How to unlock incremental spend for your retail media network

Two emergent opportunities RMNs looking to differentiate themselves (and pave the way for more growth) should capitalize on.
Updated on January 10, 2024

This is the second post in our Ensuring the long-term success of your RMN series, which is focused on helping retailers stay ahead of the retail media curve. 

According to eMarketer, there are more than 40 retail media networks in the US1. More retailers (and non-retailers, like UberEats and Marriott) enter the game every year. As the increasingly crowded category matures and providers and users alike become more sophisticated, retailers need to level up their offerings to stay competitive.  

Our previous post in this series spoke about the importance of retailers embracing a brand-centric mindset. It follows then, that RMNs that want to stand out and ensure their longevity in a cluttered space must advance to meet new brand demands. There are two emergent opportunities for RMNs looking to differentiate themselves (and pave the way for more growth)—we break them down for you here. 

Tap into the flywheel effect of retail media onsite plus offsite 

For many reasonsthe impending deprecation of third-party cookies on Chrome not the least of themscores of marketers are turning to first-party data strategies, like retail media. At the same time, an increasing pressure on brand advertisers to drive awareness that can be tied to actual commerce outcomes has them eyeing retail media as an alternative channel to explore.  

In short, demand for retail media is skyrocketing and shows no signs of slowing down. But a retailer’s inventory is finite. And a different proposition beyond sponsored product ads is needed to capture brand and agency media plan budgets. How, then, to take full advantage of this burgeoning demand and unlock more advertising dollars and incremental campaigns? Offsite is one part of the answer.  

With retail media offsite, retailers make their audience data available for brands to activate across the open web via display and video ads. Retailer first-party data enables brands to reach audiences at all stages, at scale and without relying on third-party signals, and then drive those audiences back to the retailer.  

The benefits of offsite for retailers are three-fold: 

  • They can earn new revenue from monetizing their valuable first-party audiences 
  • They can drive incremental traffic to their website 
  • They can increase gross merchandise sales 

But where things get really exciting is when a retailer can move beyond point solutions to a unified onsite and offsite offering. When retail media offsite is layered on top of retail media onsite, there is a synergistic effect. In fact, according to our data, shoppers who are exposed to both onsite and offsite ads are five times more likely to convert on the retailer’s site, compared to those who only saw a sponsored ad. 

The more onsite and offsite work together, the better the performance, setting the flywheel in motion. Offsite ads lead to more clicks on onsite ads, which lead to more sales, which lead to more first-party data to monetize. The end result is more value for both retailers and brands, and a deeper relationship between the two. 

Drive better outcomes and margin from sale with retail media onsite plus offsite

Combining onsite and offsite capabilities is one part of the answer to how to attract incremental spend. The rest lies in offering reporting that goes the extra mile. 

Drive growth with upleveled reporting

A key factor in retail media’s allure is its closed-loop measurement. Traditionally, that has meant focusing on KPIs such as Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) or Cost of Sales (COS). But as RMNs expand their offerings to meet upper funnel needs, they also need to expand their reporting to encompass a wider set of metrics.  

Brands activating retailer audiences offsite via display and video want to see the upper funnel metrics they’re familiar with and understand the brand impact as well as the sales impact of their campaigns. RMNs that stand out are those that can offer a combination of media metrics like impressions and clicks, retail media metrics like visits and CPO, and outcomes like sales and ROAS. KPIs such as incrementality, share of voice, brand lift, and new-to-brand are also important to brands who want a more well-rounded picture of the results of their marketing. Additionally, the ability to understand how offsite campaigns affected onsite campaigns will be key to proving the power of this omnichannel strategy and driving additional investment.  

Brands are also looking for flexible attribution that enables them to choose and unify their attribution model across campaigns, from direct product attribution to brand halo, and to select their lookback window, giving them the opportunity to match their measurement to other platforms, and to adjust it based on their goals. 

Digital shelf insights are the cherry on top of the measurement cake. RMNs can win more brands and budgets by monetizing unique and granular digital shelf insights that help them better understand their presence. This includes things like: 

  • Organic and paid competitive insights to help win category presence & own shopper visibility 
  • Brand presence trends to compare your brand versus a competitive set 
  • Cap out, SOV, and brand affinity reports to improve efficiency 

Premium commerce insights also help retailers optimize their own inventory and increase revenue with information such as brand opportunity reports, seasonal insights, and missed opportunities reports. A win-win for all. 

The good news is retailers don’t have to build these new offerings from the ground up. Tech partners, like Criteo, have solutions at the ready to help retailers evolve and grow. To learn more about our retailer solutions, visit our Commerce Yield page. 

Stay tuned for the last post in this series, where we’ll explore what forward-looking retailers need to know about where retail media is headed next. 


Ann Pyle

Ann revels in finding the simplest and clearest way to convey a thought. Her favorite word is 'moxie', which she tries to embody whenever possible. She's been developing content strategies and writing for the tech and B2B space for more than a decade. This, along with her SEO and advertising agency ...

Senior Manager Global Content

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