How Retail Media Is Becoming a Circular Movement

Albertsons Media Collective and Inmar Intelligence pros share ways to harness the power of this ever-evolving technology during Grocery Impact
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
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GroceryImpact session retail media
Claire Wyatt of Albertsons Media Collective underscored the power of retail media in a session with Inmar's Leah Logan.

As the use of and interest in retail media accelerates, it’s not just going in one direction. That’s a takeaway from a Nov. 8 session on “Harnessing the Power of Social Media” held during Progressive Grocer’s Grocery Impact event in Orlando, Fla.

Presenter Claire Wyatt, VP of business strategy and marketing science for Albertsons Media Collective, emphasized the power of retail media to connect the dots in a more circular way between shoppers, the physical store and the digital environment, as consumers visit physical stores with changing expectations. “Is there more of a pivot to the customer experience, and how do we integrate those together?” she asked. “I think one of the really exciting things that’s happening in retail is that first, it was monetization, then it moved us to how retail media could be a media platform And now, we see that some of the bigger, more sophisticated retail media networks realize that it can be a flywheel for the broader organization and then the broader organization can be the flywheel for retail media.” Ultimately, she noted, customer-generated data powers retail media networks that enable relevant, appreciated promotions to shoppers, who can find new products and brands. 

Logan also pointed to the widening of the retail media capabilities and goals. “Over the last two years, there has been this pendulum swing back to, ‘How do we united that customer experience via retail media to drive outcomes at the store?’ So we are starting to see more of that glue between traditional retail media teams and merchandising and marketing teams. It’s about offering value-added content during the shopper journey, instead of just reaching customers at specific touchpoints.”

[Read more: "EXCLUSIVE: Albertsons Ushers in New Era of Retail Media"]

Although organizations are approaching retail media differently, based on their own operations and ecosystems, retailers who deploy retail media are balancing the interests of their customers and their brand partners. “Everyone is trying to collaborate to make the space better,” Wyatt noted. 

The collaboration is pulling in other forms of media, including social media.  “As we look towards what retail media is going to become in the future, retail media really is the backbone that is going to power all of these digital channels. We have to look at them collectively,” noted Wyatt. 

The pace of change is unlikely to slow down, as industry stakeholders continue to learn more about how to tap into the power of these networks. “With retail media sitting in that intersection between retail and media and technology. You have to blend those worlds and figure out what the retail media version of these tech enhancements are,” Logan pointed out.

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