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Retail is a major advertising sector, covering marketing investment by companies such as department stores, supermarkets and food retailers. The retail sector is evolving rapidly due to the rise of online and mobile shopping. As a result, retailers with strong online offers or loyalty schemes are now highly data-driven. Marketing investment by retailers often spikes around key shopping occasions, such as Christmas or major holidays.

Key Reading

Important papers from across the Warc database

Findings from a global Nielsen survey into grocery shopping habits. The survey suggests ways to understand how digital technology is changing the retail landscape.
A focus on marketing retail, digitisation and the transition to omnichannel.
Why Macy's is embracing a range of new channels and media partnerships to engage shoppers.
How Walmart, the retail giant, is drawing on the start-up driven idea of "growth hacking".

Case Study

This case study describes how Domino's Pizza in the UK used a chatbot to allow consumers with an existing Domino's 'Easy Order' account to order pizza directly through Facebook Messenger.

Case Study

This case study describes how Booth's, the British retailer, overcame UK legislation that saw shoppers charged 5p for plastic bags by creating bespoke fabric bags - a new product category capable of growing sales.

Case Study

This case study describes how the shoe brand Dune redesigned its stores to bring a 'wow' factor, drive footfall and communicate its fashion credentials alongside its affordability with allusions to the catwalk that drew focus to the product itself.

Case Study

This case study details how Sopharma Trading, a pharmaceutical company, successfully trialled a retail pharmacy outlet under the new brand SOpharmacy in Bulgaria.

Case Study

This case study describes the design changes made by Booths, a premium food manufacturer in the UK that simplified its own labelling to encourage a consistent perception of brand quality across all its items.

Case Study

This case study describes how Garnet Hill, a US retailer, created a mobile studio to provide an experience to customers, capable of reviving both the brand and the OOH media platform.
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This event report analyses customers’ journeys in relation to John Lewis and the use and purchase of technology such as smartphones and tablets.


This event report covers how Domino’s, the pizza chain, is leveraging new digital technologies to connect with consumers and drive sales.


This report discusses the luxury goods industry in a global context, including changes in key markets, consumer attitudes and technology’s influence on luxury goods.


This Company Profile from Euromonitor provides key details and analysis of Inter IKEA Systems BV. Included is a strategic evaluation with key facts about the Swedish company, competitive positioning against comparative brands, and assessment of its position in the retail market.


This Company Profile from Euromonitor provides key details and analysis of Aldi Group. Included is a strategic evaluation with key facts about the German company and competitive positioning against comparative brands in the retail market.


This event report describes how neuroscience can help brands avoid lost sales to copycat supermarket own-brands by protecting fundamental signals of packaging design.


This article summarises some of the key findings into the digital behaviours and purchase journeys of vacation buyers, presented in infographic format.
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  1. Article

    This annual report by J Walter Thompson Intelligence investigates the trends and emerging consumer behaviours set to shape marketing globally in 2017.

  2. Article

    This article, taken from the Warc Toolkit 2017 report, looks at the growing number of brands that are exploring direct-to-consumer (DTC) opportunities with the help of apps, buy buttons and subscription services.

  3. Article

    This case study describes how John Lewis, a leading UK retailer, used media and technology to turn the Christmas 2014 campaign, '#MontyThePenguin', into the most effective and profitable retail campaign to date.

  4. Article

    This report analyses the evolution of online shopping, covering changes in pricing, consumer trust, personalisation and how popular marketplaces are serving their regions' needs.

  5. Article

    This report discusses the future of the global luxury goods industry, including changes in key markets, the impact of luxury wearables and how brands are looking for more meaningful 'luxury experiences'.

  6. Article

    This trend report examines the major trends set to shape the global advertising landscape in 2016, covering technology, brand and marketing, food and drink, culture, travel, beauty, retail, health, lifestyle and luxury.

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