Retailers Diversify into New Revenue Streams

September 5, 2023

From healthcare services to paid loyalty programs and data services, retailers are offering – and planning to offer – a variety of new revenue streams, according to a recent report [download page] from Salesforce. The most widely implemented are retail media networks (RMNs), per the report, with a sizable share of retailers also planning to offer RMNs.

To arrive at its conclusions, Salesforce surveyed 1,125 retail industry decision-makers. To examine new revenue streams, it limited its analysis to respondents in customer experience, e-commerce/digital strategy, or marketing roles at companies with existing or planned loyalty programs. For context, 97% of retailers surveyed either already offer a loyalty program (75%) or plan to introduce one in the next 24 months (22%).

Among this subset of respondents, 54% reported that their company offers a retail media network (RMN), while an additional 40% said they have plans to offer one. That will be welcome news for marketers, who complain of limited premium RMN inventory.

Beyond RMNs, with their increasing popularity among advertisers, at least half of retailers are also offering technology services (51%), data services (51%), referrals on third-party marketplaces (50%) and paid loyalty programs (50%). In each case, more than 4 in 10 respondents indicate that their companies plan to offer these services, such that more than 9 in 10 overall are either offering them or plan to do so.

With respect to loyalty programs, the retail executives surveyed said that their main goal is customer retention. In fact, consumer research has found roughly 8 in 10 adults saying that loyalty or rewards programs increase the likelihood that they will continue doing business with a brand.

Retailers are also hoping that their loyalty programs increase customer engagement with their brands (51%), increase repeat purchases (47%), and help with customer acquisition (43%). Interestingly, few (17%) cite the collection of zero/first party data as a loyalty program goal.

The top barriers to loyalty program ROI, as noted by respondents, are lack of customer insights for targeting, an inability to rapidly react to market opportunities/competition, and an inability to predict promotional revenue.

For more, download the report here.


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