The General Data Protection Regulation is here to stay, even as Google delays the end of third-party cookies (again) to 2024. The push for more privacy will continue. 

So retail businesses must become smarter in how they use their data to understand their clients, build tailored offers and drive higher conversion rates. All this while continuing to safeguard sensitive client information. So, let’s look at the future of retail media in a cookieless world and what retail businesses should be doing to ensure success in the future.

Understanding your customers and what they’re looking for means you can create customized offers that streamline the buying journey and increase customer satisfaction and sales.

Most retail businesses know that their first-party data is now critical to understanding the needs and wants of customers. These businesses are sitting on a gold mine of pertinent information that can directly affect the success of their business. The challenge, however, is not only the collection of the information but in organizing and using this data to best serve their customers.

When prospective clients are looking for your offering online, you need to ensure they’re not being bogged down by irrelevant or spammy ads. Relevancy is everything. A recent study shows that 10 percent to 15 percent of sales come from the top four or five product positions of an e-commerce website. Retailers using those positions for sponsored product ads must keep them relevant or risk losing clients to their competitors. It’s a balance between creating relevancy and not limiting reach — in other words, you need to create targeted campaigns that resonate with your ideal shoppers and give your advertisers the exposure they are paying to get.

Seventy-one percent of consumers would prefer ads that are tailored to their interests and shopping habits, whereas 49 percent of consumers will disregard a brand entirely if they perceive them as irrelevant or spammy.

Creating targeted ad placements that resonate with and convert your ideal customers into loyal clients while also increasing return on ad spending. This is why you need a strategy that incorporates artificial intelligence tools to identify all the keyword and placement opportunities that a manually created campaign will never uncover.

Many businesses get so focused on some of these other strategies that they forget to surprise and delight customers with new discoveries.

When it comes to retail media advertising, the long-tail of smaller vendors and brands is often overlooked. However, they are also the ones creating an interesting shopping experience for customers as they sell products that shoppers have an affinity for but are not current buyers of. 

Using technology to enable the discovery of these long-tail products enriches the shopper experience, drives conversion and ultimately encourages advertising to continue. Keep in mind that up to 70 percent of potential ad revenue comes from the long-tail of advertisers, meaning discovery is an important strategy to increase the acquisition and retention of both customers and advertisers alike.

Prospective clients are inundated with ads and marketing campaigns all day long, which means retailers must work to create targeted ads that resonate with their ideal clients rather than reverberate off them. Retail businesses must look at the data they already have to inform their marketing campaigns. That way, they can create ads relevant to their target audience without limiting themselves.

Relevancy has never been more important. With Google rolling out the new “reject all” cookies button, the future of ad tech is about consent, not cookies. And having a deep understanding of whom your products or offerings serve and how to deliver your marketing in a relevant, meaningful way has never been more critical.