Retailers are gunning for advertising dollars.

Retail ad is predicted to grow 31% to $41 billion this year, and Amazon, Walmart, Instacart, and others are building ad businesses to get a piece of it.

They're betting on the growth of e-commerce and the hope of offsetting retail's thin margins by pitching advertisers on the ability to reach their shoppers. They're also making big hires to support these ambitions.

Insider is keeping track of all the moves in the space.

Amazon dominates retail media

Foto: Tom Williams/Getty Images

Amazon has become the third-biggest digital advertising company behind Google and Facebook, notching $31 billion in advertising in 2021.

It's vying for advertisers' budgets by promoting its ability to grow awareness with consumers and pitching TV and in-store ads. 

Read more: Amazon just broke out advertising for the first time in its earnings. Here's everything we know about its growing ad business.

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Alan Moss is spearheading Amazon's push to steal ad dollars from Facebook and Google. Insiders lay out his playbook for getting a slice of the $70 billion TV ad market.

Walmart and other big-box retailers

Walmart, Sam's Club, Walgreens and other retailers are also building their own platforms to grab a slice of the ad pie.

They're taking a page from Amazon by pitching their shopper data, which could benefit small brands that often struggle to outbid big advertisers on Amazon.

But each retailer has different ways of selling and measuring ads, making it hard for advertisers to manage campaigns across all of them.

Read more: Retailers are fueling an advertising explosion, and it could present a nightmare for brands

Walmart is 'so far ahead,' and Kroger is 'a grade above': Advertisers break down which retailers are winning the hot e-commerce ad market

10 adtech firms companies like Walmart and Klarna are hiring to get a piece of the growing e-commerce advertising pie

Sam's Club memberships are soaring to record highs, and the retailer is about to give brands unprecedented power to target those shoppers with ads

Grocery giant Kroger is rolling out a new ad program to compete against Walmart and Target — here's how it's going to work, according to a top exec

Instacart and other grocery delivery companies

Foto: Instacart

Grocery delivery companies like Instacart and Gopuff are becoming big players for advertising as they seek to offset food delivery's slim margins.

Instacart pulled in hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising last year, and revenue from the operation could top $1 billion in 2022. DoorDash is similarly trying to build an ad business while trying to stay on top of the food delivery wars.

Read more: Here's a look inside Instacart's playbook to take on Google and Facebook as it tries to build a $1 billion ads business

Food brands that once battled for space at Whole Foods are now betting on ultrafast-delivery startups like Gopuff and Buyk

14 Instacart execs who are leading its push to take on Amazon and Walmart in advertising

Instacart just hired a top Walmart advertising exec. Here are 38 other big hires by companies that are gunning for ad dollars in 2022.

Shopify, Uber, and other retail media sellers

Specialty chains like Michaels and gig companies like Uber to Shopify are also getting into the retail media business.

Shopify, which lets merchants sell products online, has plans to roll out a tool called Shopify Audiences, and let advertisers target ads on Facebook and Google, said sources familiar with its plans. Ulta Beauty is rolling out an effort to sell ads on its own platform, publisher sites, and social networks.

Read more: These key slides show how Uber plans to grow its advertising business to '$1 billion-plus' in revenue by 2024

Michaels is becoming the latest retailer to roll out an ad business — execs break down how it'll work

Leaked pitch deck reveals Macy's big push into advertising as the retailer charts out an ambitious digital-focused comeback

Shopify's new ad tool is trying to ease the pain Apple's privacy changes inflicted on merchants. Experts and sellers reveal how it's working so far and highlight some downsides.

Retail media is driving M&A

E-commerce advertising growth has been a boon for companies that manage advertiser spending on retail platforms and for adtech firms that help retailers build ad businesses.

E-commerce M&A soared 50% between 2019 and 2020, showing the demand for companies that help merchants sell on third-party marketplaces, according to Pitchbook data via JEGI Clarity. Private equity firms like KKR and Blackstone have been pouring money into warehouses and e-commerce holding companies.

Read more: 2022 is shaping up to be a big year for advertising M&A. Here are 10 trends to expect, from a jump in e-commerce ad deals to a surge in event marketing interest.

E-commerce agency The Stable is acquiring two of the biggest Shopify agencies to attract direct to consumer brands

Experts name 12 companies that are likely acquisition targets as online shopping takes off

Private equity firms are betting billions on the rise of e-commerce. Execs at Blackstone, Trilantic North America, and others explain their strategy.

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