Retail media, when POS advertising appears

With the explosion of e-commerce in recent years, advertising in the retail sector is booming. Nowadays, the line between the physical and digital world is becoming blurred for advertisers, as consumers integrate omni-channel shopping habits. This phenomenon is pushing brands to review their trade marketing strategy: it is becoming necessary to provide digital solutions to promote their products as closely as possible to the point of sale. In order to meet this need and satisfy advertisers, major retailers have set up their own advertising network. Opportunities, platforms, strategies... retail media is undergoing a real metamorphosis!

Retail media, when POS advertising appears
Retail media, when POS advertising appears

Retail media, an opportunity for brands

Trade marketing, print advertising, digital in-store presence, 360° communication... Advertising in the retail sector is changing rapidly.

The transformation of retail media

Generally speaking, retail media refers to all the advertising and promotional devices distributed by mass retail chains. In France, this market is experiencing a sustained period of growth, representing nearly €500 million in turnover and showing no signs of slowing down.

Before thee-commerce boom, retail media was more focused on the point of sale. Advertisers initially focused their efforts on creating ads to drive in-store footfall.

Trademarketing complemented this strategy with specific actions carried out in collaboration with distributors, such as events and partnerships. This strategy is still relevant today, as it improves POS product referencing. Nevertheless, this is no longer enough: online shopping, web research and social media are now also essential. Retail media now encompasses all the advertising strategies of the retail sector :

  • Traditional point-of-sale advertising : POS advertising, advertising posters or digital screens that promote products directly in the shop and encourage buying.
  • Online advertising : promotion on the retailer's website with banners, branding, column sponsorship, digital corners or retail search (sponsored space on the internal search engines of merchant sites such as eBay or Amazon).

These three points are complementary in the development of an effective strategy. They allow a wider audience of consumers to be targeted through an omni-channel approach. The objective is twofold: to enhance the value of brands and suppliers while simultaneously increasing sales. Local marketing amplifies this strategy through the use of media (social networks, Google,display, etc.). These media tools stimulate POS traffic by targeting consumers in the vicinity.

The rise of retail media in the online world has also shaken up the world of data, with data becoming increasingly central to retailers' strategies. The use of such information allows the creation of more precise marketing actions (socio-demographic data, buying habits, seasonality, location, etc.).

To do this, companies rely on transactional data (purchase history) to better understand customers, their habits and preferences. This allows them to optimise their stock management and offer promotions in line with consumer expectations.

The rise of advertising agencies in retail media

Faced with increasing demand from brands, major retailers and e-commerce companies have invested in technology for developing their own retail media platforms.

Distributors' advertising agencies

Carrefour has decided to broaden its range of services by launching its own advertising network, Carrefour links. This tool brings together digital solutions that provide brands with a wide range of retail media tools. They will be able to develop personalised ads, determine programming times, analyse data and deliver personalised coupons. Casino and Intermarché have followed suit with the launch of Infinity Advertising.

Fnac Darty is also positioning itself with its MyRetaillink advertising network. This is acomplete tool with an "Insight" element, where advertisers have access to omni-channel sales data sharing. The other component is a digital activation solution that allows advertisers to target, program and measure campaigns on the Fnac and Darty websites.

E-commerce companies' advertising agencies

Companies specialising in online commerce have also created their own advertising network. Amazon, the undisputed global leader in e-commerce, offers Amazon Ads (similar to Google Ads) so that advertisers can share their targeted advertising messages on the retail site. The platform also offers several self-service products, enabling the development of a comprehensive strategy. These include:

  • Sponsored Products : improving the visibility of individual products;
  • Sponsored Brands : boosting brandawareness;
  • Sponsored Display : extending reach;
  • Stores : strengthening customer loyalty.

Another example is Cdiscount, which has developed the Cdiscount Advertising platform for advertisers. This includes a Display & Video function as well as a Search Platform for suppliers and their media agencies. This allows them to access data and manage campaigns in real time.

Amazon and Cdiscount have demonstrated that it is not indispensable to have a physical POS to be able to conduct retail media. These companies are purely digital. Each distribution network can be regarded not only as a sales channel, but also as a promotional tool to increase product visibility.

How to develop a balanced retail media strategy

Developing a successful trade marketing strategy requires a well thought out balancing act between POS and website promotion. It is vital to make the most of all channels in order to gain maximum customer exposure, regardless of the customer's journey and purchasing method.

Offline marketing

A traditional part of retail media, offline marketing refers to all marketing actions used outside the internet. It is mainly found at the POS through trade marketing. The objective: to highlight products in the shop. In order to implement this strategy, retailers use several different methods:

  • Modernisation : touch screens, digital, quick checkouts, click & collect, etc. ;
  • Improved POS customer service : personalised reception, public address systems, etc;
  • Revised merchandising;
  • More promotions and discount vouchers;
  • The creation of a loyalty programme : account, loyalty card, etc.

Today, POS trade marketing alone is not enough. It is essential to combine it with a dynamic, complementary digital strategy. This is particularly important in a highly digitalised society. Nowadays, establishing a solid online presence is amust in order to gain recognition and credibility.

Online marketing

Even if a company's offline marketing strategy is well established, retail media now demands that its digital presence on retailers' websites be equally well developed. This is where advertising agencies come into play. Thanks to retail search (purchase of sponsored space), products are better referenced on merchant sites and thus enhance their visibility.

Mere presence on retail websites is no longer enough. Advertisers must also focus on other aspects of the web. Retail companies have a vested interest in developing their presence on social networks such as Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. These platforms, which are widely used in France, offer various marketing actions that the advertising agencies do not offer.

These include live shopping. The concept is simple : influencers conduct live video sessions to present and test products. During these livestreams, they extol the merits of the products and answer questions from users, who then feel better informed. This new trend is becoming increasingly popular with consumers and is proving particularly effective. The real strength of social networks, however, is that they reach a specific target group : young people.

Given the success of live shopping, a number of retail media players have decided to adopt the idea. Carrefour, for example, has expanded its online presence by teaming up with Brut, a popular online media channel. Together, they have created a unique live shopping platform, Brut Shop. The new platform offers advice, tips, good deals, demonstrations and interactive live shopping.

It is essential to continuously improve customer and user experiences (ergonomics,simplicity of the purchasing process, etc.), regardless of the channel. Consumers are increasingly volatile and will not hesitate to gravitate towards more attractive interfaces.

Local marketing

Retail media alone is not enough. It must be complemented by local marketing initiatives to drive footfall. This strategy targets consumers according to their geographical location : only those who are in close proximity to the shop will see the ads, as they are more likely to visit the outlet.

This strategy is particularly relevant for retailers as it optimises their advertising campaigns while improving the customer experience. Advertisers can use marketing agencies equipped with DeepReach to develop and refine their communication strategy.

Multi-local digital communication is a complementary and essential lever of retail media because it offers brands and their distributors the opportunity to significantly amplify the impact of a campaign by targeting only the target audiences present in the relevant catchment areas.

Guillaume Brichant - Senior Sales Account Executive gives his point of view


Web-to-store, a digital marketing strategy that promotes the POS, is already widely adopted by businesses. But there is another approach which complements retail media: store-to-web. This involves enhancing website value directly in the shop. Although sales are increasingly made online, this strategy remains largely unknown. Yet it is away of standing out from competitors and retaining consumers through another equally important channel.

In summary, retail media should be regarded as a media in its own right for the retail industry. The market is constantly changing and will continue to disrupt advertising habits. Nevertheless, it remains important to take full advantage of all the levers of retail media. Indeed, only being present on one advertising network is unwise, and only an omni-channel approach will allow advertisers to reach consumers who would otherwise remainuntouchable. Social networks, retail search, POS... each communication channel plays an essential role !