Retail media: the 5 mistakes to avoid for a successful strategy

Erreurs retail media

Retail media has been around for years. However, with the rise of digital, the concept is being reinvented. With screens increasingly used for shopping, and data being collected by retailers, brands can now deliver personalised messages to consumers directly on their shopping journey, both online and in-store.

For brands, digital retail media is therefore a great opportunity to emerge on new purchase paths, where their product visibility is reduced, and to generate additional sales. However, it is important to know how to use it in a relevant way to maximise the benefits.

When developing your marketing strategy, make sure you don’t make these 5 classic mistakes that make your investment in retail media less ROI effective.

Before you get started: learn everything you need to know about retail media by reading our article 6 questions you may ask yourself about retail media

Mistake 1: Not digitalising your retail media

Before you even begin to develop your retail media strategy, you need to be aware of how your target consumers do their everyday shopping and the buyer journeys they follow.

According to a Harris Interactive & budgetbox study launched in 2018, 1 in 5 French consumers now shop weekly via a screen, either online or in-store (via a scanner or their smartphone).

This new digital practice must be taken into account in your retail media strategies because “connected consumers” are the people with the highest purchasing power: 

  • 46% of connected consumers are families with children (+14 percentage points in comparison with the French population)
  • 36% are 18-34 year olds (+11 points in comparison with the French population) with young parents among them

By not including digital channels in your marketing plan you may miss out on reaching strategic consumers.

The consequence of this market transformation is therefore the necessary increase of your digital budgets. If your target audience is increasingly digital, it is important to properly divide your budget between physical and digital channels.

If we estimate that, in a few years, digital will generate 15 to 20% of the turnover of FMCG brands in France, it currently represents, according to a Kantar study, less than 10% of their budgets. This is a paradox to be overcome in order to exploit this new source of growth more effectively!

Mistake 2: spending more budget on the drive-to-store rather than on the buyer journey

For your advertising to have a real impact on your sales, you need to invest both in drive-to-store (bringing targeted customers to the point of sale) and directly on the buying journey.

The common mistake? Forgetting to invest in in-store retail media, and spending entire budgets on the drive-to-store.

These two levers must not have the same objective in your strategy:

  • In drive-to-store, consumers do not necessarily have the intention to buy: at the beginning of the buying tunnel, they seek information and assess their needs. The drive-to-store can therefore be used by a brand to remain top-of-mind, and to incite consumers to visit the store or the e-commerce website.
  • On the journey, conversion is easier because the point of sale, whether online or in-store, remains the key location for the purchase decision. Communication at the end of the buying tunnel can thus generate business more easily.

Thus, with retail media advertising along the journey, you will be able to promote your products on e-commerce websites or in store, to efficiently increase impulse purchases. Be sure to invest in this key channel, but also make sure that your products are visible at the points of sale.

What’s the point of investing in retail media if your products, in store or online, are not visible enough to be bought? Focus as much on your retail media strategy as on your presence at the point of sale, for optimal product visibility.

Mistake 3: Not exploiting the potential of data

Nowadays, digitalisation means data, and it would be a shame not to take advantage of the abundance of data collected by retailers when running your digital campaigns.

The goal of any successful retail media strategy today is to carry out targeted campaigns, with a personalised message based on the target’s profile. In short, FMCG brands must aim for the optimal: deliver the right FMCG product, at the right time, to the right consumer.

Ultimately, thanks to the quantity of data and the constant improvements in processing it, brands will be able to further contextualise their message for their targeted audiences.

This is an ongoing challenge in retail, inspired by examples such as McDonald’s which uses digital screens to encourage consumers to complement their purchases with relevant additional products as they place their orders. Products can also be suggested based on specific data such as the time of day or the weather.

So why not imagine a future with interactive screens in supermarkets, where the messaging would change according to the customer, the weather, the location…? It’s enough to make you want to improve the personalisation and targeting of your current retail media.

As you have probably realised, the mistake here would be to invest a lot more in retail media placements that are not highly personalised.

Mistake 4: Not thinking omnichannel

With consumers becoming more and more interested in e-commerce, and in particular click & collect, your retail media strategy must be consistent across all purchasing channels, both physical and digital!

Consumers who shop online also shop in stores, and they particularly like consistent communication across all the shopping paths. The Harris Interactive & budgetbox 2018 study, for example, showed that 47% of Drive users also use in-store self-scanning.

You need to think in an omnichannel way to make your retail media activity effective. Consumers expect a smooth shopping experience across all channels, with consistent omnichannel messaging and similar offers both online and offline.

This is what the brand Upfield has done for its Plantafin product line: communicate the same offer, at the same time:

  • Via online sales channels, thanks to product recommendations at the right time on digital purchase paths
  • On in-store digital channels, offering similar product recommendations when customers self-scan related products

Mistake 5: Not adopting a sales-focused perspective

Last but not least mistake on our list: forgetting that the purpose of retail media is to generate turnover.

To keep in mind the business impact of retail media, you need to identify and track the significant KPIs for your FMCG brand. Make sure you are tracking:

  • Audience KPIs: the number of consumers reached, ads, click-through rate on offers, etc.
  • Performance KPIs: conversion rate, number of products sold, turnover generated… and above all the return on investment of your retail media activity.

While the first ones measure awareness of the promoted products, the second set of KPIs focuses on the impact on your sales.

Another major advantage of digital is being able to regularly monitor the performance of your retail media campaigns: you can optimise in real time to make them more efficient and profitable. 

By avoiding these 5 common mistakes, you are now ready to develop a relevant and effective retail media strategy, adapted to the behaviour of your FMCG target audiences!