Walmart’s global advertising business grew 30% year-on-year in the fiscal second quarter, according to an earnings statement, though the company did not break out a specific revenue figure for the segment. That’s a healthy rate of growth but unchanged from the prior period, meaning Walmart’s ads sales have remained flattish in a fluctuating economy that has caused some marketing verticals to pull back on spending.
The big-box store generally fared well after grappling with inflation earlier this year, with total revenue increasing 8.4% YoY to $152.9 billion. Comp sales, a key metric of health for retailers, were up 6.5% YoY, while e-commerce notched 12% YoY growth. Walmart’s rate of e-commerce and ads growth bested those of key rival Amazon for the period, though Amazon’s stake in those categories is much larger overall.
Momentum in advertising was led by Connect, Walmart’s U.S. business, and Flipkart, an online retail arm focused on India. Executives said a bigger e-commerce footprint has shored up advertising as merchants develop deeper relationships with customers.
The seller count on Walmart’s e-commerce marketplace increased about 60% YoY, bolstered by offerings like the Walmart+ membership plan. The company at the same time has continued to build out capabilities for brands that are investing in retail media, an increasingly popular tactic that relies on shopper data to target ads on channels like Walmart.com.
“Improvements to search and our large first-party shopper data have led to performance improvements for our advertisers, both year over year and sequentially,” said Walmart chief executive Doug McMillon on a call discussing the results with analysts. “We've seen the number of active advertisers investing with us increase 121% over last year.”
Walmart Connect in July added a number of technology partners to its roster, including CommerceIQ, Perpetua, Quartile and Sellozo. They mostly specialize in targeting and optimizing e-commerce ads.
Walmart has other deals in the works that could intersect with its ad operations. Walmart+, which competes with Amazon Prime, earlier this week partnered with Paramount Global on a streaming video perk. Walmart+ customers gain access to Paramount+ Essential, an ad-supported subscription tier, starting in September.