If you’re an eCommerce marketer looking to expand your reach, Walmart Advertising is the place to be. With over 2 billion shoppers, Walmart Connect is the latest and greatest contender to Amazon Ads. This article delves into what it is, and how you can grow your eCommerce business by advertising on the platform.
Since the death of IDFAs, marketers have been scrambling to find alternative identity solutions for audience targeting and measurement. Retail media – advertisements placed on an eCommerce retailer’s website or app – is one solution.
Retail media is a powerful advertising medium to understand and target prospects throughout their customer journey, by leveraging first-party data that the retailer has collected. McKinsey reports that this advertising channel can generate three or five times higher ROAS than traditional media buys.
Although Amazon reigns as the first mover in retail media, Walmart is quickly rivaling the giant with its advertising offerings. On its eCommerce platform, retailers can connect with 230 million weekly customers that shop on Walmart, and promote their products across online properties owned by the giant.
But what is it exactly, and how does it work?
Walmart Advertising allows marketers to advertise to millions of the company’s in-store and online customers through its programmatic demand-side platform (DSP) called Walmart Connect. The platform was built in partnership with The Trade Desk (TDD), an industry-leading DSP, with the goal of connecting advertisers with Walmart shoppers in a privacy-compliant manner.
Previously known as Walmart Media Group, the retail giant rebranded its DSP into Walmart Connect in 2021.
Connect offers the best of both worlds; it provides access to all of TDD’s superior ad inventory (including display, video, mobile, connected TV, and audio), while also leveraging Walmart’s own first-party omnichannel data. This means wider reach, more accurate targeting, and easier marketing attribution.
But perhaps the most unique feature is its closed-loop measurement system, which allows retail marketers to measure both online and in-store transactions accurately with Walmart’s purchase data. They can then link these transactions back to specific media tactics to uncover what worked, and what didn’t, and strategize better for future campaigns.
Walmart marketplace offers four main ad types for advertisers:
What started as an incubator project, Connect has grown to become an important part of Walmart’s bottom line over the years. The platform garnered $2.1 billion revenue in 2021 and is expanding at a year-over-year growth of 30%.
But how is it different from Amazon Ads?
As an eCommerce retailer, you might already be running ads on Amazon’s DSP. Since its launch in 2016, the platform has been a great place to engage with customers throughout their entire shopping journey.
But if you’re looking to expand your online presence, Walmart Connect offers millions of audiences to target using the advertising platform’s proprietary first-party data.
Here are some pros and cons of each platform:
As a fast-growing ad platform, Walmart Connect allows advertisers to reach a range of customers on a global scale and places their PPC ads in front of millions of shoppers in innovative ways. If you are currently running PPC ads for your brand or clients, this PPC dashboard template can save you 45hrs/week on reporting.
Here are four ways Walmart Connect can grow your eCommerce business through programmatic ad campaigns:
As the largest retailer in America, Walmart serves 90% of US households and 230 million customers a week, with 10,500 physical stores and 46 eCommerce properties across 24 countries.
Marketers on Walmart Connect will be able to target all these global consumers on various digital touchpoints across multiple ad channels, such as CTV, video, and search and display campaigns.
See how this benefited General Mills below.
With growing uncertainty over the post-cookie world, advertisers are now looking to reduce reliance on third-party data, instead shifting strategies to partners with massive first-party data sets.
Walmart’s massive collection of real-time first-party data has given the retailer an edge to become premium suppliers of ad inventory and data. For brands and advertisers, this inventory is addressable and targetable with very high-intent signals.
On the eCommerce platform, retailers can maximize their adjustability and revenue without the need for third-party cookies. They can enjoy a range of programmatic advertising operations and strategies like search, pay-per-click, and display with the advantages of relying on first-party data that Walmart owns.
Read how first-party audience targeting helped Atkins below.
With a growing number of offerings across Walmart’s online properties, retailers can display offerings to customers through its native digital properties like Walmart’s app, Walmart.com, and pick-up and delivery services. Through this holistic digital advertising approach, eCommerce marketers can reach potential customers at the points they shop with ease.
Walmart Connect combines all of these offerings to create more optimization levers and inventory management for sellers, allowing eCommerce retailers and advertisers to place their ads in front of customers as they make purchase decisions.
For instance, with 16 million searches every day on Walmart.com, brands can take advantage of Sponsored Products ads to get customers to notice their brand, consider their offerings, and take action.
Walmart Connect dug into the shoppable live stream business by expanding a relationship with TalkShopLive to bring supplier-funded live streams to Walmart.com, while also striking a deal with Firework for the same type of content.
Walmart is also working to tie its robust physical presence into its growing digital offering by introducing media activations on its in-store TV walls and self-checkout screens. With nearly 170,000 screens across 4,000 stores, digital advertisers can deliver these activations with customizable date, time, and geographic settings.
As the second most important e-commerce and retail media player behind Amazon, Walmart also struck partnerships with both Snap and TikTok to offer their ad avails through its demand-side platform.
In this post, we explored how you can grow your eCommerce business through programmatic advertising on Walmart Connect, how it stacks up against Amazon Ads, and how eCommerce marketers can use the platform to connect with their target audience in meaningful and innovative ways.
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