Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Retailer CMOs forecast ‘benchmark beating’ ROI from Retail Media

According to the latest ‘Future of Commerce report from Criteo, an overwhelming 92% of retailer CMOs report that commerce data, i.e. transactional insights such as purchases, shopping behaviour and loyalty cards, has increased in value over the past 12 months. 

Criteo surveyed 251 UK CMOs working within retailer businesses to understand how burgeoning demand from brand advertisers to place ads within their properties has impacted strategy and investment. 

At a time where growing privacy regulations have marketers and media owners looking for new ways to reach audiences, 86% of respondents anticipate campaigns based on their first-party data will surpass any previous ROI benchmarks brand advertisers set with big tech companies. 

Understandably, CMOs are keen to push ahead with first party data management and matching strategies. 45% listed the revenue potential of such data monetisation for advertising purposes as a key driver in upweighting investment. 

Joe Pascoe, Chief Marketing Officer, Victorian Plumbing, commented: “With insight into what consumers actually buy and how they consider various products, retailers are in an unrivalled position to inform brands about their audience. In many places, retailers are only beginning to scratch the surface of what they can achieve by effectively monetising their sites.” 

In the last year alone, investment into first-party data strategy, partners and matching technologies has risen by 26% among CMO respondents. 

Retail opportunities

Beyond creating a new revenue stream, the findings reveal additional opportunities to be realised from investment in first-party data strategy include improved customer experiences (53%) and better audience engagement (36%) with onsite and offsite media. 

As first party data management and matching strategies are pursued further, better frequency management (35%), accurate audience definitions (32%) and easier data privacy compliance (30%) will enable retail businesses to move up the marketing maturity ladder. In turn this will offer greater performance to endemic, and increasingly even non-endemic, brand advertisers. 

To date, many CMOs within retail businesses have been reliant on third parties to enhance their view of the customer and drive change in these areas. 59% reported their reliance on existing walled gardens presents the greatest hurdle to understanding the business’ audience across all touchpoints in the customer journey. 

Walled gardens can be problematic because one company’s data on its own rarely captures a full view of the whole purchase journey of several different audience groups. Success relies on retailers and publishers opening up to the idea of data collaboration.  

To this end, 41% of CMOs raised publisher willingness to match identifiers that unlock the value of first-party data as a major hurdle to overcome. The same proportion of respondents (41%) also flagged understanding among internal stakeholders as an inhibitor. 

Brendan McCarthy, Chief Marketing Officer, Criteo, explained: “The retail media opportunity can be taken further and deployed among non-retail media owners. ‘Commerce Media’ is the broader ability to monetise anywhere where consumers spend their time, using first-party commerce data to enable advertisers to attract, convert and retain consumers across the open internet.”