Tops Markets bulks up digital media muscle

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Tops Friendly Markets aims to grow advertising and media opportunities for vendor partners through expanded use of the Inmar Intelligence Retail Cloud digital solutions suite.

Plans call for Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops to use the platform to offer suppliers targetable and attributable on-site and off-site media via the new Tops Shopper Link Digital Media Network, Inmar said Tuesday. Through the network, suppliers will be able to access ad placements on TopsMarkets.com, shopper-targeted off-site ad placements across programmatic media and paid social, and real-time sales reporting at the UPC level.

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“We are excited to introduce Tops Shopper Link, in partnership with Inmar Intelligence, to connect the great brands and services we offer in our 162 Tops stores and on TopsMarkets.com, with our 2 million qualified shoppers at the moment they are interacting online,” Diane Colgan, senior vice president at Tops Friendly Markets, said in a statement.

Tops, which in February announced a deal to merge with fellow regional grocer Price Chopper/Market 32, operates supermarkets in New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont. Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Inmar already partnered with Tops on shopper incentives and loyalty by integrating digital promotions into supplier campaigns. The broader use of Retail Cloud gives Tops more access to Inmar’s sales and service organization and its roster of media and marketing capabilities, including retail media networks to run an advertising business, owned and operated media integrating ads into the e-commerce experience, and in-store and on-site media to drive bigger shopping baskets and raise customer engagement.

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“This digital media network will help these brands amplify and extend their marketing strategies with us in an efficient way, and while building to mutual sales benefits,” according to Colgan.

Inmar’s Retail Cloud is powered by ShopperSync, a data intelligence platform that allows retailers to leverage their first-party, anonymized transactional data across media and promotions channels in their network, as well as manage permissions and governance rights. By using Retail Cloud, chains like Tops can offer and execute integrated programs across incentives and media, drive shopper and supplier engagement and sales, and spur their digital transformation, Inmar said.

Retail professionals have exhibited rising interest — and stepped up their investment in — media networks. A recent Inmar survey found that the top motivator for implementing a retail media network is to drive sales (cited by 58% of respondents) and develop new revenue streams (36%). And retailers already running media networks are now looking to add new capabilities to optimize reach and engagement with customers in new ways.

“We are delighted that Tops Markets has chosen Inmar’s Retail Cloud to build out their Shopper Link Digital Media Network,” stated Spencer Baird, executive vice president at Inmar and president of its MarTech division. “It is our goal to not only enable scalable retail media solutions for organizations like Tops, but to create full retail marketing platforms that seamlessly integrate marketing and merchandising activities, deliver a better experience for the shopper and drive results.”

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