How the Walmart Connect Partner Lab Is Building Omnichannel Connections

June 15, 2023

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Walmart customers now find inspiration anywhere. Their omnichannel shopping journeys can range from Walmart.com to our stores, or even while scrolling social media or streaming their favorite shows.

That’s why at Walmart Connect, we are constantly searching for new ways to create meaningful connections between brands and our customers wherever discovery and purchase happens. We create highly personalized shopping experiences designed to make it easier for customers to discover the right product at the right price and the right time.

One way we do that is through the Walmart Connect Partner Lab. This is a testing ground to improve and innovate new opportunities for omnichannel connections across social media, livestreaming and more. And to deliver even greater value to brands advertising with Walmart.

Today, we’re sharing the latest results from test-and-learn partnerships with Roku, TalkShopLive and TikTok. We’re also announcing the addition of NBCUniversal to the Partner Lab.


We’re partnering with NBCUniversal to test a first-to-market offering: closing the loop on retail media-powered ads within live sports streaming. This will mark the first time NBCUniversal’s live sports streaming inventory will be available through a retail media network – just in time for this autumn’s prime sports seasons and holiday campaigns. Brands will be able to use Walmart Connect’s unparalleled targeting and measurement to reach streaming viewers during live sports programs.

“At NBCUniversal, we know that partnerships fuel progress – and we’re delighted to partner with Walmart Connect to bring brands and sports fans closer together through the content and shopping experiences that keep them on the edge of their seats,” said Joe Cady, the EVP of advanced advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal. “Sports enthusiasts are an unmatched audience, and with the power and scale of NBCUniversal’s digital advertising capabilities, combined in a privacy-minded way, with Walmart Connect’s shopper data, we’re able to add even more value for advertisers. It’s a win-win across the board.”

Premium inventory

In addition to testing live sports streaming ads, we’ve combined NBCUniversal’s premium inventory with our targeting and omnichannel, closed-loop measurement capabilities as part of our premium CTV bundle – which helps brands reach Walmart customers across top streaming platforms.


Roku and Walmart have a long history of experimenting together to serve Walmart customers in new ways. Roku and Walmart Connect, in particular, have a shared priority to drive full funnel advertising on streaming TV ad formats and to make investments in streaming more accountable.

Shoppable ads

Last year, Walmart announced a first-to-market partnership to make TV streaming the next e-commerce shopping destination with shoppable ads. Fifty-seven percent of Roku streamers have paused an ad to shop the product online.1

As the first retailer to enable streamers to purchase featured products fulfilled by Walmart directly on Roku, the new experience offers product discovery with a seamless, on-screen checkout experience with a Roku remote, allowing purchase directly at the time of inspiration. Advertisers also receive insights on effectiveness through Walmart Connect’s omnichannel measurement reports.

“We believe a frictionless omnichannel shopping experience is where the industry is going and should go,” said Jeff Metzner, vice president of Walmart Team marketing and communications at Procter & Gamble. “The ability to purchase a product directly from a connected TV ad has potential to reduce that friction for the consumer, so we’d like to see these capabilities continue to develop.”

During the pilot, which ran from November 2022 to February 2023, these innovative shoppable ads demonstrated strong performance from both an awareness generation and engagement standpoint, which shows positive signs for an entirely new ad format and purchase point for customers.2 These shoppable ads received at least three times higher clickthrough rates than average video campaigns powered by the Walmart DSP.3

"Walmart Connect and Roku's new shoppable technology combines a frictionless shopping experience for brands and new ways to engage with consumers for the future,” said Grant Marcus, team lead, omnichannel marketing for Reckitt Nutrition. “We are always looking for new ways to reach parents and this tool helps educate and convert seamlessly."

Introducing Roku premium inventory

Now, we’re expanding our Roku partnership to include their premium inventory within our CTV offering now available on the Walmart DSP. This is just one more way Walmart Connect and Roku are working together to help drive performance across Roku’s ad formats, powered by Walmart’s first-party customer insights, and targeting and measurement capabilities.


TikTok and Walmart Connect came together to explore what’s possible when combining the value and accountability of retail media insights with the power of TikTok, and the platform’s highly engaged shoppers – 45% of TikTok users5 bought a product because they saw it on TikTok. The result was a first-to-market pilot for retail media insights-powered ads that’s now giving advertisers the ability to serve in-feed ads on TikTok, leveraging the impact of TikTok’s sound-on full screen video format together with Walmart Connect’s targeting and closed-loop measurement.

More than 50% of TikTok users6 say they watch ads on their feed instead of scrolling past them. And with our first round of pilot campaigns complete, we found clear indications that Walmart Connect-powered TikTok ads with targeted audiences are generating even higher engagement: an average of two times higher engagement rates than TikTok’s standard benchmarks for campaigns in the U.S. 7

“As a company that likes to get on the frontline with new media opportunities to help us remain future-fit, we’re excited to partner with Walmart Connect as they expand their offering cross channel to connect commerce with social to reach the younger consumer and drive incremental growth for our brands,” said Jen Bryce, head of U.S. retail media partnerships and capabilities for Unilever. “ This first-to-market opportunity that we activated across Walmart.com and TikTok with our Ugly Sundaes campaign allowed the Unilever Ice Cream brands to engage on a deeper level with this relevant target audience by combining the power of influencers and Walmart’s first-party audiences while driving an omnichannel purchase experience.”

This is the first time any retailer has successfully provided closed-loop measurement for TikTok campaigns, and signifies the attention, interest and active participation of the target audience of our campaigns. The average video viewing time of Walmart customers also exceeded industry benchmarks, indicating that our videos managed to captivate and retain our audience's attention for a longer duration than other retailers’ ads.7 Now, we’re now evolving our partnership to extend the test to more advertisers.


Walmart and TalkShopLive first partnered in 2021 for shoppable livestream events. That partnership extended to Walmart Connect last year, to test how suppliers can seamlessly create and amplify engaging livestream content at scale by combining our retail media capabilities with their best-in-class livestream experiences on Walmart.com/live – as well as TalkShopLive’s platform, brand and publisher sites, and across the web.

We continue to work with TalkShopLive to test and refine this offering, such as seasonal or category omnichannel campaigns with multiple suppliers. We’re still in the early stages of this pilot, but already seeing encouraging results in three key areas: Engagement, such as average watch time; reach, such as live viewers and post-event video consumption; and overall value of livestream content – meaning, the ways the video can be used for a number of marketing activations, such as repurposing for social media or onsite category pages.

For example, a recent livestream with multiple electronics suppliers on Walmart.com/Live – powered by Walmart Connect and TalkShopLive – experienced higher engagement and conversion than average benchmarks for Walmart Live 8.

  • ~86% higher total viewership   
  • ~30% higher average watch time  
  • ~ Two times higher conversions  
  • Over 1 million media views leveraging cut-down livestream content9 

As a result of the success of these initial tests, we are now extending testing opportunities to more advertisers.

Learn more about Walmart Connect’s closed-loop, omnichannel retail media offerings at WalmartConnect.com.

1Roku Internal Data, Harris Poll Survey, 2022
2Roku, 11/22/22 - 2/10/23
3Roku and Walmart 1st Party Data, 11/22/22 - 2/10/23
4“America’s No. 1 TV streaming platform” is based on hours streamed according to Hypothesis Group, December 2022
5TikTok Marketing Science Global Retail Path to Purchase (US Results) conducted by Material August 2021 (n=1,602)
6TikTok Marketing Science US Audience Mindset Segmentation, conducted by Clear, December 2021 (n=960)
7TikTok US Q42022, not specific to an industry
8Walmart Live Analytics 02/01/2022-01/31/2023
9Walmart Facebook Analytics 03/08/2023 - 03/15/2023