top of page

3 key moments from Shoptalk 2024 and what they mean for retail media

The Threefold team just returned from an exciting few days in Las Vegas, where CEO Sam Knights, Co-Founder Matt Lee and Managing Director Sean Crawford attended Shoptalk 2024.

It wasn’t our first time at the show, but it was certainly our biggest showing! On Sunday, Threefold hosted a VIP Retail Media Dinner with our friends at Particular Audience and Qsic. Thank you to everyone who attended for making dinner at Beauty & Essex a smashing success. Then, on Monday, we sponsored the Retail Media OG Party, a Path to Purchase Institute event, and welcomed hundreds of commerce marketing professionals for small bites, drinks and couldn't-miss networking at The Cosmopolitan.

Meanwhile, Shoptalk orchestrated days of excellent programming that addressed numerous challenges and opportunities facing retail. From a focus on in-store experiences to personalization and TikTok, these were the biggest stories from this year’s show, plus our perspective on what that means for retail media.

1. TikTok levels up commerce tools

Despite ongoing scrutiny from the US government that threatens its ability to operate in the country, TikTok had a major presence at Shoptalk, where it highlighted additional ad products. While TikTok is not necessarily a retail media touchpoint in the traditional sense, it’s impossible to deny the influence the platform has had on retail.

TikTok has transformed the industry for retailers, brands and shoppers alike. Even before the platform launched TikTok Shop last year, it had already disrupted retail as a discovery platform, as brands leveraged influencers to drive awareness and sales. Beauty retailer Sephora, for instance, has its “As Seen on Your #FYP” page, which offers a curated list of products that have gained traction on social media.

As TikTok has evolved, it has introduced new features and tools for brands and influencers to sell products directly on the platform. This time, TikTok has added Shop Ads to offer a more streamlined way for sellers to advertise within TikTok Shop. It’s also rolling out globally and upgrading its Video Shopping Ads features that enable sellers to advertise a product via videos on the app.

“We know that video content is an effective way to leverage that to really demonstrate your product and also provide information alongside the product,” Ray Cao, TikTok’s Global Head of Product Strategy, told Modern Retail. “The Video Shopping Ad also provides a product card to click on, so the user will directly go to the webpage on the [brand’s] website.”

Threefold’s experts likewise are aware of the power of social media video offers as part of a comprehensive retail media strategy. Threefold-powered retail media campaigns that have leveraged social-media platforms have delivered impressive ROI for brands, especially when those campaigns utilized TikTok. With its creator-based partnership offering a truly unique experience for shoppers, we anticipate that TikTok’s investment in more commerce tools will push more Retail Media Networks to add TikTok as a channel to their toolkit for brand advertisers.

2. AI's potential to transform retail

AI has gripped both the retail and marketing industries, and Shoptalk was a clear indicator that this hold will continue in 2024 and beyond. When AI is leveraged in the right way, it can be a game changer. RMNs across the board are working to integrate AI technology into their strategies, so much so that it is no longer a differentiating factor. With the proper tools and implementation, we believe AI introduces efficiencies into retail media that streamline processes and enable greater success for retailers and brands.

Generative AI offers numerous possibilities to improve the experience, offering applications that span creative development to store allocation processes. EMARKETER research tells us shoppers want retailers to use AI tools to create a more personalized experience that helps them when researching, obtaining services and looking for promotions. With retail media, generative AI has the power to leverage retailers’ first-party data to offer the personalization that shoppers crave.

Although there are numerous applications for AI in retail media, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Retail media at its best depends on precision planning and creative ideation with people at the heart. While generative AI can assist and streamline the process, it’s not a replacement for people! And, as with all technology, it’s about knowing which tools to implement and how to best implement them for success.

Threefold’s partner RMNs, for instance, utilize AI as part of the store allocation processes to algorithmically distribute media to stores with a set of fixed rules bespoke to a retailer's needs.

3. Improving the in-store experience

At Threefold, we’ve been banging the in-store retail media drum for the past 15 years, so we’re pleased to see it get the limelight it deserves at Shoptalk. A key focus this year was the unification of retailers’ in-store and digital experiences. As we know, customer journeys are messier than ever, and consumers’ paths to purchase are no longer linear. Customers bounce across a growing plethora of physical touchpoints as they move through their mental funnel toward a purchase. Despite the number of touchpoints shoppers hit on their way to a purchase, 85% of sales are still made in-store, highlighting that in this digital world, in-store is still king.

At Shoptalk, retailers highlighted a desire to onboard technology and tools that reduce the need for in-store staff to focus on menial tasks and enable workers to spend more time interacting with shoppers. This is one reason we’ve supported the digitization of the store, which takes the burden of placing and activating retail media campaigns off in-store staff. Retail media can also be leveraged to make the job of in-store staff easier by educating and guiding shoppers to a purchase decision.

This can be achieved through clever messaging, consistent delivery across the path to purchase and personalized targeting. Many North Americans including Walmart, Canadian Tire and Publix have invested in future-facing stores and have implemented digital elements. While these are innovative and necessary measures, the integration and space for retail media cannot be disregarded when updating the physical store.

Conversations held at Shoptalk underscored the evolving landscape of retail media, marked by the dynamic interplay of technology, consumer behavior and industry adaptation. As retail continues to evolve, retailers must embrace omnichannel approaches that prioritize digital and in-store experiences, fostering a cohesive journey for both consumers and advertisers alike. The discussions at this year’s show offer a testament to the adaptability of the retail media landscape, urging stakeholders to embrace innovation and collaboration in navigating the ever-changing demands of the modern retail ecosystem.

About Ella Rice

Ella Rice is a client manager in the Threefold North America team, where she supports CPGs in planning, building and measuring retailer campaigns. Prior to her role at Threefold, Ella spent three years on the Plan-Apps team within SMG, supporting CPGs with insights on campaign performance and building consultancies that leveraged Plan-Apps data. Ella previously worked as an account manager for a digital marketing agency. Want to chat about how Threefold can supercharge your retail media strategy? You can reach her at

About Threefold

Founded in 2008, Threefold is the world's leading Retail Media Network (RMN) specialist, headquartered in both New York and London. As part of the SMG agency network, which employs over 250 retail media experts, Threefold's primary mission is to unlock incremental CPG budgets, curate media campaigns that supercharge sales and elevate its retail partners into top-tier omnichannel media owners, spanning in-store, off-site and online.

Threefold's services include consultancy, evaluation, and a white-label in-house solution that has seen the agency build, run and operate over 10 Retail Media Networks to date. In the UK, Threefold runs and operates Walgreens' Boots Media Group and Morrisons Media Group, and additional live partners include major retailers like Asda, The Co-op and The Very Group.


bottom of page