In April, IAB Europe organised an event to discuss the opportunities, challenges and future predictions of retail media.

The conference featured several keynote speakers and panel discussions, including insights on the evolving media landscape, consumer behaviours, privacy concerns, and the impact of emerging technologies on retail media. Kristina Conway, Global Commerce Director at Zenith, shared a summary of the event.


Why is retail media important?


Retail media has become one of the fastest growing advertising channels, and by 2026, it is expected to account for over 25% of total digital media spending (source BCG).

IAB Europe forecasts that retail media adspend will reach €25bn in Europe by 2026 as brands increase their investment in retail media advertising – largely driven by the depreciation of third-party cookies.

Also, more channels are opening doors for advertising opportunities. Starting with Amazon, which became one of the biggest advertising platforms globally, more companies are now jumping on this trend by creating new self-serve advertising opportunities.


Retail media opportunities


Following the success of Amazon, more marketplaces and retailers are investing in retail media advertising interfaces to increase brand visibility on their sites. The increase of retail media is driving different opportunities:

  • Brands can gain visibility on different platforms easier and build omnichannel strategies across sales channels.
  • Opening new advertising channels means that brands have access to more insights on sales, audiences, and customers.
  • Retail media ads are focused on ROAS. Ads are shown exactly where the customers are and the moment they are ready to make a purchase.
  • Retail media provides different types of ads so brands can test different creatives in order to achieve the best results.


Retail media challenges


With new opportunities, comes new challenges, and attendees raised some of their top concerns during the conference:

  • Having different channels offering advertising support means that brands need to manage multiple ad consoles consecutively, which all come with different set-ups and interfaces.
  • Prioritisation becomes the key factor for running a successful retail media strategy. Even though it might sound exciting to go bold and launch on every possible channel, retail maturity will play a big role in here.
  • Currently retail is known as the channel with low visibility on brand and category performance. In this technology-driven era, data is the most valuable resource and access to the channel’s insights becomes a mandatory pillar for growth.

Once these challenges are overcome, we can enter a new world with exciting opportunities, where the sky is the limit for growth.


Final thoughts


Retail media is an emerging and exiting topic in the commerce world with retailers of all sizes trying to step into this area. As the advertising opportunities are so close to the customers, retail media helps drive performance for brands and allows customers to explore new products and solutions.

However, this new era of retail media advertising comes with new and different challenges. Brands need to clearly prioritise retail media channels and rethink how to measure success, because what worked before might not be suitable now.

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