Walmart made another move in building out its e-commerce advertising offering Friday with the launch of Walmart Advertising Partners. The company named four initial ads API partners: Flywheel Digital, Kenshoo, Pacvue, and Teikametrics.

Why we care

This signals a significant next step for Walmart Media Groups’ efforts to attract large manufacturer budgets. Companies that are already using one of those vendors to run Google Shopping or Amazon Sponsored Product campaigns, for example, will be able to switch on Walmart Sponsored Search campaigns with relative ease.

Like rival Amazon, Walmart Media Group offers advertising opportunities that reach people as they’re shopping and enables brands to target using its valuable online and offline shopper data. The selected partners’ specialties cut across search and marketplace advertising.

More on the news

  • Walmart Media Group, the company’s in-house agency arm, has been focused on establishing an advertising proposition for brands and retail manufacturers. (The company severed ties with its agency partner Triad in early 2019.)
  • Walmart Media Group acquired self-serve ad tech platform Polymorph in April and has integrated it into its existing ad targeting and measurement platform.
  • Walmart claims nearly 160 million people visit its stores and website weekly, with 90% of Americans shopping at Walmart annually.

Join us for two information-packed days on digital commerce marketing at SMX West, February 19-20.

About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, running the day to day editorial operations across all publications and overseeing paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin writes about paid digital advertising and analytics news and trends for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.


In light of the shortened holiday season this year — there are six fewer days to shop than last year with Thanksgiving landing on November 28 — Walmart is getting a head-start on its holiday marketing strategy. The company dropped prices on a number of items beginning on Friday and is launching multiple technology tools to help consumers shop for holiday gifts.

Why we should care

In addition to the headstart on holiday deals, one of the biggest shifts in retail is in giving consumers more ways to shop.

Walmart’s technology-enabled holiday shopping options are aimed at saving consumers time through personalization, faster delivery and more in-store and mobile capabilities. They include:

  • Personalized gift recommendations. A Gift Finder tool curates gift ideas based on 40 different types of gift recipients and price range.
  • Mobile shopping: A scannable toy catalog, launching November 1 in the Walmart app, will enable consumers to shop the company’s seasonal toy catalog from their phones.
  • In-store options: DotCom Store and “Check out with me” services are expanding to all Walmart Supercenters. “Check out with me” lets customers check out with an associate and avoid cashier lines. DotCom Store allows shoppers to place online orders in stores and have the items shipped to their homes.
  • Next-day delivery battle. To compete with Amazon, Walmart’s free one-day delivery is available for hundreds of thousands of items. It’s now being offered free without a membership fee, unlike Amazon, which is offering one-day shipping for Prime members on many items.

Walmart and other retailers’ jump on the holiday season is an indication that the shopping cycle could look different than in year’s past. Consumers are also indicating they’ll be shopping earlier this season, according to a Deloitte survey, which found that holiday shopping is expected to peak in early to mid-December. With six fewer shopping days than last year, marketers should be rolling out holiday deals now.

More on the news

  • To drive shoppers into stores, Walmart is launching “retailtainment events” around this year’s Pokemon, Star Wars, Frozen movies.
  • Best Buy is also offering free next day delivery on thousands of items to kick off its holiday shopping season.
  • Target announced it was investing $50 million to increase employee hours and training during the coming weeks to prepare for this year’s holiday season.

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.


A new patent filing suggests that United States retail giant Walmart may be developing its own U.S. dollar-backed digital currency similar to Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency. 

Walmart filed patent for “Digital Currency via Blockchain”

Patent filing number 20190236564, “System and Method for Digital Currency via Blockchain,” was published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Aug. 1. The document outlines a method for:

“Generating one digital currency unit by tying the one digital currency unit to a regular currency; storing information of the one digital currency unit into a block of a blockchain; buying or paying the one digital currency unit.”

Walmart continues to outline that the proposed digital currency project can provide a zero-  or low-fee place for users to store wealth; one that can easily be redeemed and converted to store cash at selected retailers or partners. Such accounts could even be interest-bearing, the filing adds.

The digital currency could alternatively be developed so that it can be spent anywhere, the filing states, with prospective USD backing ensuring greater ease of deposits and withdrawals. It could, in another scenario, be tied to other digital currencies, rather than fiat ones.

Corporations becoming alternative banks

Early on in the filing, Walmart proposes that the launch of its digital currency could provide low-income households, for whom banking is costly, with “an alternative way to handle wealth at an institution that can supply the majority of their day-to-day financial and product needs.”

The “blockchain-protected digital currency” — as Walmart dubs it — could further challenge incumbent banks by removing the need for credit and debit cards: 

“The digital currency may act as a pre-approved biometric […] credit. A person is the ‘credit card’ to their own digital value bank.”

The retailer further imagines that the scope of its digital currency could extend to form part of wider, blockchain-powered service ecosystem, envisioning the creation of an “open-platform value exchange for purchases and for crowdsource work.” 

This would allow customers to buy products or services for themselves and for others — using the platform to hire a technician for repairs, an associate or a designated shopper for a given amount of time.  

While it currently faces a robust regulatory pushback, Facebook’s Libra stablecoin project has a similar ambition to provide low-cost, borderless value transfer and build out a digital currency-powered network.

For Walmart, its blockchain-related projects have to date focused on using the technology in areas such as supply chain management, customer marketplaces and smart appliances.