A new study released from Co-op (Wednesday 3 July 2024) has unveiled how convenience retail media not only boosts sales in Co-op, but also in surrounding grocery stores of up to fourfold the original sales conversion.

Research from the UK’s leading convenience retailer – in partnership with Circana – suggests a positive halo effect for brand’s overall awareness when advertising in Co-op shops, which can lead to longer term incremental sales uplifts in surrounding non-Co-op stores of up to four times the amount of the immediate sales.

As part of this study, Circana used its test vs control measurement solution (Media Lift), which uses Circana’s complete market sales data to evaluate the sales impact of in-store marketing activity in both Co-op’s own stores and surrounding non-Co-op stores. 

Using the site lists of the campaign activations, Circana built store catchment models based on store and purchase attributes. The catchment stores were then used with Circana’s proven matching algorithm to build statistically significant test and control panels of Co-op and halo stores.

The analysis identifies key brand sales metrics, such as percentage increase in sales value, incremental sales and return on ad spend. The unique part is that the full impact of the brand’s retail media spend can be measured, from Co-op’s own stores and surrounding grocers.

Dean Harris, Head of Co-op Media Network, said: “The results from our research with Circana is clear, when brands activate campaigns with Co-op there is an immediate positive sales impact in our store but also within the surrounding area with retailers that we would typically class as our competitors. As a retail media owner, our main goal for the brands that advertise with us is to generate sales regardless of where that customer purchases the product”

One of the retail media campaigns reviewed within the study – a global beer brand – generated a brand sales uplift of 12 percent in Co-op stores and Circana was able to identify that it drove a further three percent uplift in non-Co-op halo stores.

This uplift in the non-Co-op stores represented four times the total incremental sales value seen in the Co-op stores alone. Circana credit the huge impact on total sales to the high number of halo stores where the sales uplift occurred, and the larger pack sizes bought in those stores.

Finally, convenience is a frequently shopped channel for top up missions and often in addition to a bigger shop. Data shows that Co-op shoppers engage the most with other grocers, which provides convenience retail media with an extra amplifier effect on halo sales.

Harris continues: “The analysis of the beer campaign shows that by influencing brand purchase decisions in other non-Coop stores, the retail media activation is able to generate higher incremental sales by tapping into larger pack sizes available in supermarket stores.

“This halo effect data is incredibly insightful and gives further confidence to talk to our clients about the power of retail media in the convenience setting.”

Mark Hurst, EMEA Head of Retail Media at Circana added: “As the advertising industry continues to expand traditional retail media inventory and accelerate digital and addressable channels and privacy regulations limit traditional measurement methods, retailers are increasingly in need of more agile and accurate ways to measure campaign performance across channels and tactics.

“Being able to analyse media lift through a range of sales-based measurement approaches including Test & Learn, tactical comparisons and mid-campaign analysis, results in faster and more cost-effective decision making, enabling retailers like the Co-op to demonstrate brand impact and how it drives incremental value.”

Launching earlier this year, the Co-op Media Network is UK’s first retail media network in the convenience sector. The network was established to help brands reach new and wider audiences, while also improving advertising relevancy for its shoppers.

The Co-op Media Network brings together Co-op’s in-house team and its long-term agency, SMG – who are the largest operator of retail media networks in the UK – under one recognisable brand identity to deliver a new proposition that capitalises on Co-op’s strengths relating to the scale of its operations and the uniqueness of convenience shopping, compared to traditional, big box retailers.

About Co-op 

Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives with interests across food, funerals, insurance and legal services. Owned by over 5 million members, the Co-op operates almost 2,400 food stores, over 800 funeral homes and provides products to over 5,000 other stores, including those run by independent co-operative societies and through its wholesale business, Nisa Retail Limited.

Employing almost 60,000 people, the Co-op has an annual turnover of over £11billion and is a recognised leader for its social goals and community-led programmes. The Co-op exists to meet members’ needs and stand up for the things they believe in.