Businesses come up with all sorts of tricks to keep on making money and luring people to spend more. And believe me, it is a must if you want to stay relevant amidst all the competition these days. Even big brands become unknowns if they fail to innovate and keep up with the times. It happened with Nokia. Who would’ve thought that the most-loved mobile phone maker will be swallowed whole by Apple and Samsung and just about every other smartphone maker that followed suit? But then, it happened so we now know nothing is impossible in this world.
Aside from innovating, advertising is crucial so that consumers remember you first when they think of a product or service in your industry. Many got their eyes glued to advertising because of the influx of money in that industry and Walmart isn’t the type to get left behind. You’ve probably heard about Spotify making its attempt on it but you probably weren’t updated on Walmart’s subtle yet increasing growth in the field of advertising. Consumers who shop at Walmart whether both in-store or online are unaware how the company subtly diversified its offerings and they happened to be the pawn in this game of cash and brand recall.
With around 140 million people shopping at its 5,000 stores in the U.S. every week, Walmart is not just a retail giant. It is also a growing advertising platform that touts its ability to connect online consumer behavior and a mountain of in-store sales data that its biggest rival Amazonlacks.
Walmart wouldn’t provide executives to comment on this story, but conversations with agency executives revealed that Walmart is offering both insertion order-based media buys and programmatic display through Walmart Exchange, a media network the company introduced in 2014. Ad formats include banners, search ads, product listing ads and native ads in the “Sponsored Products” section on Walmart.com. Edward Yruma, managing director for investment bank KeyBanc, called Walmart’s advertising business an “underappreciated growth opportunity.” The company has been serving third-party display ads from other brands more often, rather than just promoting its own product offerings, according to Yruma.
This is actually working to Walmart’s advantage given that roughly 140 million people shop at over 5,000 Walmart stores each week. It’s not surprising that they are making headway in advertising given that they already have a regular audience to pitch those ads to. Today, the cash flow doesn’t just come from actual retail sales but also from them being an advertising platform – undeniably its edge over close rival, Amazon. Walmart is catching up with its e-commerce business that not only sells products but has become a lucrative ad vehicle.
Walmart has discretely been fortifying its online advertising business, creating another revenue opportunity for the American retail giant.
The retailer’s website has started to display banners ads by third party advertisers at a higher rate, KeyBanc’s analyst Ed Yruma wrote in a note obtained by CNBC.
“We believe Walmart recently began intensifying focus on its advertising business,” Yruma wrote.
Additionally, Walmart has begun providing more in-depth data to its advertisers, including its in-store and online shopping information.
You may say that Walmart is already doing well just by selling stuff as it is but real success is only achieved by a brand that has managed to reinvent itself and adapt to the modern times. That’s the only way to grow and ensure survival in a market that is increasingly becoming more competitive and inhospitable to those who fail to adapt. Only entrepreneurs who have a vision of greatness for his company will look past the current circumstances and see the potential to what is already there. Hence, Walmart is on its way of conquering other niches and nothing’s stopping them as they harness their newfound advertising edge.