Retail media advertising was among the fastest-growing U.S. advertising channels, soaring 22% year-over-year, according to the IAB. It’s expected to more than double over the next five years to $107 billion. By the end of 2027, eMarketer predicts that it will account for more than a quarter of US digital ad spend.
With retail media’s access to retailer first-party data aka verified shoppers, an advertiser can gain insight into actual shopper purchase behavior, better inform campaign strategy and tactics, and efficiently connect along the shopper path to purchase. But there are sizable issues to conquer before Retail Media Networks can deliver on the promised opportunities to advertisers. Frequently, retailers lack sufficient first-party data. This lack of scale is a result of limited loyalty and reward member transactions – and in some cases, just absolute business size. Without sufficient first-party data, advertisers will show little interest in directing resources to a particular retail media network. Not to mention, even if retailers have sufficient first-party data, it may come in aggregated form; meaning advertisers are required to make broad assumptions, possess limited flexibility in audience creation, and lose the ability to personalize communications.
Now scale may not be an issue with national chains like Walmart or Kroger-Albertsons, whose sheer size attracts advertisers to their respective media networks. But retailers may still not offer what advertisers really crave—access to verified individual shoppers and the purchase data behind them. It’s predominantly the regional retailers who struggle to garner advertiser media investment given their scale and lack of first-party data. But these retailers also present a tremendous opportunity to the advertising community given their conduit to a hard-to-reach shopper population (30% of US Grocery & 65% of convenience sales) and their willingness to offer access to granular levels of shopper data that the tier 1 retailers have not been willing to or cannot provide.
In today’s intense economic climate where investments need to clear increasingly demanding return hurdles, advertisers need access to verified shopper data at the individual level, not aggregated views – but access to individual shopper purchase behavior and preferences. With this level of fidelity, coupled with sufficient first-party scale, the disappearance of cookies will not inhibit an advertiser’s ability to significantly expand, improve and enrich shopper engagement and experience.
Resolving the collaboration challenge
First, it involves significantly expanding and enriching retailer first-party data. This means going beyond loyalty data and identifying and profiling the unknown shopper.
It also means addressing the individual retailers scale issues by bringing regional grocers and convenience players together and seamlessly integrating their datasets in a privacy-safe way, delivering to advertisers a national footprint of individual verified shoppers with a level of purchase data fidelity available across both loyalty and non-loyalty shoppers.
Rippl, the data and media network powered by Bridg’s data and audience platform, was launched to specifically address the challenges facing regional retailers, advertisers, and retail media collaboration. Rippl provides advertisers access to individual shoppers in a privacy-safe way that might be otherwise hard to reach. This helps advertisers engage a shopper population that’s not always represented or clearly visible in aggregated data.
Rippl’s network brings together regional retailers and provides advertisers with a single point of access that allows the creation of audiences that span retailers, generating the scale that makes it possible to invest, simpler to leverage and more cost effective for a brand to activate.
Delivering what advertisers expect from retail media
Rippl ushers in a new era of data-driven possibilities for advertisers, providing access to individual shoppers and their SKU-level purchase data at scale; delivering new and unique insights that drive improved strategic and tactical decision making. With this single source of truth across loyalty and non-loyalty shoppers, advertisers now have the means to create tailored audiences based on individuals and their actual product preferences, enabling personalization at scale.
With daily visibility into the retailer's point of sale transactions, coupled with the ad exposure files from the activation platforms, advertisers can close the loop and measure actual sales impact in a standardized manner driven by the retail media investment—isolating tactics that may have impacted the shopper whether an in-store ad or other type of media.
The promise of retail media advertising is no longer a promise. The ultimate demise of cookies, lack of first-party data and shopper data fidelity no longer present a barrier for advertisers to significantly enhance individual shopper engagement. With Rippl, advertisers now have the means to engage not only loyalty, but non-loyal shoppers based on SKU-level purchase intelligence. Personalization at scale is now the norm, not the exception. And measuring campaign performance in a closed-loop manner across retailers is now reality.