Instacart Retail

The Growth of Retail Media Networks: Everything a Grocer Should Know



May 28, 2024

Learn how the growth of retail media networks (RMNs) helps grocers sharpen their competitive edge while strengthening relationships with consumers and CPGs. 

The digital revolution of retail media

As cookies and third-party data collection continue their sunset across major platforms, the next iteration of retail media is taking form in real time. Shifting landscapes, however, don’t change the fact that advertisers still rely on consumer datasets to develop effective strategies.

A powerful solution to this shift is retail media networks, which bypass intermediaries and allow retailers to sell advertising space directly to advertisers. With access to first-party consumer data, retailers partner with advertisers looking to reach specific audiences. This model thrives in an omnichannel shopping era that’s generating more consumer data than ever before.



Let’s take a closer look at retail media networks — and see how they’re empowering grocers of all sizes to outpace competition in a changing digital advertising landscape.  

Tracing the growth of retail media networks

As of December 2023, there were more than 150 retail media networks worldwide. With a variety of platforms available, industries from grocery to e-commerce and beyond can find a retail media network tailored to their unique advertising ecosystems.


But, where there’s a retail media network suited for grocery, there are several unoptimized competitors vying for your investment. The market is saturated with new retail media networks that don’t offer the features of more established alternatives. New retail media networks often lack:


  • Self-service features
  • Advertiser demand
  • Customer support


Instead of choosing the latest retail media network to hit the market, it’s worthwhile to choose an established platform with an active selection of relevant advertisers. Grocery-tailored networks, for example, often feature CPG brands looking to advertise products already on store shelves.



With the growth of retail media networks in mind, let’s take a closer look at grocery-tailored platform opportunities. 

What retail media networks do for grocers

Let’s discuss some perks you can unlock by joining a retail media network built for grocery. 

New revenue streams

By selling space to advertisers, grocers create low-lift opportunities to activate new revenue streams in stores. 



Consumer satisfaction

Personalized advertisements influenced by first-party data are more engaging to consumers. Well-timed, relevant advertisements can also boost consumer affinity for your business.

CPG relationships

CPGs brands are motivated to create consumer-oriented advertisements that drive product purchases. By empowering CPGs to advertise in high-intent environments like your stores, you can solidify relationships with their brands. 

Scalable technology

The growth of retail media networks is a key indicator of the ongoing digital revolution. By upgrading your technological capabilities, retail media networks can help you set a strong foundation for future scaling.  

Competitive edge

Early adopters of retail media networks have a leg up in the market. Less congestion, fewer competitors, and a larger advertiser pool are all compelling reasons for grocers to consider taking the leap.

Instacart: Advertising solutions for grocery’s future

So which retail media network is most suited to grocers’ bottom lines? There are dozens of options on the market, but many lack the features of an industry-leading platform like Carrot Ads by Instacart. 

Grocers nationwide are already using Carrot Ads to power their digital advertising strategy. Because Carrot Ads uses Instacart’s network to connect grocers with CPG brands, this solution invites grocers to a thriving advertising ecosystem that enables mutual growth. 

Carrot Ads also supports quick activations by connecting grocers with Instacart’s in-house sales team. Our team helps grocers avoid cold starts, which is vital as digital advertising continues to see rapid growth. Coupled with Instacart’s nationwide scale, Carrot Ads is a trusted solution for grocers driving short-term and long-term results in the growth of retail media networks.

The bottom line

Grocers joining a retail media network stand to gain a number of perks for their businesses, ranging from new revenue to stronger CPG relationships. Solutions like Carrot Ads help grocers nationwide catch up, keep pace, and overcome competition. And, as the digital advertising industry continues to change, there’s never been a better time to join a grocery-tailored retail media network. 

If you’re interested in Carrot Ads or other Instacart Platform technology for your grocery business, click the button below to submit a Retailer Inquiry form.


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Instacart is the leading grocery technology company in North America, partnering with more than 1,400 national, regional, and local retail banners to deliver from more than 80,000 stores across more than 14,000 cities in North America. To read more Instacart posts, you can browse the company blog or search by keyword using the search bar at the top of the page.

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