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Retail Media’s Experimental Phase is Over. So, What’s Next?

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The Drum Network – by Diana Abebrese

Retail Media’s Experimental Phase is Over. So, What’s Next?

As the test-and-learn phase of retail media shifts into a period of consolidation, how can retailers take charge in the space? For The Drum's media convergence deep dive, EPAM Continuum’s Diana Abebrese investigates.

You’re probably familiar with the huge figures being tossed around to underline the importance of retail media. In the US, according to Insider Intelligence (to pick just one example), digital retail media spend will grow to $61.2bn by 2024. Such figures are usually supported by phrases such as ‘paradigm shift’ or ‘the next big advertising channel’.

Perhaps you dismiss such claims because you know that growth has historically been driven by Amazon and if you strip Amazon out, the numbers suddenly look far less impressive.

Except that isn’t what’s happening. Case in point: In 2022, Walmart International’s global revenue from advertising was $2.7bn, roughly 10% of net sales. That’s Walmart. Not a tech native. We can’t all be Walmart, but even if your organization is a fraction of the size, imagine what your chief executive’s reaction would be if you told them you’d just identified a source of profit through which you could add 10% to the bottom line.

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