Co-op joins retail media network race

Co-op’s foray into the retail media network space comes off the back of an increased focus on first-party data and membership scheme changes. 

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Co-op has entered the fast growing retail media network space, with an proposition it claims is the first to offer brands access to customer data in the UK’s convenience store category.

Brands will now be able to target prospective customers across Co-op’s 2,400 stores and gain visibility for their ad campaigns. The supermarket – which claims to be the 2nd most visited UK grocer – has been building on its data proposition in recent months.

The grocer is working with Threefold – an SMG agency, one of the largest operators of retail media networks in the UK – for the platform, named: The Co-op Media Network.

 Will retail media bridge the gap between performance and brand marketing?Kenyatte Nelson, chief membership and customer officer at Co-op, says: “Co-op’s nationwide network of frequently shopped smaller stores drives increased opportunities to see for brands’ advertising campaigns, and the unique impulsive nature of convenience shopping missions creates untapped occasions for brands to grow their sales.”

Emphasising the differences between convenience shopping and supermarket shopping, he says “brands will see greater sales and brand building benefits by executing media against both.”

Co-op joins other retailers in entering the market, which Warc forecasts will grow 10% in 2024, from $128.2bn (£100.8bn) last year. This includes supermarket rival Tesco, which has leveraged their loyalty schemes to enhance their retail media offering through data

In October 2023, it announced a retail media partnership data collaboration platform LiveRamp to improve its offering. Co-op’s existing retail media efforts boast an average ROI of £1.24, it says.

Elsewhere, Asda enter the retail media space in 2022, and also appointed SMG as its partner earlier this month.

Samuel Knights, CEO at SMG, on Co-op’s launch says this signifies a “true evolution” for Co-op’s media capabilities. “There’s now an ever-growing opportunity for brands to strategically connect with a distinct group of convenience shoppers with precision, ensuring the right messages are received by the right customers,” he adds.