Walmart Connect expands the reach of its ads to TikTok, Snap, and Roku

The news: Walmart Connect, the retail giant’s ad tech platform, is making an ambitious push to extend its reach and improve its ability to gauge how social media and CTV ads influence consumers’ purchase decisions.

  • The platform announced new deals that aim to better measure the impact of social commerce on TikTok and Snap, and CTV ads on Roku.
  • Walmart is also working with live video commerce platforms Firework and TalkShopLive to develop live-shopping content on its own website.

The latest moves are part of a broader effort by Walmart to distinguish its advertising offerings from the vast number of retail media networks competing in a growing market.

  • We expect US digital retail media network revenues will reach $40.81 billion this year, which is more than triple the pre-pandemic total.

The context: Walmart’s share of US digital retail media net ad revenues is second only to Amazon. We expect Walmart will account for 6.2% of US digital retail media net ad revenues this year and that share will grow to 8.0% by 2024.

  • Walmart’s global advertising business generated $2.1 billion in revenues last fiscal year and the number of advertisers using Walmart Connect in the US grew 136%. To grow those revenues it aims to create multiple ways for suppliers and sellers to connect with customers throughout the shopper journey.
  • It is increasingly focused on adding features and capabilities via partnerships with technology and service vendors. Earlier this summer it struck deals with several ad-tech vendors that specialize in areas such as ecommerce ads, ad optimization, and cross-channel advertising.
  • Last week it announced new ways to bolster its search capabilities for advertisers. For example, next month it will make its Search Brand Amplifier feature, which boosts advertised products to the top of search results, available to marketplace sellers.
  • Walmart is now making TikTok’s in-feed ads as well as Snapchat’s Snap Ads, Collection Ads, and Snap AR available for purchase though the Connect network.

Understanding how consumers shop: While social networks such as TikTok and Snap have sought ways to drive social commerce sales, many of their efforts have failed to resonate.

  • For example, TikTok earlier this year scrapped plans to bring its live ecommerce initiative to the US and other European markets after a failed UK pilot.
  • Walmart aims to help advertisers understand whether social commerce ads influence sales, even if a consumer doesn’t immediately click and buy.

The big takeaway: Walmart is wise to be focusing on expanding the reach of its advertising business. As the largest retailer in the US, it has unparalleled insights into how US consumers shop. One need look no further than Amazon, which generated more than $31 billion last year, to see the value of that type of massive data trove.

Go Further: Read our Retail Media Ad Spending Forecast here.

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Retail & Ecommerce and Marketing & Advertising Briefings—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the retail and marketing industries. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.

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