Part 5: Retail Media Standardization–What We Need From Retailers


In the final post of our retail media standardization series, the focus shifts to the pivotal role of retailers in the equation. To realize the full potential of retail media standardization, retailers must provide high-quality, error-free data with clear definitions and standards, consistent timing, and accessible formats. These standards are indispensable for empowering advertisers and third-party partners like Skai to make data-driven decisions, fostering growth and innovation in the dynamic world of retail media..

Read all of the posts in this retail media standardization series.

In 2023, retail media standardization emerged as a hot topic among advertisers and advertising groups. We covered what it means, what advertisers are asking for, and what roadblocks are in the way in part 1 of this retail media standardization series. We also explored how third-party partners like Skai can help advertisers work around a lack of standardization through data transparency, connectivity, and control – the three elements that are key to omnichannel marketing, giving advertisers the data they need as well as the flexibility to interpret, analyze, and measure that data to suit their own business models. But we can’t do it alone. 

We need retailers to give us:


The right data

This includes advertising metrics like impressions, clicks, costs, conversions, revenue, ad positions, impression shares, and units sold, as well as view and click attributions. We need clear definitions of each of these metrics, along with what activity counts. Retailers can reference the IAB/MRC Retail Media Measurement Guidelines developed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in collaboration with the Media Rating Council (MRC) for recommended guidelines.

Of course, retailer data must be of high quality and free of errors to be usable.


The right cadence

When it comes to metric-related time frames like lookback windows, consistency is essential to generating meaningful comparisons between retailers. A good start would be to align with the Media Rating Council’s Outcomes and Data Quality Standards.

Data must be recent to be useful. Daily aggregation of advertising metrics and attributions allows us to translate data into observations over time and recommend prompt program changes that drive results.


The right format

Data should be made available through APIs with clear technical standards. Ideally, retailer data would be consolidated under the same API with a single authentication. APIs make it easy for us to connect different data sources and organize incoming data into the right structures and formats.


The right KPI information

For us to facilitate KPI translation across retailers, we need to understand all the granular parameters of each retailer’s metrics. Take impression share, for example. What does that mean exactly? What’s the measurement time frame? Is the data aggregated or averaged? These nuances can add up to big differences between retailers, so we need retailers to help us understand how their own data may compare to another retailer’s data.

As the call for retail media standardization grows louder, retailers must recognize their essential role in shaping a transparent and unified ecosystem. Their responsibility is clear – to provide not just data, but the right data, in the right cadence, format, and with all the essential KPI information. By embracing industry guidelines and standards, like the IAB/MRC Retail Media Measurement Guidelines and the Media Rating Council’s Outcomes and Data Quality Standards, retailers contribute to the creation of a robust and consistent framework. High-quality, error-free data empowers advertisers and third-party partners to make informed decisions, driving results and ultimately growth.

The adoption of APIs with clear technical standards ensures seamless connectivity, and daily aggregation of metrics in a standardized format allows for timely insights and prompt program adjustments. Without this retail media can’t maximize its full potential. It’s time for retailers to take the lead in standardization and create a dynamic and thriving retail media landscape that benefits both retailers and advertisers alike.