Walmart is rolling out tools and API to grab Amazon advertisers - Business Insider

Walmart plans to roll out its first self-serve advertising tools to steal away Amazon's core advertisers. Here's everything we know about it.

14.11.2019

Walmart plans to roll out its first self-serve advertising tools to steal away Amazon's core advertisers. Here's everything we know about it.

The tools signal Walmart's big ambitions to grow its advertising business, which has relied on direct relationships with sales reps up until now.

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Walmart has been building up its ad practice in-house by acquiring adtech companies and is currently hiring for roles overseeing marketing partners.

Walmart is taking a page from Amazon's playbook to win over advertisers.

Until now, advertisers have only been able to buy Walmart ads directly from human reps. Large ad platforms like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Snap and Pinterest use APIs to allow big advertisers to manage their spend and set ad prices. Walmart's API resembles Amazon's version that e-commerce advertisers use to buy search and display ads, according to two tech firms who have seen Walmart's API.

"They have aspirations to push themselves to be as sophisticated as Amazon," said Kacie McKee, director of e-commerce at Wavemaker. "They're in the zone with hiring and behind the scenes building the infrastructure to become pretty powerful in media."

"If you're a big CPG company that spends a lot of money in advertising, it's very convenient if you can look at your Amazon and Walmart advertising through one single interface and manage it all there," said a tech vendor that helps e-commerce brands run ad campaigns on both Amazon and other retailers' sites. "It's a big opportunity for partners like us — it's really a whole new category of adtech."

Walmart has focused on building up its advertising business in-house. In February, the company ended

which previously handled ad sales for Walmart. Since then, Walmart has beefed up its hiring efforts, specifically looking for agency talent to fill Walmart Media Group roles, said two sources. Walmart has also acquired several adtech companies,

According to Joshua Kreitzer, founder and CEO of Channel Bakers, an Amazon-focused ad agency, said Amazon is much bigger and has a big head start in advertising over Walmart. For example, advertisers can't use search tactics to target competitors or specific audiences, he said.

She estimated that 70% to 90% of e-commerce clients' shopper marketing budgets go towards Amazon. While Amazon is the biggest, she said that advertisers are looking to rely less on Amazon as a sales and advertising platform.

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