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Retail Media Networks Transforming eCommerce Brand Revenue

Small Businesses Adopting eComm To Compete with Big Boxes

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In an evolving digital landscape, traditional digital media channels are becoming less effective for brands, leading to a surge in retail media networks as a new revenue stream for eCommerce merchants.

Historically, big media companies like Google and Meta have dominated advertising budgets, commanding 70% to 80% of brands' spending. However, brands are increasingly reallocating funds towards retail media networks due to diminishing returns from traditional channels. This transition is rapid, with partner brands swiftly adapting to the new landscape. For on-demand delivery companies, these networks offer a way to monetize their costly business models by opening new income streams and enhancing revenue.

Companies like Wolt, a Helsinki-based, DoorDash-owned delivery aggregator, are capitalizing on this shift by launching advertising services aimed at connecting merchants and brands with consumers. Catalina Salazar, Wolt's global head of ads, highlights that retail media is now a significant factor in brands' advertising budget decisions.

Looking ahead, data collaboration is poised to reshape the retail media landscape. In a future where brands combine their customer insights with retail media networks' databases to craft more personalized and impactful marketing strategies, this synergy can drive deeper engagement and foster long-term customer loyalty, leveraging combined consumer understanding to create smarter strategies.

Walmart Connect exemplifies this trend. It has significantly expanded its retail media capabilities, offering programmatic and auction-based advertising to brands of all sizes through the Walmart Ad Center. This growth includes the planned acquisition of Vizio for $2.3 billion, integrating smart TV advertising solutions to enhance data-driven capabilities. Walmart Connect supports non-endemic brands and provides detailed data-driven insights, utilizing first-party data for precise targeting and full-funnel measurement, which helps brands optimize their advertising spend and enhance customer engagement.

During National Small Business Week, the shift from Main Street to eCommerce is evident among small and medium businesses. Post-pandemic growth for many of these businesses is surpassing expectations, driven by the elimination of geographical barriers and the ability to operate 24/7. Smaller companies must navigate the challenges of establishing an online presence while competing with dominant Big Tech players. PYMNTS' "Main Street Health Survey Q4 2023" revealed that platforms like Shopify and Squarespace are popular among smaller outlets due to their versatility and ease of use. Successful online strategies also involve leveraging social media, mobile apps, and secure payment processing to build trust and credibility with customers.

Efficient logistics and order fulfillment are crucial for delivering a positive customer experience. Reliable shipping partnerships, optimized inventory management, and transparent tracking options are all considered essential for even small businesses. In the digital age, fraud prevention remains a top priority, with businesses adopting multi-layered security approaches to protect customer data and maintain trust.

Retail media networks are transforming the eCommerce landscape, offering new revenue streams and operational efficiencies for brands and businesses. By embracing data-driven personalization, balancing branding with performance metrics, and leveraging digital growth opportunities, businesses can effectively compete and thrive in today's dynamic market.

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