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The Fresh Market announced that it is expanding its relationship with Firework to launch what the companies are calling "the US's first-ever Shoppable Video-Live Commerce (SVLC) retail media network (RMN)."   According to the announcement, "The Fresh Market will offer brands the opportunity to run video ads as sponsors across their ongoing livestream series, which features holiday meal prep tutorials and chef-developed recipes that are already enjoying extremely high conversion and engagement rates with Fresh Market customers."

Some context from the announcement, which comes "during a period of unprecedented growth for RMNs. Having realized the untapped revenue potential of their owned digital channels (e.g. websites, apps), more and more retailers are launching RMNs. Meanwhile, thanks to the multitude of advantages RMNs confer on advertisers — such as superior ad targeting, increased brand safety, and heightened visibility where and when shoppers are most likely to transact — brands have been quick to redirect their ad dollars toward these novel marketplaces."

"Overall, the combined viewership of our first four Firework-powered livestreams exceeded 2 million views and we saw conversion rates of the special occasion meals featured in the shoppable videos to be over 300% greater than our traditional digital advertising results," said Kevin Miller, Chief Marketing Officer at The Fresh Market, in a prepared statement.  "Having proven the power of Firework's video commerce content in 2022, we're excited to offer our partners an innovative and differentiated means of storytelling in an entertaining new way. We call it Shoppertainment."

KC's View:

I think these retail media network announcements are all very interesting, but I continue to have the same concern - that at some point, they will serve mostly to clutter up the customer experience, creating so much noise and largely existing to create an alternative revenue stream for retailers.  This doesn't have to happen, but it could happen, and retailers should be vigilant.

I'm always intrigued by the notion of "Shoppertainment," but I think retailers need to focus on whether shoppers, in some circumstances, actually want to be entertained while shopping.