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The 5 best retail media platforms for monetizing digital marketplaces

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August 23, 2021

These platforms provide the infrastructure that allows digital commerce and content businesses to drive more compelling and valuable customer experiences.

When it comes to selling products in online marketplaces, it can be hard to stand out from the competition. Retail media advertising allows brands to reach consumers at or near the point of purchase, like in search results or checkout pages. This affords brands the tools they need to capture valuable customer attention within crowded markets while also introducing valuable new revenue sources for digital marketplaces.

Adding retail media functionality to an existing marketplace is no small undertaking, and the best solution for most businesses is to partner with a retail media platform. These turnkey solutions provide the infrastructure needed for marketplaces to pair demand from brands with valuable inventory across their digital retail properties. In this article, we’ll define retail media platforms and list the best ones for monetizing digital marketplaces.

What are retail media platforms?

The top retail media platforms

  • Moloco
  • Amazon Advertising
  • Criteo
  • Crealytics
  • Epsilon

What are retail media platforms?

Retail media platforms provide the underlying infrastructure necessary for digital marketplaces to implement on-platform advertising functionality like sponsored ads and product recommendations without having to build it themselves. They can include any combination of customer databases, targeting algorithms, recommendation engines, transactional APIs, self-serve interfaces and more.

The media units that marketplaces can then offer up for sale as part of the resulting retail media network can then be purchased by vendors operating within the marketplace as a means of promoting their products to potential customers, often driving an above-average return on ad spend (ROAS) thanks to the quality of audience being advertised to.

Many retail media platforms also typically collect customer data that can be passed on to brands or analyzed in-house, depending on how hands-on the retailer chooses to be. These platforms unlock access to valuable, low-overhead advertising revenue opportunities for online retailers without the need to build a retail media network from scratch.

The top retail media platforms


Moloco's Retail Media Platform was designed to provide small to mid-sized businesses with access to the power of retail media advertising with minimal financial risk. The platform’s built-in Recommendation Engine uses the same battle-tested algorithms Moloco uses to drive its programmatic advertising campaigns, delivering results for advertisers by analyzing first-party data and predicting customer behavior in order to connect them with the products they’re most likely to buy. Moloco is also an ideal option for enterprises getting started in e-commerce, or looking to expand/optimize their existing retail media operations.

The Moloco Retail Media Platform is currently in Beta. Get in touch to learn more about its full suite of capabilities. 

Amazon Personalize

As one of the biggest companies in the world, Amazon is a frequent destination for media buyers, far outpacing competition like Walmart, eBay, and Target. It’s only natural that the company would leverage its massive platform and expertise to other retailers, which is a big part of what Amazon Personalize offers.

Amazon Personalize is part of the Amazon Web Services offering and essentially provides marketplaces access to the machine learning-based technology that powers the company’s own site. With it, developers can integrate personalization experiences like product recommendations and “customized direct marketing”. Amazon touts Personalize as a “fully managed learning service” that can be implemented without any former machine learning experience, but it’s worth noting that Personalize is not a comprehensive retail media solution, and needs to be paired with commercial advertising logic in order to effectively implement retail media functionality.


Criteo is another option for retailers. The company’s stated goal is to make its retail media platform as easy for retailers to use as possible while also providing end to end support. With Criteo, marketplaces can offer advertisers flexibility with ad formats, audience targeting, and e-commerce reporting. It also provides control over inventory to accommodate brand safety needs.


Crealytics’ sponsored ad solutions are built specifically with retail media monetization in mind. The company’s offerings allow brands to monetize all major channels with a number of creative formats from which to choose. Crealytics provides its partners with a unified dashboard full of in-depth data about impressions, clickthrough rate, ROAS, and other important metrics. What may be of most appeal to retailers just getting started is Crealytics Managed Services, the company’s “hands-on accelerator” designed to help those new to retail media platforms acclimate with greater speed.


Epsilon wants to be the platform for retailers looking for fast results with minimal effort. The company offers a “turnkey” solution with its retail media platform, handling major operational processes for the network once a retailer’s first-party data is uploaded. Epsilon’s team will manage reporting, budgeting, and more while also optimizing performance and brand sales based on real-time purchasing behavior.

Choosing the right retail media platform

It’s important to find the retail media platform that will create the most opportunities for scalable growth without exhausting your business’ existing resources. At Moloco, our Retail Media Platform was designed with the small to mid-sized retailer in mind. Our APIs power self-service campaign management built on proven adtech infrastructure and deliver the highest ad revenue by using machine learning for automatic campaign optimization. Want to know more about how Moloco can set you up for success? Reach out to get started.



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