Exchange Wire: Retail media around the globe
Looking at the Americas as a whole, at first glance the conjoined continents strongly mimic APAC in terms of their retail media development. The dominant market of the US is highly exposed to a single player (Amazon), while growth elsewhere is surging. Brazil (+26.8%); Argentina (+26%) and Mexico (+21.1%) join the aforementioned swathe of APAC countries in the top ten by growth.
Turning back to the US, Amazon’s sky-high share of total retail media dollars (77.7%) should not prove discouraging to retailers and their technology partners. This high over-exposure simply represents the growth opportunity for other providers, one already being explored by Walmart, Target, and Kroger. The competitive margins of 70%-90% in retail media vastly surpass those of strong-performing verticals such as beauty (38%) and home improvement (34%) will likely lead to further retailers joining the fray, along with movement from non-goods retailers, with the travel/airline industry cited as one sector ripe for retail media expansion.
Of US retailers exploring retail media, one notable factor is their openness to third-party partners. Whether it’s Walmart’s collaboration with The Trade Desk, or Target’s work with Citrus Ad, US retailers are recognising how partners can help their brand partners, and ultimately their customers, via additional functionality and further closing the loop between sales data and marketing output. Kroger has taken this one step further, opening its platform to a number of partners such as Pacvue, Skai and Flywheel Digital from day one, and displaying a willingness to work with multiple others. Speaking to ExchangeWire, Michael Schuh, VP of media strategy at Kroger Precision Marketing, explained how this accountability piece is critical for the future growth of the business, stating, “Retail media is setting a high bar for media performance and accountability in North America. Kroger created our retail media business – Kroger Precision Marketing – over four years ago to help CPG brands be more effective in advertising. The closed-loop reporting of retail media - the ability to compare a media exposure to online and in-store sales - means that greater-accountability for performance is baked-in to our business. Equipped with this first-party sales data across thousands of brands, retail media solutions are delivering sophisticated ad targeting and powerful measurement to CPG advertisers.”
As in Europe, loyalty cards are at the heart of North American retail media efforts. As noted by Schuh, “At Kroger, we think about the value-exchange for our customers every day. Millions of households use loyalty programs because they understand that simple exchange: the more you shop, the more you earn in savings, fuel points, cash back, and community rewards. The result is that 96% of our sales are connected to a loyalty account.”
Exploration of both on-site and off-site activity, including activation across other rapidly-growing channels, such as CTV. Shuch provided an example of this, stating, “On-site advertising - like product listing ads – will continue to be the core of most retail media business as e-commerce expands. But additional growth is coming from off-site media. For example, Kroger Precision Marketing has launched a private ad marketplace which allows brands to use our first-party sales data for programmatic ad targeting and optimisation. Brands can see actual business outcomes like sales, household penetration lift, and return on ad spend. We also have a partnership with Roku to leverage our sales data for targeting and measurement in streaming TV.”