Grocer Giant Albertson’s Publishes Framework For Establishing Needed Retail Media Network Standards

June 26, 2023 by Dave Haynes

US grocer Albertson’s has taken the interesting step of publishing a framework for establishing standards and best practices for the rapidly expanding area of retail media networks (RMNs), working from the premise that the lack of commonality across these omnichannel initiatives is a significant barrier to success.

The grocer says RMNs are at a pivotal moment in their growth.

In the last two years, advertiser investment in these platforms has surged, and marketing industry analysts predict growth to continue in the near term. While RMNs offer multiple benefits—including the ability to deliver highly targeted messages that connect with consumers at the point of purchase—they also have significant challenges. Among the largest: no industry-wide standardization. The lack of common standards puts a costly burden on advertisers and agencies to meet the requirements of varying RMNs. Without overcoming these challenges, RMNs put their future success at risk.

To address this issue and unlock the full potential of retail media, Albertsons’ retail media network, Albertsons Media Collective, has created a framework for industry-wide standardization and an advisory group to expand input to further support key initiatives by the IAB.

In-store screens are one of the key components in some RMNs that span across channels like online and mobile. Among numerous challenges is a lack of fixed formats for in-store messaging, which can force brands and their agencies to produce multiple versions of ad spots to fit the various formats.

On the ad buyer and seller side, less complexity and greater transparency will lead to enhanced measurement and analytics, reduced costs, and room for greater innovation, among many other benefits. On the consumer side, shoppers will get a more customized experience that saves them time and effort.

Retail media is at a critical juncture. The upside is immense. Yet, if inefficiencies remain, the momentum may be lost. To unlock the true value of retail media, all stakeholders must work together to create and enact an effective standardization framework. 

The gray or no-haired crowd of readers – I straddle both, sigh – may recall the early days of the web faced a similar problem and spawned the creation of the IAB, which morphed with time from the Internet Advertising Bureau to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. The non-profit IAB came up with standards for ad banner sizes, stopping the madness of different websites each having different ad formats.
Albertsons websites, apps and other retail marketing efforts generate a total audience of more than 100 million consumers across the US, including more than 2,200 store locations and over 27 million members of the company’s loyalty program.

The Albertsons Media Collective’s frameworks whitepaper is a free download.

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