Retail media is going digital, which is creating significant opportunities for retailers and CPGs to expand their marketing reach and drive incremental sales.
Although circulars, FSIs, and in-store ads have long been an important part of the marketing mix, most retailers have lagged behind when it comes to digital media. This is starting to change as several large retailers have rolled out new digital tools. In particular, Kroger, Safeway, and Target have all launched prominent digital couponing programs both online and via mobile devices. Other retailers such as Giant Eagle have recently launched or revamped their digital coupon and mobile platforms to better engage shoppers.
Retail media is quickly becoming an important source of coupons for shoppers. Retailers are providing shoppers a one-stop destination for digital coupons by aggregating digital coupons from a range of third party coupon providers such as AOL Shortcuts, Cellfire, and Coupons.com and sourcing retailer-specific coupons from their key CPG partners. As a result, shoppers are increasingly looking to retailer-owned media to plan their shopping trips and find deals and savings.
According to recent research from Integer Group, over a third of shoppers now go to retailer websites to find coupons, nearly as many who look to coupon websites. While a majority of shoppers still look to circulars and the newspaper for their coupons, retailer websites are the second fastest growing destination for coupons, up over 40% from last year (the only faster growing media was via mobile phone apps although overall usage is still small).
These finding are backed up by actual web traffic data. For example, in the year since it launched its digital coupon center, Kroger’s traffic as measured by unique visitors has nearly doubled while Safeway’s has grown by over 50% since it launched its Just For You digital coupon program late last year.
Top retailers are integrating their full range of media – both online and offline – to drive traffic to their digital properties. For example, Kroger has added a digital overlay to its long-running Bringing Hope to the Table in-store event to fight hunger. The online site provides exclusive digital coupons, highlights efforts to find hunger in local Kroger communities, provides information on how to get involved, and allows shoppers to make additional donations. As it has done in other recent digital promotions, Kroger is using an integrated marketing approach to support the program by featuring digital coupons in its circular, on its website and mobile apps, on its Facebook page, and in-store.
Retailers must invest in digital media to stay relevant with shoppers, who are increasingly using the Internet, mobile and other digital tools to plan their shopping trips and find savings. By building traffic and engagement on their own media, retailers can also reduce marketing costs and build a platform to collaborate with key CPG partners.