Six secrets of unleashing the power of retail media

| Article

The $45 billion US retail media market is surging as retailers capitalize on the consumer shift to e-commerce while offering advertisers access to their unique audiences and data insights.1 Yet capturing advertising spending as a retail media network (RMN) is far from guaranteed. Advertisers are spoiled for choice across the RMN landscape, and the number of RMNs is growing by the day. The question is which RMNs will raise the bar to meet the needs of the sophisticated modern marketer.

We have previously busted myths about RMNs and looked at ways Europe’s retail media landscape can evolve.2Busted! Five myths about retail media,” McKinsey, June 7, 2022; and John-David Appleby, Carly Donovan, Craig Macdonald, and Björn Timelin, “Opportunities for e-commerce success in Europe: Retail media networks,” McKinsey, July 5, 2022. In this rapidly changing environment, our latest research on the US market provides a fresh view on the secrets of RMN success, including understanding the following:

  • why demand for RMNs is increasing
  • how advertisers are shopping around
  • elements of a winning value proposition for RMNs
  • what channels advertisers are prioritizing for RMN investment
  • add-on features that drive a premium
  • advertiser pain points to address

Even as companies cut marketing budgets and hunker down amid economic uncertainty, RMNs attract a larger share of the advertising pie. But retaining that spend and growing it further requires understanding and addressing what advertisers want and need before they go elsewhere.

RMNs are in high demand

It’s time to act: A big retail media network land grab.

Spending must be earned

Identifying a winning proposition and delivering for advertisers is critical.

Providing differentiated value is a must

Invest in features brands care about.

Dial up the right channels

Know what works and double down.

Premium features drive spending

Advertisers will pay for greater insight into performance.

Identify and quickly address pervasive issues

Advertisers struggle most with retail media network data sharing and reporting.
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