Walmart aiming for larger share of suppliers’ marketing spend

Date : 28 January 2021

Stewart Samuel

Program Director - Canada

Walmart is rebranding its in-house media business, Walmart Media Group, to Walmart Connect, as it expands its focus across digital and physical platforms.

Three focus areas

Growing its media business is a strategic focus for Walmart as part of its goal to develop alternative revenue and profit streams. With over 150m weekly customers, Walmart Connect will aim to optimise the retailer’s physical stores, its own digital properties and the wider internet to connect brands with its shoppers. Walmart Connect will focus its efforts in three key areas:

  1. Walmart’s digital properties - following a doubling of the business last year, Walmart will continue to develop its portfolio of services across its own digital properties, including Walmart.com and the Walmart app. This includes search and display media, driving campaigns across the digital shopping experience
  2. In-store – Walmart Connect has developed new capabilities which enables advertisers to reach Walmart’s customers across its stores. Activations include TV walls and self-checkout screens, with almost 17,000 digital screens available across its US stores. This is one of the largest in-store and digital out-of-home ad platforms in the country. Walmart will also incorporate brand opportunities in events such as drive-in movies as part of this
  3. Offsite opportunities – through a partnership with AdTech company, The Trade Desk, the retailer is launching a demand-side platform for suppliers and their media and ad agencies in time for the 2021 holiday season. Combined with Walmart shopping data, this should help advertisers to drive the effectiveness of their media spend

Source: Walmart

New revenue stream

Over recent years, several retailers have launched or further developed digital media operations. These include Amazon, Kroger and Loblaw in North America. Retailers view this is a significant opportunity to generate a new revenue and profit stream, with a view to offsetting some of the costs associated with digital commerce.

Understanding campaign effectiveness

Food retailers, especially those with loyalty programmes, are well positioned to capture a greater share of CPG brands’ digital marketing spend. This is due to their ability to demonstrate a true ROI on ads served to consumers, effectively providing closed-loop measurement by tracking the path to purchase, from online to offline sales. Understanding the effectiveness of digital campaigns is a major focus for branded manufacturers as they shift more of their spend into the digital space. This will have been accelerated by the pandemic, as more consumers are shopping online, and expected to continue doing so.

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