- BJ’s Wholesale Club has unveiled a retail media program allowing product suppliers to tap first-party data about the company’s members to direct advertising at those consumers, the membership retailer announced Thursday.
- BJ’s is using Microsoft’s PromoteIQ automated vendor marketing platform to manage the initiative, known as BJ’s Media Edge.
- The program’s launch marks BJ’s entry into a fast-growing advertising sector that is attracting a growing number of retailers looking to turn their shopper relationships into revenue streams.
Like other merchants that have rolled out retail media networks, BJ’s is looking to use the trove of information it collects to connect marketers with shoppers.
BJ’s Media Edge will provide marketers with an array of capabilities, including the ability to put their messages in front of consumers at BJ’s properties, reach members online and access analytics that can help them gauge the effectiveness of their campaigns, according to the announcement.
“This new program builds upon our existing digital marketing offerings with a customizable solution for brand partners to influence our members at every stage of their purchase journey, all while driving measurable returns,” Monica Schwartz, BJ’s chief digital officer, said in a statement.
Retail media is rising quickly as a marketing force and currently accounts for an estimated 11% of total advertising spending worldwide, according to data from GroupM, a media investment company.
BJ’s has stepped up its investments in digital capabilities in recent years, providing a foundation for data-focused efforts like the company’s new retail media network. The company, which runs 234 stores in 18 states, had more than 6.5 million members at the end of the third quarter, an increase of 6% compared with the same period in 2021, President and CEO Bob Eddy said during an earnings call last month.
Eddy noted that BJ’s depended primarily on paper-focused marketing until relatively recently but has made a broad commitment to use digital technology to build ties with its members.
“[A] huge amount of our member acquisition is now coming from digital, where three or four years ago I would tell you that was zero or close to it,” Eddy said during the earnings call. E-commerce sales now account for about 9% of the company’s sales, he added.
BJ’s joins other companies in the grocery industry that have already built infrastructure to help marketers use data about people’s shopping behavior to craft and target marketing messages. Those businesses include Albertsons, which entered the retail media space last year, Instacart, and Kroger, which launched a precision marketing division in 2017.
In October, Ahold Delhaize USA said it would bring its retail media network fully in-house under the direction of its Peapod Digital Labs unit.