Walmart plans big push to challenge Amazon on advertising

Platform Economy: Walmart retail store and online marketplace

Walmart plans to expand its marketing business, including space for advertising at its US stores and sharing its enormous trove of retail data with brands, the world’s largest retailer has said.

The efforts are key to Walmart’s aggressive strategy to grow its advertising business by more than 10 times over the next five years, according to a source familiar with the issue.

Journalists had previously reported Walmart’s annual advertising revenues were expected to be almost $1 billion in 2020.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company, with nearly 5,000 stores nationwide, has set a goal to become one of the top 10 marketing platforms in the US over the next five years, a “slightly conservative,” goal, the source stated.

Walmart has enlarged its marketing business after years of stuttering progress, even as a deal to buy a 7.5% stake in video-sharing app TikTok remains in limbo.

Walmart refocused its approach starting in early 2019, cutting ties using its outside advertising partner and carrying the company in house as Walmart Media Group. Now, it will be named Walmart Connect, the company said.

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“This is about us really digging in and pivoting the business from one which was really focused on search and display with our biggest suppliers,” Walmart’s chief customer officer Janey Whiteside told Reuters. “We want to continue to do that, leverage our physical properties, and find ways to help advertisers make better use of their dollars.”

Walmart stated it will construct a new advertising platform in partnership with ad technology company Trade Desk Inc. It enables brands to utilize Walmart’s considerable shopper data to make advertisements more successful, even on sites and apps Walmart does not own.

Brands will have the ability to target advertisements to audiences using Walmart’s information on shopping behaviour across brands and categories. Advertisers can then monitor sales inside Walmart shops in real time and adapt ad campaigns as required, Whiteside said.

Accurately quantifying whether an ad caused a purchase was a long-term technological challenge. Walmart is betting that permitting brands to utilize its data on advertisements across streaming movie or smart TVs will draw more advertising dollars.

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The retailer said it’ll make the most of its own brick-and-mortar stores to compete with online retailer Amazon, and will sell ads on over 170,000 screens inside more than 4,500 U.S. shops, including on TVs and screens of self-checkout kiosks.

“Who else can actually tell you if a customer saw something online and then a week later, physically bought it in the store?”

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Translation from English to other languages via Google Cloud Translation. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Melissa Fares in New York and Sheila Dang in Dallas. Editing by Vanessa O’Connell, Kenneth Li and David Gregorio.

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