Beyond ROAS: A broader approach to measuring retail media success

Don't limit yourself by focusing only on ROAS to measure success. Our latest report highlights how to expand your measurement approach.
Updated on May 22, 2024

Return on ad spend has long been the golden retail media metric that guides how brands measure campaign success. ROAS is valuable—it provides a direct line of sight into the financial impact of brands’ investments. But it doesn’t paint the full picture.  

To understand what you’re really getting out of your campaigns, advertisers need to broaden their measurement approach and consider a full spectrum of benefits. Our latest study analyzed data from 44,000+ retail media campaigns and survey results from brand leaders around the world to answer brands’ most pressing questions about the full value of their investments. Here are six benefits beyond ROAS that retail media delivers:

1. Incrementality

Incrementality shows what wouldn’t have happened without a brand’s advertising effort. This helps brands understand the direct cause-and-effect relationship between their advertising activities and shopper behavior. 

Criteo data shows that retail media is an effective strategy for achieving consistent incrementality results. For example, US brands that conducted incrementality tests with sponsored product ads witnessed a staggering +428% incremental return on investment.  

Source: US Retail Media Sponsored Product Incrementality Tests, 2021-2023, Aggregate results from 27 household name brands

Similarly, brands in EMEA saw a 160% increase in sales per user after running onsite display ads.  

Source: EMEA Retail Media Onsite Display Incrementality Tests, February to December 2023, Aggregate results from 1,656 brands

2. Share of sales

Share of sales provides a clear indication of a brand’s market position relative to their competitors. It serves as a benchmark for measuring growth by tracking their portion of sales within a particular category.  

Retail media is a key strategy that brands use to gain more visibility on the digital shelf and stand out in a competitive market. Criteo data shows that within just two weeks of advertising on top retail platforms, brands substantially increase their market share. On average, they reported a 59% boost in their organic share of sales.¹  

3. Omnichannel sales

Omnichannel metrics provide a complete view of customer interactions, whether online or in-store. But online and offline touchpoints don’t operate in silos, and their metrics shouldn’t either.  

Investing more in online advertising to enhance a brand’s digital presence directly influences the world of offline, too. Our global retailer data shows that the more brands increase their online spend, the more their offline sales rise. 

Source: US Retailers, August 1, 2023-October 31, 2024, Aggregate results from 422 brands. The influence of ad spend on incremental ROAS is further demonstrated through aggregate test results on Page 4.

Examining omnichannel sales also provides a comprehensive view of ROAS across touchpoints. When campaign analysis is broadened to include offline attribution, there is a notable improvement—campaigns typically see an average ROAS increase of 42% compared to those that only consider online attribution. 

4. New to brand rate

Achieving a high new to brand rate indicates successful market expansion and effectiveness in reaching new customer segments. Although attracting new customers is a growing challenge among brands, retail media stands out as an effective tool for acquisition.  

Criteo data from the Apparel & Accessories, Arts & Entertainment, and Health & Beauty sectors shows that 3 in 5 people who click and purchase through a retail media campaign are new to the brand* shoppers. 

Source: Criteo Retail Media Data, 2023

*”New to brand” refers to a shopper who did not previously complete a purchase from a brand within the last six months and then converted on a campaign. 

Retail media can also drive hidden cost efficiencies, enabling brands that advertise consistently to enjoy lower acquisition costs and stretch their budgets further. When comparing two groups, brands that advertised for two consecutive quarters had a significantly lower cost per acquisition than those that advertised for just one quarter. 

Source: Criteo Retail Media Data, 2023-2024, Aggregate results from 361 brands that spent in Q1 ‘24 only and 500 brands that spent in both Q4 ’23 and Q1 ‘24  

5. Repeat rate

Once a brand acquires new customers, it’s crucial to continue engaging them to secure long-term brand loyalty and higher lifetime value. Tracking repeat purchase rates helps brands assess retention success beyond an initial transaction and ensure sustainable growth. 

Our data shows that users who interact with retail media ads are more likely to become repeat buyers. On average, shoppers who make a purchase prompted by an ad continue to buy from the brand five more times over the next six months. 

Although the frequency of repeat purchases can differ across verticals, all categories experience repeat brand buyers. 

Source: Retail Media Data, Users who made a purchase in July 2023 and how many times they purchased the brand in the next 6 months on the same retailer, Aggregate results from 66,974 users  

6. Social proof

Retail media has the power to shape positive conversations online through targeted messaging and real-time engagement. These strategies motivate shoppers to organically share their positive experiences with product reviews and on social media, reinforcing a brand’s social proof and influencing other shoppers’ purchasing decisions. 

Our survey shows that 52% of brands globally see better consumer product reviews as a result of their investment in retail media. ²  

Expand your measurement approach

A hyper focus on retail media ROAS can cause advertisers to miss essential indicators of success. By adopting a broader measurement approach, advertisers can fully understand the impact of their efforts and invest in strategies that not only boost immediate sales but also foster lasting customer relationships. 

Read on for more ways to measure retail media success by downloading our latest report, The ROAS Trap: Why your retail media campaigns are delivering more than you think. 

Don't fall into the ROAS trap!

Discover 11 metrics that prove the value of retail media beyond ROAS

¹Source: US & EMEA Retail Media Data, 2023, Aggregate results from 2,420 brands  

²Source: Criteo, Commerce Media Ecosystem Survey, Q4 2023, N=261

See how others have won with retail media

Discover why 19,000+ global clients trust Criteo as their preferred advertising partner.

Return on investment
Additional sales attributed to Retail Media campaign
Elizabeth Kim

Elizabeth Kim is a Global Content Strategist captivated by technology, culture, and consumer behavior. Before joining the world of adtech, Elizabeth crafted brand and content strategies at agencies for clients spanning startups to household name giants. Outside of work, Elizabeth finds creative ...

Global Content Strategist

to our newsletter

Fresh sales trends and consumer insights to help
you plan and win.