CANNES — It may be one of the industry’s hottest new topics – but retail media isn’t necessarily as new as many people may think.

In fact, the trend has been doing the rounds for a couple of decades now.

In this video interview with Beet.TV at Cannes Lions, Sherry Smith, GM of Global Enterprise at Criteo, argues that retail media has been around for longer than people realize.

Retail media’s evolution

“I started about 14 years ago with Triad Retail Media and worked with Walmart at the very early days at the inception of, ‘Hey, we’ve got this offering, here’s something you should be thinking about’,” she recounts.

Over the years, retail media has evolved and now encompasses sponsored product ads, display ad units, and offsite media.

Criteo’s retail media solutions provide advertisers with the opportunity to promote their products and services within the online retail environment.

The growth of retail media has been accelerated by various factors, including “the valuable first-party data, the deprecation of third party cookies, and what happened with COVID,” Smith notes.

This has led to an increase in online shopping and the need for retailers to utilize their data more effectively.

Contrary to popular belief, retail media is not just a US-driven phenomenon.

Smith explains: “We work with over 250 retailers globally. Equally, we’ve got well over 70 retailers in EMEA. And I would say in the APAC region it’s more of the marketplaces.”

Different regions bring different influences to the table, with EMEA focusing on content, the US on digital, and APAC on marketplaces, she says.

Changing the media and advertising industries

Smith believes retail media presents an opportunity for traditional media players. The valuable first-party data that retailers have allows them to connect with their customers in a more intuitive and consumer-friendly way.

“I’m a Nordstrom shopper, I’m a Target shopper. I want them to know me as much as they possibly can. And when they help me make it very intuitive and easy, I want shop there more and more,” she says.

When done well, retail media can deliver better advertising experiences for shoppers, providing more relevant and targeted messaging at the point of purchase.

Smith envisions retail media continuing to evolve, with more integration between retail media and corporate marketing within retailers.

“When you’ve got data at the core, you can’t have a separate strategy over here and one over here. You really need to make sure that that consumer is at the center,” she explains.

You’re watching coverage of the Global Retail Media Summit at Cannes Lions 2023, presented by Criteo & Habu. For more videos from Beet.TV’s Cannes Lions 2023 coverage, please visit this page.