Though many retail media are owned by retailers this is, again, not always the case. Many of the billboards that are considered as retail media are independently owned by specialists who also manage other media outside of the retail sphere.
Currently the retail media group lists 25 different media as being part of the retail media space. These range from car park posters to in store radio stations. Also included, strangely, are certain forms of direct mail marketing.
Retail media are to a large extent defined by their context and so it has a great influence on how they are used. Most retail media reach their audience at or near the point of sale. Research suggests that this is advantageous in terms of swaying purchasing decisions (PoS) 1 though there is a great deal of dispute over the figures involved. This is in part because retail media are a new segment and their measurement is not yet an understood area.
Due to the task oriented nature of activities in the retail environment it is harder for the advertising target to change the channel or leave the advertising environment. This can be viewed as either an advantage or a disadvantage. The opponents of untargeted push media suggest that where a media placement is not relevant to a particular segment of the potential audience this can cause disaffection toward a brand. If a customer has the ability to change channel this disaffection is less likely than simply losing the contact with the irrelevant customer for the duration of the contact. The proponents suggest that media engagement that would have been favourable is avoided and that the inability to avoid the contact prevents this.
Where targeting is available it is generally based on an opt-in approach increasing the target acceptance of marketing communications and so obviating the discussion of advertising avoidance. Retail media are generally tied to an individual retailer and so may not reflect the market for a given product. For a smaller retailer this can lower the ability to apply accurate targeting. Beyond contextual targeting (through the retail environment) very little has been done in terms of targeting most retail media. Exceptions to this are developing, but company confidentiality makes it hard to view the potential targeting mechanisms while they are in the proof of concept phase.
There is potential for conflict of interest between the retailer selling the media and the CPG/FMCG buying the media unless a third party is used as an intermediary. Selection of a third party who can add real value rather than just adding cost can be a difficult process as most third parties have partnerships with one side or the other.
Retail media networks cannot provide the same type of audience measurement techniques as traditional broadcast or print media. Their reach can currently only be measured by looking at national consumer surveys or through the use of loyalty card data. For example, Simmons Market Research Bureau includes a question on grocery shopping, asking which stores a participant shopped at in the last month. This statistic can be used to estimate the monthly traffic, and therefore potential reach, within each chain. Using this information along with other surveys, such as the Food Marketing Institute’s annual U.S. Grocery Shopping Trends survey, the frequency and length of visits can be estimated and therefore a rough approximation made to total Gross Rating Points.