Maximize your conversion potential with retail advertising

Ultimate Guide to Retail Media

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 for new ways to reach customers and retailers need ways to offset the cost of operating ecommerce.

Learn more about the rise of retail media on the open web. 

Retail media is also helping brands take advantage of retailers’ valuable first-party data as advertisers move toward a post-cookies world. Retailer first-party data is clean, reliable, and enables the kind of personalized advertising that customers will still want, even after third-party cookies go away.

Discover why retail media is a future-proof strategy.

Retail media is also the basis of its larger cousin, commerce media, which is being touted as the fourth wave of digital advertising. Commerce media takes the retail media model and expands it.

It includes a broad network of publishers across the open internet, in addition to retailers. And it enables non-retail and non-endemic advertisers, in addition to retail advertisers, to use commerce data and AI to more effectively engage audiences on those publishers and retailers. It also includes a wide range of formats and channels to meet full-funnel objectives, from video and CTV to contextual and sponsored product ads.

Learn more about retail media’s part in commerce media here.

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.

Learn what it takes. 

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.

Upper Funnel: Searching
Criteo Audience Extension

Journey stage:

  • Create the story
  • Reach tactical audiences

In-store equivalent:

  • Products highlighted in direct mail or coupons

Mid-Funnel: Considering
Criteo Commerce Display

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

Journey stage:

  • Close prospects
  • Transform interest into purchase

In-store equivalent:

  • Products featured within an endcap display

Criteo Retail Media Solutions: A full-funnel advertising offering

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

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

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

"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

”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

Achieve and surpass your campaign goals with Criteo’s retail media solutions.

Get started with Criteo’s Retail Media Platform.

Explaining Retail Media’s Rise

Learn the main reasons behind the increased need for retail media and why now is the time for brands and retailers to go all in.

Scale for Retail Media Success eBook

Five ways retailers and brands can capitalize on the momentum.

Future of Commerce – The Rise of Retail Media on the Open Web

Criteo asked 250 brand marketers and 250 decision makers in media agencies in the UK for their perspective on retail media.

Retail Media University

Get certified in the different retail media solutions that Criteo offers in our retail media platform.