Fragmented Retail Media Networks Negatively Impact Consumers the Most, Epsilon Study Finds

64% of respondents believe the existence of multiple technology providers in retail media networks results in a poor advertising experience for consumers

48% of brands expect their retail media investments to increase over the next three years

Largest global retail media study of brands and retailers explored perceptions of and approaches to retail media

Epsilon, a global advertising and marketing technology company, today announced the findings of the industry’s largest, most comprehensive global study of retailers and brands on the current and future state of retail media. The research, conducted in partnership with Phronesis Partners surveyed 689 mid- to large-sized brands and retailers across 12 countries between January 2023 and March 2023.

The survey sought to better understand brands’ and retailers’ perception of and approaches to retail media. In addition, respondents were asked to share what actions they have taken, or are planning to take, in their retail media strategies and offerings along with the key criteria used to evaluate retail media platforms.

Key findings from the study include:

  • brands and retailers are frustrated by fragmentation…
    • respondents identified inconsistent targeting and disparate reporting across channels/tactics as the top inefficiency drivers of retail media
  • but shoppers pay the price
    • 64% of respondents agree that retail media networks with multiple technology providers have a negative impact on shoppers

“The consumer experience is too often overlooked in the retail media frenzy,” said Joe Doran, chief product officer at Epsilon. “We’re so caught up in the hype around the latest offerings that we ignore the fact that fragmentation leads to poor advertising experiences and frustrated shoppers. We believe that solutions that focus on messaging individual shoppers across channels deliver better performance. Brands want to talk to existing and potential in-market shoppers. Retailers should facilitate those conversations at scale and across channels that can reach in-market shoppers wherever they may be in the consumer journey. So, when we put the individual shopper at the center of the advertising, everyone wins.”

In addition, the survey found that:

  • retailers are not tapping into the potential of reaching shoppers across the open web (off-site retail media)…
    • Only 37% of retailers are using off-site for retail media monetization
    • 42% of brands identified audience targeting customization/accuracy as the top barrier to off-site retail media adoption
  • ...and brands want easy-to-use retail media networks that can reach more in-market shoppers
    • 76% of all respondents believe the quality of advertiser experience is the most important aspect of retail media for their organizations
    • 75% believe the amount of inventory available is the most important 

“Good technology is fundamental to good retail media. Brands and retailers must navigate a sea of constantly growing and changing retail media technology partners while responding to more volatile consumer behaviors,” said Adam Skinner, managing director of retail media networks at CitrusAd. “It is exciting to see almost 700 retail media professionals have validated the path and strategy we have been on for years. Our unified platform offers brands an intuitive, easy-to-use interface backed with best-in-class technology that provides scale to reach in-market shoppers wherever they are on their journey – on-site or off-site across the open web.”

Visit to download the report, “The state of retail media in 2023,” and for more insights regarding retailer and brand perception regarding retail media.


About Epsilon
Epsilon is a global advertising and marketing technology company positioned at the center of Publicis Groupe. Epsilon accelerates clients’ ability to harness the power of their first-party data to activate campaigns across channels and devices, with an unparalleled ability to prove outcomes. The company’s industry-leading technology connects advertisers with consumers to drive performance while respecting and protecting consumer privacy. Epsilon’s people-based identity graph allows brands, agencies and publishers to reach real people, not cookies or devices, across the open web. For more information, visit

About CitrusAd
CitrusAd is a leading retail media company and part of Epsilon, a global advertising and marketing technology company. The CitrusAd platform sits at the center of Epsilon’s comprehensive, scalable retail media network offering. By harnessing the power of first-party data and industry-leading identity resolution, the unified, self-serve platform delivers shopper-relevant advertising experiences on commerce websites and across the open web resulting in higher conversions. Leading retailers across the globe rely on CitrusAd to help grow retail media as a core function for incremental media revenue and sales volume that delivers great ROI for brands. For more information, visit

About Phronesis Partners
Phronesis Partners, including our group companies, Simplify Growth and Fuld & Company, is a global research and analytics firm. We deliver high-quality, best-in-class corporate, industry, and market research to many of the world’s largest research and consulting firms, private equity firms, financial institutions, and publishers.