Sainsbury's nectar 360

Source: Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s wants to add more than 800 digital screens to its stores

Sainsbury’s inhouse media network Nectar 360 is to train advertising agencies and executives in how to make the most of burgeoning supermarket retail media networks.

The group has signed a new partnership with industry body the Alliance of Independent Agencies that will see Nectar employees offer training and courses on retail media, to more than 100 of the body’s members.

Supermarkets are keen to encourage brands and suppliers to engage with their growing retail media networks, which they increasingly see as profitable streams of additional income. The medium leverages live advertising in stores and retailer websites, along with customer data from supermarket loyalty programmes.

Tesco has predicted the medium to surpass TV advertising in revenue by 2025, urging suppliers to make the most of the opportunity afforded by more than 1,000 screens in its stores. Sainsbury’s has also been upscaling it’s own network of digital screens in stores, with plans to have more than 800 across its network.

However, as supermarkets move away from more traditional streams of advertising like TV and print, there has been some concern that brands could miss out or be left behind if marketers don’t fully understand how the medium works.

“For all the buzz and excitement around retail media, there is a broader lack of understanding of what it is and what it can deliver,” said Alice Anson, director of digital media at Nectar360.

“The partnership will enable us to enlighten Alliance members through webinars and other exclusive content so they can start putting the power of retail media to work for their clients.”

Nectar 360 operates Sainsbury’s Nectar Loyalty scheme, as well as its digital screen network. During Sainsbury’s Next Level Strategy update in February, CEO Simon Roberts predicted the network to grow its share of the UK retail media sector from 6% to 15% by 2026.

The supermarket is targeting £100 million in additional profit through Nectar 360 by 2027.

“We’re excited to embark on this partnership with Nectar360,” said Terry Martin, The Alliance of Independent Agencies director.

“Their expertise in leveraging first-party data and sophisticated consumer intelligence will provide our members with unprecedented opportunities to enhance their strategic marketing initiatives,” Martin added.

“This collaboration is set to significantly enhance the operational capabilities and strategic positioning of independent agencies within the industry. It marks a significant advancement in our efforts to support and empower the independent agency network through innovative and data-driven strategies.”

It comes as the supermarket faces backlash from suppliers over controversial plans to charge them what could be hundreds of thousands of pounds for store data they previously received for free.

The supermarket is in the process of switching its Horizon forcasting system to a new SupplyHub system developed by Circana. Under the new system access to data has been split into three tiers, with store level sales data, now requiring a fee.

Sainsbury’s has delayed the implementation of the new system amid the backlash.