Retail media is one of the hottest topics in today’s global media and marketing industries. Basically, the term describes advertising sold within digital platforms on which products and services are also sold such as retailer websites and apps and online marketplaces.

Australia is poised to follow the US lead in the booming sector following the recent announcement of the Coles Media offering as the supermarket giant ups the ante with arch rival Woolworths. Major retailers such as Myer, Bunnings, Kmart and JB Hi-Fi are also expected to throw their corporate hats into the retail media ring in the very near future.

Ulta Beauty, the largest specialist beauty chain in the US, launched its UB Media retail media network last week in a bid to use its huge data capabilities to connect better with customers.

Brent Rosso, vice-president of UB Media, says the new initiative is a win for consumers looking for a seamless experience and improved personalisation.

Ninety five per cent of all transactions are through our loyalty program, he says. “When we say we know our customer, we know them better than anyone else. We don’t give the brands data, but we can provide access in the form of helping them reach their audience better than anyone else because of that data.”

Ulta Beauty believes that retail media networks are increasingly critical within the modern marketing mix and offer retailers a valuable opportunity to strengthen brand partnerships.

“UB Media harnesses the power of our unrivalled, first party data from our 37 million loyal members to transform the way our brand partners can connect with beauty lovers,” adds Rosso.

UB Media will allow advertising access through offsite display, videos, social media and influencers, as well as on-site sponsored products to promote brand growth and measurable returns. The retailer is focused on Ulta Beauty’s established brand partners, but doesn’t rule out opening access to beauty products it doesn’t currently sell.

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