The Two Tiers of Retail Media

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Ciaran O'Kane is back at his sketchpad, and this week he's focussing on how the retail media market could develop into a two-tier system.

Retail media is going to be huge. All online grocery platforms are building a strategy around how they get their share of this new ad spend.  

Right now retail media is a mess of native ad environments, fragmented supply and disjointed ad tech.  How would any buyer look to buy across this environment?  That is the opportunity in front of us.

As always, the US and the rest of the world will diverge in this category. Outside the US we will probably end up with two tiers of retail media: 

  • Tier 1 - 20-to-30 large retail media networks with enough scale to run direct sales and manage custom ad tech.
  • Tier 2 - mid-to-long tail of retail media. Here we will see a lot of the programmatic supply chain we are used to. More DSP, SSPs with an array of targeting and measurement.  Mixed models (direct sold, programmatic etc) will be the order of the day.

This month at ExchangeWire we’re focussing on the future of commerce, and I will be sketching out this retail media opportunity for buyers, sellers and ad tech.