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08/25/2021

Walmart continues revamping ad platform

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Advertisers will be able to better engage with Walmart customers.

Walmart is officially launching its planned demand-side platform for suppliers and their media and ad agencies in time for the 2021 holiday season.  

Initially announced during the introduction of the Walmart Connect media platform in January 2021, the Walmart demand-side platform (DSP) is a collaborative effort with independent demand-side platform The Trade Desk.

The discount giant is calling Walmart DSP a “first-of-its kind” demand-side platform that, unlike other DSP products in the market, serves as a standalone platform combining the technology and performance of The Trade Desk with the scale of Walmart’s first-party omnichannel data. As a result, Walmart says the offering will allow advertisers to be more effective with their overall media spend.

Walmart DSP will be available for select suppliers by the end of October 2021, which as promised in its initial January announcement will be in time for the holiday shopping season. When it launches, marketers and advertisers will be able to access capabilities powered by of Walmart’s omnichannel data, including:

  • Reaching specific audiences with increased precision by leveraging Walmart’s past purchase and predictive audience segments, as well as brand-level shopping behavior data from across the entire Walmart ecosystem, including the discount giant’s website, app and 4,700 physical stores. 
  • Display, streaming video, mobile, audio and connected TV (CTV) capabilities allow advertisers to manage multiple campaigns within the same platform.
  • Connecting online-to-offline sales by leveraging Walmart’s purchase data to measure both online and in-store transactions, and link these to specific media tactics to make campaign optimizations and inform future strategies.

According to Walmart, the ability to connect online-to-offline sales by leveraging its purchase data is one of the key differentiators of the Walmart DSP. While the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated Walmart e-commerce sales growth, there has also been a measurable increase in Walmart store traffic over the past quarter. By connecting and measuring both online and in-store performance, the Walmart DSP will offer targeting, reporting and omnichannel insights down to a granular level.

The retailer says the Walmart Connect platform is focused on three key strategic areas it intends to allow it to go beyond traditional media channels and offer meaningful experiences and integrations to bring brands measurably closer to Walmart’s 150 million weekly customers. These areas are growing offerings across its digital properties to provide more holistic ad campaigns, introducing new omni-capabilities to help brands reach customers in Walmart stores, and expanding offsite media opportunities at scale by introducing its new demand-side platform, Walmart DSP.

At least four other big-name retailers with a sizable CPG assortment have launched similar digital third-party ad networks in the past year: Family Dollar, WalgreensKroger, and CVS.

“We want to make it easier and simpler for brands and advertising agencies to partner with us through programmatic and self-serve solutions, and Walmart DSP is the latest release in our product innovation pipeline to deliver on that goal,” said Rich Lehrfeld, senior VP, Walmart Connect, in a corporate blog post.