Retail Media Players to Watch in 2023

Retail Media Players to Watch in 2023

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Retail media is set to reshape the advertising landscape in 2023. 

The recent announcement by Lowe’s that it would be taking more of its retail media network in-house this year is only the beginning. Change is happening throughout the industry, as the largest global retailers become media companies in their own right. In the coming year, even more retail brands are expected to turn their existing websites into full-fledged media networks.

In the U.S. alone, advertisers will spend more than $37 billion on retail media networks this year, an increase of about one-fifth from 2021.

Many of the changes taking place are being powered by the back-end players that provide retailers with technology to monetize their website traffic. Companies like Microsoft, PromoteIQ, CitrusAd, and Zitcha have all announced plans to help power more retailers’ networks this year. 

Industry consolidation is also occurring, with more players partnering in an effort to compete with offerings from Google, Amazon, and others.

Here are five players in the retail media space to keep an eye on in 2023.

1. Microsoft

Microsoft is making a big push into retail media in 2023, launching the Microsoft Retail Advertising Network, along with a suite of capabilities through its PromoteIQ marketing platform. The new retail network will allow retailers to pull from a large pool of brand advertisers. It positions Microsoft as the engine of its own retail media machine, putting the company in direct competition with Google and Amazon.

What to Watch: How will Microsoft’s entrance into the retail media space impact established players like Google and Amazon?

2. Lowe’s 

Lowe’s made headlines earlier this month with news that the company would be exiting its longstanding relationship with CitrusAd, the retail technology firm, and moving its retail media network in-house. The decision is designed to streamline operations for Lowe’s. It may also open the door to additional opportunities for the retailer to share access to relevant customer data and power more personalized digital campaigns. 

What to Watch: What does the loss of Lowe’s as a partner mean for the future of CitrusAd, particularly if other retailers follow in Lowe’s direction and move their retail media networks in-house in 2023?

3. Zitcha

Zitcha builds own-branded retail media businesses by connecting retailers and brands to all marketing channels. Given the retail media industry’s rapid growth in 2022, the Australia-based Zitcha is reportedly looking to expand its presence in the U.S. in 2023. The company recently hired a new chief revenue officer. It also inked a collaborative partnership with PwC Australia, which means both companies will now offer complementary services to retailers and media agencies.

What to Watch: How will collaborative ventures between top retail media players, like Zitcha and PwC, influence the way brands build out their own networks in the coming year?

4. Salesforce

Salesforce isn’t a name you often see mentioned in articles about retail media. However, the company recently announced a series of retail media network innovations coming down the pipeline in 2023, including initiatives aimed at helping retailers grow their ad businesses with first-party data, automation, and workflows.

What to Watch: Big retailers have troves of data that Salesforce would love to get its hands on. How will investing in retail media and entering the advertising business help Salesforce access data that can be used in outside initiatives?

5. Albertsons

Like Lowe’s, Albertsons dove head first into retail media. The company was one of the first grocery chains to make a significant impact in the space. Earlier this month, the Albertsons partnered with Omnicom Media Group on a solution to facilitate ad buys for CPG brands that want to target shoppers through connected TV streaming media. Under the agreement, Omnicom can “meld data” from its system with data from the Albertsons Media Collective retail media arm, providing additional opportunities for brands to target more than 30 million consumers who shop at Albertsons stores in the U.S.

What to Watch: The new agreement between Omnicom and Albertsons means brands can now purchase CTV advertising directly within The Trade Desk, the self-serve platform for ad buyers. They’ll also be able to measure ROI from their buys on their own, without influence from agency partners. How will this partnership play out, and how will being able to measure ROI based on business outcomes impact the way ad buyers design campaigns in the future?

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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