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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Vanisko

Who’s Who in the Retail Media Network World

Retail Media Network Logos on a desktop, tablet, and mobile phone

It seems like every other day another retailer is touting their brand-new and exclusive Retail Media Network. A retail media network is essentially a collection of digital channels and, in some cases, physical in-store assets, owned by a retail company and offered to third-party businesses for advertising purposes. Its first-party data along with data analytics allows retailer media networks to provide a competitive advantage over other advertising channels.   

According to Forbes, 74% of brands have dedicated a portion of their advertising budgets to retail media advertising. The ads themselves can appear in a variety of formats and locations to support different goals, including in prominent placements on search results pages, product pages, category pages, browse pages, onsite, in-store, off-site, and more. 

Here’s a small selection of the who’s who of Retail Media Networks:

1.      Amazon Ads

Amazon was the first RMN and by far the largest one commanding 89% of all RMN ad spend.  With access to over 200 million Prime members in the US, Amazon’s reach is unmatched. With 50% of all shoppers starting their purchase journey on Amazon, you have to sell and advertise on Amazon.  Amazon offers advertisers Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Sponsored Display.  With its introduction of non-endemic advertising, Amazon is opening the world of Retail Media Networks, and their vast warehouse of first-party data, to non-CPG products and services.


2.      Walmart Connect

With over 240 million visitors to its stores every week and 100 million unique online visitors every month, Walmart is the largest retail business in the world. With its expansion into retail media, Walmart Connect can help brands reach relevant audiences across its digital channels.   Walmart Connect is focused on combining in-store and online/app-based shopping as seamlessly as possible. It includes in-app enhancements to guide in-store experiences and adds web-based reviews and ratings to physical product shelves in the store. In addition, partnerships with TikTok, Roku, and Meta may provide enhanced targeting across the marketing funnel.


3.      Target Roundel

Target attracts 14 million in-store visitors and 30 million unique online visitors every week.  Roundel offers onsite and offsite as well as CTV ads with partner publishers and streaming platforms through both self-service and managed service options with no minimum spend. Their strong loyalty program, Target Circle, enriches first-party insights which can be leveraged to reach relevant audiences through ads and offers.


4.      Instacart

With access to 80K retailers in 14K cities in the US and Canada, Instacart is a major player in the grocery delivery business. However, they have repositioned themselves to be a broad grocery technology company with the introduction of the Instacart Platform that gives retailers a slew of options to suit their needs including increased first page visibility, multiple banner display options, and tools that support emerging brands.  Their qualified, low-funnel audience is primed for conversion. 


5.      KPM 8451 (Kroger Precision Marketing)

If the merger gets government approval, Kroger & Albertsons will have approximately 5,000 locations across the US Market making them bigger than Walmart! That’s a lot of shoppers (and their data) to add to your marketing mix. Albertsons has demonstrated leadership in the market by spearheading the development of industry measurement and creative standards for RMNs.


6.      Retail Media+ by Home Depot

With over 2.2 billion annual online store visits, Retail Media+ offers a unique opportunity to tap into the DIY/home improvement audience. Retail Media+ offers onsite, and offsite through retargeted ads and email advertising. Their extensive use of buy online/pick up in-store enables brands to reach niche target audiences at the point of purchase. In addition, they experimented with a “shop the look” campaign on Vizio TVs that used QR codes to direct shoppers right back to the Home Depot website to purchase items they just saw on the “big screen”.


7.      Wayfair

While it doesn’t have the volume of Amazon or Walmart, Wayfair has a distinct niche audience and a massive marketing program to bring users to the site via email, social, app, and push notifications. They’ve also developed a powerful algorithm to provide contextual advertising at scale. 


8.      Best Buy Ads

Another specialty retailer that has a lot to offer brands and advertisers in terms of its strong loyalty program and vast first-party data, Best Buy caters to the in-person shopper. As one of the last brick-and-mortar major electronics and appliance stores with an educated sales team, Best Buy is well-positioned to reach customers in the discovery phase of the buying journey. 


9.      UB Media (Ulta)

As the largest beauty retailer in the country with 1300 brick-and-mortar stores and a cult-like following from its 37 million strong loyalty members, Ulta offers its customers over 25K products from over 600+ brands making it a one-stop shop for all their beauty needs. Ulta is active on social media and has generated strong sales from Snapchat’s AR Shopping Lenses.  


These are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to retailers offering retail media networks. There are tons of other options available. You are sure to find an option that matches your product and campaign goals. But don’t think one size fits all, because it doesn’t.

You should have someone either internally or externally to make sure that you only spend what your company needs to spend to justify your RMN ad budget. A3 Media has 30 years of experience in the CPG space and can assist you with these tough decisions.



About A3 Media

A3 transforms media from an expense into a smart investment. Since 1997, we have successfully helped regional businesses launch new products, expand into new markets and increase sales through media plans that make every dollar spent do more. Our clients include brands such as Yuengling and Ashley Furniture. For more information about how A3 Media can help your digital marketing efforts, please call A3 Media at (610) 631-5500.

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