Walmart Connect Gets Automation Boost With Ad Tech Deal

Lisa Johnston
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Walmart’s next step in its retail media expansion includes the acquisition of the IP and technology from creative automation ad-tech company Thunder.

The retailer, which announced last week it's changing the name of its media business to Walmart Connect from Walmart Media Group, will leverage the technology in the development of a display self-serve platform. 

The company is targeting both large and small brands with its benefits. By integrating the Thunder tech, consumer goods brands will be able to automate their creative, thereby reducing the amount of time it takes for an ad to go live.

The tech is also expected to drive increased ad effectiveness over time with creative versioning, testing and optimization, and brands will receive advertiser-specific insights for higher return on ad spend (ROAS).

“While we expect our largest suppliers to adopt automation technology fastest, we are building this new platform to scale for Marketplace sellers and suppliers of all sizes,” said Janey Whiteside, Walmart chief customer officer, in statement.

The technology is slated to become available on the platform later this year.

“We’re focused on expanding our offerings to create measurable value for our partners and customers alike in our stores, on our digital properties and across the internet,” she noted. “To do that, we have to offer an easy to use platform to enhance connections between brands and customers at scale.”

Walmart Connect, the new name of the retailer’s media business, intends to combine the company’s omnichannel presence, closed-loop system and consumer data to help brands better connect with shoppers.

Walmart intends to grow its capabilities across its digital properties, as well as introduce new in-store experiences. Walmart Connect will also leverage first-party shopper data to drive media performance for advertisers outside of the retailer’s sites, and it’s teamed with The Trade Desk for a demand-side platform for suppliers and agencies for the 2021 holiday season.

The number of advertisers using Walmart Connect has reportedly more than doubled in the last fiscal year.