Advanced Television

Report: Retail media increasingly key for digital advertising

December 7, 2023

Digital media measurement, data and analytics software platform DoubleVerify has released its state of retail media report, The Rise of Retail Media: What to Expect in 2024, surveying over 400 advertisers and agency executives about retail media networks (RMNs) in the UK, US, France and Germany.

The report explores the rapidly expanding retail media market, which includes RMNs provided by retailers or e-commerce platforms.

Key takeaways:

  • The US Leads the Way: 87 per cent of respondents in the US reported that they use retail media networks, and 83 per cent plan to increase their RMN spend, leading all other markets. Ultimately, DV found that the pace of retail media adoption differs between the US and EMEA, showcasing the need for retailers to drive adoption and growth with region-specific goals in mind.
  • The Importance of Trust and Transparency: An overwhelming 91 per cent of respondents buying RMN inventory are working with an ad verification partner today. Additionally, 89 per cent of those polled in the US said: “Ensuring ad quality within retail media networks is important”, followed by 77 per cent in the UK and 73 per cent in France.
  • Brand and Agency Benefits: When asked about the biggest benefits from using retail media networks, 37 per cent of brands cited “reaching target audience” as their top advantage, whereas 32 per cent of agencies highlighted “increased brand awareness”. When evaluating RMN effectiveness, brands predominantly measured success by an “increase in in-store or online sales” (50 per cent), whereas agencies focused on “impressions/reach” (43 per cent).
  • Big E-commerce Representation: A majority surveyed primarily work with Amazon Advertising. Amazon was ranked the #1 most adopted RMN across three of the four markets polled: US (51 per cent), UK (71 per cent), and Germany (51 per cent).
  • Reasons for Choosing RMNs: Nearly half of survey respondents (45 per cent) said their primary goal of advertising with RMNs is to “attract first-time customers”, followed by “targeting specific demographics and product interests” (40 per cent), and “reaching consumers at the point of purchase” (37 per cent).
  • Adoption Challenges: When survey respondents were asked to identify the primary challenges in using RMNs, four issues emerged as top concerns, each cited by 30 per cent of participants: limited targeting options, constrained on-site ad space, high costs, and the absence of ad quality verification by third parties.
  • RMNs Garner High Spend But Strong Return: Among all respondents, nearly half (48 per cent) felt that RMN cost-per-mille (CPM) rates are higher than other channels, with this sentiment being particularly strong among agency executives, as 58 per cent echoed this view. However, when asked about the return on ad spend (ROAS) of retail media, 61 per cent of buyers said they believe RMNs perform better than other channels.

“Retail media has quickly become a key channel in digital advertising, attracting a large share of advertiser ad budgets,” said Mark Zagorski, CEO at DoubleVerify. ”Brands are recognising its value and effectiveness in reaching customers at the purchase point, especially with third-party cookies phasing. Our research provides advertisers and retailers with valuable insights to refine and improve their strategies in this growing and dynamic space.”

DV’s study explored several critical areas of RMN advertising investments:

  • Growth: How high is advertiser demand for RMNs and where is it focused globally?
  • Value: Why are advertisers seeking out RMNs and which KPIs are they focusing on?
  • Challenges: What barriers are limiting future RMN adoption?
  • Verification: How can RMNs and advertisers bridge the ad quality measurement gap?

For the analysis, DV partnered with Sapio Research, focusing on RMN engagement levels, emerging trends, and industry sentiment.

“Retail Media Networks present a valuable marketing opportunity. However, like all advertising on the open web, retail media ad quality is not a guarantee for advertisers or retailers,” added Zagorski. “That’s why DV’s comprehensive suite of solutions offers a standardized measurement and optimisation framework that facilitates transparency, drives performance, and enables the development of more sophisticated retail media strategies.”

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