How Leading Grocers like Walmart & Kroger are using Retail Media Network Strategies

Neha Ghai
April 9, 2024
A digital pickup station in a retail setting, part of a Retail Media Network Strategy, featuring an orange touchscreen kiosk labeled "Pickup" with instructions for order retrieval

Retail Media Network Strategy

  • Grocers expect 13% more revenue from retail media in 2024.
  • Walmart Connect grows with programmatic ads and acquires Vizio.
  • Kroger uses programmatic ads and digital in-store enhancements.
  • Albertsons partners with Criteo; Target's Roundel grows by 20%.

2024 Revenue Boost from Retail Media Networks in Grocers

Retail media is becoming indispensable for grocers, anticipating a 13% increase in revenue from retail media activities in 2024. Such networks are increasingly critical, offering benefits across the board. 

Grocers gain a valuable new revenue source, while brands access innovative advertising channels to connect with new audiences, shape consumer views, and ensure pricing consistency. In 2024, the strategic importance of leveraging retail media for enhancing customer in-store experiences is widely acknowledged by retailers. 82% of grocers recognize AI's potential to improve shopper targeting, less than 7% are currently planning to implement AI for this purpose. Furthermore, 81% of grocers are keen on scaling up their retail media efforts, considering it a key business venture for 2024. A substantial 86% of shoppers seek personalized digital experiences, and with less than 7% of grocers using AI to target shopper experiences, it's crucial to examine the strategies of leading grocery retailers in this area.

Walmart Connect's Evolution with Programmatic Advertising and Vizio Acquisition

Walmart Connect, the advertising branch of Walmart, provides a platform for advertisers to engage with consumers through online, in-store, and other digital channels. It is transitioning to an auction-based, programmatic approach for onsite display ads, making this option available to all advertisers through the Walmart Ad Center. Furthermore, it's branching out to include offsite media opportunities for non-endemic brands in sectors like automotive and travel, aiming to draw in advertisers beyond its core retail offerings. Walmart Connect is also advancing its global support with technology partnerships and self-service tools for international sellers, extending its services and reach to businesses around the globe. In a strategic move, Walmart acquired Vizio for $2.3 billion, incorporating the smart TV manufacturer’s advertising solutions and valuable data sets, which are crucial for advertisers in media planning and acquisition.

Kroger's Ad Targeting and Digital Storefront Innovations

Kroger Precision Marketing (KPM), powered by 84.51°, introduces a programmatic feature that allows advertisers to target Kroger's purchase-based audiences directly from their existing Demand Side Platform (DSP) seats, initially partnering with The Trade Desk. This enhancement streamlines the process of optimizing and activating ad campaigns using advertisers' own inventory and rates, while also enabling the measurement of ad effectiveness through sales in Kroger’s stores and online. Additionally, KPM facilitates brand-consumer connections via product listings and display ads on Kroger’s platforms and has begun incorporating cooler screens in 500 stores to further its in-store digital transformation.

Albertsons and Criteo's Collaboration for Enhanced Retail Media

Albertsons Media Collective, Albertsons' retail media division, is collaborating with Criteo to expand its retail media offerings. This partnership introduces new advertising formats, including sponsored video and commerce display ads, utilizing Criteo's technology. Albertsons plans to use its first-party and in-store data for more precise advertising across various channels, aiming to better monetize its online presence. The goal of this partnership is to offer a wider range of ad inventory to CPG brands and agencies, allowing for more versatile and effective advertising solutions. Additionally, Albertsons has been growing its Just for U loyalty program, which boasts over 27 million members, and enhancing its online shopper base with various leading initiatives.

Target's Roundel Growth and New Self-Service Ad Features

Roundel, Target's advertising division, saw a 20% increase in the fiscal year ending February 3, 2024, reaching $1.5 billion in value. This supports Grocery Doppio’s projection of a 13% increase in revenue from retail media networks for grocers in 2024. Target introduced a new feature in its advertising division that gives marketers more control over their campaigns and better access to Target's shopper data and marketplace sellers for those buying search ads. Target is set to launch Roundel Media Studio, a self-service purchasing platform, in early 2024. This platform is aimed at making it easier for brands to advertise, building on the success of the Roundel Kiosk measurement tool. It will allow brands of all sizes, including smaller ones and those in the Target + marketplace, to access Target’s audience and media.