Skip to main content
shopping technology hero

CPG advertisers predict major impact of AI on retail media networks, Cooler Screens survey finds

Cooler Screens' study unveils how AI is set to revolutionize retail media.

Cooler Screens, a technology company, has unveiled a new survey exploring CPG advertiser's attitude toward AI and retail media. The study, first released at Cooler Screen’s AI-centered in-store retail media conference, Innovation Summit, aimed to answer one question: As brands invest in retail media, how might another hot investment area, AI, impact and optimize their retail  media investments? 

To better understand that, Cooler Screens commissioned a poll of nearly 200 CPG advertisers on their perception of AI and the role it will play in retail media networks, both online and in-store. The study, conducted between Jan. 1-5, 2024, revealed the following key findings: 

[Read more: Artificial intelligence at retail]

When asked how AI might impact the value of retail media networks for CPG advertising, the majority of respondents said it will be “significant”: 

  • 53% of respondents believe AI will significantly enhance targeting and ad relevance. 
  • 37% feel AI's impact will be moderate, improving some aspects but not transformative. 
  • 9% think traditional methods will remain dominant or AI adoption will be slow. 
  • 1% are unsure about AI's role at this stage. 

“Artificial intelligence will have a major impact on retail media networks,” said Artem Lavrinovich, chief data and product officer at Cooler Screens. “As cookies fade away, AI's  role in targeting and measurement becomes more vital. With an increasingly identity-less online environment and persistent challenges in in-store personalization and ROI measurement, AI stands as a crucial solution for these issues.” 

AI's Role in Analyzing In-Store Shopping Behavior: 

In total, 89% of respondents said that AI will play a role in analyzing and leveraging in-store shopping behavior. The full breakdown is as follows: 

  • 45% say AI will assist, but human analysis will remain primary. 
  • 44% believe AI will be essential for real-time data analysis and shopper insights. 
  • 10% consider in-store data too complex for current AI capabilities. 
  • 1% have no opinion on AI's effectiveness in this context. 

“At NRF, the IAB released a report underscoring the value of in-store media,” Lavrinovich said. “This report emphasizes that AI enables a more comprehensive understanding of  in-store shopping, paralleling the insights we've long had online. AI's capability to deepen our insight into consumer behavior is a significant leap forward for retail media.” 

AI in Customization and Personalization: 

When asked how AI might affect the customization and personalization of retail media for shoppers, more than half said it would deliver “highly personalized” experiences: 

  • 52% predict AI will enable highly personalized shopper experiences. 
  • 34% foresee some improvement in personalization, but challenges remain. 
  • 11% think personalization through AI is overrated with limited use. 
  • 4% need more information to assess AI's role. 

"AI's potential to craft highly customized and relevant shopping experiences is powerful," said Lavrinovich. "Over half of the respondents see AI as a gateway to deeply personal  and engaging retail interactions, marking a shift towards more tailored and meaningful  consumer experiences." 

AI's Significance in Integrating Online and Offline Data :

AI will be key to bringing together the retail industry’s fragmented online and offline datasets, said respondents: 

  • 54% view AI as crucial for seamless integration of online and offline data. 
  • 29% find AI helpful but not essential, as other tools can also manage data integration. 
  • 15% have privacy concerns about AI integration. 
  • 2% are indifferent or unsure about AI's impact. 

The integration of online and offline data is a complex puzzle, and AI is seen as a key piece in solving it," noted Lavrinovich. "More than half of our survey respondents believe  AI is critical for a seamless integration between these fragmented datasets, paving the way for a more unified and efficient retail landscape." 

[Read more: Retail pharmacy in the age of AI]

AI's Effect on Efficiency and ROI :

When asked if AI could increase the efficiency and ROI of retail media campaigns, 84% anticipated a positive effect, with the full breakdown being: 

  • 45% anticipate AI will significantly boost efficiency and ROI. 
  • 39% expect a moderate improvement in efficiency, with uncertain ROI gains. 
  • 13% believe there will be minimal effect on efficiency and ROI gains are overstated. 
  • 2% are uncertain about AI's impact. 

"AI's potential to enhance efficiency and ROI in retail media campaigns is clear," Lavrinovich said. "Advertisers anticipate AI will not just improve efficiency but deliver tangible ROI gains. This underscores AI's transformative impact on retail media spend." 

AI Influencing Retail Media for CPG Advertisers: 

Respondents were split on whether or not AI would usher in “disruptive innovation” or be part of a more “gradual evolution”: 

  • 42% believe disruptive innovation in AI will lead to innovative strategies. 
  • 41% see AI as part of gradual, not radical, changes. 
  • 14% feel AI's role is minor compared to other technological advances. 
  • 2% find it difficult to predict AI's influence on future trends. 

“Our survey results indicate a split view on AI's rolewhile some see it as a driver of disruptive innovation, others view it as part of a more gradual evolution in retail media," Lavrinovich said. "Either way, this reflects the dynamic and profound nature of AI's influence as it will shape future retail media strategies in a number of ways."

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds