Retail giant starts monetizing their untapped data assets
Walmart announced at their annual supplier meeting today that they will be merging their in-store and digital advertising efforts into one internal group. Walmart cites streamlined and integrated marketing campaigns for their suppliers as a benefit of this change. According to Forrester Research, Walmart has more customers than its online-native counterparts like Amazon, Facebook, and Google, with about 300 million monthly in-store shoppers and millions of online purchases. Walmart is tapping an underutilized data asset: SKU-level first-party shopping data from online and offline purchases. Walmart has been pouring money into its digital efforts and the new in-house digital marketing team will use purchase data to address the challenge of closing the marketing loop from personalized ads to purchase.
The move comes as Walmart eyes online competitor Amazon, who boosted fourth quarter profits by 95% to $3.4 billion by allowing merchants to pay for premium placement on search results. Chief Executive Doug McMillon said its ad business was “tiny” and “it could be bigger.” With their digital marketing efforts Walmart is turning to Amazon’s playbook to boost revenue through its ad business.