What is Retail Digital Media (RDM), and how can it help brands drive sales of their products on eRetailer platforms?
Retail Digital Media (RDM) is a crucial marketing tactic for any brand that wants to generate sales via an eRetailer like Amazon or Walmart proven to result in a considerable sales uplift.
It consistently achieves high ROI (return on investment) and drives offline sales as well as online ones, with a year-long study involving nine consumer goods brands showing that £1 on RDM drives £1.94 in sales.
During the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, clothing, pharmaceuticals, electronics, personal care and consumer packaged goods brands have significantly increased their advertising spend in eRetailer media channels like RDM due to its effectiveness in creating conversions.
What is Retail Digital Media?
RDM is digital advertising that targets online shoppers at ‘the optimum moment of receptivity’ – in other words, at the very point in the shopping journey when they are most likely to buy or add a product to their basket to return to later.
RDM harnesses the power of mass media to drive awareness and uses the power of online point-of-sale materials to drive conversions.
Although there is a wide variety of optimised placements and tools, the simplest form of RDM is online banners.
For example, online banners used by a brand like Duracell for placing its battery products on a toy product or category page to remind the shopper to add Duracell batteries to their basket.
RDM can therefore be an incredibly effective way of grasping the attention of casual browsers and turning them into actual conversions.
Why is RDM so important?
As our CEO & Founder Luigi Matrone recently highlighted in a piece on Retail Search that he wrote for Forbes Agency Council, online shoppers are far more likely to visit an eRetailer like Amazon to search for products than they are Google.
Some of the best-performing (Amazon being the very best-performing) eRetailers around the world – for example, Walmart.com, Homedepot.com, Bestbuy.com or Carrefour.fr – are attracting millions of unique visitors every month (the latest statistics show that Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba was attracting 755 million mobile active users each month).
These visitors are looking to shop or simply browse product information, so it’s vital to catch their attention at the right time for conversion.
And while some of those people browsing may not buy a product right there and then, did you know that 88 percent of consumers pre-research products before buying them online or in physical stores? 
The trick is to hook those visitors in with attention-grabbing RDM, and convince them that your product – or range of products – is right for them.
Using to maximum effect along the consumer journey
There is a circular journey consisting of four key stages to always have in mind when designing successful RDM. Those four stages are: Encounter; Consider; Purchase; and Loyalty.
To summarise these:
1. Encounter – eRetailers are crowded spaces full of brands fighting for the attention of shoppers, so how do you ensure yours stands out and grabs the attention of browsers?
Let’s take KitKat – the world-famous chocolate bar – as an example. How can KitKat’s RDM catch the eye of that browser and start them on the journey that starts with piquing their interest? And ends (or creates an ongoing customer journey loop) with them becoming not only a buyer of a single product, but a regular and loyal customer that might buy products across the KitKat range?
Can you associate it with another product or activity – mid-morning coffee with a friend, for instance, or a deserved work break treat?
Or can you time the placement of your RDM with a day or period of the year when consumption of a chocolate treat is likely to be high or expected, such as Valentine’s day or Easter?
2. Consider – At this stage in the consumer journey, make shoppers think about why they should want to buy a product.
For instance, if it’s KitKat, visually emphasise how enjoyable and delicious the product is through a combination of great imagery and copywriting that really hooks online shoppers in.
3. Purchase – This is the stage of the journey where you really need to make sure that your product stands out so that they actually buy it. Why is the Chunky KitKat so much more desirable than any rival product? What makes the Chunky KitKat stand out from the crowd?
4. Loyalty – The journey isn’t finished yet. In fact, we never want it to finish. We don’t want to say ‘thank you and goodbye’ to the shopper, but instead get them to become a loyal and regular customer.
So, you’ve managed to convince the shopper to purchase a packet of Chunky KitKats, but what about the other products you have to offer? Can you tempt the shopper with some KitKat Bites? The peanut variety, for instance? Can you get the shopper to add your products to their favourites list? Can you keep them circling back for more, again and again?
In conclusion – RDM is a powerful tool for driving conversions
With its ability to grab the attention of millions of online shoppers and drive them towards conversion, Retail Digital Media is a gamechanger for everybody playing in the eCommerce field.
But how can you ensure that your teams have the necessary skills to help you stay ahead of the game, and gain a competitive advantage?
RDM is a very important aspect of our Mastering Online Retailing H.O.W. Capability Building program that is designed to rapidly upskill your Sales teams and enable your organisation to maximise eCommerce growth.
Through Mastering Online Retailing, your Key Account Managers and Trade Managers will come to understand the value of RDM as a crucial part of discussions with eRetailers, and learn effective methods for including RDM in negotiations with them.
This article was written and created by the eBusiness Institute team.
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