Walmart opens up retail media business to small advertisers


Walmart is expanding its retail media business to include small marketers and international suppliers.

Additionally, it is opening up Walmart Connect to brands that have not traditionally sold their products in its stores, such as automotive and financial marketers –  known as “no-endemic” marketers.

What is Walmart Connect? Walmart Connect is the rebranded media group of Walmart, serving as the advertising division of the retail giant. It offers a platform for advertisers to connect with potential customers through multiple channels, encompassing online, in-store, and sponsored media across the web.

Walmart Connect updates. The retail giant also announced several additional updates to Walmart Connect, including:

  • Walmart Connect is going to let advertisers place search ads using brand terms, including those targeting competitor brands.
  • Walmart will expand access to measuring in-store sales results from online advertising, and enable management of in-store campaigns through the self-service Walmart Ad Center platform. This will initially include purchases on the retailer’s TV wall in electronics departments.
  • Walmart is broadening recent pilot programs in shoppable advertising with Roku and TikTok, making them available to a wider range of advertisers.
  • Walmart’s web and mobile platforms will now be accessible through the programmatic Walmart Ads marketplace, opening opportunities for brands of all sizes.
  • Walmart is introducing new self-service support tools for overseas suppliers. Additionally, to assist smaller advertisers in boosting their brand pages, the retail giant is implementing machine-learning capabilities for creative development and optimization.

Why now? Following a highly successful year for Walmart’s ad division in 2023, with revenue soaring by 28% to $3.4 billion, the retail giant aims to incentivize advertisers to fully utilize Walmart Connect, with the hopes of boosting ad revenue even further.

Why we care. The updates are expected to fuel greater competition among marketers using Walmart Connect, which in turn may drive up costs.

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What Walmart is saying.  Rich Lehrfeld, senior VP and general manager of Walmart Connect, told AdWeek:

  • “We’re at the beginning stages of the testing, but we’re seeing great results. People are looking for great data signals, and retail media networks have that.”
  • “We’re one of the largest auto care centers in the country. We see people buying luggage, which is a pretty strong signal for travel. It’s aggregated information [for advertisers] but the signal is pretty strong.”


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