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Measurement in Retail Media: what do Networks need to deliver?
Retail media

Measurement in Retail Media: what do Networks need to deliver?

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mediarithmics Team
January 30, 2024

Measurement in Retail Media: what do Networks need to deliver?

With retail media ad spend exploding, measurement capabilities are crucial for retailers building out retail media networks (RMNs). According to commerce technology provider Criteo, global retail media spend could reach $80bn this year. As this market balloons, RMNs need to provide rigorous measurement to capture ad budgets. The IAB has recently released its Retail Media Measurement Guidelines to begin to bring standardisation across the market, realising that poor measurement was holding back brand investment.

In our recent webinar, “How can Retail Media Networks outpace the pureplay E-Com giants?” our expert guests dove into measurement for RMNs.

The importance of strong measurement capabilities

Rob Webster, VP of Strategy and Innovation at consultancy CvE, noted, “I really believe that the measurement piece is the most important piece ... How do you help brands with a data strategy, more and more advanced planning and more advanced measurement both online and in store.

“If we can really help [brands] use this data to come up with a planning methodology and a measurement methodology that they can really trust and believe, that will unlock the door to a huge amount more growth.”

Paul Dahill, VP Sales at retail media tech firm Crealytics, agreed. He highlighted the ISBA and Omnicom report on retail media measurement as a useful benchmark of capabilities. Measurement areas like sales incrementality, brand halo, and contribution to overall category growth are tremendously valuable to brands. RMNs that can provide transparency into these areas will be best positioned for ad budget growth.

Holistic online and offline measurement

For RMNs, connecting online and offline data is critical to providing a complete view of performance. And this is something that the largest retailers have as a key asset, compared to RMNs that are built off pureplay E-commerce offerings. As Rob explained, “accurate point of sale reporting against marketing has been half done in the past. But it has never been a complete closed loop as it's starting to really become the norm within the best retail media offerings today.”

But connecting online and offline data for unified measurement remains challenging. Very few retailers are stitching together a holistic view of a customer because they haven't connected their in-store data with their online data yet. Part of the challenge is the scale of data - large retail groups may be processing tens of millions of POS transactions a month. RMNs need the data infrastructure to handle that data, as well as the additional online sales.


A 2022 McKinsey survey found that 56% of brands see incrementality measurement as an obstacle to increasing retail media investment.

Paul reiterated the need for incrementality measurement, “Fundamentally, I think the biggest topic that is being discussed, it's never really gone away, is incrementality. And what in terms of the spend of my investment, how many of those sales would I have got anyway?”

“Because if you can get that right, if you can prove to a company that spending more money will get them incremental sales, then that's something that's going to be very easy for a brand to sign off. I also think this is the area where sophistication needs to grow and some companies are much better than others, but I don't think anyone is quite as good as Amazon at this yet."

Changes in media measurement

But measurement is a major challenge across the digital media industry, not just for retail media.

Rob noted it is “an area which is being challenged because cookies and measurement techniques are going through a period of flux right now. So I just think there's an awful lot of measurement that's happening in this space that will have to be rebuilt. When we do rebuild it, we need to make sure we think about how we get the right information into the hands of the buyers.

“For all the growth of retail media in the UK, it's still not the major channel for most CPG brands. It's still way behind Amazon, still way behind paid search, a way behind TV, but if we can get this bit right, and we can get the connectivity right in a way that first of all looks after the user's identity, but also allows for that complete planning and measurement approach and allows that to be portable and to be used on in store opportunities, on site opportunities, and also CTV, particularly then retail media could be the base for how brands buy media.”

Check out the full webinar for more expert insights on how RMNs can be better partners to brands to take a greater share of the retail media market.

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