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OPINION Retail media will be ‘bigger than TV’

Tesco were recently quoted as telling suppliers that the growth in retail media means that the channel will be bigger than television by the end of 2025, writes Colin Lewis.

This chimes with Media, Ads and Commerce Founder, Andrew Lipsman, who predicts that in-store advertising will surpass television advertising in terms of influence and impact and that in-store media is effective because it delivers so much of the value that linear TV has traditionally delivered. It just so happens to produce these effects close to the point of sale”.

Where is the rationale for these claims?  

  1. Retail media is morphing into full funnel, with off-site, social, and streaming TV formats coming to the fore. 
  2. The audience for linear TV shrinking, TV advertising is in decline, and the marketing world is increasingly focused on performance and ROI. This is not the perceived strength of TV advertising. As Brian Wieser of consultancy Madison and Wall writes “we can argue that TV advertising is really effective performance-based medium. It’s just not the way it is mostly sold.” 
  3. Shoppers instore are still 70-90% of traffic for many retailers – instore delivers ‘audiences at scale’. This is being supported by the fact that the digitising of surfaces instore, including digital billboards, digital screens in store and at POS is growing.
  4. Instore digital media delivers reach, quality, and performance for the biggest retailers.
  5. Giant media buyer GroupM expects U.S. TV ad spending to fall 5.1% to $62.3 billion in 2024, excluding political ad spending, following a 5.2% decline in 2023.
  6. Any analysis of marketing spend shows that the new advertising market ‘normal’ is marketers focussing digital spend on performance marketing and brand spend on experiential/high-touch opportunities.

With all the talk about TV advertising, the scale of TV advertising compared to other media is astounding. What is called ‘traditional’ advertising is much smaller than almost any other channel.

So, it’s no wonder that Tesco were telling suppliers that TV is on the decline as part of their pitch around digital ad screens in Tesco outlets trebling to 6,000 by the end of this 2024. Tesco claim they will have Europe’s largest retail digital ad screens estate – having quickly scaled from 400 in March 2023.

Tesco is also planning next-generation handheld scanners to target shoppers in-store with hyper-personalised ads: the scanners will know where you are in store and be able to target offers directly relevant to you.Personalisation has been a buzzword for years, but Tesco is talking about developing its Clubcard app to have more personalised and localised ranges in stores.

Registration for Retail MediaX remains open.

Asos, John Lewis Partnership, Asda and many more are speaking at this brand new event on 11 June 2024.

For more information about Retail MediaX, held at The Cavendish Conference Centre London, click here.

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