At this point, the retail effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are widely known – and still widely felt. With less people popping in and out of stores and more people placing orders online, retailers can no longer rely on their in-store presence alone to get the word out about new products or deals. Hence: a growth in retail media.

What exactly is retail media? In short, retail media is when a company shows targeted ads on their own websites and apps. It uses first party data exclusively, meaning only consumer data collected on the brand’s own channels; it doesn’t share data with other websites. And more and more brands are getting behind it.

In fact, an eMarketer report in 2020 found that retail media grew 38% YOY, with marketers’ spend totaling more than $17 billion. And a 2021 eMarketer report projects that e-commerce channel advertising will increase by 27.8% YOY to reach $23.92 billion by late this year.

So, what’s really driving this growth in retail media?

Retail media done right combines the two things consumers love: privacy and personalization. But the truth is that Amazon dominates the scene, making up an estimated 76.2% of US ecommerce channel ad spending in 2021. That has left others to catch up; other retailers like Instacart, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and more are investing now more than ever in retail media. Because they know that if they don’t start now, they might fall too far behind.

Here’s why.

Investing in Privacy

As we approach 2022, third party data is becoming more and more obsolete. While many consumers want to see ads that speak to their wants and needs, they also believe that third party cookies are a violation of privacy. A McKinsey survey on consumer data protection found that 87% of respondents would not support a company with questionable privacy practices.

This has led to laws and regulations that will eventually eliminate cookies altogether; Google will stop supporting cookies in their browser by 2023. Therefore, brands are investing in first-party data so that they can still give consumers targeted ads without blasting their information all over the internet.

A Swiftly-powered app allows retailers to use first-party data to show targeted ads to consumers. It allows you to use shopper data collected on your app – what shoppers have put in their carts in the past, what brands they like, how often they shop, etc – to show personalized ads that recognize their needs withoutviolating their privacy.

The Importance of Personalization

Think about advertising channels like social media. It’s an effective marketing tool in many ways; many of us are constantly checking our social media accounts and seeing a brand name pop up based on our social media behavior can put that brand top of mind. However, social media advertising doesn’t see the shopper like retail media does.

In other words, retail media treats the shoppers as an individual. It recognizes their specific wants and needs; it knows when a shopper is vegetarian or gluten free and knows which specific toilet paper brands they like to buy. And with 66% of shoppers expecting companies to understand their unique needs and expectations, retail media is the only advertising channel that really gets the job done.

An app powered by Swiftly allows you to really see your shoppers. You’ll know exactly what they want based on what they’ve bought in the past, what they search for, what they put on their lists, and more, and you can send them push notifications or pop-up ads based on that data. With retail media, you’re showing personalized ads that get to the root of consumer preferences without violating their privacy. This will keep shoppers coming back time and time again, building customer loyalty, and, of course, driving sales.

In order to keep up with industry giants like Amazon, brick and mortar retailers need to deliver privacy and personalization to their customers. With Swifly’s cutting edge AI technology, you can reach more shoppers through retail media networks, bolstering brand loyalty and increasing sales.

To get started, contact Swiftly today.