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The future of in-store retail media: Why brands should embrace digitisation

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The rise of eCommerce has disrupted traditional brick-and-mortar retail, prompting many retailers to rethink their strategies. However, physical stores are still a critical part of the retail experience, providing shoppers with a tactile and immersive environment that online shopping cannot replicate. With the advent of digitisation, physical stores are now offering new opportunities for brands to connect with customers through in-store retail media. This article will explore the emerging media opportunity for brands in the digitisation of the physical store and why they should embrace this trend.

What is in-store retail media?

In-store retail media refers to any form of advertising or marketing that occurs within a physical retail location. It includes signage, displays, kiosks, product packaging and other forms of in-store messaging. In-store retail media can be used to promote products, educate customers, build brand awareness, and enhance the overall shopping experience. With the emergence of digitisation in physical stores, in-store retail media is becoming more sophisticated and targeted, offering brands new ways to reach customers. 

According to a report by Insider Intelligence, the digitisation of physical stores presents a significant media opportunity for brands. The report predicts that in-store retail media spending in the US will reach $19 billion in 2023, up from $8.4 billion in 20181. 

Examples of in-store retail media

Brands are using an array of in-store retail media tools to connect with customers. One example is smart shelves, which use sensors to detect when a product is running low and automatically reorder it. Another example is interactive displays, which allow customers to explore products in a more immersive and engaging way. Augmented reality is also being used to create interactive product demos and virtual try-ons. 

In addition to these examples, brands are also using mobile apps and digital signage to deliver targeted messaging to customers. For example, a brand might use a mobile app to send personalised offers to customers while they are shopping in-store or use digital signage to promote a sale or new product. 

What are the main advantages?

There are several advantages of in-store retail media for brands. First, it allows them to reach customers at the point of purchase, when they are most likely to make a buying decision. In-store retail media can help brands increase sales, promote new products, and build brand loyalty. 

Second, in-store retail media can be used to provide customers with valuable information about products. For example, digital displays can show product demos, highlight product features, and offer recommendations based on the customer’s purchase history. 

Third, in-store retail media can help brands collect valuable data about customer behaviour and preferences. By tracking how customers interact with digital displays and other forms of in-store media, brands can gain insights into what products are popular, what messaging resonates with customers, and how to optimise their in-store marketing efforts. 

Challenges and considerations

While in-store retail media presents significant opportunities for brands, it also comes with challenges and considerations. One challenge is the need to balance in-store media with the overall shopping experience. Brands need to ensure that their in-store media is not intrusive or overwhelming, and that it enhances rather than detracts from the shopping experience.

Another consideration is the need to integrate in-store media with other marketing channels. Brands need to ensure that their in-store messaging is consistent with their other marketing efforts and that it reinforces their brand identity.

Finally, brands need to consider the cost of in-store retail media. While digital technologies have made in-store media more accessible, it still requires a significant investment, and brands need to ensure that the ROI justifies the expense.

The future of in-store retail media

The future of in-store retail media looks promising as retailers continue to invest in digital technologies and brands increasingly embrace the digitisation of physical stores. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more sophisticated and targeted in-store media, such as personalised messaging based on individual shopper data. 

Another trend that is likely to emerge is the integration of in-store media with eCommerce. Brands may use in-store media to drive online sales or use online data to inform their in-store marketing efforts. 

In conclusion

By embracing in-store retail media and investing in targeted messaging, brands can increase sales, build brand loyalty, and collect valuable data about customer behaviour and preferences. However, brands need to ensure that their in-store media is integrated with their overall marketing strategy and that it enhances rather than detracts from the shopping experience. 

How can we help Omnichannel strategies

At eBusiness Institute, our team of omnichannel marketing experts can help you develop a tailored strategy that aligns with your brand’s unique needs, ensuring that your in-store media enhances the shopping experience and remains consistent with your overall marketing goals. 

Ready to supercharge your retail strategy?

If you would like to learn more about how in-store retail media can revolutionise your retail strategy and help you stay ahead of the competition, our omnichannel marketing experts are here to help.

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  1. Insider Intelligence. (2021, June 29). In-Store Retail Media 2023.


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