Retail Media Networks & Cloud Data Warehousing: An Introduction

Daisy McLogan
Daisy McLogan February 23, 2024

I'm a customer Data Architect at Census, and I help our customers implement best practices when it comes to cleaning, transforming, and activating their data.

Retail Media Networks (RMNs) are gaining significant traction in today's ever-evolving digital landscape. At the heart of this transformation is the use of Cloud Data Warehouses, revolutionizing the way businesses store, analyze, and utilize data. This guide aims to provide an in-depth understanding of Retail Media Networks, the role of Cloud Data Warehouses, and how to leverage technologies like Snowflake and Census Embedded to build robust RMNs atop your Data Warehouse or Data Lake.

Understanding Retail Media Networks

Retail Media Networks (RMNs) are digital advertising ecosystems owned and operated by retailers. They allow retailers to monetize their digital platforms by displaying targeted ads to shoppers. RMNs offer a variety of advertising formats, including display ads, sponsored product listings, native ads, and other types of online advertising.

Typically, RMNs exist at the intersection of retail commerce and media, making them an essential player in the digital advertising ecosystem. With the growing consumer shift towards e-commerce channels, RMNs are experiencing rapid expansion. They offer retailers additional revenue streams, improved retail footprint, and closed-loop reporting while providing consumers with better shopping experiences.

Rise of Retail Media Networks

The emergence of RMNs is primarily attributed to retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Tesco, who capitalized on the surge in e-commerce and the demand for access to first-party data. Amazon, being a pioneer in this field since 2012, valued its advertising business at $37.7 billion globally in 2022. By 2026, Amazon is anticipated to claim a 13% share of the global digital advertising revenue.

Following Amazon's successful playbook, other retailers like Walmart and Target have also entered the RMN landscape, paving the way for more retailers and even pharmaceutical companies to join in the upcoming years.

Role of Cloud Data Warehouses in RMNs

In the context of RMNs, Cloud Data Warehouses play a pivotal role in harnessing the power of data. They serve as a centralized repository where vast amounts of first-party data related to consumer shopping habits, product preferences, and demographic information are collected, stored, and analyzed.

A Cloud Data Warehouse like Snowflake provides a robust, scalable, and secure environment for storing and processing enormous volumes of data. It offers comprehensive capabilities for data integration, transformation, and analysis, enabling retailers to derive actionable insights from their data.

Advantages of Cloud Data Warehousing

A Cloud Data Warehouse offers several advantages that are particularly beneficial for Retail Media Networks:

  1. Scalability: Cloud-based data warehouses like Snowflake can easily scale up or down based on the data volume, ensuring optimal performance and cost-efficiency.
  2. Real-Time Analytics: They provide real-time analytics capabilities, enabling retailers to monitor campaign performance and customer behavior in real-time.
  3. Data Security: Cloud Data Warehouses ensure high levels of data security with encryption, access controls, and regular backups.
  4. Integration Capabilities: They can seamlessly integrate with various data sources, business intelligence tools, and data processing frameworks, facilitating comprehensive data analysis.


Building Retail Media Networks with Snowflake

Snowflake provides a robust platform for building effective Retail Media Networks.  Its unique architecture Allows secure data sharing that enables person-level marketing without revealing PII or compromising privacy while maintaining the highest standards of governance. Access to unique datasets for enrichment ensures high performance, cost-efficiency, and flexibility, making it an ideal choice for RMNs.

Leveraging Snowflake for RMNs

Snowflake Launches Retail Data Cloud To Optimize Retailer Operations

Retailers can leverage Snowflake's capabilities to enhance their Retail Media Networks in several ways:

  1. Data Consolidation: Snowflake allows retailers to consolidate disparate data sources into a single platform, providing a unified view of customer data.
  2. Real-Time Analytics: With Snowflake, retailers can perform real-time analytics to monitor and optimize their ad campaigns.
  3. Data Sharing: Snowflake's secure data sharing feature allows retailers to share data with their partners without moving or copying data, ensuring data consistency and security.
  4. Integration: Snowflake can easily integrate with various data processing frameworks and business intelligence tools, facilitating comprehensive data analysis.

Building RMNs with Census Embedded

Census Embedded is a powerful tool that can help businesses build their own Retail Media Networks on top of their Data Warehouse or Data Lake. It provides a robust platform for data integration, transformation, and analysis, enabling businesses to derive actionable insights from their data.

With Census Embedded, businesses can create custom data models, perform real-time analytics, and automate data workflows. It also offers advanced capabilities like data synchronization, version control, and data lineage tracking, ensuring data accuracy and consistency.

By leveraging Census Embedded, businesses can harness the power of their data to drive their Retail Media Network strategy, enhance customer experiences, and boost their bottom line.


In the evolving digital landscape, Retail Media Networks and Cloud Data Warehouses go hand in hand. They are transforming the way businesses store, analyze, and utilize data, thereby revolutionizing the retail and advertising industry. By leveraging technologies like Snowflake and Census Embedded, businesses can build robust RMNs, deliver personalized experiences to their customers, and drive their business growth.