Walmart is expanding its advertising partner program to help ramp up even more spending on a platform that has seen a tenfold increase in businesses buying ads in the past year, according to Lex Josephs, VP of ad sales and ad tech partnerships at Walmart Connect.
On Tuesday, Walmart announced the addition of new advertising technology partners, Stackline, Tinuiti and Harvest Group, which are now able to pipe into Walmart Connect, the online ad platform run by the retail giant. By adding these three partners, Walmart nearly doubled the number of ad tech firms in the still-young program.
The expansion comes as Walmart says it is seeing a surge in advertiser interest. The number of sponsored search ads—the paid results that appear when people shop on Walmart.com—rose 185% in 2020 over 2019, Walmart said on Tuesday. The number of advertisers on Walmart.com, buying through the partner program, also rose by a factor of 10 in 2020, Walmart said.
The advertising interest was related to the spike in consumers shopping online during the COVID-19 pandemic, which made e-commerce sites essential destinations for brands to reach customers. “We candidly need more partners to help scale our business for the three customer advertising segments that we work with,” say Josephs, in a recent phone interview, “which are enterprise advertisers, so think of your big CPG companies like a P&G or a Kellogg’s or a General Mills; and then our mid-market advertisers, so think of someone like a Sargento Cheese or SharkNinja; and then our emerging [first-party and third-party] sellers.”