Can you share with us some best practices for retailers who want to start their retail media program?
Retail media is about monetizing the assets of retailers to brands. It means that you need technology to scale and monetize properly your solution. The solution can be offline or online. Now the new trend is to have a customer 360 overview of the customer. Beyond silos, so retailers can strengthen the value of the customer. That’s the grail. All retailers are not there, but thanks to technology we will get there.
Is retail media for all retailers?
There’s no minimal size for retailers to do retail media. You need to be significant in terms of the amount of assets that you are monetizing: have a minimum number of stores, a minimum number of data users, some traffic not only in-store, but also online. In other words, you need to have an audience, in order to make it significant for the brands. At the end of the day, you need to move the brands. You need to move the sales. Therefore, you need to activate enough consumers to do that.
How would you prove value to the brands? What key metrics do you have to track?
First of all, retail media is about engaging the customer. It’s not data, it’s data for action. This is what brands are looking for. Retailers are doing retail media as a new source of revenue, but they have to have a minimum viable amount of their audience for the brands. So we are talking about off-site solutions, in-store solutions, radio, TV, or any other option that will help you retarget your audience, sponsor a product, or whatever visibility that you can save on top of your existing website, for instance, e-shop. And on top of that, you need a layer of data in order to get good performance. So that’s why data is so critical in all those retail media solutions. It helps to achieve better performance.
Now, the performance is not about ROAS or ROI. It’s also CTR, the cost per transformation. What kind of performance do you get, if you expose or display your message to 1000 people? How many will come to your brand? How will it change their behavior? How many will buy more? How many will come back to the brand? or how many will try another SKU within the same brand, for instance?
So you have a lot of that data to monitor the performance, not only return on ad expense, that is only an advertising KPI. You also need to focus on your brand-building KPIs.
Do you think COVID has accelerated retail media?
No. I think COVID has not affected that. I think retailers were always looking for nice solutions to engage customers at scale. And this is what retail media is about.
So what would you recommend to a retailer looking to start strategizing the retail media plans?
First of all, to list the portfolio of their assets, because we are talking about monetization: “what are my assets ?” “Am I big enough to monetize it?”, “Am I able to perform scalable campaigns?”, “Am I able to go and get the money from the brand?”
It means that they would need the sales house or someone to help in order to educate the market about the solution and about the brands. It’s not just about getting the money from the brands. It’s also getting some information and being in a sharing process. Now part of the tech is enabling the self-service approach – that is meant to be used as a self-service by brands, by the agencies or by whoever you want. So then the retailers bring the raw material and the tech takes the reading.
And I think in the future, you are not going to have an online sales and offline sales, but a single point of sale, which is not going to be the shopping mall or the website. That’s going to be the, the shopper in itself. And that’s a massive change that we’re seeing for brands in the future, whereas “shopper marketing”, which was really isolated within your point of sale is going to be across the full customer journey. So we’re really going to enter new age of customer journey of shopper marketing, which is going to be applied at each step of the funnel: from your sofa watching TV, to the actual experience of the product itself. So after the actual purchase of the product.
How would you characterize the new role of retail media managers or directors?
Retailers know very well how to buy. They don’t know how to sell. That’s a new job for them. That’s why you need a new generation that understands the relationship between brand and retailer, and not only with a focus on negotiation, to get the best out of the brands in order to bring the P&L up. So that’s very important. We bring this new generation of first of all offsite solutions and on-site solutions as well because being able to talk about programmatic, being able to talk about new business models, like CPC, CPM, RoAS, you need to be educated. That’s why you need to bring the new generation.
And all the other retailers are jumping on that boat: Walmart in the US, Tesco or Ocado in the UK, Carrefour in France or Leclerc… So any market really is seeing the same. The reason why I’m talking about the US and the UK is that grocery they’re the most advanced market in terms of e-commerce. I’m putting China on the side because it’s such a complicated market, but for Germany, Italy, Spain, grocery e-commerce shopping is still in its infancy.
Any war stories you want to share with us or a successful campaign you think the audience would love to hear about?
No, it would be too long 😉. I just want to tell you that all retailers are looking at retail media as the new grail, as the new way to make some business. Here, they need to understand that we are not just here to make some money. We are here to build brands. If there are no brands anymore, there will be no future for them. So that’s why their solution should be sustainable, not advertising only.