GroupM Sees Fast Growth in E-Commerce, Retail Media

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Media buyer GroupM sees e-commerce growing at a fast clip. (Image credit: Steven Puetzker/The Image Bank)

In a more complicated media world, GroupM, the giant media buyer, sees big changes in the way people shop, with e-commerce growing at a fast clip.

At the same time, retail media — advertising and marketing sold by retail outlets — is also becoming a more important part of the landscape, reaching $101 billion globally, up 15% from a year ago.

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“E-commerce, after a surge of investment and adoption during the pandemic, is finding its place in a world where in-person activities are resuming,” GroupM noted in a new report, This Year Next Year: 2022 e-Commerce & Retail Media Forecast

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(Image credit: GroupM)

E-commerce accelerated during the pandemic. GroupM expects global e-commerce sales to total $5.4 trillion this year, accounting for 19% of global retail sales. The media agency expects e-commerce to account for 25% of retail sales by 2027.

U.S. e-commerce is expected to grow by 25% in 2022. Revenue from e-commerce will account for about 16.6% of retail sales this year and reach 26.6% in five years, GroupM said.  

The top 20 global e-commerce companies accounted for 67% of global e-commerce sales in 2021. The biggest e-commerce companies ranked by revenue were Alibaba, Amazon,, Pinduoduo, eBay, Walmart, Shopee, Rakuten, Mercado Libre and Vipshop.

groupM Retail Media

(Image credit: GroupM)

Retail media, considered a test-and-learn environment not so long ago, has more recently become a growing line item on many marketer budgets,” GroupM said. “There remain significant disparities in capability depth, data quality and partnerships across global markets and within retail channels, but the promise of retailer first-party data, albeit residing in yet another walled garden, is tantalizing — enabling purchase-based targeting and closed-loop measurement.”

GroupM sees retail media surpassing $160 million in annual revenue within five years. In 2021 retail media represented 18% of global digital advertising revenue and 11% of total global ad revenue.

In the U.S., GroupM expects retail media to reach $33 billion in 2022, outpacing other forms of media advertising.

“Over the next one to three years, retail media will likely see greater competition, more frequent decoupling of data from inventory and greater participation by non-endemic brands,” GroupM said. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.