Retail media networks have emerged into powerhouse marketing providers, and not surprisingly. Retailers offer exclusive ad inventory and access to valuable first party data, ensuring brands reach precise audiences. As a result, more manufacturers are redirecting their marketing investments into digital retail media.

But given approximately 80% of CPG sales still occur in store (Source: eMarketer 2024), it got us thinking…

How do integrated, omni-channel marketing campaigns perform compared to those that only do in-store marketing or out-of-store digital?

Knowing shoppers’ purchase decisions are influenced both in and out of store, our hypothesis was that omni-channel marketing programs would deliver stronger incremental returns than retail media campaigns alone. So, to unlock optimal omni-channel commerce performance, we dove into the data.


Our Process

Using Impact Evaluator, our proprietary measurement solution for assessing the impact of commerce marketing programs on driving incremental return on ad spend (iROAS), we measured and evaluated more than 150 campaigns across six CPG categories (including food, beverage, home care and personal care) and 10 retailers (primarily mass and supermarket channels). All programs relied on insight-led creative ideas and were in market from 2021-2023. They included both single brand and scale / portfolio programs as well as existing and innovation items.

Programs deployed either one or a mix of tactics across in-store marketing, retail media or third-party digital. In-store marketing included custom displays and syndicated network placements, such as Neptune. Retail media included search, display ads (on and off site) and social ads – using retailers’ first-party audience data. Third party digital included display ads, influencers, and digital rebate / coupon providers.

The Results

Our findings showed that the most successful campaigns include a combination of in-store marketing, retail media and third-party digital tactics. In fact, programs that included both in-store marketing and retail media delivered, on average, an astonishing 25% stronger iROAS than when executing retail media only, even with similar total investment.

Furthermore, programs that included a combination of in-store marketing, retail media and third-party media delivered, on average, 15% stronger iROAS than when executing retail media alone.

While retail media did prove to be an important component of successful commerce marketing campaigns, our analysis demonstrates it is best used in combination with in store marketing and / or other digital media placements.

Of course, campaign success isn't just about channel mix. It takes data-driven strategies that inform innovative creative ideas to engage shoppers both in and out of store.

Retail media certainly has a role, but it is only one piece of the complex puzzle that is commerce marketing.


Brian Azzarello is Vice President, Commerce Experience at Arc Worldwide. He proudly sits on the American Adverting Federation’s Digital Committee and Path to Purchase Institute’s Retail Media Guild.



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