Retail Media

Kroger grows in-store retail media with smart screens at 500 stores

The grocer is expanding a partnership with Cooler Screens.

cooler screens

(Photo courtesy of Cooler Screens)

You may have heard of offsite retail media. How about offline?

Retail media holds out the opportunity that brands and marketplaces can reach customers with advertising, anywhere that there’s a screen. Through a new partnership, that capability is extending to the store.

Kroger is set to add smart screens to 500 stores, bringing retail media activations to aisles and checkout lines.

It’s the result of an expanded partnership with Cooler Screens, a company that developed software and enabling hardware to provide advertising and analytics on in-store screens. The company started by developing screens for the cooler doors of frozen food sections, but has since expanded to other areas of the store, like endcaps, banner aisles or existing screens.

Kroger and Cooler Screens piloted the technology for three years, and set out to determine whether they could improve customer experiences through interactive media and digital merchandising. The companies now have conviction that the content available on screens can enable consumers to make “better-informed decisions based on their own preferences, diets, health needs, budgets and lifestyles,” according to an announcement detailing the activation.

In turn, providing in-store retail media allows brands to reach consumers while they are shopping at a brick-and-mortar location. It extends the digital ad opportunities available via ecommerce to a new channel. Unlike a traditional static display ad, digitally-powered retail media is measurable, and Cooler Screens said it offers tools that help brands provide contextually relevant promotions and product information, as well as analytics on performance.

Kroger has made retail media a central part of its digital strategy. The grocer provides advertising through the Kroger Precision Marketing arm, and customer insights through its 84.51° data science team. Executives have talked about how retail media is helping the company unlock new, high-margin business lines, and see the growth of available data as a key driver of the company’s proposed merger with Albertsons.

“We’re excited about this continued collaboration as it extends our vision for the future of retail media, offering brands another powerful marketing lever inside the store,” said Cara Pratt, senior vice president at Kroger Precision Marketing, in a statement. “Cooler Screens shares and further enables this vision by bringing the best of digital experiences directly into our retail stores while integrating with our 84.51° data science platform to create an engaging and valuable experience for our customers, associates, and brands.”

Cooler Screens said it reaches more than 90 million viewers monthly in stores. Along with Kroger, customers include Walgreens and Giant Eagle’s GetGo convenience stores.

While retail media is primarily a means of advertising on ecommerce marketplaces today, the expanded appearance of advertising on in-store screens underscores how the first-party data that powers it can be foundational for a growing range of channels.

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