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09/21/2022

Walmart’s Latest Ad Advancements

Jacqueline Barba
Digital Editor
Jacqueline Barba profile picture

Walmart Connect, the mass merchant’s retail media business in the U.S., has recently introduced a slew of enhancements and partnerships for its advertisers, including updates for Marketplace sellers and upgraded registry features. Additionally, it has added a number of top social media platforms to its solution provider mix.

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Innovation in Livestreaming, Partner Program

Walmart Connect which had a partner program previously made up of technology platforms, service partners and solution providers — has added a fourth type of partner: Innovation.   

Walmart Connect’s Innovation Partners include:  

  • TikTok: With more than 50% of TikTok users saying they watch ads on their feed instead of scrolling past them, according to the platform’s insights, a pilot between TikTok and Walmart Connect will allow advertisers to serve in-feed ads on the platform, leveraging the impact of TikTok's sound-on full screen video format together with Walmart Connect's targeting and measurement.  
  • Snap Inc: A partnership with Snapchat will bring advertisers Snap Ads, Collection Ads and Snap AR with Walmart Connect geo-based measurement of omnichannel sales lift. This is the first time advertisers can buy Snap ad units through Walmart Connect and get in front of the unique Snapchat audience (75% of 13-24 year-olds in the U.S.), who hold over $1.9 trillion in spending power, according to Walmart.
  • Firework: As shoppers increasingly turn to online video to discover, research and purchase products on their omnichannel journey, Walmart’s partnership with Firework enables supplier-funded shoppable livestreams and short shoppable videos on Walmart.com/live. Walmart Connect is testing how brands can leverage Firework’s capabilities to create premium, engaging, mobile-first video experiences and, to start, has partnered with Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal, Procter & Gamble and Unilever. 
  • TalkShopLive: Building on its existing enterprise relationship with TalkShopLive, Walmart’s now enables supplier-funded shoppable livestreams on Walmart.com/live, TalkShopLive’s platform, brand and publisher sites and across the web, helping to connect the retail landscape via TalkShopLive’s embeddable video player. Walmart Connect is also testing how brands can amplify their content and connect with shoppers at scale, and to start, have already executed livestreams with J&J, L’Oreal, P&G and Samsung, among others. 
  • Roku: As the exclusive retailer enabling streamers to purchase featured products fulfilled by Walmart directly on Roku, the new experience offers product discovery with an easy checkout experience, enabling purchase directly at the time of inspiration. This new experience will be funded by advertisers through Walmart Connect and Roku Advertising. Walmart Connect will connect brands to customers through the T-commerce platform on Roku. Advertisers will receive insights on effectiveness with Walmart Connect measurement.
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Enhanced Ads Capes for Marketplace Sellers

In September, Walmart introduced new updates for Marketplace sellers ahead of the holidays, including:

  • Search Brand Amplifier (SBA): Eligible, verified sellers can now advertise via additional Walmart Search advertising solutions, including this premium placement that sends their brand to the top of relevant search results.
  • Automation: Eligible sellers were automatically added to Walmart’s self-serve ad platform to reduce time and friction for sellers when setting up their first ads/campaigns.
  • New global API partners: Platform partners expanded to include more support in seller countries, such as China.

Walmart says SBA gives products the highest search-page viewability, based on results from a recent survey of shoppers. Because it boosts advertised products to the top of search results, SBA can be particularly beneficial to smaller brands, new brands and brands with new products that may not yet have high organic search rankings at Walmart, according to a recent company blog post.

Previously limited to managed suppliers and a small number of managed sellers, SBA is available for the first time to Marketplace brand owners who are registered with Walmart’s Brand Portal and to sellers through Walmart Platform Partners.

“We already know that most Walmart customers are open to purchasing from a Marketplace seller. And with the current economic climate, we know that customers are open to trying new brands this holiday or finding the products they love at a lower price,” Mike Greenberg, head of Marketplace at Walmart Connect, told the Path to Purchase Institute.

“They’ll be especially price-conscious, too. In a recent survey, 81% of the customers we talked to said low prices are the top reason they plan to shop with us this season,” Greenberg added. “Sellers tend to be more nimble than larger brands, so this is an opportunity to match the shifting needs of our customers. Sponsored Products is key to getting discovered as our customers search for the right products at the right prices.”

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Registry and Site Enhancements

Walmart also recently unveiled enhanced site features, including new tools like shared lists as well as other website features that make it more inclusive and personalized.

  • Upgraded registry features: New recommended items, available on web and coming soon to registry via the Walmart mobile app, which allows shoppers to start their registry by selecting from a list of the most popular and wanted items on Walmart’s wedding or baby registries. There is also an improved list feature that Walmart believes will be a huge help during the holiday shopping season, inviting shoppers to make their own lists by “hearting” items.
  • Personalized style: New online styling feature (powered by visual outfitting and styling solution Stylitics) allows shoppers to complete their look, as well as Choose Your Own Model, enabling shoppers to visualize how an item will look on their body.
  • A more inclusive experience: Added convenience for shoppers regardless of how the pay for food (e.g., filters for EBT and SNAP-eligible items), as well as improvements to Walmart’s Spanish language search experience
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