Walmart Media Group, the advertising arm of Wal-mart Stores, in 2020 will deliver on the promise it made earlier this year to bring a self-service advertising platform to the thousands of brands that sell through its online website and physical stores.
The media group is testing an advertising platform and self-service tools with a small group of consumer packaged goods companies, with the possible rollout of the advertising platform during the first quarter in 2020, according to one media report.
It appears that Polymorph Labs, an ad-technology company that features a self-service interface, will serve as the foundation for the advertising offering. When Walmart bought the technology in early 2019, it included a native ad server, a self-serve interface and a mechanism for server-side header bidding.
The platform enabled the management of real-time auctions across multiple ad-pricing models such as cost per click, cost per impression, and cost per conversion.
Walmart acquired Polymorph with the goal of competing with Amazon in ecommerce by setting up a self-service advertising platform that will allow consumer products goods companies to buy search and display ads. An API will enable the brands to bid, buy and manage programmatic campaigns.
Walmart has enabled the purchase of ads, but the self-service platform integrates the acquisition of Polymorph and will provide Walmart with a platform to further innovate and create machine-learning models for pricing and targeting commerce ads.
Walmart is not a stranger to innovation. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the company was one of the first to use radio frequency technology to track the shipment of consumer product goods from the brand’s manufacturing facility through its distribution centers and on to store shelves.