The COVID 19 global pandemic has drastically altered not only consumer behaviour, but also the wider retail landscape. While retail overall is facing a stark decline – an estimated £12.6 billion is expected to disappear from UK retail this year – grocery retailers and many CPGs are experiencing high demand and annual growth not seen for decades. For these retailers and brands, the challenge is about staying ahead – of demand, changing customer behaviour, and competitors.
How can retailers respond to a challenge of this magnitude, and ensure that they keep delivering for customers during and beyond the pandemic? By innovating. As in many other areas of business, the pandemic is spurring UK retailers to adopt new technologies at a far faster rate than normal. The companies which do this best will be well-positioned to dominate the future retail market.
One of the most powerful and potentially transformative new technologies is digital point-of-sale media, coupled with a strong in-store media sales offering. If a retailer can demonstrate a data-driven approach, and proven performance, brands will pay for the value which advertising at the point of sale can deliver.
By monetising in-store media, UK retailers can unlock a new revenue stream which is estimated to be worth £1.7 billion a year . And that’s not all. With intelligent, data-driven in-store media offerings, particularly digital signage, they can re-engage consumers and boost sales.
Here’s our five-point plan for retailers who want to develop their own in-store media-sales operation:
Think like a customer
Start by putting the Customer-First and building a solid understanding of the customer experience. Use that insight to identify the needs that a new retail media proposition could helpfully solve and where it’s most likely to be noticed and valued.
Build your media house on data
Use loyalty cards and other data at your disposal to create insight-driven plans that allow you to place both digital and printed point-of-sale media —working as part of an integrated media strategy — where they will have the biggest impact on customer behaviour and sales. Quality data and insight adds significant value to media inventory, driving revenue as well as performance.
Choose the right adtech
Innovative technologies such as digital signage, when paired with customer data analytics and implemented by experts, have the potential to greatly increase the effectiveness of and return on investment from an in-store media strategy.
Develop your brand relationships
A well-run in-store media operation both uses brand insights and generates insights for brands. Using this data intelligently, the brand planners and retailers can work together to place product and media in exactly the right stores at the right time to have the biggest possible impact on sales.
Pick the right partner
Many retailers do not have in-house expertise in point-of-sale media, but this is not a barrier to entry if they have the right partner. Such a partner should have the technology, data capability and breadth of expertise required to design and implement a world-leading in-store media-sales platform.
By combining digital and printed point-of-sale media, retailers can put information about promotions and other relevant opportunities in front of the largest number of shoppers, at the right time and in the right stores. But whilst being potentially highly lucrative and effective, setting up or expanding an in-store media operation can be a complex operation, involving a range of risks and overheads.
Working with a specialist partner, retailers can select exactly the right stores for a controlled trial. Using data from these stores to understand customer behaviours and attitudes to media, they and their partner can design an in-store media execution that genuinely appeals to customers, leading to engagement and activation. And because instore media is more engaging, shoppers are more likely to notice it and act upon it. This is the key to delivering a long-term additional revenue stream while minimising set-up costs.
At dunnhumby media, we work with retailers to review their opportunities for competitive advantage and consult helping to design Customer-First retail media experiences. We optimise the effectiveness of in-store media creating a win-win-win for customers, retailers and brands.
Anthony Worssam is Global Media Consulting Manager at dunnhumby media