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Co-op first convenience retailer to launch media network; which retailers are becoming advertisers

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Co-op is set to launch the UK’s first retail media network in the convenience sector to help brands reach new and wider audiences, while improving advertising relevancy for its shoppers.

The retailer has launched the Co-op Media Network to bring together Co-op’s in-house team and its long-term agency partner Threefold – an SMG agency who are the largest operator of retail media networks in the UK – under one recognisable brand identity.

This newly formed Co-op Media Network Group will enable brands to have advanced opportunities to connect their goods and services to interested Co-op shoppers in offsite digital media channels. Enabling brand advertisers to improve their media efficiency by focusing their advertising spend on shoppers that are more likely to engage with their products.

Kenyatte Nelson, chief membership & customer officer at Co-op, said: “This is a momentous move for Co-op and one that will solidify our position in the retail media sector. Co-op is a leader in the convenience market and we will use our strengths to replicate our successes as a media owner.”

“Co-op’s nationwide network of frequently-shopped, smaller stores drives increased opportunities to see for brands’ advertising campaigns and the unique impulsive nature of convenience shopping missions creates untapped occasions for brands to grow their sales. Convenience shopping and supermarket shopping are different purchasing occasions and brands will see greater sales and brand building benefits by executing media against both.”

Co-op is also one of the first retailers to sign up to speak at a brand new one-day conference on retail media networks. Dean Harris, head of loyalty, rewards and retail media at Co-op, will take to the MediaX stage on 11 June 2024.

Co-op is just the latest supermarket to announce its retail media network. Asda is also partnering with SMG for its retail media planning and retail media operations functions.

In October 2023, Tesco’s Media and Insight Platform, powered by dunnhumby, unveiled a range of new onsite and in-store media channels, allowing brands to reach shoppers at scale, and “shape what Britain buys”. The grocer announced targeted new ad placements in-app and online, allowing brands to target its 21m Clubcard members at scale.

Rapid delivery firm Deliveroo has partnered with AI and machine learning ecommerce firm Rokt to add the most relevant third-party offers to customers on their order confirmation page. Hear from Alex Prouhet, global director – commercial, Deliveroo, at June’s MediaX event.

It is not simply grocer retailers and delivery companies expanding into the advertising space. Fast fashion company etailer Asos has signed a three-year partnership with Criteo to accelerate its global retail media business.

Criteo will be the exclusive partner for endemic brands advertising across Asos’ app and web experience, launching in four markets before expanding to all global territories. After admitting to a ‘poorly planned’ marketing budget in 2022 that focused too much on performance (80% of its spend), Criteo will hope to boost its sales growth through new plans.

Elton Ollerhead, director of media group at Asos, has also joined the speaking line up of MediaX. The full agenda will be published in the coming months, however registration is now open.

MediaX will be held 11 June 2024, at the Cavendish Conference Centre, London. The one-day event, sponsored by Mirakl, Epsilon, Crealytics, will explore building a technology stack to setting up infrastructure, harnessing the experiences of well-established retailers in this space to new entrants and the agencies who are helping make things tick. 

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