Home Marketing The Evolution of Retail Media With Amazon and Macy’s

The Evolution of Retail Media With Amazon and Macy’s

The Evolution of Retail Media With Amazon and Macy’s


As the retail media sector expands and evolves, moving up the marketing funnel to include formats such as display, video and connected TV, it becomes even more important for companies to find ways to appear in contextually relevant and brand-safe environments.

Rose Jia, head of growth marketing at Amazon, and Melanie Zimmermann, vp of Macy’s Media Network, joined Adweek’s Commerceweek to discuss the evolution of retail media and take stock of where we are today.  

A customer-centric approach

Whether it’s in the grocery or fashion industries—or anything in between—retail media has the same goal: driving sales. Both panelists emphasized the importance of a customer-centric approach in achieving this objective. 

“From my perspective as the buyer, I’m constantly thinking about what are the right networks and places for me to invest my dollars—what’s that return on that investment? But more importantly, it goes down to ‘Where are my customers?’ I gotta be where they are, and be there very effectively.”

Zimmermann elaborated on this perspective. She emphasized that brands should strive to establish themselves as reliable partners for consumers, as opposed to being viewed merely as one-off transactions.

“Most brands see retail media as conversion media,” she said. “That’s certainly true: We are reaching consumers as they are actively in-market shopping for certain goods. But we are also a partner for them to acquire new customers.”

The rise of rich media

Innovative ad formats that go beyond traditional banners are increasingly gaining traction in the retail media space. The panelists agreed that these rich media offerings represent the future of retail advertising.

“I think there’s a lot of banner fatigue,” Zimmermann said. “We are serving a lot of banners. But ultimately, the consumers are looking for inspirational shopping experiences. The advertisers are looking for storytelling that can really convey the essence of who they are and what they want to get across to the customer.”

The return of brick-and-mortar

In a world where ecommerce dominates, Zimmermann highlighted the untapped potential of physical stores.

“I think stores are underrated,” she said. “Most folks think about retail media as a way to drive ecommerce business. And while we’re very successful at doing that, it’s important to recognize the consumer journey is not linear. The consumer journey is fluid, but retail media has really started with on-site advertising, and I think we’re actively moving into a world where we’re advertising in-store as well.”