Walmart has rolled out a self-serve portal that enables advertisers to directly buy on-site search and sponsored product ads on walmart.com through a bid auction-based marketplace.
Previously, search ads and sponsored product placements were purchased as part of a managed service buy. The initial API test partners will be Teikametrics, Flywheel Digital, Kenshoo and Pacvue.
The platform is expected to help Walmart better position itself against Amazon.com’s planning, forecasting and buying tools. Advertisers are promised more transparency and control for targeting and measurement.
“Brands will now be able to increase visibility with Walmart’s diverse, sizable audience of shoppers,” said Lex Josephs, VP sales and media partnerships, Walmart Media Group, said in a blog entry.
Chris Dessi, VP at Productsup, a product experience management company, told RetailWire, “Walmart’s rollout is the perfect timing, as there’s an immediate deep need to diversify media buying to add ‘network neighbor’ demographic buyers, as well as increase reach.”
The move comes as Walmart early last year brought ad sales in-house after admitting it had done little to monetize its shopper data. The April-2018 acquisition Polymorph Labs, a digital agency, was expected to support real-time auctions across ad-pricing models, such as cost per click, impression and conversion.
With Walmart, advertisers can diversify ad dollars away from Amazon, as well as digital’s giants, Google and Facebook. Walmart’s big selling point, however, is linking digital ads to its massive store base.
“Walmart’s most pressing advantage in e-commerce advertising is its offline experience and scale,” Nich Weinheimer, GM of e-commerce at Kenshoo, told AdExchanger. “Other e-commerce players, like Amazon, have been working hard to figure out how to measure the impact of their advertising on offline sales – for Walmart Media Group, the omnichannel customer continuity is already there.”
“If Walmart’s advertising platform can help close the gap between digital advertising and conversion for the biggest retailer in the country it would be a big step forward for the industry,” Lance Porigow, CMO at digital agency The Shipyard told Advertising Age. “Of course, that’s if Walmart is willing to share that data.”
- Walmart Media Group Expands Sponsored Search Offering through Walmart Advertising Partners Program – Walmart
- Walmart Leverages Offline Data In Its Latest Bid To Take On Amazon – Advertising Age
- Walmart Launches Self-Serve Ad Platform, But Retail And Audience Data Isn’t Available – Yet – AdExchanger
- Can Walmart beat Amazon, Facebook and Google at the online ad game? – RetailWire