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Retail Media Networks: The best place for FMCG brands?

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of online shopping. More and more people are turning to eCommerce platforms for their shopping. However, this doesn’t mean that brick and mortar stores are dead. But how can you make sure that your FMCG brand attracts attention both online and in-store? 

While some brands rely on digital advertising on social media, the fact that Google is letting go of third-party cookies can affect retail advertising. Also, being present only in-store doesn’t offer the exposure brands need to thrive. 

What if we’ve told you that there is a way to gain the right exposure both in-store and online for your FMCG brand? Retail media networks are the new channel mix you need to attract the attention of shoppers both online and in brick and mortar stores. Let’s find out what retail media networks are all about and how they can improve brand awareness and sales. 

What are retail media networks?

Retail media networks are digital forms of in-store advertising. While it might sound confusing, bear with us for a moment. Retail media networks are digital platforms created by retailers where brands can advertise their products. Since they are full networks, brands can also gain exposure in brick and mortar stores owned by the retail that created the retail media network. 

Retail media network is a fairly new concept and only big players on the market can afford to invest in this kind of platform. That’s why you will easily recognize the retailers that developed media networks in the example section below.

Pros and cons of retail media networks

Now that we know what retail media networks are, we should also focus on their pros and cons. 

Pros of retail media networks

Retailers are the ones that benefit more from retailer media networks. It is a great way to create a new revenue stream. It offers the possibility for retailers to boost their profits. Considering the fact that profit margins on CPG have taken a tumble in the last few years, the retail media networks are a great option for retailers.

Customers can also benefit from retail media networks because they impact the customer experience. One of the best benefits for consumers is that retailers can offer better price control. While ads can be annoying, if they are done right, they can have a great impact on customer experience. 

Of course, brands benefit from retailer media networks. They can increase brand awareness and boost sales by advertising on these networks. Also, advertisers benefit from media networks because they gain access to first-party cookies and they can create more personalized ads.

Cons of retail media networks

Just like any advertising channel, the retail media network also comes with some disadvantages. One of the biggest cons is that it gives power to brands that are already big players on the market. It might create an unfair advantage for brands that are well-known, while smaller brands don’t have the opportunity to advertise on these platforms.

Now that we learned the pros and cons of retail media networks, let’s take a look at some examples of retail media networks.

Examples of retail media networks

1. Walmart

Walmart is, for the fourth year in a row, the biggest retailer in the world, with 14% of the market share. It wasn’t an unexpected move to develop a retail media network, right? According to Walmart Connect, more than 35% of shoppers research products online before going into a Walmart brick and mortar store. 

Walmart offers various advertising options for brands, including in-store advertising, such as brand activations

2. Amazon

The biggest player in the online retail market also developed its own retail media network. As expected, it is the biggest network at the moment. In the US, Amazon commands 89% of the retail media ad spend. 

Brands that decide to advertise on Amazon have multiple options. From audio ads on Amazon Music to videos on Fire TV, FMCG brands can attract the attention of over 200 million Amazon Prime members.

3. Walgreen

Another big player in the retail market decided to create its own retail media network. Walgreen launched Walgreens Ad Group as part of its digital transformation. One of the main reasons for launching the retail network was to take advantage of first-party cookies collected with the help of myWalgreens loyalty program.

4. CVS


It’s not just FMCG brands that need to advertise to attract attention. CVS Pharmacy is a force to reckon with on the retail market. They have over 10,000 brick and mortar stores and they were among the first to create a retail media network. This means that brands that advertise on this platform have the opportunity to increase brand awareness and sales. 

5. Home Depot

Last, but not least, Home Depot is another retailer that decided to develop its own retail media network. Apart from promoting online, brands can also take advantage of the 2,200 stores available nationwide. Home Depot focuses more on online ads on HomeDepot.com, but it offers various options to brands. 

The retail market is changing as we speak. A few years ago, people were reluctant to shop online and now brands are fighting over the attention of online shoppers on different retail media networks. FMCG brands need to keep an eye on trends and new advertising solutions if they want to stay competitive. 

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