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Level up your retail measurement strategy with these best practices

While your marketing campaigns may be focused on upper- or lower-funnel outcomes, the ultimate goal for most brands is to drive sales. That’s why we’ve partnered with many of the world’s leading retailers to help you measure how your open-internet campaigns drive sales both online and in store.

Whether you’re already using retail measurement on our platform or you’re ready to start activating, here are a few best practices that can help you get more out of your campaigns.

1. Cast a wide net to get a complete picture of sales at every available retailer

To help you understand how your campaign is driving sales, we recommend sharing the full list of universal product codes (UPCs) you’d like to measure from the relevant retailers. For example, if a beverage brand is running a campaign to advertise a new flavor of soda, they’ll want to track all the UPCs for that flavor of soda, from six-pack cans to two-liter bottles and everything in between.

Doing so can help ensure that you’re able to measure all sales, regardless of availability in certain retailers, stores, designated market areas, etc., offering a more complete picture for the campaign.

2. Understand the “halo effect”

If you want to narrow in on a particular product to understand the impact of the campaign, it’s best to do that while simultaneously measuring the sales of other products, so you can understand the “halo effect.” For instance: How is the campaign for toothpaste also driving sales of related products like toothbrushes, mouthwash, and dental floss?

You’ll want to start by adding a primary tag for all the relevant toothpaste UPCs. Then you can set up a secondary tracking tag to measure the sales of related products (don’t forget about all the product sizes and variations).

With this approach, you can get both granular insights and a holistic view of the campaign to help you understand how you’re driving sales across the primary and secondary sets of products.

3. Get a consolidated view of performance across retailers

Once you’re tracking the right UPCs across all relevant retailers, you can start using our Retail Sales Index (RSI) to get a fuller picture of how your campaign is driving sales and return on ad spend (ROAS).

Relying on single-retailer measurement i.e., limiting measurement to one retailer’s channel or buyer composition, can lead to blind spots in your reporting. With RSI, you'll see how you’re driving online and in-store sales across multiple retailers with consolidated reporting that uses a streamlined attribution methodology. This provides a unified and consistent view of how a campaign drives sales across distribution points.

Our recommendation for a CPG advertiser in the U.S., for example, is to activate measurement from all of our grocery and big-box retail partners in the region. This gives the brand a nationally representative view of performance across retailer channels (grocery, discount grocery, e-commerce, and drugstore) using the same measurement methodology. You can also use the RSI to see total sales and ROAS, as well as results by retailer for more granular insights as needed.


  • If you’re a platform user and want to get started, check out the Knowledge Portal (available only to our customers).

4. Enhance your targeting strategy and uncover customer insights

Within our platform, you can select "add segments resembling your target customer" to automatically include relevant audience segments to your campaign, based on retail sales data. You’ll be able to determine which shoppers are most likely to buy products based on their past purchases. This can not only help you improve ROAS performance, but also reach buyers who may be new to your brand.

As an example, consider a frozen-pizza brand whose targeting strategy might include segments of people who have purchased from the brand before, as well as those who have bought other kinds of frozen pizza more generally. A savvy media planner might also add a few other relevant segments like frozen food, ice cream, and soft-drink buyers.

Let’s take it a step further. What if baby food buyers are the most likely segment to also buy frozen pizza? Enabling relevant audience segments automatically can augment your targeting strategy to help you reach new shoppers who may be a less obvious match for the brand. This could mean more frozen-pizza sales, sure, but now you’ve also uncovered some interesting insights about your customers.

5. Uncover insights regardless of your audience strategy

Even if you aren’t actively targeting retail audiences (although that is our recommendation), you can still benefit from measuring retail sales. Regardless of your marketing goals, retail measurement can provide valuable insights to inform campaign optimizations across any channel, grain (website, device type, etc.), or audience.

Imagine that a brand of cleaning products wants to reach every household in the U.S. While the brand might use a broad demographic-based targeting strategy that’s focused on incremental reach and frequency, it is still possible to also measure how that strategy is impacting sales within key retailers.

You can use retail measurement on our platform to better understand how your media is affecting product sales across retailers using the RSI. You might find that one of your creatives is driving significantly more total sales, or that a specific channel is delivering better ROAS. You can use insights like these to optimize your campaign midflight and to help inform future media buys.

BONUS! Don’t miss the added-value measurement opportunity:

Did you know that many retailers offer their measurement solutions as added value for brands that are activating audiences from that retailer? This means that if your campaign is already targeting audiences based on retail data, you can access measurement from many of those same retailers at no additional cost.

Today some of the leading retailers around the globe offer added-value measurement. Reach out to your TTD account manager to learn more.

Disclaimer: This information is provided solely for background and is not a representation or guarantee of any future performance.