Walmart is launching targeted in-store ads at its checkouts

Walmart is expanding its digital advertising offering in stores.

The supermarket giant will soon show customers targeted ads from third parties on screens in self-checkout lanes.

Brands interested in purchasing this ad space will be able to choose regions or specific stores in which to promote their campaigns.

Why we care. Walmart is the biggest supermarket chain in the US with 4,700 stores across the country, and approximately 90% of Americans living within a 10-mile radius of one. This presents a huge opportunity for brands in terms of reach. Targeting potential customers while they are already shopping may also help improve conversions.

However, while there are clearly many advantages to this ad platform, marketers must be cautious as they do potentially run the risk of irritating or overwhelming shoppers. Bombarding potential customers with ads could harm a brand’s reputation and dissuade consumers from making a purchase.

More opportunities. Expanding its ad offering even further, Walmart has revealed it is going to start playing 30-second audio ads over the store’s radio later this year. The supermarket is also planning to host demo stations at weekends where shoppers can sample products. Consumers will be able to scan QR codes at these demo stations, which will trigger shopping options, seasonal information and meal idea pop-ups to appear on their phones.

Brands will be able to mix and match the different in-store ad offerings and run campaigns across different formats at the same time.

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What has Walmart said? Walmart’s Senior VP of Retail Media, Ryan Mayward, has said the chain’s new ad offerings present a huge opportunity for both advertisers and shoppers. He told CNBC:

  • “It’s a complimentary advertising moment. It’s helping you make connections between two different products and decide that you maybe need that second thing.”
  • “When you think about our store, our store footprint and the percentage of Americans that we reach through our stores, we can deliver Super Bowl-sized audiences every week.”

Why now? The move comes after its supermarket rival, Kroger, announced it was rolling out in-store digital smart screen advertising along with a new self-service ad platform for marketers. Target also recently started trialling in-store demons at 200 of its stores across the US.

Deep dive. Read Walmart’s Q2 earnings report for more information on the company’s performance this year and its plans for the future.

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