How are retailers growing their offerings?
Experts have said that the next phase of growth for the industry involves expanding media offerings. Such placements used to be limited to channels such as web site and email ads, but there is now an opportunity to deliver other options for advertisers. Since the majority of consumers still do their food shopping in person, grocery stores can offer more ad placements within physical stores using TV display screens that change, or in-store audio ads. Gas stations are also exploring screen incorporation at the pump. Connected TV, where large retailers already have big partnerships in place—Kroger with Roku, Amazon with "Thursday Night Football" and Target with Disney—is also ripe for more ads. Albertsons is looking into livestream shoppable video partnerships to draw in more advertisers.
And let’s not forget samples. Some retailers are also exploring the idea of product sampling for advertisers, a category that companies such as Gopuff, the Philadelphia-based delivery company, have benefitted from.
As a newcomer, Kohl’s is focusing on fine-tuning its measurement techniques and growing its staffers.
“We are in a phase now where we stood up a whole product suite across a number of different areas and have been working hard on the plumbing behind the scenes that allows us to better measure the performance of our media,” said Revelle. “We are still early in our evolution of our product portfolio—we are actively growing our base of advertisers, investing significantly in technology capabilities, and investing in our team.”
What’s the future?
Since advertisers generally have fixed budgets, it can get increasingly more competitive as retailers compete with each other for ad dollars from brands. To compete, retailers will better hone their personalization strategies to make ads less obvious—better first-party data can help make ads even more seamless and valuable to potential customers, experts say.
A recent study “The Future of Commerce Needs a New Media Approach” from Forrester and Criteo found that “Facing a dizzying array of media management platforms and partners, marketers can feel limited in their ability to effectively optimize media performance and delight customers.” The report added that retailers should seek to “broaden and deepen” offerings for ad buyers “by assessing new inventory opportunities, welcoming non-endemic advertisers, considering additional ad formats, and developing strategies designed to appeal to those with more upper-funnel goals.”