With the rise in online commerce, retailers’ attention to digital advertising is skyrocketing. Retail media advertising allows brands to buy ad space on a retailer’s digital channels, like a website or app. Automation and real-time optimization across platforms make programmatic advertising in retail media uniquely adaptable and effective. By working together, brands and retailers can boost product visibility where customers are already looking, grow product awareness, and maintain control over how brands are represented.

PromoteIQ is a retail media solution that allows online retailers to scale their vendor marketing programs with programmatic advertising—an omnichannel, insight-driven advertising strategy that targets ads to unique customers at specific stages of the buying journey. Retail media advertising helps brands and retailers work together to create shopping experiences that lead to conversions.

With PromoteIQ, promoted products are given native placements that encourage engagement and purchase, where both the brand and retailer can track performance in real time. Plus, retail media extends beyond promoted products on site—many programs also include display options, offsite extensions, and social capabilities.

Customer shopping in a clothing store.

What is retail media advertising?

A simple way to understand retail media advertising is to compare it to the physical world. In a brick-and-mortar store, you might see a group of products that the store is drawing attention to with a special featured shelf or area. Retail media advertising allows brands to do the same thing, but in the digital space. Retail media advertising encompasses ads on a retailer’s website, app, and social media, as well as other offsite extensions that let retailers and brands work together to increase a product’s visibility.

Retail media advertising campaigns rely on a retail media network. A retail media network is a group of digital channels on which a retailer makes purchasing ad space available. These digital channels can include a retailer’s website, app, or email newsletter. While the current media retail landscape is still developing, more and more brands are hopping onboard, making retail media advertising an increasingly important component of programmatic digital marketing campaigns.

PromoteIQ—Microsoft’s retail media advertising portal—creates a retail experience for shoppers while allowing retailers to scale vendor marketing programs. It makes it easy to deploy and manage a vendor marketing program at scale, providing access to powerful enterprise tools that allow users to manage hundreds of brands and promote millions of products on and off site. Coupled with native ad placements that seamlessly blend into organic site content, PromoteIQ gives brands, vendors, and shoppers alike everything they want out of an e-commerce experience.

How does retail media advertising work?

Retail media advertising allows brands and retailers to work together to create a positive customer experience while reaching shoppers and raising sales. Brands can purchase native or display ad space for their products on retailer’s digital channels—for example, many retailers offer “Sponsored” product placement, which appear above other products with an indication that it’s an advertisement. These display ads might appear on a retailer’s homepage, category page, product detail page, search page, or may extend to social media or offsite. The primary aim of retail media advertising is to reach shoppers in the digital spaces where they’re already spending time.

Retail media for brands

Because retail media advertising targets shoppers where they’re already spending time, it’s an effective way to help brands reach their audience and make their products more visible online. When consumers are already online shopping on a digital retailer’s website or app, they’re likely in the buying mindset. Retail media advertising allows brands to push their products to the front of the line when shoppers are making their decision about which hard-shell suitcase or air fryer to buy.

Retail media advertising also gives brands access to real-time first-party performance insights. Because retail media advertising doesn’t rely on third-party cookies, it gives brands real data on consumer performance. First-party insights can help brands make more strategic decisions about marketing campaigns and allow them to better understand what’s working and what’s not.

Brands also benefit from retail media advertising when it comes to conversion tracking. Because consumer behavior is collected by the retail media network’s platform, it can give brands accurate data about whether their ads are reaching their audience and impacting consumer behavior. Access to this kind of real-time performance lets brands evolve their strategy to increase conversions and strategically reach their audience.

Retail media for retailers

When it comes to digital marketing, automation is a huge benefit to retailers who can breathe easily knowing they don’t have to keep rigorous tabs on their vendor marketing programs. Retail media advertising solutions like PromoteIQ give retailers access to automated enterprise controls that manage hundreds of brands and even more products. These management tools empower retailers to take more control over their e-commerce sites with powerful technology that maximizes revenue.

When customers get advertised the products they want, retailers benefit from increased conversions. Retail media advertising optimizes the shopping experience, giving consumers easy access to the products they want to buy. Personalized ads are effective when it comes to targeting consumers, making retail media advertising a benefit to retailers, brands, and shoppers alike.

Retail media advertising with Microsoft

Microsoft’s retail media advertising solution, PromoteIQ, automates vendor marketing for e-commerce, which provides incremental high-margin revenue and a premium marketing channel for brands as well as an easy way to manage vendor programs for retailers.

Person using a tablet.

PromoteIQ for retailers

PromoteIQ gives retailers access to more revenue, more control, and more automation. The benefits of PromoteIQ for retailers include:

  • Maximal ad revenue and control with a powerful technology suite that manages every aspect of your business.
  • Automated enterprise controls that let you manage hundreds of brands and millions of products.
  • Engaging native ad placements that ensure a smooth experience for shoppers.
  • Brand partnerships that help you reach consumers by engaging with shoppers on third-party websites.


Connect with an expert today to learn what programmatic advertising in retail media can do for your business. Start setting new advertising goals. Microsoft Ads solutions can help you reach them.