Walmart is planning to plaster advertisements on its in-store self-checkout screens, TV demo walls, and other surfaces throughout its stores, as reported by CNBC.
“We can deliver Super Bowl-sized audiences every week,” Ryan Mayward, Walmart’s senior VP of retail media sales for Walmart Connect, the company’s ads division, tells CNBC. Walmart operates 4,684 stores in the US, not including its Sam’s Club warehouses and international locations. The company currently serves 240 million weekly customers in its stores worldwide.
Walmart plans to get ads onto approximately 170,000 screens throughout its stores and will also pump 30-second radio advertisements from store ceilings. Businesses interested in capturing audiences at the retailer’s locations can get in on it later this year and will have the option to choose regions or target specific stores.
Walmart has also tested food demo kiosks in some Dallas-Fort Worth-area stores and plans to expand the Costco-like sampler stations to 1,000 stores nationwide by the end of January. Advertisers can bundle the stations with other ad options, and there will be QR codes for customers to scan and buy the things they try.
Advertising is a fairly small part of Walmart’s business right now: $2.7 billion in the last fiscal year, on a total revenue of $611.3 billion. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon outlined in April that the company plans to diversify its earning streams — which include advertising.
Other retailers like Target and Walgreens have also been testing ad displays throughout stores. Mayward believes that Walmart customers may grab a recommended product on a screen. One example he shared is that they could grab a specific jar of salsa being advertised in the chip aisle.
“It’s helping you make connections between two different products and decide that you maybe need that second thing,” said Mayward. It’s a similar kind of connection many make when targeted ads come on the screens in their own pockets.