Most of the headlines around retail media center on growth, with the category’s momentum defying an otherwise weak digital advertising market. Gap pumping the brakes on GPS Media after barely a year demonstrates that retailers launching ad sales units is no surefire bet, even for companies that have established e-commerce know-how. The pivot aims to help Gap support business-to-business offerings closer to its core, like a GPS Platform that provides warehousing and logistics services.
Gap’s problems with GPS Media might have stemmed from its narrow focus. Rivals like Amazon, Walmart Connect and Target’s Roundel offer a wider product assortment, according to Lindell Bennett, chief revenue officer of Cooler Screens. Bennett added that Gap’s specific value proposition wasn’t clear in the face of such behemoths and because the retailer’s reputation is as a consumer brand first.
“[I] don’t know what assets Gap has to differentiate itself in a crowded market,” said Bennett in emailed comments. “Is it their audience? Is it data? At the core of the issue, though, is that I find it hard to see how brands could use Gap to amplify their own brand or data strategies, since Gap is about Gap, not other brands.”Marketing Dive