Walmart Connect Is Offering Closed-Loop Measurement on TikTok, Snapchat and Roku

Walmart Connect has gotten a lot more Connect-y of late. Now the retail media platform is striking partnerships to measure social commerce on TikTok and Snap, CTV ads on Roku and live-shopping content with companies Firework and TalkShopLive. The Walmart ad business has had bursts of new partners since it settled on The Trade Desk as its DSP tech provider and rebranded to Connect last year.

Ecommerce search ad specialists like Pacvue, Skai and Flywheel Digital were added as partners in 2021. And in July another 14 analytics and ad optimization companies joined the Walmart Connect partner program[1]. On Monday, Walmart Connect made its splashiest partner program announcement yet, with the creation of an “Innovation Partners” category that will start out with five video-focused measurement deals: TikTok, Snap, Roku, Firework and TalkShopLive.

Walmart Connect Is Offering Closed-Loop Measurement on TikTok, Snapchat and Roku

TalkShopLive and Firework, which is backed by American Express Ventures[2], are both live-stream shopping companies with sponsored brand placements.

Roku, TikTok and Snap are walled gardens that hope to demonstrate the value of their ad platforms. “Nielsen, IRI and others that these companies work with are great measurement services, but they’re third parties that simulate results,” Rich Lehrfeld, Walmart SVP and GM of the Walmart Connect group, told AdExchanger. “We truly show you exact results.” The TikTok and Snap agreements in particular are “first-to-market and first-of-their-kind type partnerships,” Lehrfeld said.

TikTok and Snap won’t bring TikTok or Snapchat inventory to the Walmart DSP (brought to you by The Trade Desk). Since they’re walled garden platforms, they don’t allow any outside programmatic trading desks. But what the partnerships do mean is that TikTok and Snap advertisers will now be able to run deterministic measurement to confirm that their ads led to online or in-store sales with Walmart.

And though it isn’t the Walmart DSP behind the ad campaign, TikTok and the other innovation partners have managed services of their own and will want to nudge advertisers toward the retailer measurement product, he said. The TikTok ad platform is widely considered[3] to under-attribute its own sales, unlike other walled gardens that generally over-attribute in their own favor. That’s because TikTok uses last-click attribution and a session-length attribution window, so it misses sales if users don’t immediately click and convert.

“We know that people build their baskets every day, but that sometimes the baskets take days, if not a week, to actually sell,” Lehrfeld said about social commerce advertising. “We’re able to measure that they’re influencing the purchase not just at that moment, but over a period of time.” The social commerce measurement partners were vetted, in a sense, by Walmart’s own marketing team. Lehrfeld said each partnership was based on the work of Walmart’s internal ad team to understand its campaign ROI.

The innovation partnerships are productized versions of that work. Why not just call the new “Innovation” category what it is: live video shopping partners? The partners are a live-video and social commerce group to start, Lehrfeld said.

But Walmart thinks of these current partners as the first in a longer-term effort to integrate content and commerce.

“Over time,” he said, “you’ll see our partnerships starting to expand into different areas that are really what our advertisers, or what we call our customers, as well as suppliers and sellers are asking us to do because they love our measurement.”

References

  1. ^ partner program (one.walmart.com)
  2. ^ American Express Ventures (www.adexchanger.com)
  3. ^ widely considered (www.adexchanger.com)