Since 2019, digital retail media advertising – as in website or app-based ads bought through retailer networks or demand-side platforms such as Amazon's or Walmart's – has more than tripled in the U.S., from a pre-pandemic spend of $13.23 billion to 2022's estimated $40.81 billion, according to eMarketer's forecast. Ad spend is expected to reach $61.15 billion by the end of 2024, which would nearly triple 2020's $20.81 billion.
With an estimated 30.9% compound annual growth rate from 2020 to 2024, eMarketer predicts digital retail media will exhibit faster growth than all other major U.S. ad channels except for CTV – with its projected 33.3% CAGR – while outpacing video (26.2%), social media (21.4%), digital (20.0%), and search (18.5%). E-commerce channel ad spend, retail media's largest subset, is expected to grow 29.0% over those four years, to $52.63 billion.
“Retail media networks are among the fastest-growing and most dynamic ad marketplaces in the U.S.,” eMarketer's report says. “Retailers think of these operations as a means to boost revenues by leveraging their scale and their troves of first-party data.”
The forecast suggests that retail media ad spend is on track to eventually pass that of traditional TV, estimated at $67.17 billion in 2024, as TV continues its steady decline.
As rosy a picture as this is for digital retail media, eMarketer has actually adjusted down its forecast from last October, with 2023's estimate lowered by nearly $850 million, based on, as its report states, “negative impact from supply chain disruptions, and new visibility into Amazon’s and Walmart’s ad revenues from their quarterly earnings.”