SANTA MONICA, CA — Retail media continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments of advertising, as more ecommerce operators light up their digital shelves as ad inventory.

But retail media can serve more than just retail, according to one agency specialist in the space.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Amie Owen, US Head of Commerce, UM Worldwide, says: “There’s so much more to it.”

“More than just performance”

“We actually look at it from a holistic perspective,” she says,

“Performance, in terms of media or digital metrics that could drive sales or return on investment, is only a piece of the puzzle.”

She emphasizes the need to consider other aspects when assessing the success of a retail media buy.

Owen frames retail media as the intermediary that binds the broader media landscape. “A lot of our clients are looking for a holistic approach to media,” she says, further explaining that retail media acts as a linchpin, effectively merging brand media at the top and shopper marketing strategies at the bottom.

And retail media, according to Owen, has evolved beyond being just a tactic. She illustrates this transformation saying, “We’re finding that actual sweet spot of when is someone going to buy and triggering a sale, whether it be online or in store.”

The evolving landscape of retail media

While consumers may be in the shopper mindset when they’re engaging with retail media, Owen notes that the point of purchase has evolved over time and could be anywhere now, from social media to CTV, in-store or online.

“We want to make sure that we’re giving that option to buy no matter where someone is throughout their specific journey,” she adds.

Owen also says that retail media encompasses in-store advertising to digital signage and even out-of-home marketing.

Retail on the up

The segment continues to grow.

Insider Intelligence / eMarketer’s latest November 2023 forecast sees US retail media spend, across all variants, reaching $114.92 billion in 2024, up 3.2% per year.

Magna Global’s September 2023 figures also sees retail media fuelling a digital ad bounce-back, helping grow total US ad spend by 5% in 2023.

Simplifying the complex

Despite that outlook, Owen expresses her wish for the simplification of the retail media ecosystems and landscape.

“There are so many retail media networks out there,” she points out, adding, “So how are we actually taking all of these opportunities and distilling them for our clients?”

She believes that streamlining the complex world of retail media will not only excite industry professionals but also benefit clients, consumers, and retailers alike.

You’re watching Beet.TV’s coverage of Beet Retreat Santa Monica. This series and event is sponsored by Experian, Moloco and OpenX. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.