Walmart Advertisers Will 'Plug' In To Self-Serve Machine-Learning Tool For Creative

Walmart later this year will offer partners the ability to "plug" into the company's self-serve tool powered by machine learning (ML) used to build and optimize ad creative through an API.

Creative Builder, a self-service platform, will integrate with a performance reports system for creative and provide data to support campaigns.

The move is part of the company's roadmap to widen its retail media business to include small marketers and international suppliers, as well as Marketplace sellers such as non-endemic retailers that have traditionally not sold products in Walmart's physical stores.

New media in-store experiences are also being added. Walmart calls these "customer-centric connection points that give marketers more options to achieve their goals."

These include expanding expanding demo stations and sampling, and testing more areas to reach customers, boost awareness and drive consideration. They also support self-service capabilities such as in-store campaign management to the Walmart Ad Center, starting with TV Wall ads.



Recent pilots with Roku and TikTok also are now rolling out to advertisers.

There are many benefits of working with non-endemic brands and advertisers, and many ways that Walmart can capitalize on the treasure trove of behavioral data, according to Kevin Weiss, vice president of retail media at Skai, which works with Walmart.

“Cookie deprecation and overall signal loss as a result of data privacy concerns and regulations have prompted advertisers to consider what data they should prioritize in terms of their advertising investments," Weiss said.

"Walmart presents a compelling opportunity, and I suspect savvy non-endemic brands are more likely to consider testing with Walmart Connect as a result of the recent announcement," Weiss said. "The immediate benefit for advertisers is that they can more efficiently target consumers with the aid of Walmart's unique data."

The benefit will eventually become additional measurement opportunities, which takes more time, but can be substantial in enabling some form of closed-loop measurement, he said.

It will take significantly more time for Walmart to deliver benefits in terms of measurement than it will be for the retailer to deliver audience-targeting benefits.

It appears that Walmart's goal is to widen its advertising agency and client base through Walmart Connect, which plans to expand the variety of programmatic ad products available to marketplace brands via its self-service platform.

Marketplace sellers are now Walmart's fastest-growing advertisers. Sponsored Search advertising spend grew by 63% last year, doubling on its self-serve platform.

Walmart Connect serves as the company's advertising division and offers a platform to connect advertisers with potential customers through multiple channels, from online, in stores, and sponsored media across the web.

Similar to companies like Google, Microsoft and Facebook that court smaller advertisers, Walmart continues to build out its self-service ad options to help retail media networks gain greater scale by welcoming more small- and mid-sized advertisers that find managed services too expensive. The company has revealed that more self-service options will become available in the future.

Weiss does not believe that these options put Walmart on the same level of ad formats as Google and others. "No, not yet," he said. "It takes time to scale ad products that work to smaller brands, but given Walmart CRO and Executive Vice President Seth Dallaire's background and Walmart Connect's track record, it's safe to say the company fully intends to become a major player in terms of paid media."

He also does not think today's news means Walmart will be challenging publishers like Google, Amazon, or Meta imminently, but it does indicate their commitment to leveraging their walled garden data to drive revenues via paid media advertising.

Beginning in April, emerging brands, including Marketplace sellers, will have access to Onsite Display placements for the first time through the Walmart Ad Center, its self-service platform.

Next story loading loading..