Study: Amazon Dominates Retail Media Ad Spend

MediaRadar analyzed $5 billion in retail media ad campaigns from 2022, across nearly 30 retailer media networks, to identify key trends.
Jacqueline Barba
Digital Editor
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MediaRadar, an advertising intelligence and sales enablement platform, has identified key patterns and trends in the growing retail media space, which is now worth an estimated $100 billion.

In a recently released study, MediaRadar analyzed a sample of just under $5 billion in retail media campaigns from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2022. The company's  software tracks and analyzes ad campaigns for millions of brands across multiple touchpoints, including online, TV, mobile and print.  

The analysis looked at a range of retailer media networks (RMNs) across channels, including Target, Walmart, Kroger, CVS Health, Dollar General, Amazon and Macy’s. Digital-first players and brick-and-mortar retailers with digital media footprints were also included among the nearly 30 RMNs analyzed.

However, one RMN reigned supreme: Amazon. According to MediaRadar's data sample, Amazon dominated the retail ad spend in 2022, capturing 37% of the market share. Over 14,200 companies advertised 17,000-some brands on the e-commerce giant’s site.

"Amazon has such a tight grip on the digital space that they really sit in a category of their own," Todd Krizelman, CEO and co-founder of MediaRadar, in a news release. "Other players are growing quickly, but it will be difficult for legacy brick-and-mortar retailers to beat Amazon on its own terrain. Retailers should explore other opportunities to extend retail media, such as in-store digital experiences or other channels like email newsletters, where Amazon doesn't have as much traction."

General/mass retailers  both online (excluding Amazon) and legacy brick-and-mortar retailers, including Walmart and Target — captured 36% of the ad spend market share. Therefore, Amazon and general retailers captured nearly three-quarters (73%) of the total retail media ad investment in 2022.

“Amazon was born from e-commerce, and built its ad business from that, so it’s hard to beat their scale and sophistication in the online space,” Lindell Bennett, chief revenue officer of Cooler Screens, said in the release. “But 85%-90% of retail still happens in-store, so I think it’s important that brick-and-mortar [entities] recognize their considerable advantage in the in-store environment.”

Bennett spent a decade at Amazon before joining Cooler Screens, working across multiple geographies and helping drive the growth of the e-commerce giant’s CPG retail media business.

Additional takeaways from MediaRadar’s study include:

  • Nearly 26,000 companies advertised almost 40,000 brands in total across RMNs.
  • The top five brand categories in RMNs were consumer electronics (15% of all spend), housewares (6%), snacks and desserts (6%), household maintenance products (5%) and furniture/decor (5%), accounting for 37% of the total retail ad spend last year.
  • Top brands spending in retail media included HP, Colgate-Palmolive’s Palmolive, Pepperidge Farm, Hormel Foods’ Planters, Mondelez International’s Ritz, Epson and Starbucks. 

"Brands are making a big push into retail media right now," said Krizelman. "This trend will only continue as more advertisers seek lower-funnel channels to drive performance for their spend, and as identity-based advertising on the open web continues to decline. Retail media offers a solution to these issues."  

Methodology: Analyzing ad spend on nearly 30 retailer websites throughout 2022, the study included display and sponsored ads across several key product categories, such as general retailing, electronics, home and garden, pharmacy, grocery and more.