Opportunities and Challenges in an Age of Anonymity

If you have your ear to the ground for trends in the marketing space, you’ve probably heard of Retail Media Networks (RMNs). These are platforms that enable retailers to make money from their shopper data. Companies like Amazon and Walmart are a couple of prominent examples—they use their vast amount of shopper data to create mini marketplaces for other advertisers to target. Walmart has been leading the way, reporting a whopping $2 billion in revenue for 2022, largely from their retail media network. This success has inspired other retailers to consider creating their own RMNs and monetizing their data. As with most trends, however, there are key details that can cause some companies to stumble. 

Why are retail media networks suddenly all the rage?

Two reasons: hype and privacy. With the increasing restrictions on data collection, retailers are looking for safer and more reliable ways to monetize their data. RMNs offer a closed ecosystem for advertisers to market to high-intent audiences with dependable inventory and media placements. This means advertisers get reliable access to valuable data and retailers can monetize their on-site audiences, which were previously an afterthought. It also means visitors get a more personalized customer experience. Since visitors will see useful ads that are directly relevant to them, exchanging some personal data can be a worthwhile trade. 

Before you click away to start an RMN of your own, there’s one catch to keep in mind: the data exchange should benefit the consumer experience, not recklessly monetize audiences. If done irresponsibly, RMNs can lead to competitive conquest and erode the relationship between a brand and a consumer. Retailers need to use the data to improve their customers' experience first, and then consider setting up an RMN when they have the proper guardrails in place. 

It’s not all rainbows and revenue streams 

RMNs run into the same issues that large ad platforms do—most data is anonymized and must be attributed to consumers with less-than-reliable methods, like mobile IDs and fingerprinting. Many people browse sites without logging in, so the usefulness of an account-based approach is limited as well. 

What’s the biggest challenge for RMNs? Cookie deprecation. Since most traffic on these platforms is anonymous, retailers have a tough time identifying users and tracking their behavior. This can be a massive disservice to users who may want a deeper experience with certain brands but can't get it, due to a lack of identification. To overcome this, retailers need technology that can resolve user identities, make sense of their audience, and guide them through the funnel to connect them with the brands they're interested in. 

That's where fullthrottle.ai’s technology comes in. We help retailers create new household-based first-party data that fits into the world of retail media networks. Since we’re not a data broker, fullthrottle.aiTM empowers retailers to own their data—forever. Using our AdTech, retailers can identify users on their sites, making them available to brand partners and creating new revenue streams. This means more opportunities to keep shoppers in the funnel and serve them targeted marketing, while also allowing partners to tap into that network and drive incremental revenue. 

What can I expect with fullthrottle.aiTM?  

With fullthrottle.aiTM, you’ll see full customer-journey signals attached to each user, so you’ll know exactly what that person was looking for. You’ll build more first-party data that can inform your marketing budgets—after all, these are in-market hand-raisers who want to interact with your brand. With high-quality data backing your efforts, you can expect to see better targeting and higher conversion rates, ultimately leading to increased revenue and a stronger relationship with your audience. 

Becoming an RMN might seem daunting. However, with fullthrottle.aiTM, you can take the first step in a manageable way. By transforming previously unreachable households and building significant first-party audiences, fullthrottle.aiTM can help kick-start a retailer's journey to becoming a retail media network.

Book a demo to see how our technology can put you on the path to building validated and reliable first-party data.