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03/30/2022

Walmart has big plans for its Walmart Connect ad platform

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Walmart is trying to connect advertisers and shoppers as closely as possible.

Walmart intends to create multiple new channels for its advertisers to directly engage with its customers.

In January 2021, Walmart Media Group changed its name to Walmart Connect, with the name meant to reflect the different ways in which brands can reach the retailer’s 150 million customers. In August, the discount giant followed up by officially launching its planned demand-side platform (DSP) for suppliers and their media and ad agencies in time for the 2021 holiday season.

Walmart DSP serves as a standalone platform combining the technology and performance of independent demand-side platform The Trade Desk with the scale of Walmart’s first-party omnichannel data. This provides advertisers with direct promotional capabilities, such as reaching specific audiences, managing multiple campaigns (such as video, audio and mobile) from the same platform, and leveraging Walmart’s purchase data to measure both online and in-store transactions.

[Read more: Walmart continues revamping ad platform]

In a corporate blog post, Rich Lehrfeld, senior VP and GM, Walmart Connect, outlined several important steps the retailer plans to take with the platform this year:

Improve and innovate new ways for suppliers and sellers to connect with customers throughout the shopper journey.

  • This includes offering expanded touchpoints to reach customers wherever they are with new ad formats, like connected TV (CTV) and video, as well as omnichannel experiences – such as optimizing how brands can run promotions via self-checkout screens, TV walls, in-store events, and sampling. 
  • By the end of 2022, Walmart plans to be moving toward offering new premium advertising formats on its e-commerce site, including pilots of new onsite ad units and video.
  • All of these offerings will be based on Walmart’s proprietary shopper data.

Enable growth for suppliers and sellers of all sizes via automation.

  • Walmart recently rolled out Display Self-Serve to its first phase of advertisers. The solution enables advertisers to produce creative content using the assets they want, and automatically generate the right sizes and specifications for their campaigns. 
  • Walmart is expanding its platform partner program that helps suppliers and sellers find the right expert to scale, automate, and optimize their search campaigns. 

Exceed advertiser performance goals.

  • One of Walmart’s biggest areas of focus this year is improving targeting and search capabilities, including moving to second-price auction.   
  • The company will continue scaling its “One Walmart” approach, which offers advertisers integrated planning across merchandising, site operations, marketing, and Walmart Connect.
  • Walmart is expanding measurement capabilities for all of its promotional offerings, including in-store placements.

“Our closed-loop, omnichannel solutions help advertisers capitalize on Walmart’s deep customer insights to our physical and digital reach across the U.S.,” Lehrfeld said in the blog post. “We’re laser-focused on evolving Walmart Connect’s solutions to help advertisers make every media moment a retail moment, by connecting with customers in a meaningful way at any point in their shopping journey. The future of Walmart Connect is brighter than ever and I’m excited about what we’re creating with our suppliers, sellers and partners to stand at the forefront of retail media – and transform the shopping experience for Walmart customers.”