If Walmart builds a social influencer platform, will marketplace sellers come?
Walmart may have intentions to launch a platform to help the retailer and third-party sellers promote the sales of products on the walmart.com marketplace.
According to Reuters, the retailing giant has filed trademark applications for “Walmart Creator” and “Walmart Creator Collective” to provide social media consulting and promote goods and services through influencers on social media.
Walmart’s trademark applications do not necessarily assure that it will go ahead with the idea, but the logic behind the concept is not hard to understand. The retailer already makes use of influencers to promote products it sells and has focused on building its marketplace business in recent years.
Walmart has seen its marketplace seller numbers increase about 60 percent year-over-year, according to the chain’s CFO John David Rainey, who spoke earlier this week on the company’s second quarter earnings call.
The company has also found a profitable revenue stream through digital advertising.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, speaking on the earnings call, said, “The relationship between digital growth, marketplace growth [and] advertising is something that we’re trying to take advantage of. In the case of the U.S. business, the ability to attribute sales later on to in-store transactions makes us uniquely positioned.”
Mr. McMillon said that Walmart has made improvements to its search and first-party shopper data, bringing even more advertisers into the fold. Active advertisers, including third-party sellers on its marketplace, have increased by 121 percent year-over-year.
Walmart’s ability to measure the performance of advertising and social media influencer marketing is key to the company’s efforts.
A recent report by Publicis Sapient and analytics firm Launchmetrics based on a global survey of 1,000 marketing and PR professionals found that companies are focusing on business results when it comes to influencer marketing. Eighty percent use economic measures to gauge the efficacy of influencers versus 24 percent that prioritize reach and views.
Reuters reports that Walmart declined to comment on its social influencer platform plans.
- Walmart explores matchmaker marketplace for social media influencers – Reuters
- Walmart Inc. (WMT) Q2 2023 Earnings Call Transcript – The Motley Fool
- The State of Measurement in Fashion, Luxury & Beauty 2022 – Publicis Sapient/Launchmetrics
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What role does influencer marketing play in promoting the sale of products and services for Walmart and its marketplace sellers? How would an influencer platform help Walmart continue to build on its marketplace initiatives?