Interactive Advertising Bureau
06 February 2024

Key Highlights from our First Retail Media Standards for Europe Workshop

On the 22nd and 23rd of January, representatives from 15 retailers in Europe gathered to discuss and debate various retail media metrics and measurement methods. 

The Workshop convened to address a specific investment barrier - a lack of standards. 

The need to prioritise this challenge stemmed from a survey that IAB Europe conducted in 2023, which found that 70% of buyers cited the lack of standards for Retail Media as a barrier to investment, and media and attribution measurement were noted as the most important areas to address. 

The retailers represented at the Workshop were:

  • Ahold Delhaize
  • Allegro 
  • Amazon
  • Bol 
  • Douglas 
  • Dunnhumby
  • ICA
  • Just Eat
  • Kleinanzeigen 
  • Ocado 
  • REWE
  • Schwarz Media
  • Tesco 
  • Unlimitail 
  • Zalando

Thanks to the support of McKinsey & Co. for hosting the Workshop at their offices, we enjoyed two days of rich discussion, debate, and alignment on retail media standards in the areas of primary media metrics, audience measurement, attribution windows and techniques, ad formats and specific retail metrics, such as new to brand. Discover what was discussed below.  

Day One 

The event kicked off with the IAB Europe and McKinsey teams explaining that the purpose of the workshop was to address one key retail media pain point -  standardisation of metrics and measurement methods. The aims of the workshop were  to:

  • Gather insights and synthesise findings to inform recommendations on standards for retail media measurement
  • Dedicate time to review and build a common perspective on retail media standards that will be put in place for RMN stakeholders
  • Identify future items to discuss that will require further review due to their complexity or futuristic outlook 

The Workshop kicked off with a discussion around primary media metrics that have been standardised in other areas of digital media including viewability and IVT.  These are metrics that brands and buyers have come to expect as table stakes in other areas of digital media measurement. The key takeaways from this session were:

  • It is important that retail media ads can be compared with other digital media using established metrics such as viewability and IVT
  • Viewability is an important metric as the basis for reporting on all other metrics
  • Established media metrics such as viewability and IVT filtration will help drive brand budgets towards retail media channels

The group then turned its attention to a discussion on audience measurement and whether there is a need to harmonise the definitions of audiences in retail media networks (RMN). A couple of insights on audience measurement were:

  • The need for brands to be able to build custom audiences
  • The need for transparency into what makes up an audience 

A well-debated topic was then addressed - the Attribution Lookback Window. A Lookback Window is the period of time after an ad is clicked or viewed within which a conversion can be attributed, or matched, to the ad (definitions source: IAB Europe’s Retail Media Glossary). From our initial conversations with various brands, it is clear that they are looking for a stake in the ground to compare apples to apples but also the desire for flexibility to allow brands to normalise the Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) number they are being provided with. The group debated the different approaches to lookback windows and the importance of providing flexibility to brands. The consensus on this will be shared with the industry for feedback soon.

The end of day one concluded with a session on Halo Attribution, which is an additional measurement technique to direct attribution / ROAS and provides a more holistic view of the consumer journey, allowing advertisers to better understand which types of ad interactions are contributing to driving sales. Key considerations on Halo Attribution were:

  • Brands need to be able to tell retailers what they are looking for in terms of Halo Attribution
  • Halo Attribution can be enabled on and off-site using different product and category-level SKUs

Day Two

Day two kicked off with a working breakfast during which IAB Europe’s Chief Economist, Daniel Knapp, explored what the changing investment logic of advertisers means for retail media. Key takeaways included:

  • Advertising will continue to grow but it will not defy gravity
  • Revenue pressures are accelerating the move to digital advertising
  • There is a need to offer outcomes and not just audiences - retail media has made some progress in this but advertisers seek more. 
  • Retail media is a central evolution in the business model between retailers & manufacturers 

After this insightful presentation, the Workshop turned its attention to more advanced metrics that are specific to retail media. 

We kicked this off by looking at incrementality measurement methods. Incrementality represents the causal impact of marketing and is linked to outcomes, like sales or attributed to advertising campaigns or exposures. The key takeaways were:

  • There are various models and data available that can be used to calculate incrementality 
  • The metrics which are used to determine the method need to be addressed in the first instance

The group continued the conversation by discussing retail media specific metrics including New to Brand, Category Market Share, and Category Change. Key takeaways included:

  • New to Brand timeframe can vary depending on the product type and the frequency with which it is bought
  • Category Benchmarks need to be based on an agreed metric or set of metrics

In the last session of the day, the group turned their attention towards Creative Ad Formats, as it has become clear that ads on retail sites do not follow any specific standard. The key takeaways here were:

  • The current standard IAB ad format specifications aren’t always fit for purpose for ads on retailer sites, due to them being either too small or too big (i.e. rising stars take up a lot of real estate)
  • Standards for retail media ads need to be explored and discussed with the buy-side 


Overall, the Workshop acted as a pivotal moment and a key starting point for the industry to come together kick-off the development of pan-European Retail Media standards.

Justin Sandee, Director Commercial Development at attended the Workshop and said: "In the convergence of retail, ecommerce and media, industry leaders engaged in constructive and pivotal discussions on standardising retail media measurements during the two day Workshop. In my opinion, this marks a significant stride towards the maturation and professionalisation of this influential and crucial media channel, epitomising a collective commitment to elevating industry standards and driving impactful strategies forward."

Maurits Priem, VP Monetisation Europe & Indonesia at Ahold Delhaize also attended and said: “We enjoyed sharing experiences with peers during the workshop; conversations were stimulating, educational and relevant. We covered many topics and had fruitful, at times extensive discussions, since participants came from various retail organizations, in different retail media phases. We sensed a shared responsibility to make steps to further professionalize the Retail Media industry, in the interest of our clients, the advertisers and agencies.

The outcome of the workshop was an initial set of recommended standards for retail media metrics and measurement. A document outlining the recommendations will be published as an initial draft for industry feedback within the next month. 

The development of Standards for Retail Media Advertising in Europe is a key focus of the IAB Europe Retail Media Committee work plan. This multi-stakeholder Committee brings together retailers alongside leading Retail Media businesses in Europe to advance and shape the future of this exciting digital advertising space and has already produced valuable resources including pan-European definitions, the first-ever industry association-led Retailer Digital Advertising Capability Map a Retail Media Glossary. You can find all of these resources and more on IAB Europe’s Retail Media Hub here

Another attendee, Henri Gentis, Global Head of Retail Media, JustEat Takeaway commented: "It was great to see experts brainstorm ways to measure success in retail media. We're making the whole system better and more professional, which is great for everyone involved. Plus, we learned about the latest trends and how to tackle upcoming challenges. Standardisation will make it so much better for brands to assign budgets to retail media and could be a game-changer for participants."

To find out more about the committee’s work and how you can get involved please contact IAB Europe’s Industry Development & Insights Director, Marie-Clare Puffett.

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