Shopping list

A long shopping list of media that retailers sell to agencies

For our in-depth analysis of the evolution of e-commerce, we break down exactly what brick-and-mortar retailers Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Boots are offering marketers as they set out to monetize their massive advertising space.

Retailers are looking to better monetize their ad space, loyalty program data, and generate insights to provide a better marketing loop to brands in need of guidance.

Retail media is booming. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) estimates that the market will grow 25% annually over the next five years to reach $100 billion and will account for more than 25% of total digital media spending by 2026. eMarketer predicts him that US retail media networks will exceed $52 billion in ad sales by 2023. And it’s not all about Amazon anymore. According to a McKinsey study, 80% of advertisers currently use at least one retail media network in addition to Amazon.

It’s time for the biggest brick-and-mortar retailers in the country to take a slice of the pie. Here is what they offer.


Tesco offers the UK’s largest and arguably most mature retail media product. This includes a network of 500 digital screens (the most in the UK) which it says reaches 75% of its in-store shoppers. Much of this media is newly self-service through the Tesco Dunnhumby Sphere data hub.

It is backed by data from the Tesco Clubcard, which is now used in 80% of transactions by more than 20 million households in the UK. Tesco says this data can not only help marketers target adverts across its vast media domain, but also enable them to shape new products that come to market.

From a media perspective, its website and app saw 65 million visits in 2021, opening opportunities in display and search advertising.

In-store, beyond its DOOH footprint, there are opportunities for in-store radio promotions and advertisements on scan-as-you-shop and self-service units.

Tesco is also talking about co-branded partnerships on Facebook and soon around the world of CTV. And then there’s its analytics team, informed by the buying decisions of millions of loyalty card users who can be used to help dictate buying trends, pricing flexibilities and deliver a level of attribution to all of its media activity.


There has long been a crossover between the retail media developments of Walmart in the US and its former UK subsidiary Asda, from 2017 with the extension of the private ad exchange, Walmart Exchange. Already then, it was promising precise targeting of its online assets using customer data, with Lucozade being the first brand to try it.

Now, Asda Media Partnerships leverages Asda owned and operated platforms to help brands reach customers throughout the online shopping journey.

Alex Crowe, who at the time was head of Asda Media Partnerships, recently told The Drum: “As a retailer, we’re in a unique position to understand what customers are buying, whether by store , day of the week or time of day. , and with what other elements.

“So with dynamic assets and rich data, you can improve customer relevance as they make decisions, and then provide comprehensive reporting on campaign success – both soft and hard metrics. such as the impact on sales.”

Inside, it offers access to hundreds of six digital sheets as well as additional promotion through social accounts and its in-store radio. This is all backed up by data from the Asda Rewards app.


Meanwhile, the media footprint of the Sainsbury’s supermarket is managed by Nectar 360, owner of the Nectar loyalty card.

It recently launched a new self-service offering to support its digital commerce platform that will allow brands to purchase its media at their own discretion using purchase data collected by Nectar on digital media. It also worked with CitrusAd, owned by Publicis, to develop the media offering on its website, encompassing display and search advertising.

There are also in-store advertising opportunities, over 300 motion sheets, as well as canvas/print opportunities. In total, Clear Channel estimates that this real estate has over 20 million impacts every two weeks.


Morrisons was the latest of Britain’s major grocers to reveal a retail media network that will develop and deliver marketing campaigns for brands, dropping its announcement in September 2022.

It works with advertisers to create ad campaigns based on customer insights gained from its MyMorrisons loyalty program and e-commerce data.

It has yet to reveal the full range of media spaces it has to offer, but will have digital inventory in its properties in some of its 497 stores across the UK and over 300 stations- service. It will also increase its inventory on shopping channels such as Morrisons on Amazon and rely heavily on working with its delivery partners, including Deliveroo.

Its bespoke unit, Morrisons Media Group, offers brands in-store and online reach, as well as “connected campaigns across third-party channels, including digital and social”. This is supported by “dedicated account management and a full-service approach from campaign planning to concept development”, as well as “clear ROI reporting”.

The retailer recently pulled out of the ‘big four’ retailers, surpassed by Aldi. To be an effective retail medium, it must, like any media company, achieve high attendance/viewers to ensure scale worth buying.


An honorable mention goes to the UK’s largest pharmacy retailer, Boots, which has long touted the benefits of the Boots Advantage card (now over 25 years). This program brings data from over 17 million active users across 2,400 stores and online to brands.

On the table are in-store, in-app and online advertising, with a digital footprint encompassing 1 billion website visits per year. It also offers the ability to run co-branded ads in first-party and third-party channels in display, video, social media, direct mail, email, and vouchers.

These media are easiest to buy through the newly formed Boots Media Group, supported by a partnership with trade marketing organization Threefold.

For more on the evolution of e-commerce, check out The Drum’s latest Deep Dive.