Sam’s Club Debuts Retail Access and Ad Platform Centered on Members

Warehouse club launches member-additive ad experience with sponsored product search ads
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Sam’s Club Debuts Retail Access and Ads Platform Centered on the Member
Sam’s Club is reintroducing its advertising business as an access and ads platform focused on members by delivering an additive ad experience.

With the aim to deliver the most valuable member additive ad experience in the industry, Sam’s Club has transformed its advertising business into the Sam’s Club Member Access Platform (MAP). 

“We believe every member experience should be curated, consistent, qualitative, comprehensive and quantifiable,” wrote Lex Josephs, VP/general manager of Sam’s Club MAP, in a blog post. “We believe our platform should be easy to buy, easy to sell and easy to operate – regardless of the size of our partner. We know our members are searching now more than ever for solutions to meet their personal needs. For these reasons, we are launching a member-additive ads experience with sponsored product (search) ads.”

A self-service platform for sponsored product search ads will allow partners to buy search in an automated way, enabling them to easily operate and easily buy with MAP.

Since customers discover products and browse other places beyond, the membership warehouse club is also launching a Programmatic Partnership with LiveRamp, IRI and TradeDesk. “This opportunity will allow Sam’s Club to partner with our suppliers, marketers, ad agencies and ad tech platforms in unique data-driven ways, but ultimately, bring members back to the Sam’s Club ecosystem,” wrote Josephs.

“[W]hat makes MAP unlike other retail ads businesses and membership and subscription platforms is this: As a membership organization, we have an incredible amount of insight on our members,” continued Josephs. “Not only do we have 100% visibility into their purchases, but we also know their search behaviors. We know our members incredibly well. In addition, we offer a curated assortment of high-quality items. Therefore, we can predict what our members want and need with great precision. And because of this, we’re able to build partnerships and ad experiences that are additive to our members’ experience, while also being extremely effective and efficient.”  

MAP is part of Sam’s Club’s newly formed growth organization – led by Chief Growth Officer Kieran Shanahan – that includes Product, Strategy, Marketing & Membership, and MAP.

“By working cross-functionally with Sam’s Club E-commerce, Sam’s Club’s Merchandising Organization, and the Growth Organization, MAP will help drive alignment and direction for our partners,” noted Josephs. “This will ensure that our members receive what’s right for them, while advertisers receive the results they need.”

July 4th Membership Offer

Meanwhile, Sam’s Club is giving Americans more ways to celebrate ahead of the Fourth of July holiday by offering its club membership for less than a fourth the everyday price and offering members savings on seasonal merchandise.

At just $8 for an annual club membership, the limited-time offer for new members is available June 17-26.

Sam’s Club first introduced an $8 membership offer following its participation in the Big Game in January. According to Ciara Anfield, Sam’s Club’s chief member and marketing officer, the business gave consumers considering a warehouse club membership the nudge they needed to join.

For existing members, Sam’s Club is also unlocking access to summer deals with savings on outdoor entertaining items.

For the first quarter of fiscal 2023, Sam’s Club’s sales were a bright spot, with comps increasing 10.2%, and 17.4% on a two-year stack, while membership income increased 10.5%.

Sam’s Club, a division of Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart Inc., operates nearly 600 clubs in the United States and Puerto Rico. Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries, with approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Sam’s Club ranks eighth.

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