Is retail media a fad? How crucial is the in-store experience? What opportunities lie with non-endemic advertisers? And what are the prevalent myths surrounding retail media?
These were some of the key questions discussed by a trans-Atlantic panel at the Retail Media Summit UK. The panel brought together industry experts:
David Berube, Senior Director of Retail Media and AI, UNFI
Jemma Haley, Business Lead – Retail Media & Supplier Insights, John Lewis Partnership
Rosie Houston, Head, Boots Media Group
Michael Schuh, VP, Media Strategy, Kroger Precision Marketing
James Chandler, IAB UK’s CMO as the moderator.
Q: Is retail media a fad?
Jemma Haley: It's definitely not a flash-in-the-pan. Retail media has existed in various forms for years. What's different now is that retailers can leverage their data to provide brands with more insightful, relevant, targeted, and accountable media. Brands invest in it as a channel, and this is what will make it sustainable in the future.
Michael Schuh: It's easy to focus on the short-term, but we lose sight of the entire history of digital advertising. Programmatic, once siloed, integrated into how digital media is bought and sold. Now, there's retail. I'm excited for the day when retail media is just considered media.
Rosie Houston: In the UK, we have retailers at different levels of maturity. At Boots, we're making real progress with most suppliers, making retail media feel more like a choice and less like a cost of doing business.
Q: How important are stores?
David Berube: Extremely important. There's a misconception that it's all about digital. Over 90% of grocery sales are in-store. Customers might start their journey online, but it's completed in-store.
Michael Schuh: Loyalty programs tied to digital engagement prove that even in-store transactions are influenced by digital. It's not about in-store or online; it's about how you connect with the consumer digitally, regardless of how they shop.
Q: Looking at the UK, do you see things the US overcame a few years ago?
Michael Schuh: The UK has been on the path of e-commerce longer than the US. The US might be a bit ahead in offsite media space, creating audiences and easy connections for brands to buy at scale.
Q: What’s the situation with non-endemic brands?
Rosie Houston: There's an opportunity, but challenges exist. It needs to complement existing retail brands, and customer-centricity is crucial. Commercial agreements with non-endemic brands differ. Using a retailer’s first-party data can work well for non-endemics, as they're interested in audiences.
Q: What’s the biggest myth in retail media today?
Michael Schuh: That retailers don’t want to be challenged by brands.
Jemma Haley: The myth that it's easy for retailers to do. It's not plug-and-play.
David Berube: The myth that it’s a digital-only thing. Stores still matter, and there’s much that can be done to bring it all together.
Rosie Houston: While not a myth, there's a lot of noise in the market. It's important not to follow the noise blindly. Consider your customers and your brand, then make choices.
Register your interest for next year's Retail Media Summit UK:
This year's Retail Media Summit UK, the "Retail Media event of the year," brought together industry professionals from both the UK and the US. It provided insights into the value of retail media for both retailers and brands. Next year's Summit, co-hosted with the Path to Purchase Institute (P2PI), promises to be even more dynamic.
Don't miss the chance to be part of this community shaping the future of retail media. Register your interest today to stay informed and join us as we continue to unlock the potential of retail media together.