to advertisers that you have an expanding customer base, your platform becomes more valuable as an advertising space.
Experiment and utilise your customers
Some major retailers like Amazon have been in the retail media network business for years now, which might seem to suggest that there’s a single well-worn path to success. But this is still new territory for many others; it’s still ripe with opportunities for exploration and experimentation.
One avenue for this is user-generated content. Any platform that allows for or actively solicits user input can be a boon to your entire retail media strategy. Engage users by promoting their content, or find ways to reach out and help them feel active and engaged on your platform.
Beyond this, there are fundamental areas where you should be open to adjustments.
Once you’ve established a retail media strategy, you can evaluate data to see which kinds of retail media advertisements tend to be most effective, where yours fall short of expectations, and how new types of placements or formats could be even more effective.
Build an off-site advertising strategy
Keeping current customers satisfied and engaged is crucial, but for your retail media network strategy to be scalable, you’ll also need to reach new audiences to grow your site traffic and increase your network’s value to advertisers. To stay, they need to be there in the first place.
To that effect, on- and off-site advertising go hand in hand, and taking the time to find the right balance between the two will keep your retail media network expanding at a healthy rate.
Promote integration, avoid fragmentation
Scalable media retail networks are integrated, not fragmented.
Disconnected tech stacks can lead to the loss of data—one of the most valuable assets of a thriving retail media network—at various points across processes. CitrusAd’s media network platform, which is powered by Epsilon, is one example of a tool that makes it easy to monitor and optimise on- and off-site campaigns in one location in real-time.
Keep the customer experience a priority
Retail media strategies stand to improve customer experiences through more personalised and useful ads—and the improved privacy protection that first-party data provides when compared to third-party cookie data.
But the size and engagement of your consumer audience is what gives your retail media network its value. By ensuring your customers have positive experiences across all the ways they interact with your brand, whether that’s in-store or online, you can ensure you have the numbers that advertisers want to see when selecting a retail media network to invest in.
Certain measures can also benefit the customer experience and your retail media network at the same time. Loyalty programs, for example, allow customers to take advantage of sales while giving you access to first-party data that allows you to fill information gaps for more effective retail media advertising.
Keep studying the competition
While your retail media strategy should reflect what’s best for your business, understanding what strategies your competition is utilising will help you remain competitive. Noting what’s effective and what isn’t about their approaches can help you further refine your own.
Enlist the right retail media partners
Successful retail media networks don’t exist on an island.
Partnering with experts who have specialisations in key areas can be the missing puzzle piece for retailers looking to scale their own retail media networks. When it comes to your advertising partners, especially primary ones, it’s important to ensure that your visions align, as customers may conflate the quality of the advertiser’s products and services with your own brand.
Lastly, having support from a media sales and marketing team can help you build brand awareness, expand your consumer audience, create more demand, and build a retail media network capable of helping customers find what they want and generating more revenue.
Scale your retail media strategy with Epsilon
Looking for new partners? Epsilon offers on- and off-site solutions for retailers managing retail media networks. Our turnkey solution powers greater reach, spend, and incremental revenue.
Whether you’re looking to refine your off-site advertising approach to grow your audience, track data to prove your value to brand partners, or optimise your existing retail media network, we have the tools and expertise to help you achieve your desired next steps. If you’re looking for a new fully managed service to help you maintain your retail media network, we’re capable of that, too—we can get your network up in a matter of days after first-party data onboarding.
Ready to continue scaling your retail media strategy? Get in touch with us today.