Walmart’s media program, Walmart Connect, continues to grow, stalking the path blazed by Amazon. Some key things for brands to keep in mind as it relates to ecommerce:
- The relative newness of Walmart’s self-service media program creates opportunities for efficient sales growth. As brands look for ecommerce growth beyond Amazon, we’ve found good results here.
- The tactics honed on Amazon’s program largely apply. In the end, the fundamentals of ecommerce are common across Amazon, Walmart as well as other sites.
- But, you need to be aware of the differences and adapt. Walmart Connect has some important operational differences relative to Amazon and its traffic opportunity is still less than Amazon’s. Both impact how you implement ecommerce media.
This week, Andrew Stauffer - Associate Commerce Media Director, shares some extended thoughts on Walmart Connect and how it applies to a brand’s ecommerce program.
Walmart’s Expanding Digital Media Capabilities
Walmart continues to expand its burgeoning media capabilities, in an effort to capture more of the approx. $165 billion digital advertising market and compete with rival Amazon for greater share of brands’ advertising budgets.
While the Walmart media ecosystem still lags Amazon’s offerings in many ways, the company is making large investments in strategic opportunities and product improvements – showing their commitment to being a serious player in the ecommerce advertising marketplace.
Amazon’s advertising revenue jumped 64% year-over-year to $7.95 billion in Q4 2020, while Walmart’s ad sales make up less than 1% of it’s total yearly revenue and are estimated between $500 million and $1 billion for FY 2020.
As part of that growth, Walmart has recently announced a number of moves and updates to its current product offerings:
- Walmart Media Group (WMG) has rebranded as Walmart Connect to better communicate the organizations capabilities and mission to “bring brands measurably closer to their audience in new, innovative ways”.
- Walmart will begin offering digital ad placements on in-store TV walls and self-checkout kiosks – with nearly 170,000 screens across 4,500+ stores. This provides Walmart a truly unique omnichannel media offering other retailers cannot currently match.
- Walmart Connect is partnering with The Trade Desk – one of the leading programmatic advertising platforms – to develop a Walmart-specific, demand-side platform, slated to launch in 2021 prior to the holiday shopping season. This will allow advertisers self-service access to Walmart’s rich first-party behavioral shopping data on over 150 million weekly customers – to target media both on Walmart.com and across the internet .
- In addition to the partnership with The Trade Desk, Walmart has acquired ad tech company Thunder, for their creative automation and ad optimization capabilities. This will provide the company’s coming DSP with enhanced features and is in a similar vein to Amazon’s acquisition of Sizmek in 2019.
- Walmart announced that beginning March 1, 2021 their current Online Pickup & Delivery search advertising placements will become accessible via their self-service API for brands and agencies . While the consumer shopping experience for Pickup & Delivery will still be separate from the Walmart.com UI, merging the paid search products will simplify the management and execution of campaigns for advertisers, while expanding potential ad inventory and placements.
- In addition, Walmart is unifying their sales attribution to a 14 day, click-only approach for search advertising, simplifying reporting and giving them more parity with Amazon’s standard attribution.
Brands are looking for Walmart Connect to continue to announce feature and functionality enhancements throughout 2021 – in particular with upgrades to their paid search ad products such as a move to a second price auction model, the addition of negative keywords and more.
Wunderman Thompson Commerce
currently manages several Walmart accounts across multiple product categories, using both self-service ad products and partnering with Walmart Connect on their managed placements and programs. For more information on how we can help your brand navigate this growing opportunity contact Aimee Pierce at firstname.lastname@example.org.