Walmart Connect Adds A Trio Of Partners With An Eye On Attracting Smaller Advertisers

Walmart ConnectWalmart Connect, the retailer’s internal media network for search ads and sponsored product listings on, added a trio of partnerships on Tuesday.

Retail intelligence company Stackline, performance marketing agency Tinuiti and retail growth agency Harvest Group will now enable buying through Walmart Connect, which rebranded from Walmart Media Group in January. Setting up the pipes for the partnerships required accessing Walmart Connect’s API and both sides finessing the connection.

Walmart struck the partnerships as it seeks to make its ad platform more accessible not just to enterprise-level advertisers, like P&G, Unilever and Johnson & Johnson), but also to mid-market advertisers – think Sargento cheese – as well as smaller third-party sellers, such as Pharmapacks.

“We want to give all brands, suppliers and sellers the control they need to onboard through an automated mechanism [and] the data they need for informed campaign decisions,” said Lex Josephs, VP of ad sales and ad tech partnerships for Walmart Connect.

Historically, Walmart worked with the biggest advertisers in the world, buyers that could afford to deploy large shopper marketing budgets to showcase their products in Walmart’s physical stores. Walmart’s focus on smaller advertisers is new and reflects a shift in its business model, including the slow expansion of its ecommerce platform to third-party sellers.

Walmart’s widening embrace of new advertisers comes on the heels of a banner year for growth, both in terms of overall sales and advertising.

Walmart Connect executed 50,000 ad campaigns in the past year, and is working with ten times as many advertisers. Search queries were up 56% in 2020 compared to last year, and sponsored products grew 185% year over year, Josephs said.

Consumers used Walmart during the pandemic as they always have in times of need, noted Josephs, who noted that people often up stock up before natural disasters. The heightened demand for consumables and increased ecommerce behavior during the pandemic hasn’t showed signs of slowing down.

Walmart’s hope is that its Connect offering will be an appealing platform for advertisers seeking to reach those consumers.

Walmart Connect eventually plans to extend its ad opportunities to the store itself, including its self-checkout advertising and a TV wall.

“We are focused on scaling the fundamentals of our digital business, and then moving in store with our physical business,” Josephs said.

In addition to the partnerships with Stackline, Tinuiti, and Harvest Group, Walmart set up connections to Flywheel, Kenshoo, Pacvue and Teikametrics last year.

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