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Walmart Brings Additional Retail Media to Stores

The retailer is testing two new ad formats at its brick-and-mortar locations: product demos that connect to and targeted Walmart Radio spots.

As stores remain the primary place most consumers are shopping, Walmart is expanding the retail media offerings in its brick-and-mortar stores.  

In a recent company blog post, Walmart head of omnichannel transformation Whitney Cooper explained how the retail giant, with more than 4,700 stores across the U.S., is exploring new in-store ad experiences and previewed some beta initiatives rolling out to suppliers in the coming months.

“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,” Cooper wrote. “And in turn, can create meaningful connections between our customers and the brands that work with us.”

Walmart has offered several in-store activations for some time — such as its TV wall, self-checkout ads and integrated marketing opportunities — but it’s doubling down on efforts to further create customer connections across its digital and physical experiences, including as close to the point of purchase as possible.

[Also Read: The Next Wave of Retail Media: The Connected Store]

“The next frontier of retail media is in-store experiences, and it’s one we’re excited to chart,” Cooper wrote. “But it’s still an emerging opportunity for us, as we continue to test what serves customers best and which solutions are scalable to Walmart’s size.”

Two new in-store beta ad formats from Walmart include:

In-Store Demos

One of two in-store beta ad formats is demos, or offering product samples to customers as they walk through the store. While demos are not new to the retailer, Walmart Connect is bringing these experiences in-house and scaling them across the country. Suppliers will soon be able to integrate demos into their campaigns across digital and in-store experiences. 

For example, suppliers will be able to pair a demo cart with QR codes that link back to a curated landing page, allowing customers to find inspiration and shop their list in one spot.

Walmart began piloting this offering in April with 25 stores and is currently offering demos each weekend (Friday through Sunday) at more than 120 stores, with the aim of expanding to 1,000 by the end of 2023.

For suppliers, these demos can help drive discovery and conversion, such as when launching a new product or driving an always-on presence for core products, Cooper says.

In-Store Audio

The Walmart Radio Network is already recognized in stores, only now the retailer is introducing ad spots, giving 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.

This is the first time brands will be able to speak directly to Walmart customers through this medium.

“These ads also create a new upper-funnel touchpoint for brand marketers and out-of-home (OOH) buyers to create awareness, because in-store audio is about connecting with customers wherever they are in the store — they don’t have to pass the brand in the aisle,” Cooper wrote.

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