LAS VEGAS — At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), two of the the fastest-emerging digital trends overlapped.

Artificial intelligence is helping spur retail media networks.

That was the views shared with Beet.TV by Sravanthi Muppidi, VP, Software Engineering, Albertsons.

Albertsons is a leading food and drug retailer in the United States and has started its own Albertsons Media Collective, a retail media wing.

Democratizing Creative Content

“AI in general has brought such huge efficiency in the marketplace,” Muppidi says. “The democratization of machine learning that AI brought is what is the meat of all of the conversations around how do we change shopper engagement, how do we change advertisements?”

Muppidi emphasizes the transformation in content creation, which AI has greatly simplified, enabling a more dynamic and real-time interaction with shoppers.

As retail media networks expand beyond their own platforms seeking scale amidst emerging privacy concerns, AI is also the powerhouse behind this movement.

“The reason why you’re moving off platform is you need the scale and then at the same time there are privacy changes that are giving you difficulty in terms of that scale,” Muppidi notes, clarifying that AI’s role is crucial in providing the necessary connectivity and scale for measurement and targeting.

But, as in other areas of digital media, fragmentation is a growing concern in the retail media space as more entities with first-party data enter the fray.

“Everybody that has first-party data is trying to bring a network to the table,” Muppidi observes. The challenge, however, lies in how these networks are implemented. Success hinges on simplification and consolidation of media buying, targeting, and measuring processes across a multi-publisher ecosystem, she says.

With the growing complexity in the retail media channel, Muppidi strongly advocates for standardization, “We are noticing this fragmentation and how difficult it is for retail media as a channel to excel.” She asserts that standard practices in targeting, audience taxonomy, viewability, and measurement are integral to the channel’s growth.

Muppidi shares that Albertsons has taken proactive steps toward this direction and is actively collaborating with industry partners to establish standards.

The interview was conducted by Mike Shields, CEO, Shields Strategic Consulting.

You’re watching “The Rise of Retail Media,” a Beet.TV Leadership Series produced at CES 2024, presented by Criteo. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.