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Walmart shoppers will have more ads to check while they check out

Walmart shoppers will have more ads to check while they check out


Walmart’s new in-store advertising initiatives are selling ad spots on screens and in the store’s audio feed.

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Self-checkout kiosk at a Walmart with the screen saying “start scanning.” Beside it is a Pepsi ad.
Fewer clerks, more ads.
Image: Walmart

Walmart is pushing to sell more in-store advertisements to third parties that appear on self-checkout screens and as 30-second radio spots on the store’s audio, as reported by CNBC.

Businesses interested will have the option to choose regions or target specific stores.

Walmart is beta testing 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 out of its total revenue of $611.3 billion. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon outlined in April that the company’s plans to diversify its earning streams include advertising.

CNBC reports other retailers like Target and Walgreens have also been testing ad displays throughout stores. “It’s helping you make connections between two different products and decide that you maybe need that second thing,” said Ryan Mayward, Walmart’s senior VP of retail media sales for Walmart Connect, the company’s ads division. 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 a similar kind of connection many make when targeted ads come on the screens in their own pockets.

Correction August 2nd, 2023 8:25PM ET: A previous version of this article described the advertising as a new initiative. In fact, Walmart is selling ad spots to third-parties in places it’s already used for in-store advertising and is beta testing new approaches for in-store demos and audio ads.