AI in retail media? Majority of marketers are optimistic

53% of marketers believe AI will significantly enhance targeting and ad relevance according to Cooler Screens study.

Chat with MarTechBot

Marketers are ready to embrace AI in the retail media space. A majority (53%) of marketers believe AI will “significantly enhance” the way shoppers are targeted and served relevant ads, according to a survey of 200 CPG advertisers commissioned by in-store media technology company Cooler Screens.

Another 37% of marketers said AI’s impact on the space will be “moderate, improving some aspects [of retail media], but not transformative.” Nine percent said traditional methods will remain in place with slow adoption, and 1% said they were unsure about AI’s role at this stage.

Dig deeper: Kraft Heinz and Gatorade tap in-store video screens for March Madness

Why we care. It’s worth noting that only 1% of marketers in this survey were on the fence about AI’s impact on retail media. The vast majority are ready to embrace AI for targeting, serving relevant ads to customers and other aspects of advertising. Retail media covers the full customer journey, including the “last mile” when shoppers are on the retailer’s digital channels or in-store. Using AI to connect with customers in this crucial part of the journey can give advertisers a leg up on competitors.

Other findings. When asked about AI’s role in analyzing and leveraging shopping behavior in-store, these were the responses:

  • 45% say AI will assist, but human analysis will remain primary. 
  • 44% believe AI will be essential for real-time data analysis and shopper insights. 
  • 10% consider in-store data too complex for current AI capabilities. 
  • 1% have no opinion on AI’s effectiveness in this context.

Personalization. Advertisers were also asked about personalization. Would AI be used to deliver highly personalized experiences to retail media shoppers?

  • 52% predict AI will enable highly personalized shopper experiences. 
  • 34% foresee some improvement in personalization, but challenges remain. 
  • 11% think personalization through AI is overrated with limited use. 
  • 4% need more information to assess AI’s role. 

Data. And finally, with third-party cookies crumbling and other data challenges for advertisers, will AI help bring together retail’s fragmented online and offline datasets?

  • 54% view AI as crucial for seamless integration of online and offline data. 
  • 29% find AI helpful but not essential, as other tools can also manage data integration. 
  • 15% have privacy concerns about AI integration. 
  • 2% are indifferent or unsure about AI’s impact. 

“At NRF, the IAB released a report underscoring the value of in-store media,” said Artem Lavrinovich, Chief Data and Product Offer at Cooler Screens, in a release. “This report emphasizes that AI enables a more comprehensive understanding of in-store shopping, paralleling the insights we’ve long had online. AI’s capability to deepen our insight into consumer behavior is a significant leap forward for retail media.”

Dig deeper: 2024 Predictions for Retail media networks


About the author

Chris Wood
Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country's first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on "innovation theater" at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

Fuel for your marketing strategy.