Walmart Connects with Customers – sell where they buy!

Published: June 06, 2023

min read

Walmart is testing a whole bunch of new in-store advertising formats through Walmart Connect, the retailer’s U.S. advertising division. They are beta testing these ad formats as they see a surge in customers get back to shopping in physical brick-and-mortar stores. Walmart Connect has made huge gains in recent times through its digital advertising by trying out all kinds of interesting in-store advertising formats in its media network.

Walmart Connect has seen a lot of growth mainly because of the strength of its digital offerings. It grew more than 30% last quarter, and has become a $2.7 billion global business last year. Walmart Connect hopes to be a top 20 global media company this year.

Walmart is broadening the availability of in-store demos, which gives brands and marketers the chance to set up product sampling stations, which will help drive brand discovery and conversion. Walmart is also flexing its omnichannel capabilities – it has added a QR code to carts which will link to custom landing pages.

Walmart is also introducing ads for the first time to its re-vamped Walmart Radio Network, the radio station that broadcasts in stores. This way brands can target their top of the funnel messages to specific locations and markets, and actually talk to customers as they shop!

Radio ads bring a whole new dimension to Walmart Connect as there are some large advertisers like Procter & Gamble who are increasing their radio spends in a bid to connect with people who no longer watch linear TV networks. In general, according to Nielson data, conventional radio is all set to surpass linear TV in overall U.S. audience. Walmart is just taking things a step further.

Walmart gets more than 140 million people walk through its stores every week and 90% of the population to come to a Walmart store at least once a year! This actually beats the combined reach of all conventional radio and streaming audio network options in the U.S.

Some of Walmart Connect’s offerings have been tried and marketed to advertisers before. Others are an upgrade from what the retail giant has done earlier. All these richer in-store offerings are in some ways, what Walmart sees in its competitors who are also deepening the ways in which brands can engage consumers in the aisles.

Sell right where they buy

Marketing in-store is one of the best things a retailer can do. It might look like selling online is great, but in reality regular brick and mortar stores can offer amazing experiences to their customers, exactly at the point of sale. This is truly unparalleled as it all happens when the customer is on shopping-mode, is engaged and ready to buy.

For someone like Walmart, this is a great way to stay ahead of the competition – it is one of the largest in the world as it is! And for brands, it can be what seals the deal. Brands very often have to compete with rivals, trying very hard to differentiate themselves in a market of similar products, and win over customers. Brands can use in-store advertising to differentiate themselves from the competition, sell to customers who are in the mood to buy, sell products that need an extra push and shamelessly leverage impulse buying!

Brands have the opportunity to tell their stories in a very powerful manner right where the sales happen, and educate and even convert customers.

Walmart Connect saw explosive growth during the pandemic when everyone shopped online. Now the master strategy is to connect its massive store footfalls (as people have started to prefer physical shopping) with its ad business. Up until now, Walmart Connect has only focused on digital ad formats and channels which are something that various brands can use to engage those who are on Now that both digital and physical are emerging as areas of intense competition for all kinds of brands trying to differentiate themselves and woo customers.

Radio is already there at Walmart in all of its stores. Introducing ads in it is a great benefit for brands or for Walmart itself as it seeks to sell its own home-products. There is nothing as persuasive as a voice that sells a brand in the background as you shop! Any indecision or fence-sitting will go right out the window. It is a great non-obtrusive way to get the attention of shoppers, as they browse the aisles. Since some of the ads and the music would be on a loop and will be played over and over, the message can be reinforced in customers’ minds as they shop.

And when there needs to be some omnichannel magic thrown in the mix, there is a QR code that connects the cart to a custom landing page!

All in all, these are great ways by which Walmart chooses to engage in-store shoppers, giving them a great experience as they shop along with giving brands a wonderful opportunity to connect with and market to the customer right when he is ready to buy!


Pete Johnson

Pete is a MarTech expert guru with a knack for getting diverse MarTech solutions work for brands. He has a wealth of experience in working with a plethora of MarTech platforms that dive Personalized Omnichannel Experiences. When he's not at work, you can find him playing basketball or listening to jazz.


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