Walmart sells ads. You might not have known this; Walmart’s ad sales make up just 1% of its business, compared with Amazon’s 6%, Google’s 71%, or Facebook’s 98%. But Walmart sees 150 million customers each week and collects a lot of data on those customers. Opening its platform to ads placed across the internet — not just on Walmart.com — could be profitable for Walmart. They’re looking to increase their ad sales fivefold this year with a new division called Walmart Connect.
Officially, Walmart’s ads aren’t competing with Google, which currently has about 30% market share for internet advertising both at Google.com (the search engine) and at other properties all over the web. Instead, says CNBC, the new advertising division “could help Walmart take on competitor Amazon.”
More than internet
Walmart actually has an advantage over Amazon when it comes to advertising. Walmart has 4,748 retail locations in the U.S. alone. In those stores, there are more than 170,000 digital screens. These include walls of TV sets, on-shelf screens, kiosks throughout the stores, and screens at check out. Every single one can run ads.
In fact, Walmart’s own announcement of Walmart Connect is illustrated with an in-store screen. The first customers for the new platform may be Walmart vendors wanting to get shoppers’ attention while they shop. Advertisers on in-store screens and Walmart.com doubled last year.
However, Walmart’s plan to put their ads on lots more websites, connecting the ads with in-store content and informing it with their enormous collection of shopper data, could make Walmart Connect a real competitor for the giant corporations that dominate online ads now.
Want to buy ads?
If you want to talk with Walmart Connect, you’re going to need to let them know whether your advertising budget is above or below $100,000 a year. They’re not looking for the folks who spend $15.00 a day on Google ads.
They plan to have the new ad options up and running in time for holiday shopping this year.