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4 Ways Walmart Connect Will Evolve in 2024

Walmart plans to automate and scale its advertising suite, explore new offsite frontiers including inside stores, improve targeting and full-funnel measurement, and expand creative capabilities.
Source: Walmart

Walmart Connect senior vice president and general manager Rich Lehrfeld recently outlined his 2024 vision for the retailer’s retail media business in a corporate blog post.

“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,” he wrote. 

He pointed to the increased attention the role of Walmart Connect is earning, particularly following the retail giant’s agreement to acquire Vizio, its rollout of in-store experiences and pilots with “major media partners.”

This year, Walmart will: 

1) Add more options for more advertiser types.

Marketplace sellers are now the retailer’s fastest-growing advertisers, according to Lehrfeld.

In fact, Sponsored Search advertising spend grew by 63% last year among this group, doubling on its self-serve platform, per Walmart’s first-party data from February 2023-2024. 

Walmart will continue to increase access to its retail media solutions to brands of all sizes/types, including established suppliers, emerging businesses and the application programming interface (API) and agency partners that support them, by automating and scaling its advertising suite further. 

  • Expanded Onsite Display access. Walmart Display is becoming primarily programmatic and auction-based, and it will be 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, the retailer’s self-service platform.
  • Support non-endemic brands. The retailer started offering offsite media to brands that don’t sell with Walmart but offer “complementary” products and services that are relevant to its customers – starting with automotive, entertainment, financial services, quick-service restaurants and travel.
  • Increased international support. Walmart began adding internationally based technology providers to its Partner Network last year to support businesses outside the U.S. Now, it’s introducing localized self-serve support tools and education to make it easier for sellers outside the U.S. to grow.
2) Explore new offsite frontiers, including inside stores.

According to Lehrfeld, Walmart will continue to create more “customer-centric connection points” by exploring and adding:

  • More in-store experiences, such as demo stations and sampling, while testing other areas to “reach customers, boost awareness and drive consideration.”
  • New self-serve capabilities, including the addition of in-store campaign management to the Walmart Ad Center, starting with TV wall ads.
  • Media partnerships, such its recent pilots with Roku and TikTok, which are now rolling out to advertisers. (See more existing media partners.)
3) Improve targeting and full-funnel measurement.

In 2024, Walmart is dialing in on:

  • Sharper omnichannel measurement: Testing and growing in-store attribution for Sponsored Search ads throughout the year as well as introducing conversion lift for in-store campaigns and store lift and reach for In-Store Demos.
  • Deeper conversion and full-funnel insights: Rolling out brand lift measurement and rest-of-market analysis for Walmart DSP and In-Store Audio, and expanding access to Walmart AdMix and consideration metrics.
  • Advanced targeting: Such as brand term targeting with Sponsored Search ads.

In part one of our 2024 Trends Report, evaluating retailer media networks, Walmart Connect was among the networks our CPG brand respondents worked with the most and led the way across metrics, including targeting. The Mars Agency has also recognized Walmart’s measurement solutions in its “Retail Media Report Card,” ranking the retailer “Best in Class.” 

Source Walmart
4) Expand creative capabilities

This year, Walmart is expanding its managed- and self-serve solutions to support advertisers with more creative capabilities, including: 

  • More ways to get in front of customers. Additional integrated marketing solutions to help activate the moments that matter most in a customer’s shopping journey, such as more onsite and in-store placements like seasonal programs and single-supplier-led store events.
  • More Brand Shop capabilities. Walmart recently rolled out self-serve capabilities, and this year, will roll out video, new templates and expanded discoverability.
  • Expanded solutions for ad creative. Later this year, partners will be able to plug into Walmart’s machine-learning-powered self-serve tool for building and optimizing ad creative, Creative Builder, through a Creative API. It’s also introducing 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,” Lehrfeld wrote. 

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