Meet 13 firms that are helping retailers cash in on the $130 billion retail media market

  • Ad selling is a hot new business for retailers like Walmart and Macy’s.
  • Many of these retailers are in heated competition to grab ad dollars.
  • Insider identified 13 firms that help retailers build and expand their ad businesses.

Retail media is booming, and retailers like Macy’s, Sephora, and Home Depot, as well as adtech firms like The Trade Desk and Criteo, are racing to capitalize on this advertising gold rush — and compete with Amazon’s hegemony.

Morgan Stanley forecasts a $130 billion retail media industry by next year, with retailers taking $104 billion and adtech firms taking $26 billion.

The allure of retail media is that retailers can use rich customer data to help advertisers target advertisements.

However, as more retailers enter the market, it becomes more difficult to navigate for advertisers who do not want to buy from a slew of fragmented ad sellers.

Meanwhile, retailers who began by selling ads on their e-commerce websites want to expand their ad businesses beyond the sites they own and operate.

These issues present numerous opportunities for adtech companies to assist advertisers in navigating the expanding retail media field, as well as retailers in selling digital ads across the web and streaming TV.

Insider identified 13 advertising and technology firms that retailers work with to build out their ad businesses, which are listed alphabetically.


Collaborates with: Over 35 retailers, including Home Depot, Staples, and Urban Outfitters.

What it does: Crealytics assists retailers in determining how many advertisements to sell and where they should be placed on their e-commerce sites.

Crealytics provides an ad server for retailer websites. Ad servers display advertisements on websites and track campaign performance across multiple platforms sites. Crealytics is used by retailers to develop pricing strategies and collaborate with other retail adtech companies such as Skai, Pacvue, and Criteo, said Andreas Reiffen, Crealytics’ CEO and founder.

The company’s technology allows retailers to choose how many sponsored product ads to sell and which to sell formats to prioritize by analyzing how products rank organically within a category He claimed that the retailer’s algorithms were to blame. This analysis can then be used to determine how Advertisement placements should be sold by retailers.

To license the technology, Crealytics charges retailers a software as a service (SaaS) fee.

Crealytics has raised $23 million in capital from investors such as Optima, According to Alternative Strategic Investment and LBBW Venture Capital, PitchBook.


Collaborates with: 210 merchants, including Macy’s and Uber

What it does: Criteo is one of the largest retail media companies, with revenue from retail media expected to reach $1.4 billion by 2025.

Criteo runs a network that assists retailers in selling advertising and Advertisers pay for those advertisements. Criteo’s network places onsite advertisements on retailers’ e-commerce sites and offsite advertisements that use retailer data Ads can be targeted across the internet.

According to Chief Revenue Officer Brian Gleason, the company is focused on making it easier for advertisers to buy across all retail media offerings.

Criteo is assisting by developing tools that help advertisers buy in-store ads alongside digital ads, according to Gleason. In March, it purchased retail technology firm Brandcrush.

Criteo is also collaborating with adtech firm Integral Ad Science to determine whether or not digital ads placed on retail sites were seen. Gleason hopes that these tools will help increase ad budgets for retail media. These funds are primarily drawn from brands’ trade and shopper marketing budgets, but Criteo hopes to divert funds from social media and digital advertising budgets as well.


Collaborates with: Over 130 retailers, including Walgreens, Albertsons, and GoPuff.

What it does: Epsilon, which is owned by Publicis Groupe, is banking on identity to help retailers sell more ads.

Epsilon has integrated CitrusAd technology and services, which Publicis Groupe acquired in 2021, and now assists retailers such as Target in selling onsite ads such as sponsored products and display ads, as well as offsite ads across the web.

Epsilon also has products that help advertisers target ads using first-party data, such as loyalty card programs and email, which Dave Peterson, general manager and global head of retail media, described as a differentiator.

Epsilon, he claims, is also quickening its pace. Advertisement businesses can be established by retailers. It used to take three to five years to build an ad business, but now it only takes one to three months, according to him.


Collaborates with: Target and Best Buy

What it does: Google has quietly moved into retail media with its adtech products, which are used by major brands and publishers.

Google’s retail media products assist retailers in selling ads off their websites by leveraging retailer data on shoppers. Retailers, for example, use Google to target search and YouTube ads, according to Shawn McGahee, Google’s head of retail media, who spoke to Beet.TV earlier this year. Google also provides ad tools to assist retailers in managing onsite display ads, as well as measurement tools.

McGahee claims that retailers such as Target benefit from this mix of onsite and offsite advertising. Roundel, Target’s advertising arm, collaborates with Google to assist advertisers in targeting search ads using Target’s first-party data on shoppers.


Collaborates with: 150 businesses, including Klarna and Ticketmaster

What it does: Kevel, formerly known as Adzerk, is a 13-year-old company that sells APIs for a monthly fee. Kevel’s technology enables businesses to sell advertisements on their websites. in contrast to its Kevel does not sell advertisements like its competitors.

Clients of Kevel include Klarna, Ticketmaster, and the grocery delivery platform Fink.

Kevel Founder and CEO James Avery stated that the company has over 100 employees and is focused on a self-serve product that businesses can use to build their own advertising business. His company is also collaborating with the Interactive Advertising Bureau to develop industry standards that will assist advertisers in purchasing and measuring promoted listings ad formats. across multiple ad buys.

According to PitchBook, Kevel has raised $39 million from investors such as dunnhumby Ventures, Triangle Tweener Fund, and Aperiam Ventures.


Collaborates with: Trivago, Kayak, and Priceline

What it does: Koddi provides advertisers, marketplaces, and app developers with commerce media solutions. developers. The company, founded in 2013, initially specialized in metasearch advertising for hotels and travel agencies. Trivago, Kayak, and Priceline are now among the sites that accept it. It has since expanded into areas such as direct-to-consumer apps, where it assists those Sponsored listing programs are created by developers.

In terms of retail media, Koddi claims it can assist businesses in establishing a commerce media business. with its out-of-the-box native ads solution in 60 days. A dynamic pricing solution that allows retailers to define the lowest bid that can win one of its ad models, which can be configured by page, user, and country, is one of its newer features.

Other clients of Koddi include, Fanatics, and Kroger.


Collaborates with: 20 brands and retailers, including Home Depot and CVS.

What it does: Merkle, a Dentsu company, has a team dedicated to setting up and running retail media businesses.

Merkle’s New Stream Media team manages the ad businesses of retailers by doing things. such as developing strategies and managing advertisers’ accounts.

Dentsu, for example, creates media planning tools for retailers to use with advertisers and can also assist with tasks such as billing and developing reports that show brands the effectiveness of retail media campaigns. Dentsu manages ad operations and pays fees to technology companies such as Criteo, Google, and Microsoft that retailers use to run ad campaigns. Dentsu Merkury is the company’s own ID solution, which retailers can use to run analytics reports.

“When you have a retail media network, you are selling campaigns to brands, and those campaigns need to go from sales and account management all the way around through to reporting and billing — we are a service provider across all of those areas,” said Megan Cameron, senior vice president of Merkle’s retail media

Denstu also has a media-buying arm that purchases retail media ads for brands.


Collaborates with: More than 10,000 brands, including Unilever, ran retail media campaigns through Microsoft in 2022.

What it does: Microsoft has been in the retail media space since it acquired PromoteIQ in 2019, but has only recently become more open about it.

“We’ve really been going to market behind the scenes with a retailer,” Paul Longo, the company’s global head of retail media sales, explained. “Now we’re going to market as Microsoft.”

Microsoft announced the Microsoft Advertising Network in September, with clients including Sephora, Home Depot, and Breuninger. Microsoft’s current offering is more comprehensive than PromoteIQ’s and Microsoft’s other advertising assets, according to Longo.

According to him, Microsoft’s products now include selling offsite ads for retailers via the programmatic tool Microsoft Monetize, formerly Xandr, as well as search ads via Bing. Microsoft manages the infrastructure of retailers’ ad platforms and assists advertisers in making purchases. Those advertisements.

Buying ads across multiple retailers’ websites is one of the challenges for brands, he says. To that end, he said, Microsoft aggregates retailer inventory to make it easier for advertisers to buy. Longo stated that the goal is to help grow retail media budgets by reducing digital and television budgets.

“We see the next phase of retail media growth being driven by getting incremental budgets outside of shopper marketing,” he went on to say.

Longo also stated that Microsoft is looking to incorporate generative AI into its retail media tools.


Collaborates with: Over 400 companies, including Macy’s, Madewell, and NBCUniversal.

What it does: Mirakl, an e-commerce firm, is known for selling software to retailers such as Macy’s. and Kohl’s use to run their online store. Mirakl creates marketplaces for sellers and recently expanded into advertising.

Retailers use Mirakl’s technology to sell sponsored product ads that appear in their stores. Display ads and search results when people look for specific products on a retailer’s website. According to Jean-Gabriel de Mourgues, EVP of Mirakl Connect and growth solutions, the company is currently developing products to sell video and offsite formats, such as Google Shopping ads. Mirakl also sells advertisements to retailers who want to outsource their advertising operations.

He stated that Mirakl wishes to distinguish itself by handling e-commerce operations such as inventory. for retailers that go beyond advertising. Mirakl, for example, sells tools that use AI to show people relevant products based on what they are interested in. Mirakl’s advertising tools incorporate this technology.

“A major pain point from retailers operating a retail media program is that they see the customer experience they offer on their site being damaged by irrelevant advertising being pushed in the middle of the customer journey,” de Mourgues said in a statement.

Mirakl recently agreed to provide advertising holding company Havas with both advertising and non-advertising tools for brands. Mirakl, for example, will assist Havas’ clients in locating retailers who have marketplaces where they can sell their products.


Collaborates with: companies such as IPG Mediabrands, Dentsu, and Lyft, among others.

What it does: PubMatic is a technology company that helps digital media publishers manage ad sales and get the best price for their inventory.

It began developing a new technology platform called Convert two years ago, and it officially launched it this year. Convert assists retailers who sell advertisements in ensuring that their inventory is available to as many customers as possible. a large number of advertisers as possible. This increases competition for ad slots, ensuring that retailers receive a fair price for their inventory.

Convert attempts to solve the problem that retailers rely on adtech partners to bring in potential advertisers, but those partners only work with a small number of clients. So, if an ad for toilet paper is available and that partner only works with one toilet paper manufacturer, the retailer will only have one advertiser bidding for its ad space. Convert is designed to ensure that as many relevant advertisers as possible have the opportunity to bid on that inventory.

PubMatic’s technology also assists retailers in selling to smaller advertisers. “Typically, a retailer only has resources to deal with the top 10 brands that are spending the most,” said Peter Barry, the company’s VP of addressability. as well as commercial media. “They don’t have the bandwidth to deal with the rest.” PubMatic’s Convert serves as a gateway for those smaller businesses. Advertisers can log in to manage their retail media purchases.

Convert is still in its early stages, having launched in July with partners such as ad agencies IPG Mediabrands, Dentsu, and MiQ, as well as retail media sellers Lyft Media and the Spanish marketplace Wallapop. PubMatic declined to provide additional figures, instead pointing to its upcoming earnings report on November 8.


Collaborates with: 100 retailers, including The Save Mart Companies and 99 Cents Only Stores

What it does: Swiftly sells advertising to legacy retailers such as grocery chains.

Swiftly’s technology assists grocers in establishing retail media networks, as well as features such as loyalty programs on retailer websites and apps.

Swiftly’s Chief Revenue Officer, Andy Friedland, stated that handling both advertising and technology distinguishes the company’s pitch to retailers. “When you look at the success of Amazon and Walmart, they own the full tech stack, and I think that’s really important if you want to succeed with retail media,” he went on to say.

Friedland, for example, stated that grocers are increasingly requesting that print circulars used by retailers to promote deals be made digital.

Swiftly will also focus on a recently launched alcohol cashback feature, which allows shoppers to get money back from grocery store purchases of alcohol, into next year, he said.

According to PitchBook, Swiftly has raised $240 million from investors such as BRV Capital Management and Generator Advisors.

The Deal Desk

Collaborates with: retailers such as Walmart, Walgreens, Albertsons, Macy’s, and Instacart, among others.

What it does: The Trade Desk provides software to advertisers that allows them to target digital ads to specific consumers.

To power some of that targeting, its retail media business uses data from major retailers such as Walmart, Walgreens, and Albertsons. It also has partnerships to demonstrate that the ads resulted in sales.

Many of these alliances were formed by The Trade Desk over the last two years as it expanded its retail media practice.

This momentum accelerated so dramatically in 2023 that CEO Jeff Green cited retail as an example. During an earnings call, media was identified as the company’s fastest-growing business. In the month of August.

This year, the Trade Desk aggressively expanded both existing and new partnerships with other tech companies. retailers.

For example, this year it expanded its collaboration with Walmart-owned Sam’s Club to target ads offsite. It also scored a victory when Walmart agreed to test the Trade Desk’s cookie-free targeting solution, UID2.

Advertisers can now target ads using data from Instacart, GoPuff, and Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s loyalty programs through The Trade Desk as of this year.

This year, The Trade Desk also expanded its retail media program globally by partnering with the German retail group Schwarz as well as FairPrice is a Singaporean supermarket conglomerate.

Finally, the company has improved its ability to assess the effectiveness of retail media and retain advertisers. It collaborated with measurement platform Attain to demonstrate that ads drove sales.


Collaborates with: Lowe’s and Marriott

What it does: Yahoo Member Connect is a solution that can power businesses’ media networks as well as other off-site media such as digital out-of-home and connected TV.

Since being acquired by Google, Yahoo has formed notable retail media partnerships. Apollo, a private equity firm, in 2021. Last year, for example, Yahoo partnered with Lowe’s to allow One Roof Media Network advertisers to buy ads on sites other than using the Yahoo demand-side platform and identity solution Yahoo ConnectID.

In the same vein, Yahoo was named this year’s technology partner to run Marriott’s “hospitality media network.” Yahoo combines anonymized customer data with data from advertisers, and marketers can buy Marriott ads on its website and app through Yahoo’s ad platform or its ad sales team. Marriott also plans to expand the ad network to guest room televisions.

Yahoo Chief Revenue Officer in 2024 The company, according to Elizabeth Herbst-Brady, will “continue to leverage the Yahoo DSP and our own first-party data to support more partners and broker additional paths to engagement for advertisers.”

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