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Study: SEA retail media network ad spend to hit US$4.7 billion by 2030

Study: SEA retail media network ad spend to hit US$4.7 billion by 2030

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Advertising spend on retail media networks (RMNs) in Southeast Asia (SEA) is projected to hit US$4.7 billion by 2030. 

Globally, RMN ad spend is expected to surge by 73% in the next seven years, surpassing growth rates in search (47%) and social (45%). 

This is based on recent study by GrabAds, the advertising arm of Grab, and Kantar, an agency that provides media insights and research for advertising. 

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The study also revealed that marketers in SEA will prioritise investments towards RMN channels this year, with year-on-year ad spend growth to increase from 8% in 2024 to 11% in 2030. 

62% of brands in SEA have already incorporated retail media into their media plans while 99% of brands in SEA plan to invest more advertising dollars in RMNs. 

In addition, ad spend growth on RMNs in each of the SEA countries is projected to grow higher than the global growth index. 

According to the study, Indonesia will lead the pack with a forecasted growth of 219% from 2023 to 2030. The country is also projected to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.41%. This is 1.9 times higher than the projected global rate. 

Benefits of RMNs

According to the study, RMNs cater to consumers at different stages of their buying journey.

Currently, there are four main types of RMNs in SEA: eCommerce RMNs such as Shopee and Lazada, social media RMNs such as TikTok Shop and Facebook Marketplace, large retailer RMNs such as FairPrice and Happy Fresh, as well as Superapp RMNs such as Grab and WeChat. 

25% of consumers in SEA find online advertising intrusive, listing games, video/music streaming platforms and social media as the most intrusive. RMNs, however, serve ads that are perceived to be less intrusive and more trustworthy, said the study. This makes them more relevant and useful to the user. 

In addition, performance marketers are likely to adopt RMNs because of benefits such as the availability of first party transaction data that is not dependent on cookies and relevant ads with consumers already in a buying mindset. 

Other benefits include compatibility with omni commerce campaigns and plans, ability to optimise full-funnel impact of campaigns and closed-loop measurement capability. 

Superapps to drive overall RMN growth

SEA shoppers today seek a hybrid shopping experience, said the study. SEA consumers spend eight and a half hours a day on the internet - higher than the global average of five hours. 

In addition, 79% of SEA shoppers use both online and offline channels simultaneously. One in two SEA shoppers also use superapps for their everyday online and offline activities. This brings it to an average total of 310 million people in the region. 

Lastly, two in three SEA shoppers find it important to have products and services on demand, said the report. 61% also shared that it is very important to have products or services to anticipate their needs, compared to the global figure of 52%.

As such, superapp RMNs are becoming an important channel to engage with increasingly hybrid shoppers. This is because its integrated ecosystem can reach and measure both offline and online behaviours and transactions. 

Other abilities of superapp RMNs are integrated payment methods such as e-wallets, offline assets to reach users beyond shopping moments and a holistic user understanding. 

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