The Evolution of Retail Media: Industry Q&A

We ask our ATS Singapore speakers how they see the retail media space evolving and growing, and look at the opportunities and challenges in the nascent space.

Retail media: the convergence of advertising and commerce within the retail environment. As more and more retailers look to leverage the power of digital platforms to deliver targeted messages to shoppers at the point of purchase, how powerful could retail media become?

Before our in-depth discussion at ATS Singapore, we ask some of our speakers for their thoughts on how retail media can evolve and grow. From the strategic partnerships forged between retailers and advertisers to the innovative technologies driving personalised shopping experiences, we uncover the strategies and tactics reshaping the retail landscape.

What the industry thinks

“The next iteration will be more integrated and data-driven”

Retail media in Southeast Asia is rapidly evolving, leveraging the region's high digital adoption rates to create personalized shopping experiences. With a strong foothold due to the proliferation of e-commerce platforms, retail media offers brands targeted advertising opportunities directly at the point of purchase. Scalability is evident as these platforms integrate with payment and logistics services, expanding their reach.

The next iteration of retail media is poised to be more integrated and data-driven. Advancements in AI and machine learning will enable even more precise targeting and measurement, enhancing ROI for advertisers. We'll likely see a seamless blend of online and offline retail media, where digital campaigns influence in-store experiences and vice versa. The future is an interconnected ecosystem where retail media not only advertises but also informs and enhances the shopping journey.

David Hu, Head of Ecommerce Marketplace, APAC MEA, Electrolux

"The ecosystem needs to hit an inflection point of access and affordability”

The advent of retail media networks in SEA is closely following the playbook of the mature markets and it will likely develop faster in the APAC region, learning from the adoption roadmap by brand marketers there.

The RMNs launched by the multi-market, ecommerce marketplaces such as Shoppee, Lazada and Tokopedia within their wall-gardens allowed brands listed in their catalogs a close loop access to end customers, driving a focus on sales conversions & attributable ROAS. With Grab and Carousell following soon with their own RMNs,  leveraging the monetization opportunity of their user data, brand marketers are moving up the value chain of using RMNs for lower funnel (conversion) goals to mid-funnel (consideration) goals.

The revenue success of the early RMN players will embolden the next tier of retail platform owners, both online and offline in nature, to scrutinize the rich user data they have gathered over time, to develop their own data monetization strategies.

While it is relatively easier for digitally native retailers or platforms to get onto the RMN bandwagon, the offline leaning, omni-channel retailers will have to walk more steps on the path of data readiness and organization, before they can open this revenue tap.

It is also important that new platforms are able to offer audience differentiation and incrementality as a channel and a stronger value exchange in brand experience or customer retention, to successfully demand a share in brands’ retail media spends.

The ecosystem that surrounds and supports RMN technology and managed services need to hit an inflection point of access and affordability to drive the next phase of growth in the supply side of retail media networks.

Uma Ranganathan, Head of Solutions Development, Singapore, dentsu

"Retail media networks will have to invest in creating sophisticated ad products."

With brands chasing the addressable, in-market audiences for their products, retail media is set to evolve and capture a larger share of the full-funnel spends (vs currently where we see only lower funnel and promo-led spends being funnelled here – specially for consumables).

However, this will mean that retail media networks will have to invest in creating sophisticated ad products that capture consumers’ attention and provide seamless options for comparing/switching/adding to the basket along the purchase journey with full-funnel reporting, audience insights and real-time optimisations.

Neha Khullar, Marketing & Digital Lead, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Hershey’s

"Retail media has seen rapid growth across the APAC region"

Retail media, once a secondary consideration in the marketing playbook, has emerged as a force that is shaping consumer engagement and brand visibility in APAC. Across markets in the region, retail media has witnessed rapid growth. This growth is fuelled by the dynamic retail landscape, where technology advancements and shifting consumer behaviour gain supremacy.

Retailers across the region have recognised the untapped potential of their online spaces, leveraging them not just for transactions but also as valuable advertising real estate. By leveraging customer data and analytics, they can deliver personalised ads, enhancing the shopping experience while boosting revenue streams.

However, the story does not end here. The next chapter of retail media will likely focus on deeper personalisation, seamless integration across online and offline channels, and the incorporation of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality. Moreover, considerations regarding data privacy and consumer consent will play a crucial role in shaping the future of retail media.

Prayarana Aryan, Head of Ecommerce, APAC, EssenceMediacom

“We’re moving towards being 100% addressable, 100% shoppable & 100% measurable”

I see retail media as a way for marketers to gain back control from the mega platforms and the potential loss of insight. Especially as we move towards the impending reality of the cookieless future. At least while the market remains open in APAC, you can still partner to connect the dots. Its ability to connect across the consumer journey, offline with online and advertisers first party data will unlock the next iteration of digital marketing. It moves us towards a reality that every interaction between brands and people should be 100% addressable, 100% shoppable & 100% measurable.

The richness of data coming from retail media allows us to map growth and anticipate consumer needs like never before. It enables us to move away from using inferred inaccurate signals, instead, start to predict the right need & next best action/product/offer to maximise customer value & experience. The use of retail media allows us to go from planning to activation seamlessly without the loss of precision.

I’m truly excited as this takes us away from an inventory pricing driven conversation with clients to really proving our value as business partners. Delivering and committing to value driven strategies and solutions makes much better recruitment campaigns for our industry too!

Mimi Lu, Head of Strategy, Media APAC, dentsu

We'll be talking about retail media in more depth at ATS Singapore on July 3rd - get your tickets here, or contact sales@thewirecorp.com to discuss sponsorship opportunities.