Retail Media Guide

Empowering brands, agencies, and retailers to sell products.

Retail Media empowers brands, agencies, and retailers to work better together to sell more products. In this guide, you’ll discover why now is the moment for retail media.

What is retail media?

Retail media refers to the ads placed on a retailer’s ecommerce site or app by a brand in order to influence the customer at the point of purchase. This model enables brands to boost their visibility on the “digital shelf”, similar to an endcap or special in-aisle feature in a physical store.

Why is retail media advertising important?

Known as the third big wave of digital advertising (behind search and social), retail media gained traction due to the rise of ecommerce and the growing need for secure, brand-safe advertising environments. With consumers purchasing online more than ever, brands are turning to retail media on the open web for new ways to reach customers and retailers need ways to offset the cost of operating ecommerce.

The what

What are retail media networks?

Retail media networks are advertising platforms provided by retailers that enable advertisers to access and leverage first-party data and inventory for engaging with relevant audiences at the point of purchase.

Among the fastest growing ad-supported digital media channels, retail media networks are intricate to build and require building a proprietary network or working with a technology partner.


What is the retail media ecosystem?

Just like in nature, where different entities must work together in order to maintain balance, the success of retail media requires the collaboration of its participants. The retail media ecosystem includes:

  • Brands: Act as the demand side of the ecosystem. (Examples: P&G, Levis, Honest Company, L ‘Oreal, Estee Lauder)
  • Retailers: Act as the supply side of the ecosystem. (Examples: Target, Best Buy, Shipt, Costco, Ulta)
  • Agencies: Part two of the demand-side, as a proxy for their brand clients. (Examples: Wavemaker, Publicis, Group M)
  • Consumers: Why it all matters. Consumers’ expectations for a personalized experience shape retail media’s technology and offerings. Both retailers and brands work together to make sure ads are relevant and the shopping experience is preserved.

Full funnel retail media strategy

Every player in the retail media ecosystem benefits:

Benefits for brands/agencies

  • Reach shoppers right at the digital point of sale with measurable campaigns that can be tied to online and offline sales at the SKU level
  • Ensure product visibility on the digital shelf and maintain brand equity
  • Run campaigns using retailer first-party data that doesn’t rely on third-party cookies
  • Run campaigns in brand-safe environments
  • For agencies, a retail media platform like Criteo’s streamlines media buying by giving them one place where they can buy ads and manage campaigns across multiple retailers


Benefits for retailers

  • Add a new revenue stream by offering new and unique inventory ad formats that go beyond shopper marketing needs
  • Sell directly to brands and control who has access to inventory and data
  • Have the control to ensure ads maintain a positive shopper experience


Upper Funnel

Criteo Audience Extension

Target in-market shoppers across the web to drive product consideration and raise awareness.

  • Reach high-quality audiences from major retail partners with optimized display formats across the open internet
  • Drive shoppers back to your retail partners’ sites, gaining a competitive brand advantage
  • Deterministically measure the impact of your campaigns on actual product sales

Journey Stage

  • Create the story
  • Reach tactical audiences

In-Store Equivalent

  • Drive more ROI and revenue



Criteo Commerce Display

Reach, influence and engage custom audiences with impactful, dynamic ad formats.

  • Reach precise shopper targets based on real-time browsing and purchase history Provides greater strategic and creative control via dynamic ad format
  • Analyze performance via enhanced reporting capabilities

Journey Stage

  • Connect with customers
  • Engage strategic shoppers

In-Store Equivalent

  • Special in-aisle fixtures or displays


Lower Funnel

Ready to Buy
Criteo Sponsored Products

Boost your sales and increase your share and visibility with native e-tail ads.

  • Reach high-intent shoppers in real-time, converting interest into sales
  • Accurately tie efforts to sales across retailers and devices
  • Analyze performance to the SKU-level to guide winning strategies

Journey Stage

  • Close prospects
  • Transform interest into purchase

In-Store Equivalent

  • Products featured within an endcap display

On-site Sponsored Products + On-site Display

On-site Sponsored Products and On-site Display each have different objectives and target shoppers in different stages of the purchase funnel. We’ve measured excellent results when advertisers use these tactics in tandem.

We analyzed campaigns that featured both sponsored products and onsite display. Here is what we found:

Running a campaign using both On-site Sponsored Products and On-site Display is a great way to fast track your ecommerce strategy and set your brand up for success.

on-site sponsored products + on-site display

increase in ROAS
”The days of the single-channel shopper are over. Philips is seeking marketing partners that address changes in shopper behavior successfully, as the online channel continues to grow in importance for us. Thanks to Criteo, we have better and deeper insight into our target consumer’s shopping behavior as well as increased sales.”
Mathilde de Plinval |Head of Communication & Digital at Phillips
increase in CVR
"This type of initiative, reconciling digital media and retail, demonstrates the effectiveness of full-funnel activation throughout the consumer journey.”
Jérôme Bénière |Media & Digital Manager, at Groupe SEB

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