Walmart Unlocks New Retail Media Efficiencies

Retailer’s advertising business has big plans for the rest of the year
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
Walmart ad wall
Walmart is offering more onsite and in-store placements for brand advertisers.

Walmart is taking its retail media business to new levels in an effort to create even more meaningful connections between its customers and the brands the retailer carries. Walmart Connect has several new initiatives in the works this year, ranging from more programmatic offerings to new self-serve capabilities for advertisers.

Beginning this month, Walmart Display is becoming primarily programmatic and auction based, which will offer advertising brands of all sizes greater access and control. Emerging brands, including Marketplace sellers, will be able to access Onsite Display placements for the first time through the self-service Walmart Ad Center platform.

Additionally, Walmart Connect is now offering offsite media to support brands that don’t sell with Walmart but offer complementary products and services that are relevant to its customers. Those businesses, to start, include automotive, entertainment, financial services, quick-service restaurants and travel.

[RELATED: Why Retail Media Networks Are at an Inflection Point]

Walmart is also exploring new offsite advertising options, including those in stores.

“The shopping journey isn’t linear, making omnichannel connections even more critical to brands,” wrote Rich Lehrfeld, SVP and general manager, Walmart Connect, in a company blog post. “That’s why we continually explore new media experiences that both help marketers solve their needs across the entire funnel and are additive to the customer’s shopping journey.” 

Some of those new experiences include more demo stations and sampling, with Walmart also testing more areas to reach customers, boost awareness and drive consideration. The retailer is also rolling out new self-serve capabilities to the Walmart Ad Center, including in-store campaign management starting with TV Wall ads.

Moreover, Walmart Connect is currently testing in-store attribution for Sponsored Search ads, in an effort to offer sharper omnichannel measurement. The retailer will also introduce deeper conversion and full-funnel insights, as well as advanced targeting.

Finally, Walmart advertisers can expect more integrated marketing solutions, such as onsite and in-store placements, and also expanded solutions for ad creative. Later this year, partners will be able to use the company’s machine-learning-powered, self-serve tool for building and optimizing ad creative.

“Delivering these solutions to our suppliers, sellers and partners will take our retail media offering to the next level this year – but more importantly, support them better as they navigate an increasingly complex marketing landscape,” wrote Lehrfeld. “It’s how we put Walmart’s purpose in motion as a people-led, tech-powered omnichannel retailer to better serve our customers and the brands that work with us.”

Each week, about 255 million customers and members visit Walmart’s 10,500-plus stores and numerous e-commerce websites in 19 countries. With fiscal year 2024 revenue of $648 billion, Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart employs approximately 2.1 million associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named Walmart one of its Retailers of the Century.

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