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Walmart Sets Its Sights on Amazon’s Ad Business

Vizio acquisition gives Walmart access to valuable shopper data and expands their ad inventory – Canopy’s Walmart experts can help you take the next step.

  • February 20, 2024
  • /
  • Chuck Kessler
Infographic of a black shadow looking over the shoulder of a man working on a laptop

As if there was any doubt at all that Walmart is determined to follow in Amazon’s large footsteps, here’s one more example. 

Walmart announced Tuesday (Feb 20, 2024) that it’s buying TV maker Vizio for $2.3 billion. To expert ecommerce observers, it appears to be a great way for Walmart to accelerate its advertising business and position itself as a legitimate rival to Amazon’s own ad business.

Walmart is clearly NOT content to serve as an anchor of big-box shopping centers or to be known for selling groceries and household essentials. Like Amazon, it wants to carve out for itself a large chunk of the advertising revenue that Amazon has used to get to where it is today.

Although Walmart currently sells ads at physical stores and its website, by taking a page from Amazon’s advertising strategy and acquiring Vizio, Walmart will now be able to sell ads through streaming services on television.

Vizio’s Smart TV operating system, SmartCast, has over 18 million active accounts. This acquisition by Walmart dramatically expands their ability to offer ads through Vizio televisions, as well as create entertainment – and advertising – options for customers that own Vizio TVs.

Access to Shopper Data Offers Walmart an Inside Track

Walmart’s ad revenue is expected to total $3.14 billion in 2023. That’s a significant total, but well behind Amazon’s $49.9 billion

Selling a lot of groceries is great, but with such a small profit margin, that’s not going to be how Walmart closes the gap with Amazon. However, many of those brick and mortar shoppers share their data with Walmart.

That’s where the real gold lies. 

Both Amazon and Walmart have been running out of ways to squeeze more advertising dollars out of their existing advertising customers. With approximately 65% of shoppers admitting to purchasing from Walmart in the last 30 days, and its website and stores attracting over 160 million visitors a week, Walmart has an inside track on a data stream that even Amazon would be envious of. 

A Walmart infographic showing a woman holding a Walmart bag in front of a Walmart store

Walmart is Betting On TV to Help Convince Advertisers to Buy

The ecommerce marketing funnel is a big place. With this move, it’s pretty clear that Walmart is hoping that that big (TV) screen will help their advertising platform gain upper-funnel ad dollars from those brands both on, and off of Walmart. 

Internet cookies are going the way of the dinosaurs. This access to first-party data might be the best way for Walmart to connect the dots between buyer intent and purchase. 

Walmart’s purchase of Vizio helps them acquire an enormous amount of already established TV ad inventory. That’s a resource that up until now, it didn’t have.

If you’re looking for expert advice on how to implement this recent pivot by Walmart into your overall ecommerce business strategy, look no further. Click here to find out more about how Canopy Management’s Walmart experts can help you grow your brand, or to schedule a personalized strategy session.