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How Retail Media Networks Are Reshaping Advertising

  • Jules McGinlay
  • 5 min read

Every now and again, changes occur that can truly transform an industry. These unique innovations spur revolutions and encourage evolution. One example of this phenomenon has been the remarkable rise of retail media networks in the advertising industry.

Back in 2012, Amazon was the first company to launch a retail media network. Looking to keep up with the advertising revenue generated by Google and Facebook, Amazon saw an opportunity to broaden its advertising scope. By including marketing features such as pop-up ads and display ads close to the point of purchase, Amazon created something truly innovative, its own retail media network. Few industry observers foresaw the seismic impact of this moment.

Fast forward a decade later and retail media is now revolutionising the way in which companies market to their customers. Retail media networks are changing the ways in which customers interact with advertising in the digital world. Brands and agencies are dedicating ever larger shares of their budgets towards retail media campaigns and tech companies are feverishly developing new and better ways to make retail media more effective and efficient.

Retail Media – The Future of Digital Marketing?

So, are retail media networks really going to be the future of digital marketing and online retail? Or are they simply another short-term marketing gimmick? With The Retail Media Revolution report, LiveRamp and AdWeek Intelligence have taken a deep dive into the impact that the retail media revolution has had on the four biggest key groups: retailers, consumers, brands and agencies, and tech platforms.

The Retail Media Revolution report analyses the current state of retail media and provides insights and predictions on how retail media is evolving, where it is heading, and what challenges it may face in the future.

In this article, we will provide you with a short summary of The Retail Media Revolution report contents. To read ‘The Retail Media Revolution’ report in full, you can download it via this link.

How Retail Media is Impacting Retailers

In the first section of the report, AdWeek writer Lisa Lacy delves into the impact that retail media networks are having on retailers. Her conclusion? It’s all about revenue. Lisa makes the observation that retail media allows retailers to ‘compete for more upper-funnel marketing dollars that would traditionally have gone through a generalist platform like a DSP.’ She also looks at the impact that Retail Media 3.0 will have and discusses the importance of in-house platforms, partnerships and data sharing for retailers.

The Effect of Retail Media on Consumers

Lisa Lacy then follows up her analysis of retailers by focusing on how retail media is reshaping the consumer experience. Lisa looks at how retail media is forcing retailers to improve their websites to enhance the customer shopping experience. Retail media can result in lower prices, provide customers with more exclusive product lines and encourages better communication between customers and retailers.

The article includes quotes from industry heavyweights such as Nich Weinheimer, the General Manager of Strategy at marketing platform Skai, and Elizabeth Marsten, the Senior Director of Strategic Marketplace Services at Tinuiti. Tim Rogers, the Senior Vice President of omnichannel at Criteo and Vihan Sharma, the Executive Vice President of Global Revenue at LiveRamp, also share their expert insights.

The Ways Brands and Agencies Utilise Retail Media

Is retail media now the new normal for brands and agencies? This is the question posed by AdWeek writer Paul Hiebert. Paul takes a close look at just how the Covid-19 pandemic created a massive worldwide shift in consumer behaviour. More people than ever before were purchasing a huge range of goods online. In fact, the article states that ‘ecommerce sales increased from an estimated $159.9 billion in the first quarter of 2020 to $211 billion in the second—the biggest quarter-over-quarter jump the U.S. Census Bureau has ever recorded since it began tracking the category in 1999.’

This huge transformation of how people shop and its effect on brands and agencies is discussed with industry leaders such as Mike Sallette, Vice President of Media Connections at Danone North America, Megan Jones, Head of Media in North America for full-service agency Digitas, and Deirdre McGlashan, Chief Media Officer at global marketing network Stagwell.

Paul looks at how brands and agencies are using retail media to develop new ways of launching products and growing their audience reach. He discusses how retail media is encouraging internal collaboration and forcing brands and agencies to become more innovative and creative in their outlook.

How Tech Platforms Are Transforming Retail Media

In the last article of the report, Patrick Kulp concentrates on the tech angle. Patrick looks at how retail media networks have driven innovations in new technologies such as machine learning and data analytics. He identifies challenges such as how the fragmentation of the marketplace makes it harder for retailers to find the right tech framework for their retail media needs.

The piece details how integration issues between in-store advertising and online campaigns are becoming a concern for stores with physical retail sites. Patrick also discusses how machine-learning tech is helping retail media networks make the most out of first-person data to enhance efficiency and increase scale. Finally, Patrick expounds on the future expansion of the digital media sector.

Patrick draws on data from the Boston Consulting Group and observations on the state of the industry from Ikkjin Ahn, the CEO and co-founder of retail media platform Moloco, Forrester Research analyst Collin Colburn, as well as Jeremy Bondy, the CEO of Liftoff.


The Retail Media Revolution report states that by 2023, retail media networks in the United States are expected to generate more than $52 billion. The report also states that seven out of 10 retail media marketers achieved or exceeded their retail media expectations in the past year with 80% stating they intend to increase their retail media spending in the coming year.

There is no denying the immense impact that retail media networks have had and will continue to have on consumers, advertising agencies, tech companies and retailers. Download The Retail Media Revolution report now and get in touch with LiveRamp to discover how you can harness the power of data for your business.