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In-store data is key to maximizing RMN potential

Ben Reynolds, Lori Johnshoy, Amber Roberts and Howard Luks speak at NRF '24: Retail's Big Show.
Ben Reynolds, Lori Johnshoy, Amber Roberts and Howard Luks speak at NRF '24: Retail's Big Show.

At Threefold, every single decision we make is backed by data. That’s why the Retail Media Networks we operate lead to additional revenue for retailers and unlock sales and loyalty for brands.


I recently had the opportunity to take the stage at NRF '24: Retail’s Big Show to talk about one particular type of data we use at Threefold: in-store data. It was great to share the stage with LiveRamp’s Lori Johnshoy and Howard Luks and Walkbase’s Ben Reynolds to discuss the possibilities this data unlocks for advertisers.


There are many such possibilities, but what’s exciting is the potential this data has as technologies evolve and retailers modernize store fleets. As we prepare for signal loss as a result of the continued deprecation of the cookie this year, marketers and advertisers will need to look toward new ways to learn how consumers behave, how they shop and what they desire.


Enter retail media.


We at Threefold know that robust RMNs already offer brands the unparalleled opportunity to learn about the consumer, but there’s still work to be done, especially in North America.


Where are we now? 


The amount of data we have available in store is largely dependent on how progressive a retailer is. If the retailer has a robust loyalty program, that makes for better in-store analysis than if a retailer is at the beginning of their retail media journey, where these insights might be harder to come by. 


When leveraged by RMNs, loyalty programs' first-party data allows brand advertisers the ability to unlock crucial information about shoppers, including data points such as demographic information, frequency of in-store visits, what items are being purchased and at what frequency.


For example, loyalty program data might tell advertisers that a shopper purchases paper towels every two weeks but is not brand loyal. Frequent purchases of gluten-free or vegetarian products may indicate a shopper is more primed to act on advertising for products in those categories. Such data enables advertisers to make informed decisions about which shoppers to target, when to target them and how to best reach them on their non-linear path to purchase.


Threefold’s RMN partners develop campaigns that leverage such data about sales, both online and in-store, to make the best decisions that maximize ROI. Threefold’s retail media experts have a wealth of information about in-store behavior from our numerous active global RMN partners, allowing brands to make decisions based on what performs well in-store and what attracts and motivates the shopper.


What's next?


We must work to create more opportunities for in-store data that more closely mirror what is possible online. Presently, in-store data relies heavily on this loyalty data. Loyalty data is fantastic but incomplete – it tells what the shopper is doing but neglects to consider what they haven’t done.


When trying to compare an analysis across both in-store and online, the data points are not the same. Data from online touchpoints often show the entire customer journey: what they’ve viewed, what they have not viewed and whether they’ve put something in their basket and then abandoned it. 


We don’t yet have those same capabilities in-store. Those types of insights will be pivotal in the future, because brands and their RMN partners can, in real-time, personalize or revise a campaign based on what the customer is not responding to.





How will we get there?


One way: digitization of the store. If we have that digitization – think more in-store screens and cameras that track (in a privacy-compliant manner) shopper behavior, the amount of information we could collect on customers’ in-store journey would offer value beyond anything we’ve had up to this point. 


However, retail media is not solely a digital enterprise. What we’ve found over the last 15 years is that RMNs can analyze analog campaigns and offer robust measurement to brands. RMNs can demonstrate ROI on analog campaigns without that digital transformation. While digitization of the store is the goal, retailers can start better measuring the success of in-store media right now, offering brands a clear picture of how their dollars are performing.


Threefold RMNs utilize our proprietary Plan-Apps technology, where all of this information is collected and stored for both RMNs and for brands. Plan-Apps aggregates all of these in-store and online data points and campaign performance data. That makes it easy for retailers and brands to sift through all of the noise and look at the data points that make sense in a way that is easy to digest. 


The store offers a wealth of data that will only continue to become more important in the coming months and years.


The time to invest in your retail media now.


Looking to get more out of your retail media network or to start up from scratch? Send me an email at amber.roberts@threefold.team to talk about how Threefold can help you supercharge your strategy to maximize revenue. 


About Amber Roberts

Amber Roberts is the Partnership Director at Threefold, where she leads the team building retailer partnerships in North America. Amber joined Threefold in 2023.


As a seasoned retail veteran, Amber has spent nearly two decades working across the industry, from Fortune 100 and Global 300 companies to startups. Amber previously spent about four years working for Kroger, where she was one of the first digital hires, established the framework for its current RMN offering and launched several multi-billion dollar businesses and alternative revenue streams.


Most recently, Amber worked as a consultant for small- and mid-sized grocery retailers to develop their omnichannel marketing strategies.


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, offsite 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, Signet Group and The Very Group.


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