How retailers can maximize in-store retail media revenue with AI

In-store media is on the top of priority for any retailers who want to grow their retail media network business. Why? Physical stores has 4 times more media audience and generate 80-90% of retail sales.

Yet, what most retailers haven’t realized is that in-store media has always been in their stores to influence shoppers' choices right where the action happens. They were just undervalued due to lack of actionable data.

AI is providing just that, enabling retailers to unlock new monetization potential in their brick-and-mortar stores.

Stop underpricing traditional in-store media

AI-captured in-store media channels' price per impression

Brands love retail media network to market their product. Retail media showcase products when shoppers are shopping, meaning higher conversion, higher return on ad spend, and more retail sales.

Surprisingly, brands have been utilizing retail media way before the birth of e-commerce.

How? By putting their products in end caps, shelves, and aisles in retail stores. Sometimes, brands would pay more to do in-store events, special product displays, and signages to stand out further from other products. These are the traditional in-store media that are commonly underpriced.

The only data retailers had to price these in-store media channels were POS data and data that brands share, missing key details about shopper behavior. AI can fill this data gap, giving retailers precise shopper traffic, dwell time, and conversion data for various in-store retail media channels. For example:

End caps & product displays

AI can capture the number of shoppers viewing each end cap or aisle and their dwell time. It can also calculate the conversion rate for each end cap, allowing retailers to charge a premium for the most sought-after spaces.

What’s more, retailers can provide brands valuable insights into whether a product's design is affecting its conversion rate, allowing brands to make necessary changes.

Enhance pricing and ROI measure for a creative product display with AI-collected shopper behavior data

Shelf spaces and aisles

On top of the impressions, AI can detect when items are out of stock. Identifying missed sales opportunity shows a complete picture of the effectiveness of shelf-space placements to retailers.

Automate when to restock items before the shopper leaves without buying and measure accurate shelf display conversion

In-store events & product demos

A Forbes article shared that a positive in-store experience is worth ten times more than a fleeting facebook ad impressions. However, the lack of data has inhibited experimentation with innovative in-store events. AI enables retailers and brands to justify significant investments.

They can also use customer behavior data to iterate and optimize conversion.


Most signages today have a QR code to measure the effectiveness. Combining this data with AI-generated traffic/dwell data in front of these signages unlocks deeper insights. AI platform like Zensors can create a single customer journey by pulling shopper behavior, QR code behavior, and sales data.

Low-risk media to activate with existing budgets

For retailers who are just starting or testing the waters, the following three in-store retail media channels are a good place to start without incurring high costs.

TV screens as digital signage

Use your TV screens as digital signage to advertise products or offer shoppers useful information. Price these channels based on shopper traffic, dwell time, and conversions.

Activate existing TV displays as in-store media channel

Mobile apps

Retailers can use mobile apps to enhance the in-store experience, providing personalized recommendations, product information, and special offers.

Self-checkout kiosk displays

Use these displays to offer relevant product suggestions or offers to customers as they checkout.

Next-level media for retail innovation trailblazers

For those looking to go a step further, consider implementing the following innovative in-store media channels. While these require additional hardware and installation time, they can deliver up to 50% ad conversion rates when carefully planned.

Interactive digital display running ads with AI captured conversion rate data for accurate pricing

Digital Shelf displays

These interactive displays can provide real-time product information, customer reviews, and targeted advertisements.

Smart cooler screens

Convert your coolers into smart coolers with interactive displays, offering product information, and advertisements.

Smart carts

These can guide customers around the store, provide product recommendations, and offer personalized deals.

Pro Tip: make sure to run POVs and have all internal stakeholders buy-in

When considering large investments in innovative in-store media channels, it is crucial to test the waters first by running a short-term Proof of Values (POVs) and ensuring all internal stakeholders are onboard. Here’s our complete guide on how to buy the right AI platform for large retailers.

Without it, you might face a massive lawsuit like Walgreens. Cooler screens recently filed a $200 million lawsuit against Walgreens from terminating the contract because the CEO “didn’t like how the screens looked.” It highlights the importance of careful planning, testing, and stakeholder buy-in before investing in large scale deployments.

Monetize every in-store moment

AI unlocks new monetization opportunities for retailers by enhancing traditional in-store media channels with actionable data. Now, you can justify your investments and make informed decisions based on accurate shopper behavior data. Improve the effectiveness of your in-store media strategies today.

The future of retail is here, and it's more exciting than ever.

💡 Need more retail AI inspirations?

Looking for more resources to help you get your retail AI project off ground? Here are some additional posts for more inspiration:

July 21, 2023
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