In-Store Screens A Tiny Part Of Retail Media Market, But That “Tiny” Spend Could Still Add Up To $1B By 2028

May 20, 2024 by Dave Haynes

The market research firm eMarketer has teased out some insights from a new pay-walled report that looks into the in-store component of retail media networks, confirming growth and big long-term dollar potential, but also laying out some obstacles to adoption.

“With all the buzz over in-store retail media,” Zia Daniell Wigder, the company’s Chief Content Officer, notes on Linkedin, “it’s important to remember it’s a tiny part of the overall picture. Yes, spending is growing quickly; no, it’s not what’s driving growth.”

The $1,000-ish report by Principal Analyst Sarah Marzano – called In-Store Retail Media 2024: How Can Retailers Capitalize On Physical Stores To Drive Retail Growth? – digs into the retail media market, and suggests operators are challenged by “lagging tech capabilities, competing priorities, and unproven new formats create an uncertain path forward for retailers.”

In-store retail media proponents like to cite that 80+% of retail happens in stores, but that hasn’t yet moved the needle substantially on retail media spend – nor will it in the next few years.

Wigder continues:

Today’s high expectations of in-store retail media likely need to be tempered a bit. As Sarah states in her report, “Physical stores offer promising reach, but volume is still a long way off.”

Rome wasn’t built in a day and in-store retail media won’t be, either. Take a hard look at the growth figures, and remember that the real picture will be somewhere between the loudest proponents’ and the biggest detractors’ visions of the future.

It’s interesting, and is in line with other things I have been reading and hearing. In-store screens are probably more buzzy then ever, but less than 1% of the money is going to in-store screens. It is amost all going to mobile and online, with search getting 62% of the spend and the rest going to display advertising.

On the other hand, the chart above suggests in-store spend could triple from the present number and hit $1 billion in the US by 2028. That’s a big number that would counter any suggestions from naysayers that there’s not really much money in the in-store side of retail media.

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