Epsilon Evolves Retail Media Platform

Epsilon Retail Media now couples AI with a "person-first" marketing approach to help brands better engage shoppers on retailers’ properties, across the open web or in tandem.
Jacqueline Barba
Digital Editor
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Epsilon, a global advertising and marketing technology company owned by Publicis Groupe, has introduced the next generation of its retail media platform with enhanced and expanded solutions. 

Epsilon Retail Media is now coupling artificial intelligence (AI) with a people-based identity approach to its ad server so that it can help brand marketers drive results and better engage shoppers on retailers’ properties, across the open web or in tandem, according to a media release. 

“Epsilon enables Ahold Delhaize USA [chains] to offer a cutting-edge, differentiated platform to advertisers that allows them to better engage shoppers wherever they may be,” Bobby Watts, senior vice president, executive lead of AD Retail Media at Peapod Digital Labs, said in the release. “The retail media landscape is getting more crowded by the day, and advertisers are demanding impactful solutions. Epsilon Retail Media helps us deliver just that, enabling advertisers to engage shoppers in ways not before possible, driving more sales while building brand loyalty.”

When AD Retail Media first began to transition in-house in 2022, Publicis Groupe’s CitrusAd, Epsilon and Publicis Sapient supported the stand-up and scaling of Ahold Delhaize’s new/growing retail media team.

[Read More on AD Retail Media and its transition in-house in this Q&A with Watts]

Epsilon’s Core AI tool analyzes and evaluates every potential buyer encountered for engagement. The tool makes real-time marketing decisions at the individual — not the audience — level, regardless of where they’re found, according to the company. 

Additionally, Epsilon’s Core ID consumer identifier helps recognize a specific individual in any channel and feeds additional data on the shopper into the AI’s decisioning process. Leveraging person-level insights, 5,000-some decisions are evaluated in the milliseconds before a bid must be placed, per the release. Epsilon says the AI also learns from the result of each engagement, continuously rewriting its models to “further optimize outcomes across channels and time.” 

The AI can also determine where to engage shoppers at any given time, decides how often to engage them in a channel or across channels and evaluates an impression based on the value of the shopper. 

“Our person-first intelligence takes a dramatically different approach from traditional DSPs and retail media technology providers, who filter audiences based on where they are versus who they are, excluding a large portion of shoppers that advertisers want to reach out the gate,” Dave Peterson, general manager and global head of Epsilon Retail Media, said in the release. “They then evaluate their ‘best guess’ of the shopper behind the impression, given their IDs are rooted in email addresses or other digital identifiers, not verified offline data. And when they do get around to evaluating the bid, they can only take a few variables into consideration before making a decision. Coupled with an inability to learn in real time, they materially limit the outcomes retailers can drive for advertisers.”   

“Today’s announcement is another huge step in the evolution of our platform that started with the acquisition of CitrusAd in 2021,” added John Giuliani, executive chairman of Epsilon. “We look forward to continuing to innovate in this space - providing solutions that allow advertisers and retailers to drive sales in the moment while building the brand relationships they need to drive sales in the future.”