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The Next Wave of Retail Media: The Connected Store


For CPG brands in the U.S., stores are overwhelmingly still the place shoppers are making purchase decisions, but there is big opportunity to influence shoppers via out-of-home, social media, connected TV, online, digital POS display advertising and, perhaps most importantly, in-store media, or “in-store experiences.” That was the view of Tim Bagwell, chief product officer at Barrows, and Kristina Kovar, president of Barrows North America, during their Future Forward presentation Tuesday in New Orleans.

Barrows is helping retailers such as Walmart and Tesco create LED connected stores that are powered by technology and digitally enabled touchpoints designed to empower shoppers and store staff work and shop more efficiently. The stores also offer brands more retail media opportunities via interactive media displays (e.g., digital endcaps) with QR codes, connected mobile content, touchscreens, learn-and-lift technology and/or video ads to promote discovery and engage shoppers.

Kovar said Walmart now operates about 50 LED connected stores and will certainly roll out the experience to more stores.

“Retail has really changed post-pandemic. Shoppers are coming back into the physical store and they’re expecting the physical store to give the same level of feedback and engagement that the digital store is. We think very passionately that the digital store needs to be more like the physical store, and the physical store needs to be become like the digital store in order to engage shoppers,” Bagwell said, adding that retailer media networks provide the best opportunity to do this.

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