Which commerce media channels are we excited about currently?

Given the disruption to media plans throughout 2020, it is crucial that brands capitalise on what is left of 2021 and implement the most effective campaigns that they can. At Threefold, we’ve taken a look at some of the key pieces of retail media that we’re particularly excited about this year.


Firstly, why get excited about shopper media in the first place?


1. Accountability - shopper media has been a growth sector in recent years for a few reasons, one of which being that it is accountable – you can work out your ROI on media spend.

2. Value – typically, spend on shopper media provides the advertiser with considerable value, looking at factors such as CPM vs. more traditional channels like TV.

3. Relevancy – reaching shoppers at the point of purchase is absolutely key to influencing their purchasing habits.


With this in mind, which channels are we excited about?


New e-com opportunities

It’s pretty rare that a retailer introduces an entirely different media channel into their estate but that has been the case with Co-op’s move into e-commerce. With average page visits of 1.3M per month – there is already a decent level of volume to target.


The media estate available to support brands on Co-op’s e-com platform itself is simple and accessible – which is rarely the case in the retail media space. Beyond that, brands can also activate across Deliveroo which is another innovation we are excited to work with our brands on across 2021.


As well as Co-op entering the space, there are other changes coming into play with ASDA continuing to innovate their .com media estate. 1 in 5 ASDA products are now sold online with 830k orders per week.


The other big change in the FMCG e-com media space is the impact of Citrus & Criteo who are rolling out self-serve platforms across the market, enabling brands a greater level of accessibility and more in-depth reporting.


ATM advertising

As mentioned, one of the reasons that we all love shopper media is its ability to return a positive ROI and advertising on ATMs is a great example of a channel that performs well on that metric. Plan-Apps data shows that spend on ATM advertising has driven a positive brand level ROI of £1.66 for every pound spent.


In 2020, ATM usage was down, primarily due to retailers encouraging shoppers to use contactless payments – the theory being that less cash usage would mean less opportunities for brands to utilise ATM advertising. Whilst that theory does seem to make logical sense, it does not really stand true given that ATM ads are sold on a CPM basis. When you pay for ATM ads, you only pay for an impression once a transaction has been completed – therefore the fall in cash usage was pretty irrelevant to ATMs as a media channel.


Added to the above, trends show that cash usage is back on the rise anyway – so ATM advertising should definitely be back on the agenda for brands who rank ROI as a key objective.


Good old POS

Yes, you are reading that correctly – we are genuinely excited about booking point of sale media in 2021.


Despite the innovations that we’ve seen across the shopper media landscape in the past few years, POS continues to perform brilliantly for brands across various retailers. Looking at it from a cross-retail perspective, barkers drive an ROI of £4.56 for brands. Whilst barkers are not an innovative or particularly exciting channel – they do show a brilliant return for brands and any media that helps our clients to sell more products for a fantastic return on investment is exciting to us.


Aside from POS, a few other “traditional” retail media channels are also overlooked or wrongly ruled out without much basis. For example, in-store radio is the top performing media channel for driving ROI across featured SKUs for brands (excluding secondary space).


It’s easy to turn to the new and shiny innovations that we see being introduced to retailer estates, but channels like in-store radio absolutely still have their place with the reach and return they can generate.


In summary

2020 has placed an even greater emphasis than before on e-commerce platforms and there are more media opportunities and innovations coming across 2021.


Out of home is likely to see a renaissance across 2021 given the increase in footfall out and about vs. 2020. From a retail perspective, ATM advertising should benefit from the wider revival of OOH - with the ROI it drives and the innovative way it is sold adding two more reasons why brands should be looking to include it in plans.


Whilst investing into new channels and innovation makes sense in some instances, it is also worth remembering that “traditional” retail media channels remain important. Channels such as barkers, aisle fins, pennants and in-store radio are brilliant ROI drivers, and their importance shouldn’t be overlooked despite the media developments this year will undoubtedly bring.