Aim is to help brands connect physical and digital marketing
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart has grown its retail media business, Walmart Connect, by offering advertisers the ability to reach consumers when they are searching for products on the retailer’s website as well as via thousands of digital televisions and point-of-purchase screens in its physical stores. Now Walmart Connect plans to leverage the retailer’s stores to an even greater extent by creating new in-store ad experiences.
“Stores remain a top source for inspiration, discovery, and purchase,” Whitney Cooper, Walmart Connect’s head of omnichannel transformation, noted in a recent blog post. “With pandemic shopping behaviors behind us, customers are returning to stores en masse: 88% of our customers purchased in-store last year2. That’s why we’re leaning in even further into Walmart’s physical footprint — with more than 4,700 stores across the U.S. alone — to help brands achieve the most impact with our customers through omnichannel experiences.”
Some of the store experiences Walmart Connect is testing include:
- In-store audio. Brands can connect with customers wherever they are in the store to create awareness – not just when they pass a product on the
shelf. The introduction of ad spots to Walmart Radio gives suppliers the ability to purchase ads by region or by store so they can target key markets. Brands can tailor their creative and targeting tactics to align with their strategies and help meet awareness goals.
- In-store demos. Brands can introduce new products to Walmart customers through product demos and sampling every weekend in Walmart stores, as this offering scales nationwide. Part of Walmart’s testing includes finding ways to bridge this physical shopping experience to the digital, such as through the use of QR codes that link to specialized, thematic landing pages.
- TV Wall & Self-checkout ads. Brands can connect to millions of customers via 170,000 digital screens in 4,500+ Walmart stores.
- Category & seasonal events. Brands can participate in category and seasonally relevant moments through live Walmart store and parking lot events – such as Baby Days, National Pet Month, Back to School or Holiday. Walmart Connect says it aligns suppliers with Walmart Marketing and Walmart Merchant priorities to create unique, meaningful interactions with customers at multiple points throughout the Walmart shopping journey.
- Pickup & delivery sampling. Brands can reach Walmart online pickup & delivery customers with samples, inspiring product awareness and trial. Online pickup & delivery sample bags are distributed to customers during seasonally relevant moments.
“Any conversation about our retail media experiences — particularly in our stores — starts with the customer,” Cooper emphasizes. “Because everything we do at Walmart starts with our customer. At Walmart Connect, when we create new ad formats, we look for ways to make them valuable for consumers as well as the marketers who use our platform.
“At the store level, we are being very deliberate with our approach. The experiences we design must be additive and create a shopping experience that is consistent with what customers have come to expect from us over the last 60+ years. We’re working with teams across Walmart to assess new formats to make sure we are creating amazing customer experiences without interrupting store operations.
“Bottom line: As we explore new retail media experiences, our core Walmart values remain unchanged. Walmart Connect’s focus isn’t just on what we can do with Walmart’s physical footprint, but what experiences we can create that are additive and relevant to our customers, to help them save time and money. And in turn, can create meaningful connections between our customers and the brands that work with us.”