Walmart wants your ad business
The company sees an advantage in its trove of digital and in-store customer data.
Walmart says its ready to start monetizing its shopper data and become a go-to ad network for retail manufacturers — both online and in-store.
With Amazon’s rapid ad growth looming large, Walmart is bringing its ad sales in-house, bridging the divide between store and digital ad teams as part of a broader effort to build up its advertising business.
Why you should care
Company executives said they want CMOs to consider “Walmart as a network I can go advertise on.” Steve Bratspies, chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S., thinks Walmart’s unique combination of online and store purchase data from hundreds of millions of customers will make Walmart ad buys more efficient that the competition (e.g. Amazon).
Walmart is ending its relationship with Triad, which managed ad sales on the retailer’s sites and other digital properties, The Wall Street Journal first reported Tuesday. WPP’s programmatic media unit Xaxis acquired Triad in 2017.
Walmart’s e-commerce business is growing. The company reported online sales rose 43 percent for the fourth-quarter of fiscal 2019, which ended Jan. 25. It is continuing to make website improvements and will need to invest to develop a robust ad business. As Amazon can attest, building up an in-house team and technology stack takes time and investment. Walmart’s efforts could take years to realize.
More on the news
- The company plans to harness its shopper data to sell advertising and marketing opportunities to brands and manufacturers directly. For example, the Journal said, rather than having Triad manage digital ad campaigns and a Walmart team managing in-store sampling, a snack supplier will be able to work with Walmart directly on both efforts.
- Amazon’s market share is still dwarfed by Google and Facebook, but it offers up a proven model for attracting ad dollars from digital and trade marketing budgets by leveraging shopper data — and tying ad investments directly to sales.
- Walmart owns online marketplace Jet.com and video streaming service Vudu.