The Role of Brick and Mortar within Retail Media

Q&A with Grocery TV’s Director of Marketing, Ashley Nickell

How does in-store advertising fit into retail media strategies?

While the adoption of online shopping continues to grow, the majority (92.6% in 2020) of grocery dollars are still spent in stores. We also recently conducted a survey of 1,000+ grocery shoppers and discovered that 96% are still going into physical stores to buy their groceries.

Additionally, in-store advertising has expanded beyond traditional marketing (e.g. static signage) and, in terms of how it’s planned and tracked, has come closer to online retail media. This opens up opportunities for brands to establish multiple touchpoints with shoppers both online and in stores.

In order for brands to incorporate in-store digital touchpoints into their retail media strategy, they need to consider 1) what role the in-store experience plays in their purchase journey 2) the audience present in a particular retail environment 3) the marketing goals they hope to achieve by reaching their audience in stores. Hint: just like online, in-store retail media can support marketing goals along the funnel from awareness to conversion.

How can every brand, including non-endemic brands, leverage in-store retail media strategies? When brands are sold in particular retailers, they have a huge opportunity to target their customers right where they’re products are and influence their buying decisions in real-time.


Despite some misconceptions, retail media can also be used by non-endemic brands that want to target retailer audiences for their campaign or market tangentially related products. In fact, a large percentage of our campaigns on Grocery TV actually come from partners in non-endemic industries.

A few reasons why non-endemics choose in-store include:

  1. Making an impact with contextual advertising, which involves tailoring your content to suit the environment you’re in.
  2. Establishing touchpoints at highly frequented locations along the purchase journey.
  3. Reaching decision-makers in areas with high dwell times (e.g. grocery store checkout has an average dwell time of 4.5 minutes).

For example, Chase Freedom ran a campaign on our network that not only captured shoppers’ attention while their wallet was out, but included tailored creative that spoke directly to grocery shoppers.

Given that larger brands often have more resources to reach shoppers, how can smaller brands compete in the retail media space?

I’d recommend that smaller brands be more targeted in their approach both in terms of audience definition and the creative they’re running. I’d also run smaller experiments to determine what works.

While a bigger brand might have budget to run ads in all channels, a smaller brand really needs to think about which channel makes sense for each campaign. For example, if a new furniture brand is trying to leverage retail media, they might run programmatic ads on in-store retail media channels in high-traffic locations such as grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants to gain broad awareness. They know that the audiences in these spaces are also likely responsible for purchasing furniture for their household and can target their campaign creatives accordingly. To encourage actual purchases, they might run online retail media ads where their products are sold.

What type of measurement capabilities are available for in-store advertising? There are multiple options available today that’ll help brands measure campaign performance in stores. Here are a few:


  • Foot traffic: Using mobile location data, compare rates of visitation from the people who saw an ad in-store (or near the store) to those that didn’t and analyze the actions of people who saw the ad.
  • Sales lift: Collaborate with retailers and media owners to tie exposed consumers to household purchase data.
  • AI or computer vision: Track verified impressions and gain anonymized audience data.
  • Brand lift: Run studies to evaluate changes in customers’ perception of your brand including recall, awareness, and consideration.

Plus, demand-side platforms (DSPs) are increasingly offering brands more connected campaign planning between online and offline channels, making it easier to track performance and attribution.


What’s something you’re looking forward to seeing more of within retail media?

I’m excited to see more brands take advantage of retargeting between online and in-store marketing channels. Brands that use digital in-store advertising in their retail media strategy can use mobile retargeting to re-engage shoppers exposed to their campaigns on their mobile devices.

Personalized creative is another area that many brands have yet to fully tap into. With retail media, you have access to key first-party data on consumer behavior and buying habits which can help form more targeted campaign content. Brands can also boost engagement by using location-specific creative or even weather triggers.