CANNES — Retail media is on the verge of exploding and scaling, as offsite and in-store segments experience significant growth.

In this video interview for Beet.TV with CIMM MD Jon Watts at Cannes Lions 2023, Marc Fischli, Executive Managing Director EMEA at Criteo says sees this as an exciting development for the industry.

Retail media is poised to merge the digital marketing efforts of agencies and ad tech industries with the more traditional CRM programs and in-store promotions of retailers.

Relevance is key in retail media

Fischli emphasizes the importance of making advertising fun and engaging for consumers. “I think we need to get back to making advertising fun and something that consumers actually want to see and hear,” he says.

“Whatever we serve up needs to be really relevant – something that consumers want to see, makes sense to them, helps them, brings them forward, not something they see as a bit of a pain.”

Criteo’s retail media platform is a solution that enables retailers to monetize their digital properties by displaying targeted advertisements.

The platform provides retailers with tools to manage their advertising inventory, control ad placements, and measure campaign performance.

The race for retail

Criteo is working with partners on both the supply and demand sides to create a thriving retail media ecosystem:

  • On the supply side, publishers and retailers are looking to leverage their inventory and data to improve their bottom line and strategic objectives.
  • On the demand side, brands are seeking relevance and a more measurable return on their marketing efforts.

According to Fischli, the European retail media market is roughly one and a half to two years behind the US market, with plenty of room for growth. He notes that the UK’s grocery sector is particularly advanced in its thinking and execution, along with some players in Germany and France.

However, medium-sized companies and other segments such as beauty and fashion have only just begun to explore the potential of retail media.

The role of AI and data in retail media

Fischli sees significant potential for AI in retail media, but stresses that “AI is only ever going to be as good as the data that you’re going to put in.”

Retail media’s access to first-party data from data-rich retail partners offers  possibilities for AI-driven optimization.

AI can play a significant role in making trade-off decisions between retail media and CRM promotions, as well as maximizing the value of data from CRM and in-store inventory.