Retailers are gunning for advertising dollars.
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
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.
Walmart and other big-box retailers
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.
Instacart and other grocery delivery companies
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.
Shopify, Uber, and other retail media sellers
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.
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.