- Walmart Media Group, the advertising arm of the retail giant, unveiled a self-serve ad portal enabling marketers to easily purchase search and sponsored product ads through direct access in a bid auction-based marketplace, according to information shared with Marketing Dive.
- The retailer also revealed deals with third parties like Flywheel Digital, Kenshoo, Pacvue and Teikametrics as part of the new Walmart Advertising Partners program.
- The new capabilities promise to streamline and enhance advertisers' ability to target ads to the right customer and the right time through automation and easy access to data about Walmart shoppers both online and offline.
Walmart's enhanced ad marketplace, an expected move, aims to give advertisers more transparency and control into their ads. It's the latest move by the retailer to expand its role as a digital advertising partner at a time when Amazon's ad business is quickly growing and Target is also ramping up efforts in this space.
Retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Target — which reach large numbers of shoppers and own first-party data about what they are browsing and buying — are escalating their advertising platforms as brands look for alternatives to Facebook and Google. While the digital behemoths have dominated digital advertising for years, Facebook has an ongoing image issue in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal while Google's dominance in search is under pressure on a number of fronts.
The latest news comes as Walmart has sought ways to build out its ad business. Last year, the company acquired technology company Polymorph to beef up its supply-side ad stack and better serve brands with native ad campaigns and reporting. Since then, Walmart has hired new executives and engineers to support brand partners and has run successful campaigns for Kellogg and Hershey, among others, according to information the retailer provided Marketing Dive.