Retail media: the one to watch in 2021

Marketing loves a hot trend and ‘retail media’ has become exactly that in 2021, reports The Drum.

With online shopping via websites and apps rising by 80% as consumers look for safer retail opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic, the amount of money being spent by brands to advertise on those sites and apps has also increased.

Even once we move beyond lockdowns and restrictions, there is little doubt that the boom in online shopping (and by association retail media) will continue. It’s now a matter of turning that data into insights and working out how retail media will develop in 2021.

In conversation with The Drum, Michael Greene, VP of Global Product Solutions, Retail Media at Criteo pointed out that while digital has become the primary channel for selling products, the operating costs cannot be underestimated. By selling advertising, ecommerce retailers are able to recoup some of those costs.

Of course, you need to look further back than Covid-19 to trace the roots of this trend. The Amazon effect has had a huge impact on the way retailers do business. Advertisers have always wanted their brands to be seen by consumers at the point of purchase – Amazon showed them how it could be done. And when they get it right, they can better influence consumers at just the right time – and measure the effectiveness of their advertising spend.

Greene explained that retail media is driven by two key factors. Firstly, the ad spend that would have usually gone towards in-store promotions, signage and physical advertising and secondly, the move away from broadcast spend after the cancellation of so many events. The result has been advertisers’ moving their focus towards more measurable media – at least, until physical stores are able to reopen once again.

This growth in online retail is happening across the board – from expensive electricals (previously sold in stores only) to small grocery spends (previously bought on the way home from work). 

To meet these shifts in consumer habits, retailers are offering next-day delivery and introducing more click and collect options. This move towards a more hybrid version of ecommerce can also be seen in an improved app experience in-store to help consumers find what they’re looking for and streamline their purchases.

In short, retail media is at the heart of how we shop now, and in the future. It may not be a new trend, but it’s going to be a big one in 2021.We want to help your business find solutions to the complex and ever-changing challenges you face. See how multi-channel marketing can empower your brand. Get in touch with the team today.