EMEA State of the Retail Media Industry Study: Commissioned by Criteo and Conducted by Forrester Consulting

Updated on December 21, 2021

As the world shifts to online shopping in greater numbers than ever before, brands are in search of advertising strategies that better reach consumers and provide value. Retail media is one such strategy that is gaining momentum, thanks in part to the control and transparency it offers consumer product marketers. As a relatively young industry in EMEA, retail media shows great promise for brands but is still evolving to meet its full potential.

To learn more about the emerging retail media space, uncover the obstacles preventing brands from optimizing their retail media strategies, and find out what brands can do to take control of their retail media destinies, we commissioned Forrester Consulting this past August to survey 109 European consumer product marketing decision-makers. Below is a snapshot of the key findings.

To learn more, download the report, Consumer Product Brands: It’s Time to Take Control of Your Retail Media Destiny.

Retail Media Increases ROI for 9 out of 10 European Marketers

Performance is a top priority for consumer product marketers when deciding how to allocate their digital marketing spend. When asked why retail media was an appealing channel, 63% cited its ability to target shoppers with high intent, right at the digital point of sale. Access to consumer insights was also key, with 65% stating that being able to leverage first-party data was a key attraction of retail media. With retail media, brands are able to truly influence high intent shoppers by using retailers’ first party data and purchasing data to personalize the online shopping experience in brand-safe environments.

90% in the study also said that being able to tie sales back to campaigns is a priority for their digital investments. Criteo’s research indicates that retail media has proven to be a strategic investment for savvy brands because it delivers on critical performance KPIs. 95% of respondents shared that their companies have seen an increase in ROI or ROAS due to retail media.

Brands Want to Stop Over Indexing on Walled Gardens

Consumer product brands are increasing their retail media spend in light of its strong performance. However, much of these investments is going toward walled gardens, and our study shows that marketers are aware that this is a problem. According to our research, 89% of marketers are over-indexing on ad spend within retail media walled gardens, and 77% of respondents want to decrease their dependency on them.

The ability to buy and manage campaigns via self-service tools will be essential in moving this sector away from this approach.

Dedicated Leadership and Education is Needed

58% of respondents say there is no clear owner of retail media strategy within their organization, which hinders its optimization and expansion. More than three quarters are uncertain of how much budget should be allocated to this solution but 97% of respondents said they would allocate even more budget to retail media if they better understood and could explain the value proposition for doing so.

To provide this understanding and move the needle for retail media, marketers need dedicated leadership focused on driving a cross-retailer marketing approach. Simplicity is key here. Given that they’re advertising with an average of 20 online retailers, 84% of those surveyed don’t want to have to use numerous platforms to manage multi-retailer campaigns. In addition to being able to manage cross-retailer campaigns in one platform, consumer product marketers want access to first-party data across the open web (86%) and insights to understand how their campaigns impact consumer behavior throughout the buying journey (92%).

EMEA Brands are Reallocating Budgets to Retail Media

More than three-quarters (80%) of respondents are moving funds from traditional, social, and search budgets to fund future retail media investments. This proves that marketers are starting to understand how retailer ad solutions deliver more effective returns than other digital channels.

With 92% of those surveyed saying that the growth of their businesses depends on retail media advertising, now is the time for brands to understand how to optimize their retail media strategies and reduce their reliance on walled gardens. This will require stronger collaboration between brands and retailers.

Brands and Retailers Must Band Together

To level the playing field with retail media walled gardens, brands and retailers need to continue to work together strategically.

Brands must evolve from passive suppliers to active retail business partners, and retailers must leverage third-party platforms and consultants to ensure their solutions provide the attribution, transparency and self-service capabilities that brands demand. As more retailers offer media platforms, brands will inevitably welcome increased digital advertising competition. But by optimizing with retail media, brands can engage with consumers in more meaningful and measurable ways, and ultimately have more control over their own destinies—a win-win for all.

Download the report, Consumer Product Brands: It’s Time to Take Control of Your Retail Media Destiny.

Ann Pyle

Ann revels in finding the simplest and clearest way to convey a thought. Her favorite word is 'moxie', which she tries to embody whenever possible. She's been developing content strategies and writing for the tech and B2B space for more than a decade. This, along with her SEO and advertising agency ...

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