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Research From UK’s Co-op Measures Ad Impact at Other Retailers

A retail media campaign from a global beer brand generated a sales lift of 12% in Co-op stores and drove a 3% lift at surrounding stores.

British retailer Co-op released a study on how convenience store retail media compares to grocery’s media offerings and can boost sales.

Conducted in partnership with market research firm Circana (formerly IRI and The NPD Group), the study indicated a “positive halo effect” for overall brand awareness when advertising in Co-op shops, the retailer claimed in a media release shared with the Path to Purchase Institute.

About the Study

For the study, Circana leveraged its test vs control measurement solution Media Lift, which uses the market sales data and enables marketers to evaluate/measure the full impact of in-store marketing activity and a brand’s retail media spend in both Co-op’s stores and surrounding non-Co-op stores, including pharmacies and grocers. 

[Also Read: Q&A on Co-op’s Retail Media Journey]

Referencing the site lists of campaign activations, Circana built catchment models based on store and purchase attributes. The catchment stores were then used with Circana’s matching algorithm to build stat-heavy test and control panels of Co-op and halo stores.

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The Analysis

The analysis highlighted key brand sales metrics, such as increases in sales value, incremental sales and return on ad spend (ROAS). 

“The [research results are] clear,” Dean Harris, head of Co-op Media Network, said in the release. “When brands activate campaigns with Co-op there is an immediate positive sales impact in our store, but also within the surrounding area with retailers that we would typically [classify as] competitors. As a retail media owner, our main goal for the brands that advertise with us is to generate sales regardless of where that customer purchases the product.”

One of the retail media campaigns reviewed in the study was from an unidentified global beer brand that generated a sales lift of 12% in Co-op stores and drove a 3% lift at non-Co-op halo stores.

Co-op said the lift in halo store sales represented “four times the total incremental sales value seen in the Co-op stores alone.” Circana credited the total sales impact to the high number of halo stores where the sales lift occurred, and the larger pack sizes bought in those stores, per the release.

Notably, shoppers are increasingly visiting c-stores for “top-up missions” (i.e., smaller/quicker shopping trips in between or in addition to main/big grocery store trips). Data shows that Co-op shoppers engage the most with other grocers, which the retailer said provides c-store retail media with an “extra amplifier effect on halo sales.”

“The analysis of the beer campaign shows that by influencing brand purchase decisions in other non-Co-op stores, the retail media activation is able to generate higher incremental sales by tapping into larger pack sizes available in supermarket stores,” Harris added. “This halo effect data is incredibly insightful and gives further confidence to talk to our clients about the power of retail media in the convenience setting.”

[Watch: Retail Media Unplugged with Co-op’s Dean Harris]

“As the advertising industry continues to expand traditional retail media inventory and accelerate digital and addressable channels, and privacy regulations limit traditional measurement methods, retailers are increasingly in need of more agile and accurate ways to measure campaign performance across channels and tactics,” added Mark Hurst, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) head of retail media at Circana.

About Co-op Media Network

Launched in January, Co-op Media Network is the U.K.’s first retail media network in the convenience sector, the company says. It was established to help brands reach new and wider audiences and improve advertising relevancy for shoppers.

Co-op is one of the U.K.’s biggest food retailers with more than 2,400 local, convenience and medium-sized stores. The Co-op Media Network was developed by the retailer’s in-house team and its long-term agency partner Threefold, which is owned by London-based retail media agency SMG (Shopper Media Group).

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