Columbia, MD, October 12, 2022

Merkle Research Highlights Ways for Retailers and Brands to Enhance the Shopper Journey through Retail Media Networks

    Merkle, dentsu's leading technology-enabled, data-driven customer experience management (CXM) company, today launched its annual Retail Media Research report. The report surveyed 300 retailers and brands across the US, UK, and Canada to uncover key insights as RMNs offer more services than ever before, niche players continue to enter the market, and the definition of RMNs expands.

    In the two years since Merkle launched its Retail Media Research report, RMNs have evolved from a passing trend to a $46 billion market in 2022. RMNs are not only a growing market, but a driving force that can unlock the complete shopper journey as the power dynamic between consumers, brands, and retailers shift.

    “We’ve seen more retailers build RMNs in 2022 than any year before – and a lot of those new players are specialty retailers, not the big-box brands we’re used to seeing in the space. This shift is evidence that brands are catching on to the changing needs of consumers, and that retailers are ready to adapt with them,” said Janine Flaccavento, SVP, media services and New Stream Media at Merkle. “However, many brands aren’t yet capitalizing on the potential RMNs hold. They won’t just serve as a new space for customers to buy products, but as a base where they can gain loyalty points, explore new brands through partnerships, and have a say in what their shopping experience entails. Marketers will also have access to new first-party consumer data through RMNs, signaling a new era where consumer information can be shared and monetized.”

    The report details why this growth accelerated in 2022 and outlines steps marketers and brands can take to ensure RMN success. Some of the findings within the report include:

    • More than 50% of brands believe RMNs can add more value through data and insights – showing RMNs can help address concerns over a cookieless future by gaining access to more first-party consumer data that can be shared.
    • Competition was the top concern for US brands when it came to RMNs in 2022 – underscoring the spike in growth of RMNs this year while indicating that there’s room for significant growth and differentiation.
    • 81% of US retailers work with non-endemic brands as part of their data or retail media network offering, and another 4% are thinking about it – highlighting the narrative that data monetization and sharing among brands will improve the overall landscape for marketers.
    • Brands are looking for flexibility, asking for self-service options while also wanting retailers as strategic partners at nearly double the rate of last year – signaling the need for RMNs to collaborate closely with brands to build the ideal partnership model.

    The report shows how the growth of RMNs has translated into opportunities for brands, a rise in transparency and trust between RMNs and brands, and how to stand out in a crowded field. As RMNs continue to advance, the data they collect will become extremely valuable, and the shift toward the monetization of consumer data shows how RMNs will work to help marketers and brands on an ongoing basis.

    “The findings show marketers and brands are on the right track, but more work needs to be done in order to scale business and meet customer needs,” said Megan Cameron, VP, monetization and media at Merkle. “Retailers need to continually innovate and evolve both their offering and the ways they work with technology partners. But it will be crucial to do it in a way that aligns with consumer needs and business realities as these platforms continue to grow.”

    Click here to view the full report from Merkle.