How Target Harnesses the Power of Retail Media

Roundel President Sarah Travis discusses where the business is headed
Emily Crowe
Multimedia Editor
Target has big plans to enhance its retail media business in 2024.

Retail media is a phrase on the tips of tongues throughout the grocery ecosystem as it makes inroads with retailers and brands and holds the promise of additional income in an industry known for its razor-thin margins. Sarah Travis, president of Target’s retail media business Roundel, is sharing what makes her company’s billion-dollar business tick.

According to Travis, Roundel is responsible for ensuring that when a brand wants to promote its products, it can reach the right people with the right message at the right time, all while enhancing a customer’s experience.

“The work starts with knowing our guests really well. We stay closely tied to all the ways people interact with Target — in stores, on our website, in our app and on social media,” Travis explained in a company blog post. “For example, we know two-thirds of guests use the Target app or visit while shopping in store. These types of insights help us understand what guests want out of their Target run, which is where we step in to connect the dots between what brands are hoping to sell and what our guests are looking to buy.”

Continued Travis: “This approach creates a more meaningful shopping experience for our guests as they’re able to easily find items that reflect their interests and preferences.”

While Target launched its retail media business 15 years ago, it has grown more than 60% over the past two years and now represents $1 billion in revenue for the retailer. Travis says that success is allowing Roundel to invest even more into an experience that is carefully curated for its guests.

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“What makes this level of attention possible is the way Roundel works with teams across Target to bring these campaign moments to life,” Travis said. “A few examples include our merchandising team, which has the pulse on what guests are buying and what trends are taking hold. Then there’s our team who manages Target’s loyalty program, Target Circle, which has built trusted relationships with millions of members and can guide us on what those guests want most from Target.”

As for the future of its retail media business, Travis said Target is enhancing its Connected TV by Roundel offering that allows guests to add products directly to their shopping cart using QR codes they see while watching ads on streaming services. The company has also expanded the roster of publishers available through Programmatic by Roundel to include The New York Times, AMC Networks, Hearst properties and more.

Additionally, Roundel Media Studio, a one-stop shop for partners to plan, activate and measure their retail media campaigns is set to launch in early 2024.

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. is No. 6 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, with nearly 2,000 locations. PG also named the company one of its Retailers of the Century.

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