Businesses should always be on the lookout for new ways to promote their brands – and the digital landscape is proving to be the best marketing avenue for many. After all, digital ads can increase brand awareness by 80%.

Furthermore, the amount of money spent on digital advertising is growing considerably each year. The market was valued at $350 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $782.6 billion by 2026. For this reason alone, it’s a marketing strategy that businesses should consider tapping into.

However, widespread investment in digital advertising makes it difficult for marketers to determine which platforms are best. For e-commerce businesses, retail media networks are an excellent choice, as they allow them to connect directly with their target consumers. In fact, an Insider Intelligence report predicted that “retail media spending will reach $45 billion” in 2023 in the US alone.

This article will explore the world of retail media networks, naming seven retail media networks that everyone should watch out for.

What is a retail media network?

A retail media network is a media networking space owned by a retailer. It allows businesses to advertise their products/services through the retailer’s websites, social media, and mobile apps. Businesses can also access in-store advertising opportunities through these platforms, such as digital displays. Advertising through a retail media network allows businesses to directly target their customers instead of sending out more generalized adverts.

The Evolving Landscape of Retail Media Networks

In recent years, retail media networks have proven to be a valuable marketing resource. They’re operated by retail giants, meaning companies that advertise through them can capitalize upon the legacy and the sense of trust they have established with their global customer base.

Using retail media networks ensures that adverts appear when customers are actively shopping for new products, dramatically increasing their chances of purchasing.

The 7 Retail Media Networks Everyone Should Watch Out For

1. Amazon Advertising

A giant in the e-commerce world, it’s hardly surprising that Amazon also operates one of the most successful retail media networks. A recent study found that “Amazon will capture 75.2% of the $45.15 billion US retail media advertising market this year, more than 10 times that of No. 2 Walmart Connect.” This is likely because the platform already has billions of daily users, selling a wide range of products without being confined to a specific niche or market.

There are many different ways in which companies can use Amazon’s retail media network, whether they are placing sponsored ads for products on home, category, and product pages or advertisements on Amazon’s partner sites.

Amazon is a particularly attractive platform due to its continued financial success, even within a difficult economic climate. For example, in Q4, 2022, Amazon saw “ads sales up 19% year-over-year to reach $11.6 billion.” This success continued into 2023, as “Amazon revenue for the twelve months ending September 30, 2023 was $554.028B, a 10.32% increase year-over-year.”

2. Walmart Connect

There’s no denying that Walmart’s retail media platform provides business owners with multiple opportunities to increase sales. After all, they’re a globally recognized brand that has invested heavily in the platform’s growth, doubling its value within 2 years. They reported a 41% growth in Walmart Connect in Q4 of 2022 alone.

Walmart Connect helps customers find products they are looking for online and in-store by incorporating product reviews and information into advertisements or shelves. Buyers are, therefore, able to make more informed purchase decisions, regardless of where they are shopping from. The opportunities for in-store advertising cover an area of the market left open by Amazon, giving advertisers greater flexibility. Because of this, they are now considered “the most promising retail media network” by many sales and marketing experts.

3. Target Roundel

Target’s retail media network aims to “create smart, personalized advertising campaigns that bring guests more of the products and offers they love.” This is achieved by allowing advertisers to utilize their programmatic platforms, The Trade Desk and DV360, alongside high-performing social channels like Pinterest, Facebook, and Google Shopping.

Target Roundel’s retail media platform “has grown by more than 60% over the last two years, delivering over $1 billion in value for Target in both 2021 and 2022.” Target also added 40+ new premium publishers and app inventory opportunities in 2023.

This makes it easier for brands to connect directly with their target consumers,

especially when you consider the fact that “Roundel draws on first-party data derived from the tens of millions of shoppers who visit Target weekly both in-store and online.” (Note: 8 out of every 10 shoppers in the US shop at Target).

4. Retail Media + Home Depot

Retail Media+ Home Depot is the fourth-largest retail media network in the US – an impressive achievement considering it hones in on a particular niche. However, as the Home Depot website receives over 2 billion visitors annually, it’s an excellent choice.

In an interview with Retail Touchpoints, marketing leader Melanie Babcock stated that one of this platform’s major benefits is that it can show business “closed-loop attribution on how that customer interacted with that ad – whether it’s on HomeDepot.com or external sites.” This allows for the curation of more effective marketing campaigns.

A recent study also found that when using Retail Media Plus, customers spend 10% more time on Home Depot’s website and are 26% more likely to convert. 28% of consumers spend more money per visit, too.

5. Kroger Precision Marketing

Much like Retail Media + Home Depot, Kroger Precision Marketing differs in that it caters to a particular niche, this time focusing on groceries. As Kroger serves more than 60 million households annually, this can make it even easier for businesses to connect with their ideal consumer through targeted ads and product sponsorships.

One of the major selling points of Kroger Precision Marketing is that they provide businesses with invaluable insights into customers. For example, they can target advertisements to consumers with specific preferences, such as those who like a specific scent or flavor of a product. Kroger (and businesses) can then use “this type of insight to inform organic search results and paid media placements with a focus on attracting new customers.”

They’ve also invested heavily into third-party fulfillment and delivery opportunities and partnerships with leading brands like Bed Bath and Beyond.

6. Macy’s Media Network

Macy’s Media Network allows brands to grow their business by providing them with access to an array of advertisement opportunities, including sponsored product listings, on-site display advertising, off-site digital media advertising, connected TV, and more. Given that “approximately 41.3 million active customers shopped the Macy’s brand” in 2023 alone, this platform gives brands the exposure they crave.

While it is a little newer than some of the other retail media networks listed in this article (launching in 2020), the platform “is now predicted to attract $61.2 billion in digital ad spend by 2024.”

Macy’s is also heavily investing in improving their media network in the coming years. For example, they are currently implementing a strategy wherein advertisers will be able “to optimize toward their most important KPIs during current campaigns and future ones, as well as bring more personalized advertising to audiences.”

7. Nordstrom Media Network

Nordstrom has also launched their own media network, allowing users to access various digital advertising opportunities, whether they’re hoping to curate featured ads to feature on the Nordstrom website and social channels or look into influencer partnerships. With 32 million annual customers and 18.8 million followers across their social media channels, it’s easy to see why so many businesses are taking on this partnership opportunity.

Customers using Nordstrom Media Network can utilize various advertising channels, including sponsored ads, brand pages, paid social and display ads, YouTube videos, and affiliate campaigns.

While data has not yet been released for 2023, the program generated $40 million in revenue in 2022 while “working with hundreds of brand partners, results that exceeded initial expectations,” despite the general success of retail media networks.

Getting Started with Retail Media Networks

The digital market is constantly evolving to keep up with technological advancements and changing consumer preferences. As a result, retail media networks, backed by large companies, offer a great starting point for brands looking to expand their reach.

After all, they increase brand visibility by enabling them to target specific demographics at times when they are actively shopping for products, as opposed to sending out generic adverts and hoping for the best. By partnering with recognizable brands and leading retailers, brands can also demonstrate to new customers that their products are of a specific quality or standard.

Business owners should conduct careful research ahead of time to ensure that they are putting their best foot forward when using a retail media network. This way, any investment made into this marketing endeavor will be worthwhile, allowing them to boost sales, increase their reach, or grow their customer base – ideally a combination of the three.