How Walmart Connect Is Putting Walmart's Purpose in Motion

April 1, 2024

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At Walmart Connect, we exist to create meaningful connections between our customers and the brands that matter most to them. For customers, this means new experiences to discover the right products at the right time to save money and live better. For brands, we help boost their visibility and ways to grow with Walmart.

Successfully creating those connections is a win for customers, brands and Walmart. The role of our advertising business is earning increased attention – especially after the announcement of our agreement to acquire VIZIO, our rollout of new in-store experiences, and pilots with major media partners. But the heart of what we do is more than just retail media – we help brands solve their biggest marketing challenges through customer-centric solutions that reflect Walmart’s values.

Our long-term focus has been on creating new ways for brands to connect with customers, increasing access for brands of all sizes and continually increasing the performance and value of our solutions. Here are a few ways we’re doing that this year:

Number one: More options for more advertiser types, to give customers more choices

We help boost the discovery of brands – from established suppliers to emerging businesses – and we continue to make it even easier for businesses of any size to access the power of Walmart Connect. Marketplace sellers are now our fastest-growing advertisers: Their Sponsored Search advertising spend grew by 63% last year, doubling on our self-serve platform.1

Now, we’re automating and scaling our advertising suite even further to increase accessibility to more advertiser types – including the API and agency partners that support them:

  • Expanded Onsite Display access: Walmart Display is becoming primarily programmatic and auction based, with greater access and control. We’re making it available to brands of all sizes, starting in April. Emerging brands – including Marketplace sellers – will be able to access Onsite Display placements for the first time through the Walmart Ad Center, our self-service platform.
  • Supporting non-endemic brands: Customers look to us for help saving money and living better across all their needs. So, we’ve started offering offsite media to supporting brands that don’t sell with Walmart but offer complementary products and services that are relevant to our customers – starting with automotive, entertainment, financial services, quick-service restaurants and travel.
  • Increased international support: We began adding internationally based technology providers to our Partner Network last year, to support businesses outside the U.S. Now, we’re introducing localized self-serve support tools and education, to make it easier for sellers outside the U.S. to grow with us.

Number two: Exploring new offsite frontiers, including in stores

The shopping journey isn’t linear, making omnichannel connections even more critical to brands. That’s why we continually explore new media experiences that both help marketers solve their needs across the entire funnel and are additive to the customer’s shopping journey. Here are some examples of how we’ll continue to create more customer-centric connection points that give marketers more options to achieve their goals:

  • More in-store experiences: We're expanding Demo stations and sampling, and testing more areas to reach customers, boost awareness and drive consideration.
  • New self-serve capabilities: We’ll introduce in-store campaign management to the Walmart Ad Center, starting with TV Wall ads.
  • Media partnerships: Our recent pilots with Roku and TikTok are now rolling out to advertisers.
Six TVs with a "beautiful skin" ad is shown on the Walmart Connect TV wall.

Number three: Improving targeting & full-funnel measurement

Much like our customers, brands want to get more out of every advertising dollar. As marketers prepare for signal losses, we provide the precision they need with our advanced targeting and measurement solutions – powered by Walmart’s unparalleled first-party insights – to better understand the impact of their campaigns across the entire shopping journey. The Mars Agency recently recognized the evolution of our measurement solutions when they named us “Best in Class.” This year, we’ll take measurement and targeting capabilities even further. Here’s how:

  • Sharper omnichannel measurement: We're currently testing in-store attribution for Sponsored Search ads, which we expect to enhance throughout the year. We’ll also introduce conversion lift for in-store campaigns, and store lift and reach for In-Store Demos.
  • Deeper conversion & full-funnel insights: We’ll rollout brand lift measurement and rest-of-market analysis for Walmart DSP and In-Store Audio, expanded access to Walmart AdMix, and consideration metrics.
  • Advanced targeting: For example, brand term targeting with Sponsored Search ads.
A bar graph shows Walmart's comparison to the USA for age, income, children's ages, household size and ethnicity.

Number four: Expanded creative capabilities

Brands come to us with their marketing and creative challenges to find the best ways to connect with Walmart customers, because we can help advertisers craft omnichannel solutions grounded in our proprietary insights. This year, we’re expanding our managed- and self-serve solutions to support advertisers with more creative capabilities:

  • More ways to get in front of customers: Advertisers can expect more integrated marketing solutions to help activate the moments that matter most in a customer’s shopping journey. For example, more onsite and in-store placements, like seasonal programs and single-supplier-led store events.
  • More Brand Shop capabilities: We recently rolled out self-serve capabilities. This year, advertisers can also expect video, new templates and expanded discoverability.
  • Expanded solutions for ad creative: Later this year, partners will be able to plug into our machine-learning-powered, self-serve tool for building and optimizing ad creative, Creative Builder, through a Creative API. We’ll also introduce performance reports for campaign creative.

Delivering these solutions to our suppliers, sellers and partners will take our retail media offering to the next level this year – but more importantly, support them better as they navigate an increasingly complex marketing landscape. It’s how we put Walmart’s purpose in motion as a people-led, tech-powered omnichannel retailer to better serve our customers and the brands that work with us.

1 Source: Walmart 1st party data, February 2023-2024