5 min read

The Future of Retail Media is Programmatic

James Avery
James Avery
Updated on
July 27, 2023
Ad Tech

Retail media has exploded in popularity the last few years but is now at a tipping point. With every retailer spinning up their own network, advertisers are becoming frustrated in this fragmented digital media market. But as advertisers now have to go to each individual retailer to buy inventory, and as the sizing and ad specifications can look different from walled garden to walled garden, advertisers are losing time and missing out on valuable inventory. The absence of a standardized framework hinders retail media's true revenue potential and scale for buyers, sellers, and technology stakeholders alike. 

To address this challenge, Kevel has established a working group to create an Open RTB (Real-Time Bidding) programmatic standard for retail media. We believe that the IAB’s Open RTB protocol can provide powerful features and benefits to all stakeholders in the space. 

Standardizing data formats and protocols streamlines the buying and selling process. Advertisers can seamlessly buy across various retail media networks, reducing friction and inefficiencies associated with fragmented buying across various retail media networks with varying standards. Advertisers can also easily access and analyze unified data, gaining valuable insights that can drive informed decision-making. Consequently, this increases campaign efficiency, improves targeting accuracy, and maximizes return on investment (ROI) for retail media advertisers.

Programmatic Retail Media Network
Programmatic Retail Media Network

Key features and benefits of OpenRTB Protocol for Retail Media include:

  1. Biddable Product Sponsored Listings: The new framework supports biddable product-based sponsored listing creative formats, enabling advertisers to bid on relevant in-store sponsored listing ad inventory with real in-stock products based on their product catalog.
  2. Enhanced Privacy and Data Protection: OpenRTB Protocol for Retail Media adheres to the latest privacy regulations and industry best practices, offering improved user consent management and data protection mechanisms. It enables publishers and advertisers to prioritize user privacy while delivering relevant and personalized advertising experiences. 
  3. Bidstream Data Standardization: OpenRTB Protocol for Retail Media introduces standardized bidstream data, ensuring consistency and compatibility across different platforms and technology providers. This facilitates seamless integration between buyers and sellers, leading to increased operational efficiency and reduced friction.
  4. Supply Chain Optimization: With OpenRTB Protocol for Retail Media, advertisers gain improved visibility and control over the programmatic supply chain, allowing them to detect and mitigate fraud, verify ad placements, and optimize campaign performance more effectively.
  5. Increased Transparency and Trust: OpenRTB Protocol for Retail Media promotes greater transparency by providing clear and standardized mechanisms for transactional data sharing, supply path optimization, and ad fraud detection. This fosters trust among industry participants and strengthens the overall programmatic advertising ecosystem.

The establishment of an Open RTB programmatic standard for retail media is a crucial step towards enhancing transparency, efficiency, and innovation within the industry. 

We’re looking for publishers, advertisers, and technology partners to work with us to develop this standard. If you or someone you know would be interested in participating, apply here.


What is Open RTB? 

Open RTB is a framework for programmatic standardization developed by the IAB; you can learn more here

What is the objective of the working group? 

The objective of the working group is to co-develop an OpenRTB standard for retail media and submit it to the IAB by the end of the year. 

How do I apply to the working group?

Apply to be part of the working group here. All you need is a work email, your LinkedIn URL, and why you think you’d be a good fit for the group. We’ll follow up with next steps!

Who can apply to be part of the working group?

Any stakeholders in the ad tech ecosystem who are interested in creating an OpenRTB standard can apply. If you’re in product or an engineer working at a publisher, retailer, advertiser, or ad tech partner then you’d be a great fit.

How frequently will the group meet?

The group will meet twice a month until we publish the spec.

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