Three Key Insights to Help Retailers Meet Brands’ Commerce Media Needs

By Ashley Chicola / March 22, 2024

Brands and agencies are flocking to commerce media for its powerful targeting, attribution, and consumer insights. However, for retailers and media companies looking to capitalize on this opportunity, there’s a crucial gap to bridge. Before they can become true media partners, they must first understand and adapt to advertisers’ unique goals and pain points.

We surveyed brands, agencies, retailers, and media companies for insight into their challenges, intentions, and strategies in the commerce media space. Below we explore key brand and agency perspectives and what they mean for retailers and media companies looking to launch or expand their own commerce media offering.

Meeting Demand: Catching Up in the Commerce Media Race

Large segments of advertisers have experience running commerce media and RMN campaigns, but adoption among retailers and media companies lags behind – only 42% have launched a commerce media offering compared to 62% of brands and agencies.

While they may be at different stages in their commerce media journeys, both demand and supply-side organizations will continue to build on this momentum in the next 12 -18 months. By 2025, 84% of advertisers and agencies plan to have a formal commerce media/RMN strategy in place, and 74% of media companies and retailers aim to follow suit.

Commerce Media Insights: Companies Pursuing Commerce Media Strategies

Retailer Takeaway 

Demand from advertisers continues to grow, presenting a prime opportunity for retailers and media companies to get into the commerce media game. However, becoming a strategic media partner won’t happen overnight, and retailers will have some catching up to do if they want to capitalize on the millions of ad dollars beginning to flow into this channel.

For retailers and media companies looking to build a commerce media muscle, on-site ads offer a fast and easy way to monetize existing and often under-utilized digital real estate. Even the most niche businesses can leverage formats like post-transaction ads, display banners, and sponsored product ads to improve the consumer experience, increase customer retention, and drive incremental dollars to their bottom line.

Aligning Priorities: Adapting to Brands’ Needs

For brands and agencies, the most attractive benefits of commerce media are the ability to develop targeted content and offers (69%), access better consumer insights (62%), and improve attribution (55%). And while this channel is growing quickly and adding value, there are still a number of industry improvements to be made.

Advertisers’ top three concerns include measurement (67%), reporting (50%), and data sharing (50%), while retailers and media companies are prioritizing client demand (44%), inventory management, targeting capabilities, and optimization tools (all 41%) at the top of their commerce media to-do lists.

Commerce Media Insights: Top Five Areas for Improvement in Commerce Media, According to Brands & Agencies

Retailer Takeaway 

While there is some overlap between brands’ concerns and retailers’ priorities, it is important that all stakeholders align on the core competencies needed for a successful commerce media campaign. This is especially true when it comes to measurement – 67% of brands/agencies list this as a concern, but only 38% of retailers and media companies are taking steps to improve their measurement capabilities.

As retailers and media companies refine their commerce media offerings and address technical hurdles, success will hinge on close collaboration with brands and agencies. This includes anticipating the client’s needs and getting ahead of their expectations – especially as it relates to measurement and reporting. 

But it also requires a careful balancing act. As they forge strong partnerships with advertisers, retailers must also protect their core asset: customer trust. This means safeguarding data privacy and preserving the integrity of the overall customer experience.

Attracting Interest: Unlocking Brand Partnerships

Despite the level of demand-side investment (67% of brands and agencies have increased their budgets for 2024), nearly half of retailers and media companies cite client demand and revenue as one of the biggest challenges to adopting and running advertising on their digital properties.

This raises questions as to whether or not they know how to find brands and agencies, and/or need more effective sales and partnership strategies to drive this segment of their advertising business forward. 

Commerce Media Insights: Top Five Commerce Media Challenges for Retailers & Media Companies

Retailer Takeaway 

Once you have the technical infrastructure in place, it’s important to launch your commerce media offering with a strong go-to-market strategy. This should include creating a comprehensive media kit that outlines available ad formats, pricing models, placement options, and audience composition. 

Relationship building is also important for solidifying your company’s status as a retailer/media company AND advertising partner. Reach out to decision-makers within big advertising organizations and attend industry events like Shoptalk, eTail, and CommerceNext (you can find more events here) to connect with potential partners and share your value proposition.

How Brands & Retailers Can Win in Commerce Media

The success of commerce media as an advertising channel hinges on a delicate balance of brand, agency, and retailer/media companies’ interests. For new supply-side entrants into the space, a keen understanding of advertisers’ priorities will be crucial to developing fruitful partnerships and bringing in advertising revenue. Through close collaboration and a focus on building partnerships, all stakeholders can benefit from the targeted advertising and rich consumer insights that commerce media offers.

Want to learn how to launch a commerce media strategy that keeps brands, agencies, and your bottom line happy? Get in touch with us here.

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