Kroger Brings Retail Media Ad Technology In-House

The new self-serve platform will eventually power the retailer’s entire retail media service portfolio.
Jacqueline Barba
Digital Editor
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retail media

Kroger Precision Marketing (KPM), the retail media arm of Kroger’s 84.51 data science and loyalty subsidiary, has revealed that it is moving its advertising technology in-house.

KPM’s new self-service platform will initially encompass Kroger’s existing product listing ads and onsite display advertising, according to a June 28 media release. It will later power KPM’s full retail media service portfolio.

Kroger says this move will make it easier and faster for advertisers to activate, measure and optimize campaigns.

“Retailers are creating the consumer-first future of advertising,” Cara Pratt, senior vice president of KPM, said in the release. “We know we need to remove friction from the retail media buying process. Building a new foundation of integrated technology empowers brands and agencies to maximize retail media’s potential. Together, we will deliver a more convenient, personalized and inspirational shopping experience.”

By building an in-house advertising platform, KPM aims to offer a more unified marketing strategy between various on-site and off-site media channels as well as create a pathway for greater interoperability with other media activation and management software, per the release.

The self-service platform’s initial capabilities available to clients include:

  • Search-based insights and custom ad groups to reach relevant audiences.
  • Creative messaging design and activation within the platform.
  • Customization of multiple creative templates by brand and product that can be saved.
  • Campaign optimization including budgets, messaging and flighting.
  • Report building using deterministic (or first-party) data, including sales lift, household penetration and unit lift. 

All advertisers will be able to transition to the new KPM platform before the end of 2023. Advertisers using third-party management tools from Pacvue, Skai and Commerce IQ can still manage inventory through those platforms. Kroger will announce additional integrations in the future, per the release.

KPM has also been adding talent to build the new advertising platform. New roles span product, engineering, data science, compliance, media operations and client success teams.

Kroger isn’t the only retailer consolidating elements of its retail media business in the last couple of years. This year, Lowe’s, Albertsons and Walmart also made similar moves, and in 2022 Best Buy and Ahold Delhaize brought their respective businesses in-house.

“The future of media can’t look like the past,” added Pratt. “Retail media is forcing modernization across marketing. Retailers are changing the advertising playbook because our success depends entirely on shopper satisfaction. We’re here to make advertising dollars work harder for both shoppers and brands.”