- Walmart Media Group (WMG), the advertising arm of the retail giant, is testing both Xandr and The Trade Desk to take on the role of demand-side platform (DSP) partner, sources with knowledge of the trial told AdExchanger.
- WMG is searching for a single partner DSP to support off-site advertising, according to the report. Both Xandr and The Trade Desk are in the running for that role following their work with Walmart on sponsored product campaigns in the last quarter of 2019.
- The new DSP partner will be tasked with helping merchants and advertisers serve ads to customers when they are browsing non-Walmart websites.
Walmart last month launched its self-serve ad portal, where marketers can buy search and sponsored product ads directly in a bid auction-based marketplace. This latest news illustrates that Walmart is considering expanding what its ad portal offers to advertisers using its data both on and off of its own web properties.
The move to launch its own ad portal came after Walmart brought website ad sales and the related analytics work in-house last year. The big picture comes as the retail giant aims to streamline and enhance advertisers' ability to target ads through automation and access to data about Walmart shoppers.
Walmart has already forged deals with third parties including: Flywheel Digital, Kenshoo, Pacvue and Teikametrics as part of the new Walmart Advertising Partners program. But until now, the retailer has not revealed a DSP partner that would help facilitate off-site advertising.
This move comes as retailers are looking to capitalize on the massive growth of digital advertising. Last year, digital advertising surpassed traditional media spending in the U.S. for the first time, according to eMarketer estimates. Retailers are experimenting with creating their own media networks to go after some of this pie that is largely dominated by Google and Facebook. Amazon is quickly growing in this space, with ad revenue up approximately 41% in the most recent quarter, pointing to the significant potential for e-commerce retailers in leveraging their customer insights to help marketers advertise. Walmart's own large customer database is also a potential treasure trove to third-party advertisers.
"It's not just a shift from traditional to digital," Joel Percy, global head of business consulting at analytic platform ciValue, said on a panel at the National Retail Federation's Big Show last month. "There's also a real move toward data that is tied closer and closer to the point of purchase … if you want purchase data, it is still largely in bricks and mortar."