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Top Retail Media Networks in 2024 + Core Ad Types

Estimated Reading time: 6 minutes • August 2, 2023

Retail media is at the center of everything new in digital advertising. Data, audience management, personalization… Yet, in ways, this “third wave” of advertising through retail media networks represents a less complex approach to advertising. Why? Because so far it is dominated by relatively few retail media networks. And those networks offer relatively few different ad opportunities.

Retail media allows brands to deliver highly targeted and relevant ads, maximizing their chances of converting potential customers into loyal buyers. With the growing prominence of retail media networks, advertisers can capitalize on this new frontier to create more effective and impactful campaigns, revolutionizing the way they connect with consumers in the digital age.

This page is a primer covering the top retail media networks and a survey of core ad types for those new to the space, or seeking clarity. For more on strategy, visit our services page for more on how to navigate retail media networks.

Before we begin, let’s define key terms:

  1. A retail media network is a digital advertising platform operated by a retailer or an e-commerce platform that leverages first-party shopper data to deliver targeted and personalized advertisements to consumers. These networks enable brands to showcase their products or services directly to potential customers while they are actively engaged in the shopping process. By utilizing data insights from customer behaviors, shopping preferences, and purchase history, retail media networks create a highly relevant and effective advertising environment for brands to reach their target audience.

  2. Measurement. Each retail media network works to count every sale as “ad-attributable” to its own network. This leaves little consideration for cross-channel performance, and often results in sales values that don’t add-up for ecommerce leaders.
    See our services page on Retail Media Networks for how we help brands reconcile measurement across retail media apps and platforms.

  3. After mass media (First Wave), and social media (Second Wave), the Third wave of advertising is characterized by the emergence of retail media networks.
    This shift marks a profound transformation in advertising strategies. Retail media networks offer a unique and powerful ecosystem where brands can directly engage with consumers in the context of their shopping journey. By capitalizing on first-party shopper data, these networks provide highly personalized and relevant advertisements to consumers during the critical moments of purchase consideration. This level of precision targeting and contextual advertising has become possible due to the massive scale and reach of e-commerce platforms and the insights they gather from their customers.


Top Retail Media Networks in 2024

Drum roll please…this year’s list covers the globe with some expected and unexpected players. Our methodology pulls-in best available data sources to approximate audience reach offered by each platform, bearing in mind the differences in sources and metrics across all partners.

  1. This 2024 list of retail media networks does not cover emerging platforms, a specialty of Criterion Global (to learn more, contact us).
  2. If you have a request for data correction or a retail media network to add, contact us as well.
  3. The list below is global. For reference guides to retail media networks for Europe, Asia, LATAM or a specific market, please get in touch!
Retail Media NetworkKey Point + Defining Feature
Walmart120M avg. unique monthly visitors, yet average store visits are 960M – easily #1 (walmart.com)
Amazon300 million active users. 197 monthly users. (Investing.com)
Mercado LibreMercado Libre is the largest e-commerce company in Latin America, with a market share of over 50% . It has 148 million unique active users. (equities.com & statista.com)
eBay180M avg. monthly uniques. 130M buyers globally. Criterion Global partner supporting ads since 2015. (ebay.com)
Macy’s2021 most visited fashion retailer website in the United States, with a monthly average of 117.5 million visitors. (statista.com)
WalgreensOver 113 million active myWalgreens members as of August 31, 2023 and a 15% of the prescription drugs market share (wallgreens.com)
EtsyOver 95 million people are active buyers on Etsy, it has 7.3 million sellers (Statista.com)
UltaCosmetics megabrand with brand awareness of up to 70% in the US. ,and almost 71 million monthly visits. (Statista.com)
ZalandoBerlin-based online fashion retailer with over 50 million customers (Statista)
CVSOver 47M online users and a 25% of the US prescription drugs market share. (cvshealth.com)
ChewyPet-focused, 46M avg. monthly uniques. No loyalty program, key partnership with Petco. 20 million users by the end of 2021 (statista.com)
KrogerKroger today ranks as one of the world’s largest retailers with 2,800 stores. Their online store gets 35M avg. monthly uniques visits. (similarweb.com)
WayfairOne of the largest online-only home goods retailers in the world over 20M active customers (statista.com). Home and Decor giant with 39M avg. monthly uniques. 60% female customer base.
InstacartGrocery giant in multiple markets worldwide. Interestingly, customers are 80% female

Falabella
Falabella is the largest South American department store chain, with physical stores in Chile, Colombia and Peru. Falabella has 24 million monthly visitors in total, 94% of which are from Chile. (webretailer.com)
Carrefour
Europe’s biggest supermarket chain with over 12,000 stores (carrefour.com) and 14M online visitors per month on their online stores. (statista.com)
Instacart
Grocery giant in multiple markets worldwide. Interestingly, customers are 80% female. As of 2022, the app had 13.7M users. (businessofapps.com)
Aldi
Over 10,000 stores in more than 10 countries (aldi.com). Their online presence is not the strongest, with less than 500k visits per month. (similarweb.com)
Schwarz GruppeOver 13,700 stores accross 32 different countries. They don’t have an online store (schwarz-gruppe.net)
Home DepotOver 2,300 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico (corporate.homedepot.com). 246M monthly visitors (semrush.com)
TargetLeader in the retail e-commerce Industry with a 2.1% Online Stores Market Share, and with almost 2,000 stores (Statista.com)
Lowe’sOver 1,738 locations worldwide and ranked #1 in the Similarweb Home Improvement and Maintenance category ranking with 104M monthly visits. (similarweb.com)
Best BuyOver 1,144 stores worldwide and an online market share of 1.4% (statista.com and statista.com).
Source: As noted, or Comscore Media Metrix Multi-Platform

Core Retail Media Ad Types

Retail media is powered by data. This enables personalized advertising based on customers’ previous shopping behaviors. This approach allows brands to display relevant product recommendations within search results, sponsored listings for complementary items, and reminders to add regular items to the basket at checkout.


Search Ads

Search ads are an effective way for advertisers to target motivated shoppers actively looking for products or services. These ads can be personalized using paid search to capture demand or promote brand awareness through sponsored products.


Onsite”: Banner, Display, Video, and Carousel Ads:

Onsite – or in-app – digital media encompasses ad properties directly owned by the retailer, such as websites and apps. Retailers with broader “group” offerings may have multiple banners. These ads facilitate brand promotion and engagement with customers directly on the retailer’s digital platforms.


“Offsite” Media

Digital offsite media employs first-party data to deliver targeted advertisements outside the retailer’s owned properties. These ads can be seen on news or entertainment websites and social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. The placements are pre-curated to ensure brand safety.


Email

Newsletter sponsorships are paid ads placed within email newsletters. Compared to other channels, such as websites and social media, email placements often reach more engaged audiences with less competition.

Technically speaking email is offsite media. But for retailers, maintaining connection with customers is a key part of its business. And while loyalty programs don’t always have access (or permission) to customer emails, the prospect of discounting, coupons and personalized content makes this appealing to a substantial selection of retail customers.


In-Store Media

Store media remains an effective means of reaching shoppers despite the rise of online grocery shopping. The versatility of store media ranges from printed and digital signage to sampling and experiential marketing. It involves displaying ads on in-store video displays, utilizing geofencing and proximity messaging for app users.


Branding (lookbook)

Store media remains an effective means of reaching shoppers despite the rise of online grocery shopping. The versatility of store media ranges from printed and digital signage to sampling and experiential marketing. It involves displaying ads on in-store video displays, utilizing geofencing and proximity messaging for app users.


Multichannel: The Best of All

Multichannel D2C (Direct-to-Consumer) ads encompass various formats, from printed materials sent to customers’ homes to digital coupons and vouchers delivered through apps. Many DTC campaigns now use loyalty data to deliver relevant offers and promotions.


Conclusion: How to Innovate in Retail Media

Retail Media is a fairly formulaic space. There are relatively few dominant retail media networks. And fairly few ad opportunities within these platforms. So when choosing retail media networks for advertising, advertisers must consider several essential attributes to maximize effectiveness:

  • Traffic scale: Be sure the network reaches a large enough audience to be worth developing custom assets (if necessary)
  • Traffic quality: Ensure the network reaches the right audience.
  • Segmentation capabilities: The ability to target specific customer segments effectively. Data is everything.
  • Closed-loop sales attribution + Independent Method for Internal Verification: Trust but verify.
  • Budget and resources: Consider the resources – creative, investment AND back-end measurement – required to prove success.

With a clear understanding of the various retail media ad types and careful consideration of the attributes of retail media networks, advertisers can craft effective strategies to connect with their target audience and drive meaningful results.

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