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How to navigate non-endemic advertising in retail media 

Nilufar Monshisadegan
Nilufar Monshisadegan
Team Lead Retail Media & Amazon Partner Manager
5 min read
29 April 2024

Every brand, regardless of industry, is chasing similar goals: profitable growth, effective advertising, and data-driven decisions. For years, third-party data has been the key to achieving these goals. 

But what happens in a cookieless world where third-party data is gone? 

Data disruption has made retail media networks (and their gold mine of first-party data) incredibly attractive. Marketplaces like Amazon possess over a decade of data on user segments and shopping behaviors, which can benefit any brand looking for growth. 

But knowing the value of retail media is only the first step. For non-endemic brands without retail experience, you need a thoughtful approach that starts with Amazon.  

What is non-endemic advertising? 

Non-endemic advertising occurs when brands leverage retailers to promote products or services that can’t be purchased in a retail environment. For example, an insurance company advertising its services on Amazon would be considered non-endemic. Other industry examples include financial services, travel, automotive, restaurants, and education. 

A non-endemic ad can reach new customers at every stage of the buying journey and across the entire retailer ecosystem. Brands can use this “third-party” data to understand demographics, shopping behavior, and consumer trends. 

This translates to: 

  • Increased brand awareness
  • Diversification of marketing channels
  • Targeting new market segments
  • Enhanced brand association
  • Engagement and conversions

Non-endemic brands should start with Amazon 

As the leader in retail media, Amazon is a safe bet for non-endemic advertisers. Its vast audience reach encompasses hundreds of millions of active users browsing various product categories, creating many opportunities for targeting non-endemic audiences. 

With Amazon’s purchase intent data, you can gain valuable insights into consumer behavior. This allows you to target your ads to users actively searching for related products or displaying interest in similar categories. For example, a brand could promote travel insurance to users who purchase new roller luggage.  

The contextual relevance of non-endemic ads on Amazon, appearing within a user’s shopping journey, helps their effectiveness. You can influence purchase decisions and generate leads through offers like test drives, attending an event, a landing page visit, or booking an appointment. Amazon’s performance-based pricing model ensures you only pay for measurable results, such as clicks or sales generated. 

Retail networks beyond Amazon

As powerful as Amazon is, it is not the only choice. There are over 200 retail media networks (RMNs) worldwide.

Non-endemic brands will want to stick with large RMNs since smaller ones are limited to brands that sell physical products (endemic). The largest RMNs also typically have the most robust data. 

That said, new retailers jump on the retail media train and open their data for advertising daily, so it’s essential to understand the process behind selecting the right partners. 

First, let’s return to the fundamental value that an RMN offers to an advertiser—its first-party data, which enables informed targeting.

As a non-endemic advertiser, you should seek to work with networks offering a potential audience relevant to your objectives. Many retailers specialize in categories like fashion or household appliances, so it’s simply a matter of filtering which ones align.

Most retailers will be specialists (Wayfair) or generalists (Walmart.) Due to their broad audience, generalist retail media networks are more likely to offer value. Specialist networks will either be extremely relevant to your objectives or not.

Also, consider which network offers the capability required to meet your goal. Perhaps the most important element here is the potential reach. Generalist networks typically win here too. They probably have a niche audience your brand can reach. 

This process should be repeated for each country you want to advertise in. Each region has a unique retail media landscape, and the right network will probably differ from country to country.

What to expect from non-endemic retail media in the next few years?

In the coming years, expect more complexity:

  • The number of retail media networks will continue to grow, increasing the existing challenges around planning, managing, and measuring media.
  • Innovations such as Digital-Out-Of-Home will become a part of the media mix as retailers open up new inventory types alongside their online offerings.
  • The increasing prioritization of non-endemic advertisers will change the competitive dynamics of programmatic advertising.

However, there is a degree of conformity within all of that complexity. All RMNs offer the same core advantage, first-party data-driven audiences based on actual purchases rather than vague interest. For the non-endemic advertiser, this will remain the most important consideration in selecting which networks to utilize.

Beginning your non-endemic retail media journey requires a blend of advertising strategy, experience with RMN technology, and data analysis. We recommend working with a partner with retail media experience to succeed in this new arena. 

As an Amazon partner and working with other RMNs, our retail media team can simplify the process. 


Team Lead Retail Media & Amazon Partner Manager

Nilufar Monshisadegan