Growth In Retail Media Networks Tops 2023 Forecast By Foot Traffic Analytics Firm

December 30, 2022 by Dave Haynes

The Silicon Valley-based foot traffic analytics firm has produced an interesting white paper looking at 2023 retail trends, putting at the top of its list expected growth in retail media networks.

Retail media networks, long a staple of the digital world, are becoming an increasingly important part of the brick-and-mortar environment – and the result is an exciting opportunity for retailers, landlords, and product companies alike. Retail media networks are creating an exciting opportunity for retailers, landlords, and product companies alike.

Companies like Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and Albertsons are all investing in this channel as a way of increasing revenue and profitability and capitalizing on the immense levels of traffic coming through locations.

For advertisers, the key attraction lies in the level of intent of visitors and the proximity to the point of purchase that physical locations provide. Looking at physical stores for their marketing and advertising value also allows retailers and the product companies that advertise through them to think about audience segmentation in fundamentally different ways.

For example, cross-visitation between a grocer and local fitness chains could be a far better indicator of the performance of protein bar promotions than standard demographic analyses. Even more, retail media networks enable advertisers to think about physical store visits and their unique impressions through a similar lens as that used to think of standard online or television placements. This makes for a better apples to apples comparison and allows advertisers to more effectively measure impact across all advertising channels.

Yet, this is just the beginning. Investments in everything from billboards to end-caps to stadium naming rights and concert promotions also drive a more nuanced and granular ability to measure and analyze. And this means better utilization and efficiency – not to mention the wide opportunity that comes from a marketing channel still in its infancy.  

It could be argued that media networks in retail chains have been around in different iterations for more than 20 years, but the primary difference between then and now is that many to most of the networks that were going in previously were driven by outside parties who were making the investment in technology and infrastructure, planning to sell to third-party advertisers and providing a share of the ad revenues to retailers.

That rarely worked out for the media start-ups or the retailers. Now, the premise is that retailers can make the investment and use these digital media networks as a way to run visual messaging that encourages shoppers to look at, pick up and ideally buy goods that are sold in that store. It’s the difference between screens in a big box DIY store marketing Hyundais and Kias, versus marketing the Samsung and LG home appliances on show in a section of that store.

The companies in this ecosystem that are arguably most attuned to this are PRN (owned by STRATACACHE), which has been doing in-store visual networks since the 1990s (really), and Creative Realities, which acquired Reflect, which has a software platform called AdLogic that was built with endemic, on-premise advertising in mind. also has a list of other trends it says will be evident in retail going forward, such as:

The paper also notes how the COVID era has changed workplaces and led to hybrid working arrangements in many office settings.

The likeliest scenario is that Q1 will bring a boost to the workplace recovery process, though a full return to pre-pandemic norms will remain elusive. Still, many workers do seem to prefer hybrid work to a fully remote model – so offices will continue to play an important function in attracting employees and promoting an appealing company culture.

But the changing role of the office means that location will no longer be a primary concern, since employees who come in a couple times a week will likely be willing to put up with longer commutes. Instead, the focus will shift to investing in amenities, meeting spaces, and other placemaking elements that allow companies to appeal to employees and boost the employer’s value and status. In addition, challenges currently facing some major employers could shift the power balance of where we work more into the hands of employees.

That, in part, means both employers and building owner/operators may have to work harder to create workplace environments that are attractive and compelling – which is a driver behind all those buildings and big office spaces engaging design and creative technology firms to develop big visual statements like office and lobby video walls and other digital features.

The paper is free to download, but will ask for name, email and so on in return.

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