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Build an omnichannel approach that keeps your shoppers coming back. 

Retail media networks are still one of the most popular topics around, and the attention they receive doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Conversations around RMNs tend to focus on the technological innovations and vast reach they offer. While their ability to revolutionize the way brands connect with consumers cannot be denied, there is often little engagement in what exactly it means for the experience of everyday shoppers. 

Below, we explore the transformative impact of Retail Media Networks on the customer experience, shedding light on how brands are using them to connect with shoppers online and in the store. 

The Age of Analog Aisles

Life before digital was quite a bit different for grocery shoppers. Armed with handwritten lists and a general familiarity with their local store, customers received product information from a combination of in-store signage, paper circulars, and the occasional coupon. Compared to the data-driven personalization we see today, the analog era feels downright quaint. However, the predictability met the expectations of shoppers and brought a sense of trust to brand messages. 

Nowadays, RMNs can have a negative reputation that might make customers wish things were still like they used to be. Concerns over data privacy, a lack of transparency, and a level of personalization that feels invasive all have the potential to make shoppers leery of interacting with RMNs. That’s why it's more important than ever for CPGs to navigate the fine line between data-driven personalization and overwhelming customers with intrusive advertising. Brands need to leverage data to ensure that every personalized recommendation and ad truly serves to enhance the customer’s experience rather than detract from it. By doing so, CPGs will be able to balance the innovation of today with the trustworthiness of yesterday. 

Personalized Perks

Earning trust is vital because, unlike the analog era where generic promotions dominated, RMNs have ushered in a new age of personalization that has had a substantial impact for customers. The ability to have a curated shopping experience, receiving offers that resonate with each customer's unique tastes, preferences, and buying habits, not only helps save time but makes the overall shopping experience more enjoyable and relevant. 

Well-executed personalization also helps CPGs. Recent data from McKinsey shows that 76% of consumers say they’re more likely to purchase from brands that personalize. This doesn’t just mean a one-time purchase. In the same survey, another 78% said they’re more likely to recommend brands that personalize to others and make repeat purchases. A touch of personalization that builds trust can be the difference maker in building a strong customer life cycle. 

Seamless Shopping

For consumers, RMNs also help bridge the gap between online and in-store shopping. By leveraging the power of data-driven insights, brands can ensure that the transition between online and in-store avoids being disjointed. This synergy creates a sense of cohesion in the shopping process, allowing consumers to navigate between digital touchpoints and tangible aisles with ease.

Statistics continue to support the fact that in-store shopping isn’t going anywhere, with 79% of households shopping in-store vs. 61.9% online. These numbers show that an omnichannel approach is more important than ever, as it recognizes and responds to the diverse ways consumers engage with retail environments. RMNs play a pivotal role in fortifying this omnichannel approach by fostering a seamless connection between online and in-store experiences. A focus on brick-and-mortar also allows brands to stand out to customers from diverse retail locations, giving a helpful leg up on RMN giants like Amazon, who lack an in-store experience. 

Connecting the Dots 

As much as things are constantly changing in the grocery industry, customers still appreciate a level of predictability and consistency in their shopping experience. RMNs give brands an invaluable tool to help streamline the customer journey, offering a targeted and personalized approach that resonates with individual preferences. 

By leveraging RMNs, brands can tailor promotions and product recommendations, creating a more engaging and relevant shopping experience for consumers. This not only fosters brand loyalty but also enhances the overall satisfaction and trust customers place in CPGs, ultimately leading to long-term relationships and increased sales.

RMNs have redefined the customer experience by seamlessly blending technology and personalization, giving brands unprecedented flexibility in their marketing strategies. But with great power comes great responsibility, and amidst the allure of data and personalization options, brands must always keep in mind the experience of their end users. This means taking the time to ensure that what is being communicated is providing real value in a way that accounts for digital and physical shopping and doesn’t cross the line in regard to data privacy and transparency. Doing so will lighten the load for your customers and empower ongoing relationships with your brand.