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Amazon’s Retailer Media Network Is ‘Best in Class,’ Agency Reports

The latest edition of The Mars Agency’s “Retail Media Report Card" evaluated 14 retailer media networks across 65 criteria in five performance areas: audience targeting, measurement & reporting, media opportunities, innovation and partnership.

Amazon Ads is ranked "best in class" out of 14 retailer media networks evaluated in the third edition of The Mars Agency’s “Retail Media Report Card,” published in May. It's the first time the agency has named a “best-in-class market leader” — the network it believes possesses the most “industry leading” capabilities that brands need to build effective retail media campaigns.


The Retail Media Report Card evaluates the capabilities of top networks (e.g., Kroger Precision Marketing, Albertsons Performance Media, Target’s Roundel, Walmart Connect, Gopuff Ads and CVS Media Exchange) across 65 criteria in five performance areas: audience targeting, measurement & reporting, media opportunities, innovation and partnership.

Despite Amazon’s overall ranking, the e-commerce giant received low scores for the media opportunities it provides (aka its ability to connect with shoppers along the entire path to purchase). Best Buy Ads and Walgreens Advertising Group (WAG) were the only two networks “exceeding expectations” in that area.

According to the report, Amazon’s capabilities in the other four performance areas are strong enough to set it above the rest. The report notes Amazon’s “closed-loop measurement” for letting advertisers “prospect and re-target” shoppers across their connected media ecosystem. From Amazon Search to its demand side platform (DSP), streaming TV and audio ads, Amazon’s first-party data enables advertisers to reach shoppers at all stages of the funnel.

Amazon’s measurement and reporting capabilities, or omnichannel metrics, which will expand later this year to additional categories and internationally, as well as its latest advertising innovations (e.g., the recently announced Amazon Marketing Cloud Audiences) contributed to its overall ranking. (The Amazon Marketing Cloud Audiences lets advertisers use a variety of data signals to create custom audiences for use in DSP campaigns.)

In addition, Best Buy Ads, which is approaching its first anniversary, also ranked high in partnership (i.e., its ability to build best-in-class joint business collaboration) and innovation (i.e., driving next-level capabilities and media opportunities). The network will soon offer self-serve reporting and clean room functionality, which aims to give advertisers greater control over their investments.

[Also Read: Best Buy, Roku Build Advertising, Product Partnership]

Other takeaways from the report card include:

  • CVS Media Exchange (CMX) is adding more onsite and offsite product offerings, expanding audience targeting and measurement capabilities and enhancing its vendor reporting dashboard to provide more metrics.
  • Dollar General Media Network (DGMN) plans to add a new video advertising solution and more closed-loop reporting.
  • DoorDash Advertising is adding product-level reporting for sponsored products, and will roll out keyword targeting and reporting in the third quarter.
  • Kroger Precision Marketing is innovating in streaming TV with Disney Advertising and will combine purchase-based insights of KPM with Disney’s premium CTV content.

Also new in this edition, The Mars Agency included Ahold Delhaize USA’s AD Retail Media network, which launched in January, and Sam's Club Member Access Platform (MAP).

The Mars Agency also says it enhanced its evaluation process this time around by identifying “Table Stakes,” 44 capabilities that once may have differentiated one platform from another but now should be considered “must haves” for any competitive network, per a blog post on the new report from the agency.

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