customer experience retail

In-Store Marketplace Creates Single Integration Point for Retail Media Platforms

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What started as an e-commerce-only platform leveraged by retailers to advertise and promote products online has become much more. Retail media is now predicted to grow 31% this year, to $41 billion. While e-commerce heavyweights like Amazon, Walmart, and Instacart still dominate the space, evolving definitions of the term “retail media” are opening the door to new opportunities for multi-location brands to get in on the action.

“Retail media began as an ecommerce-only platform leveraged to advertise and promote products onsite and offsite,” explains Brent Oakley, CEO of Vibenomics, a location-based Audio Out-of-Home advertising company. “While retailers have made strides towards developing individual in-store solutions, the unified technology to support it hasn’t.”

That changed this week, with the launch of In-Store Marketplace, a first-of-its-kind solution where media service providers like Vibenomics, Mood Media, Sellr Technologies, FuelMedia TV, and WaterStation Technology provide a consistent, single-point of integration for in-store retail media platforms. The solution also enables retail media to easily include a variety of digital audio and display inventory.

Oakley says the launch of the In-Store Marketplace, or ISM, marks the first time retailers have been granted access to a single hub to manage their in-store presence. Previously, brands have individually negotiated digital signage, audio advertising, and in-store displays.

“Multi- and omni-channel shopping journeys already expose customers to a wide variety of visual and audio, print and digital, and experiential communication via in-store merchandise displays,” Oakley says. “Key to the continuation and evolution of that journey is the existence of a marketplace that provides easily-accessible common inventory for in-store media and ad-serving tech.”

By bringing together trusted media providers, the ISM will serve as a single integration point for any retail media platform. Oakley says this has the potential to change how brands and advertisers engage with customers at the point of sale. Providers, like CitrusAd, will also be able to expand their offerings to include in-store without the challenges of integrating disconnected media systems.

“Up to this point, there hasn’t been an in-store hub for retailers to leverage and advertisers to manage their in-store investments,” Oakley says. “Retailers have had to individually manage the advertising assets of digital signage, audio advertising and in-store displays and advertisers found the fragmentation and inconsistency difficult to utilize.”

Oakley attributes recent growth in the retail media space to drops in ROI on advertising methods that were once considered fool-proof, like paid search and social media ads. With advertisers no longer able to rely on cookies for easy access to customers, retail media networks have come to be seen as a safer place for brands to land.

“The sea change to retail media all stems from access to the shopper first-party data,” Oakley says. “Brands are looking to maximize multiple customer touchpoints along the marketing funnel.”

The launch of the ISM should make it even easier for brands to invest in retail media. With the ISM, brands will have access to a one-stop shop to manage their in-store advertising presence. Publishers who work alongside retailers will be able to integrate the ISM directly into their respective retail media platforms. 

“When advertisers are looking at the customer journey, searching for ways to maximize every customer touchpoint, advertising at brick-and-mortar store locations is becoming increasingly appealing. Retail media can provide alternative revenue streams for the grocery and CPG retail sectors,” Oakley says. “ By monetizing the advertising space in stores, retail media is a win-win for advertisers and retailers.”

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.
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