CitrusAd is one of the few solutions that helps retail brands integrate sponsored listings into their sites and apps. For many eCommerce customers, CitrusAd will be a fine choice — but there are pros and cons of using their solution over competitors in the space.
This article looks into CitrusAd's main competitors and when it makes sense to use an alternative instead.
Like CitrusAd, Kevel is an API-driven tool for easily integrating sponsored products and other ad units into one’s site and app.
Where Kevel excels over CitrusAd is around flexibility and features. As an ads API tool founded seven years before CitrusAd, Kevel has a wealth of features not yet available in CitrusAd, including radius targeting and first-party data activation.
Kevel’s customer list includes Klarna, Rappi, Bed Bath and Beyond, Lyst, Slickdeals, Ticketmaster, Yelp, and many more.
A retargeting company that branched into retail media, Criteo has built the largest sponsored products ad network, making it easy for e-retailers to dip their toes into sponsored listings.
Criteo’s solution is mainly tag-based, which comes with difficulties around ad blocking, page speed, and the potential for inadvertent data sharing.
If you are looking for any easy solution to integrate — at the expense of the transparency and flexibility CitrusAd provides — Criteo will be the best alternative.
PromoteIQ, bought by Microsoft in 2019, has pros and cons that mirror Criteo's. They are a tag-based sponsored listings ad network that makes it easy to integrate sponsored products into your retail site.
They differ from Criteo in that they provide more visibility into your advertisers, allowing you to manage direct deals and approve vendors before they appears on your site/app.
They also provide more flexibility around ad units outside of sponsored products, such as carousel banner ads.
No list of ad servers is complete without mentioning Google Ad Manager. With over 90% market share, GAM’s publisher-side ad server towers over competitors.
Unfortunately, GAM will not be a great CitrusAd alternative — unless you wanted to try hacking something together, and even then it’s unlikely your ad units will fit into the browsing/search experience like they do now.
GAM also has some inherent problems that could push most retailers to think twice about using them.
GAM could be an option if you’re looking to replace native ad units and sponsored products with standard banner ads, but that would likely be a stopgap approach as you find a long-term solution to power your retail media platform.
In your research, you may come across the below ad serving tools. However, it is unlikely they'll provide all the features you're looking for in your retail media platform.
The other option is to build a retail media platform yourself. Such a project could take 10-20+ engineers and upwards of a few years — but it’s a path that some retail companies like Walmart and Amazon took.
This approach may provide full flexibility, but it also means you are pulling resources from other projects and delaying your new solution for at least a year.
Here’s a deeper dive into the pros and cons of building an ad server from scratch.
If you are a retailer looking for a CitrusAd competitor, we’d love to chat about the pros and cons of Kevel over CitrusAd. You can reach out to us here.
Chris has worked in ad tech for over fourteen years in a variety of roles - giving him customer support, PM, and marketing perspectives from both the advertiser and publisher sides. He's the VP of Marketing at Kevel.