IAB Europe’s first retail media standards ‘a transformative step’

IAB Europe’s first retail media standards ‘a transformative step’

IAB Europe has published its first set of standards for retail media digital advertising metrics and measurement.

The standards were developed with 15 retailers and IAB Europe’s Retailer Council and Retail Media Committee.

They are open for industry comment until 29 March and the feedback will help shape a final version that will be released in April.

Stacy Gratz, head of sales and marketing at Tesco Media and Insight Platform, told The Media Leader: “As a business, we welcome the IAB standardisation as a means to ensure consistency and high standards across the retail media ecosystem — and believe that the presence of clear standards around measurement will encourage more retailers and brands to explore the opportunities offered by retail media.”

Jessica Wegner, vice-president, new business and retail media, at Douglas Marketing Solutions, said these standards were “a transformative step” marking “a future-changing development” for the industry.

She cited recent IAB Europe research that shows 70% of retail media buyers said a lack of retail media standardisation was “a key barrier” to further investment.

Wegner added: “To unleash the full power of retail media, addressing this critical gap through standardised measurement methods is paramount. Moving beyond traditional KPIs like ROAS [return on adspend] or CPC [cost per click], the focus on standardisation, particularly in media and attribution measurement, holds the key to unlocking its true efficiency.”

Jason Wescott, chair of IAB Europe’s Retail Media Committee and GroupM’s global head of commerce solutions, called these standards “a big step” towards consistency that would make Europe’s retail media “more unified and accessible for advertisers”.

He said: “Whilst a rapid increase in the number of retailer advertising offers is a wonderful thing for our industry, it has made planning and buying more complicated, with accurate comparisons across providers burdensome, if not impossible.

“We brought the region’s leading digital retail media businesses together to collaborate on a common set of standards that will not only ensure retailers can be consistent with existing digital media standards, but also encompass consistent, retail-centric metrics spanning sales attribution and sales/consumer insights.”

Media metrics, attribution and insights

The first version of these recommended standards cover media metrics, attribution, insights and future considerations, and incorporates elements from Isba’s Responsible Retail Media Framework.

Under media metrics, there are recommendations for definitions of retail media digital advertising impressions, click-through, viewability, video completion rate and sophisticated invalid traffic.

These tend to follow the IAB and Media Ratings Council standards. For example, an impression is an ad that has been successfully delivered to a user’s device and begun to render on the web page or app, but does not necessarily mean the ad was seen by the user. Meanwhile, viewability for on- and off-site display and video ads is defined as at least 50% of the ad’s pixels being visible to the user’s screen for one or two continuous seconds respectively.

Within attribution, there is guidance on defining ROAS, lookback windows, halo attribution and sales extrapolation.

IAB Europe recommends that retailers should be able to differentiate between click-based and view-based ROAS in their reporting and have a 30-day post-view or click lookback window for endemic and off-site advertising.

The insights section covers incremental ROAS, sales uplift, sales value and incrementality suggestions.

Within this, “new to brand” users are defined as not having purchased any products from a specific brand within a defined time frame, while there are three possible time frames for “repeat shoppers” covering regular, semi-regular and infrequent purchase habits.

IAB Europe intends to continue its work on developing digital retail media advertising standards to include creative ad formats, brand metrics and in-store measurement.

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