As the second-largest online seller in the U.S., Walmart has positioned itself as an emerging player in digital advertising — especially for brands looking to expand beyond Amazon.
Walmart’s media management arm, Walmart Media Group, recently rebranded as Walmart Connect to reflect Walmart’s investment in becoming one of the world’s leading omnichannel advertising businesses.
With this rebranding comes a host of changes focused on growing Walmart’s holistic digital offerings and providing more tools and opportunities for sellers of all levels “to accelerate their connection to customers in a closed-loop, omnichannel environment.”
In this article, we’ll cover what sellers and advertisers need to know about Walmart Connect.
How is Walmart Connect expanding?
Walmart Connect is focusing on three priorities, all with the goal of becoming “one of the top ten advertising platforms in the U.S.”:
- Growing offerings across Walmart’s digital properties
- Introducing innovative in-store experience
- Expanding offsite media opportunities at scale
Here’s what to expect from each of these changes.
1. Growing offerings across Walmart’s digital properties
Walmart plans to combine its digital offerings across Walmart.com, Online Pickup and Delivery, and the Walmart App to create a more holistic digital shopping experience. According to Tinuiti experts, this is just one example of how Walmart is expanding its offering(s) and we expect additional updates are also underway.
Historically, advertising across these offerings has been separate. Come March 1st, Walmart Connect will combine these offerings to produce more inventory and optimization levers for sellers. This change means that advertisers can get their messaging in front of shoppers right when they’re making purchasing decisions.
2. Introducing innovative in-store experiences
Walmart is working to tie its robust physical presence into its growing digital offering by introducing media activations on in-store TV walls and self-checkout screens. With nearly 170k screens across 4.7k stores, advertisers can deliver these activations with date, time, and geographic specificity.
This move to integrate digital OOH advertising with the in-store experience will accompany a variety of other changes to support the post-pandemic landscape.
3. Expanding offsite media opportunities at scale
Like Amazon, Walmart Connect has robust first-party shopper data. To leverage that data, Walmart will be partnering with leading AdTech company The Trade Desk to launch its own demand-side platform (DSP) and grow its programmatic offerings this year.
Walmart Connect’s DSP “will combine the best-in-class technology and performance of The Trade Desk platform with the robust scale of Walmart shopping data, ultimately allowing advertisers to drive more effectiveness with their overall media spend.”
Tinuiti will work closely with the Walmart Connect team to help our clients make the most of Walmart’s new DSP, which will be available in time for the 2021 holiday advertising and shopping seasons.
Why sell and advertise on Walmart’s marketplace?
Even before the expansion of Walmart Connect, Walmart.com had come a long way in terms of marketplace capabilities, including the types of targeting, ad types, reporting, and the platform’s overall sophistication.
“Walmart has always connected customers and the great brands they love, and now we have the ability to offer an easy-to-use platform to enhance those connections at scale. We’ve built a substantial business that can serve clients in a way no one else can – as a closed-loop omnichannel media company. By expanding our offerings we’re creating measurable value for our partners and customers alike in our ecosystem and beyond.”
– Janey Whiteside, Chief Customer Officer, Walmart
Now more than ever, Walmart presents a viable and promising opportunity for brands to expand beyond Amazon. To learn more, check out our recent post, “The Ultimate Walmart Marketplace Guide”.