Epsilon's global retail media study of brands and retailers explored perceptions of and approaches to retail media
Posted on 2023 Jun,14

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Epsilon, a global advertising and marketing technology company, announced the findings of the industry’s largest, most comprehensive global study of retailers and brands on the current and future state of retail media. The survey sought to better understand brands’ and retailers’ perception of and approaches to retail media.

In addition, respondents were asked to share what actions they have taken, or are planning to take, in their retail media strategies and offerings along with the key criteria used to evaluate retail media platforms.

Key findings from the study include:

  • brands and retailers are frustrated by fragmentation…
    • respondents identified inconsistent targeting and disparate reporting across channels/tactics as the top inefficiency drivers of retail media
  • …but shoppers pay the price
    • 64% of respondents agree that retail media networks with multiple technology providers have a negative impact on shoppers

“The consumer experience is too often overlooked in the retail media frenzy,” said Joe Doran, chief product officer at Epsilon. “We’re so caught up in the hype around the latest offerings that we ignore the fact that fragmentation leads to poor advertising experiences and frustrated shoppers. We believe that solutions that focus on messaging individual shoppers across channels deliver better performance. Brands want to talk to existing and potential in-market shoppers. Retailers should facilitate those conversations at scale and across channels that can reach in-market shoppers wherever they may be in the consumer journey. So, when we put the individual shopper at the center of the advertising, everyone wins.”

In addition, the survey found that:

  • retailers are not tapping into the potential of reaching shoppers across the open web (off-site retail media)…
    • Only 37% of retailers are using off-site for retail media monetization
    • 42% of brands identified audience targeting customization/accuracy as the top barrier to off-site retail media adoption
  • … and brands want easy-to-use retail media networks that can reach more in-market shoppers
    • 76% of all respondents believe the quality of advertiser experience is the most important aspect of retail media for their organizations
    • 75% believe the amount of inventory available is the most important

“Good technology is fundamental to good retail media. Brands and retailers must navigate a sea of constantly growing and changing retail media technology partners while responding to more volatile consumer behaviors,” said Adam Skinner, managing director of retail media networks at CitrusAd. “It is exciting to see almost 700 retail media professionals have validated the path and strategy we have been on for years. Our unified platform offers brands an intuitive, easy-to-use interface backed with best-in-class technology that provides scale to reach in-market shoppers wherever they are on their journey – on-site or off-site across the open web.”

Epsilon's research, conducted in partnership with Phronesis Partners surveyed 689 mid- to large-sized brands and retailers across 12 countries between January 2023 and March 2023.