Mastering Commerce Media: The ShopAble 2024 Conference Recap


The ShopAble 2024 Conference was a dynamic exploration of the commerce media landscape. It featured keynotes and panels that delved into evolving retail media strategies, the role of AI, and the importance of omnichannel approaches. Attendees enjoyed immersive experiences and networking opportunities, gaining insights from industry leaders on the future of digital and retail advertising.

This year’s ShopAble conference, held at Lavan Midtown, was a vibrant showcase of the commerce media ecosystem’s latest trends and technologies. Over 200 attendees navigated through the venue and engaging exhibits on ShopAble Street, discussing and celebrating the intersection of retail and digital advertising. As Jag Wadhwani from Shipt remarked, “Phenomenal job putting all of it together. 10/10 on the venue and setup.”

The day began with a keynote that set a dynamic tone for the conference. It was followed by lively, expert panels on critical topics facing retail marketers. Interactive experiences, such as the Walmart Connect Café and Ye Olde Demo, where participants played darts for charity, highlighted the event’s engaging atmosphere. 

There was plenty of time for the attendees to meet and connect throughout the day, and the happy hour followed. As Lindsay Pullins from Roku shared, “The event was beautiful and spectacular! I loved the networking opportunities and conversations I had.”

Feedback from attendees like Melanie Zimmermann of Criteo noted, “I continue to be very impressed by the innovative work that Skai drives; it’s highly relevant for the industry, particularly given the increasing fragmentation of the marketplace.” Warm notes were waiting for us upon our return to the office. “Skai’s Commerce Media event last week was mind-blowing!” reflected Josh Kreitzer from Channel Bakers.

As we look towards ShopAble 2025, the enthusiasm and insights from this year’s event affirm its growing importance as a key date for industry professionals eager to explore the future of commerce media.

Setting the agenda: ShopAble’s three pillars

Skai’s Chief Growth Officer, Gil Sadeh, and EVP Strategy, Nich Weinheimer, delivered the keynote address at ShopAble 2024, focusing on commerce media. Opening the discussion, Gil emphasized, “Commerce Media has firmly established itself as the industry’s definitive buzzword of 2024 — sparking a frenzy of interpretations and definitions.” 

Alongside three industry leaders, Criteo, Walmart Connect, and Microsoft, Gil and Nich introduced the major themes of the conference:

The evolution of commerce media

“We’re looking at the evolution of Commerce Media and unlocking the massive opportunity between retailers and brands,” Gil emphasized, highlighting commerce media’s transformative potential. As he explained, the sector is poised at a significant threshold, with opportunities arising from closer collaborations between retailers and brands to create targeted, meaningful consumer engagements. This perspective underscores shifting toward a more dynamic and versatile retail media ecosystem. 

Retail media’s expansion to a full-funnel, omnichannel play

The necessity of expanding retail media into a comprehensive, full-funnel, omnichannel strategy to maximize the impact of digital interactions at every consumer touchpoint. “We need to make it easy for advertisers to buy on any commerce location that makes the most sense,” said Melanie Zimmermann, GM Global Retail Media at Criteo,

This holistic approach is essential for modernizing brand interactions with consumers, ensuring each step of the consumer journey is an integrated opportunity for engagement. In a later panel, Diana Finster from platinum sponsor Walmart Connect noted, “Our omnichannel solutions are designed to reach customers during moments of inspiration and discovery, whether they are online or in our stores.” 

All underpinned by data and AI.

Tying everything together is the foundational role of data and artificial intelligence in refining and revolutionizing retail media strategies. These technologies are critical for enhancing targeting and personalization and fundamentally transforming how brands and retailers understand and engage with their customers. “AI technologies are being leveraged to not just react to market conditions but to anticipate and shape consumer experiences,” said Microsoft Advertising’s Lynne Kjolso.

In-Depth Analysis: Panels that Shaped ShopAble

The afternoon program included four panels, each providing practical insights and strategies from leading industry experts. These sessions addressed the most critical challenges and opportunities within the commerce media landscape.

Panel: Lessons From the Trenches: Growing a Retail Media Network

Host: Nich Weinheimer (EVP of Strategy @ Skai)

Panelists: Amber Roberts (Partnership Director @ ThreeFold), Diana Finster (Head of Agency and Technology Partnerships @ Walmart Connect), Mark Williamson (AVP Retail Media @ Costco Wholesale)

This panel provided an in-depth look at the expansion challenges of retail media networks, offering an insightful discussion on overcoming obstacles such as securing executive buy-in, leveraging data-driven insights to justify investments, and establishing a robust technological framework.

  • Retailers need to think more like publishers. “You have to become something akin to a sales team to CPG. Retailers have deep-rooted ideas of their role, and upending that thinking is tough.” — Amber Roberts 
  • The next evolution of data and insights. “Data sharing with CPG brands—we’re into it, but it’s going to take time. We need to see specific use cases, and we’re happy to build them out with you.” — Diana Finster 
  • Still working out the kinks. “Retailers must avoid outsourcing so much that they cannot really control their retail media strategy. At the same time, retailers should outsource everything they’re not good at. We don’t want to be tech companies masquerading as retailers.” — Mark Williamson 

Panel: Retail Media’s Full-Funnel and Omnichannel Opportunity

Host: Kevin Weiss (head of industry leads, retail media  @ Skai)

Panelists: Lindsay Pullins (Ad Revenue Partnerships @ Roku), Kaitlyn Fundakowski (Sr. Director, E-Commerce @ Chomps), Molly Anderson (VP, Retail Media Lead @ VaynerMedia), David DeRobbio (Director API and Off-Platform Data Partnerships @ Instacart)

One of the more exciting trends in retail media is expanding retail media beyond onsite search by incorporating offsite display, streaming, connected TV, and in-store within the media plan. The panelists shared compelling insights, emphasizing the necessity of a unified strategy that operates seamlessly across all channels. 

  • Video’s growing role. “There’s a huge opportunity on CTV. Big brand buyers want to drive reach and frequency goals via CTV—we say you can do that with RMN data.” — Lindsay Pullins 
  • Holistic management. “We don’t differentiate between paid media and retail media. Tracking performance on retail media channels, we see where the most valuable shoppers are coming in.” — Kaitlyn Fundakowski 
  • Omnichannel commerce. “It’s about more than just being present across channels—it’s about being impactful and strategically aligned to meet consumer needs wherever they are.”  —Molly Anderson 
  • Navigating privacy issues. “Privacy management is tough, especially when there’s no federal framework. It’s state to state. That’s key in the consumer journey—we cannot break their trust as they seek value from their data.” — David DeRobbio

Panel: Future Ready: Navigating Advances in Retail Media Technology & Data

Host: Megan Harbold (VP of Product Marketing @ Skai)

Panelists: April Carlisle (EVP Commerce @ Spark Foundry), Austin Leonard (SVP @ Epsilon), Jeffrey Cohen (Principal Evangelist @ Amazon Ads)

This panel shared their thoughts on technological advancements reshaping retail media, focusing on AI, clean rooms, and the impact of data on advertising strategies. The experts discussed how these innovations are crucial for the next wave of retail media growth, providing a comprehensive and nuanced exploration of how technology can empower brands to better interact with consumers.

  • Emerging data complexity. “Clean rooms are powerful, but they take a lot of work. Your partners need to be ready to adopt them, too. What’s the give and take—what are you willing to put in the system, and what are you hoping to get out?” — Austin Leonard 
  • Addressing the omnichannel customer. “The shopper journey is no longer linear, but the funnel still rules at organizations—upper vs. lower. We need to examine how all these channels impact each other.” — Jeffrey Cohen 
  • Rapid commerce innovation. “Embracing new technologies like AI and clean rooms not only enhances our capabilities but also pushes us to think differently about engaging with customers.” — April Carlisle 

Panel: The Elephant in the Room: Retail Media Measurement Standards

Host: Aviad Danziger (Director of Product @ Skai)

Panelists: Jeffrey Bustos (VP of Measurement, Addressability and Data @ IAB), Christine Foster (VP of Media Strategy and Operations @ Kroger Precision Marketing), Petey Shivery (Global Commerce Strategy Director @ GroupM)

This panel addressed the lack of standardized measurement practices in retail media and focused on the challenges of proving ROI and the incremental impact of retail media efforts. The discussion stressed the urgency of establishing clear, uniform metrics to ensure advertisers can assess the true value of their investments effectively. The panelists agreed upon the critical need for industry-wide standards to foster transparency and accountability.

  • Evolving measurement. “Incrementality is not something you can standardize, but you can standardize the building blocks to measure it.” — Peter Shivery 
  • The ongoing need for standardization. “If RMNs want to be media companies, they must grow up and embrace standardization. Pessimism abounds because there are a lot of stages to get through; not everyone will make it.” — Aviad Danziger
  • Metrics challenges. “Share of voice is an easy way to compare retailers on-site, but we haven’t found a unified metric for offsite yet.” — Jeffrey Bustos
  • Customer-centric advertising. “We are absolutely accountable to the brands on our shelves, as well as the non-endemic brands learning about their customers through our data. But perhaps most importantly, we are all accountable to the end customer experience.” — Christine Foster

Breaking New Ground: Skai’s Announcements at ShopAble

Also at the event, Skai unveiled a series of groundbreaking enhancements, each designed to tackle specific challenges advertisers face as retail media continues to evolve. 

📺 Commerce Display & CTV Inventory

Broaden your reach with strategic audience insights and advanced targeting across major platforms, such as Amazon Ads, Microsoft, Instacart, and Walmart Connect.

📲 Social Commerce Expansion

Integrate campaigns seamlessly across social giants, including TikTok and Snap, powered by dynamic optimizations for personalized consumer engagement.

📈 Commerce Incrementality Hub

Elevate your measurement game with configurable incrementality indicators, experiments, and actionable insights to boost ROI and market share.

🤖 Next-Generation Commerce Optimization 

Tailor your media strategies with AI-driven optimizations, aligning closely with your performance goals for unparalleled efficiency.

🔍 Executive Co-Pilot via Skai Decision Pro

Empower decision-making with Generative AI, offering a conversational experience to dive deep into your data for immediate, actionable insights.

Skai clients should contact their success teams for more information. If you’re not yet a Skai client and are interested in these innovations, consider scheduling a demo to explore how these solutions can transform your digital advertising efforts.

2024 ShopAble Media Award winners

This year, we celebrated the exceptional use of Skai solutions that drove significant business results. The awards highlighted the innovative work of brands, agencies, and, for the first time, an individual, all of whom have set new benchmarks in commerce and omnichannel media excellence. 

Congratulations to all of this year’s outstanding winners!

  • Retail Media Excellence: Marshall Associates and Simplay3 were recognized for their proficient use of Skai to manage high-performing campaigns across various retail media networks. [watch the video]
  • Omnichannel Excellence: Publicis Media – LeOne and Haleon received this award for their successful utilization of Skai’s cross-channel activation and optimization capabilities. [watch the video]
  • Innovation in Data: Haleon also claimed this award for their innovative use of data to enhance campaign effectiveness. [watch the video]
  • Global Excellence: HP was honored for its ability to leverage Skai to scale advertising performance globally. [read the case study]
  • Walmart Connect Excellence: Channel Bakers and Razer were celebrated for their effective use of Skai in running Walmart Connect campaigns and achieving significant business results. [watch the video]
  • Non-Endemic Excellence: Marketwake and Yamaha received recognition for their impactful retail media display campaigns using Skai. [watch the video]
  • Skai Champions of the Year: Lauren Bennett from Rakuten Advertising and Nick Menicucci from eAccountable were named for their exceptional performance and advocacy for Skai within their teams. [watch the video]

These awards spotlight the critical role of innovative digital strategies in the evolving landscape of commerce media, underscoring the necessity for brands and agencies to adapt to a full-funnel and omnichannel approach in their advertising efforts

ShopAble 2024: conclusion and thanks

“Helping brands grow.” This simple yet profound mission, first jotted down by our CEO Yoav Izhar-Prato on a coffee shop napkin 18 years ago, continues to drive every initiative at Skai.

Again, thank everyone involved in making ShopAble 2024 a landmark event — clients, panelists, guests, partners, and the Skai team. We look forward to welcoming you back next year, ready to tackle new challenges and seize fresh opportunities as we further our mission to help brands reach their full potential.