Walmart revamps its ads business with hopes to become a top 10 advertising platform

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Walmart added a slew of strategic moves Thursday to revamp its in-house ad business, which included changing its name.

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Walmart Connect, formerly Walmart Media Group, will focus on three strategic areas that it hopes will position it to "become one of the top ten advertising platforms in the U.S. over five years," the Arkansas-bassed retailer said Thursday.

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With its "vast omnichannel presence" and 150 million weekly customers, the company said it would be able to "enhance" and "accelerate the connection between brands" and consumers.

As part of its updated strategy, the company plans to put advertiser messages "next to where customers are making purchasing decisions" both online and on the company's mobile app.

Shoppers look at televisions at Walmart during the Black Friday sales on Nov. 23, 2012 in Quincy, Massachusetts. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

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"This part of the business is growing fast – last fiscal year, it saw nearly double the amount of revenue and more than double the number of advertisers," Walmart said.

The retailer will also offer advertisers the ability to buy placement on nearly 170,000 in-store digital screens across its more than 4,500 stores. This includes TV walls as well as self-checkout screens.

Walmart also partnered with AdTech company, The Trade Desk, in order to help brands reach their targeted audiences across various ad formats and devices.

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The "demand-side platform" will allow "advertisers to drive more effectiveness" with their overall media spending, Walmart said.

In 2020, the company disclosed in its annual report that its in-house advertising offering in addition to "fuel and financial services and related products" accounted for less than 1% of its annual net sales.

However, in expanding its offerings, Walmart Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside said it's "creating measurable value for our partners and customers alike in our ecosystem and beyond."

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