Pan-European definitions for the retail media sector

Posted on Friday 06 October 2023 | IAB UK

In its latest guide, IAB Europe's Retail Media Group has put together key definitions from this growing sector to provide clarity for advertisers

To equip the industry with the knowledge needed to embrace the retail media opportunity, IAB Europe has released a brand new guide. Led by its Retail Media Working Group, of which IAB UK's own Retail Media Group contributes, the 101 Guide shares key expertise to empower both buyers and sellers.

The guide contains the first pan-European definitions of retail media in a digital advertising sphere which have consensus across the National IAB network in Europe. These harmonised definitions drill down into digital on-site, digital off-site and digital in-store and are a crucial first step in providing a common understanding of retail media as essential for developing effective measurement, standards and guidance. Key definitions include:

Pan-European retail media definition

Retail media refers to the digital advertising space, retail data assets and in-store opportunities a retailer or marketplace owns, which is then made available to brands for the execution of advertising campaigns. Campaign goals include (but are not limited to) brand awareness, driving sales and new product discovery.

Retail media includes an increasing range of digital opportunities which can be segmented into off-site, on-site and in-store environments. Retail media also includes the targeting, optimisation and measurement elements of digital campaigns.

On-site digital retail media

On-site retail media is advertising sold on the retailer’s own digital properties. This typically includes retailer websites and apps (e.g. Lidl, Ocado, ICA), or online consumer shopping marketplaces (e.g., eBay and Amazon). On-site retail media also includes the ability to optimise and measure campaigns as well as target specific inventory.

Formats include, but are not limited to: sponsored product ads, sponsored search results, display banners, email targeted coupons and video.

Search and sponsored product ads are generally bought on a biddable cost-per-click (CPC) basis while some display and video executions can be bought on a cost-per-mille (CPM). Fixed tenancy opportunities are also available.

Off-site digital retail media

Off-site retail media refers to the use of retailer data to buy advertising sold on inventory outside of retailers online (web and app) shopping platforms. The inventory available with third-party partners (using retailer data) includes display, video, social, connected TV (CTV) and digital-out-of-home (DOOH). Off-site retail media sometimes requires the creative to be co-branded and sometimes contains direct links to the product on the retailer's website. Off-site retail media can be bought and managed directly by retailers, or from other providers including agencies and platforms.

In-store digital retail media

In-store digital retail media opportunities are also offered by retailers to agencies and brands. The digital opportunities available include radio, DOOH screens, TV, ATMs and hand scanners. Most in-store digital is bought directly from the retailer as a managed service. More programmatic opportunities are likely to develop throughout 2023 and beyond.

More traditional (non digital) media placements are also available in-store. These include but are not limited to trolley panels, shelf booklets, gondola ends and sampling.

Retail media definitions graph

To read the full guide and find out more, visit IAB Europe's site here.

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