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Retail Media Report Card: Europe, 1Q 2024

12 Mar 2024

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Retail media ad spending is expected to reach €114 billion ($125 billion) globally in 2024.

Retail media is inescapable within the digital marketing industry right now. Between Google’s recent confirmation of the deprecation of cookies and the continued and frequent launch of retail media networks across Europe — where IAB expects spending to reach €25 billion ($27.3 billion) by 2027 — the topic is foremost on the minds of most commerce marketers.

And with good reason: retail media has become an incredibly powerful tool for brands to reach their target audience effectively. By partnering with the right networks, brands can tap into a retailer’s customer base and gain access to valuable customer insights. This allows brands to deliver relevant, personalised marketing to shoppers, increasing the chances of driving conversion at the point of purchase.

As the market continues to grow and networks keep launching across Europe, the challenge for brands to determine the best investment opportunities becomes even more complex. Effectively evaluating the various opportunities can be difficult enough to manage for commerce marketers working within a single market — let alone for those whose remit runs across the entire region.

That’s because, when looking at retail media across Europe, each country is at a different level of maturity with its own pace of development, for a few reasons:

  • The fragmented nature of Europe in general.
  • The different shopping trends and habits in each country.
  • The unique nature of brand and retailer relationships across the region.

For this second edition of Mars United Commerce’s Retail Media Report Card: Europe, we therefore have included two additional markets to our assessment: Spain and Italy. While these markets are less mature than the UK, Germany and even France, growth expectations are huge, especially when considering the audience aggregation offered by the two new networks from those countries that we have added to the report.

This report, along with its predecessor published by Mars United in the U.S., has been widely viewed by the industry as an effective tool for brands to compare retail media network capabilities and help determine where and how to allocate their investments. It has also played a part in helping retailers understand how they stack up against the competitors and inform their future product roadmaps.

That is our goal once again: to provide our clients with the valuable insights and recommendations needed to make the best, most informed investment decisions.

To further that purpose, this edition also includes an in-depth analysis of how to pick the right network partners and a review of the “Tables Stakes” capabilities that all networks should be offering. We also track the evolution of the marketplace by calling out the new capabilities each network has released since our first Report Card was published in 2023 December. And we take a closer look at an emerging capability with transformative potential: data clean rooms.

We hope you enjoy this second edition of Mars United’s Retail Media Report Card: Europe. We trust this will become a key driver in helping your teams make informed decisions on their investments.

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