Walmart and Giant Eagle Venture Further into Retail Media

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The two retailers are making strides with internally-developed retail media platforms, with Walmart building out its in-house platform, Walmart Connect, and Giant Eagle launching its proprietary retail media network, Leap Media Group. 

Walmart’s digital experience developments were laid out in a June 5 blog post by Whitney Cooper, head of omnichannel transformation at Walmart Connect. For now, the retail giant is focusing its efforts on in-store digital experiences as, according to the company, most of its shoppers (88%) are making purchases at their brick-and-mortar locations. The roll-out will take a two-way approach: in-store demos, and in-store audio experiences. 

The in-store demos will allow suppliers to integrate elements of their product experience into digital and in-store campaigns. This could take the form of a QR code added to a demo cart that then takes shoppers to a curated landing page, Cooper said.

On the audio side, the activation will allow suppliers to take up advertising spots in the retailers’ in-store Walmart Radio channel. 

“At the store level, we are being very deliberate with our approach,” said Cooper. “The experiences we design must be additive and create a shopping experience that is consistent with what customers have come to expect from us over the last 60-plus years. We’re working with teams across Walmart to assess new formats to make sure we are creating amazing customer experiences without interrupting store operations.” 

Giant Eagle’s Retail Media Network Takes Flight 

Giant Eagle, meanwhile, has launched its internally-developed retail media network, Leap Media Group, tapping into data gathered in the retailer’s 4-million household-strong MyPerks loyalty program.

The Leap platform will allow advertisers to engage with shoppers on multiple levels through its integration of online, social media, influencer content, TV, as well as brick-and-mortar stores.

Describing the network as a “hybrid model,” Damian Scott, EVP, retail Media and front-end digital, Giant Eagle, noted that brands “are shifting their media spend away from traditional platforms to retail networks since they provide more measurable and addressable results.” 

“At Giant Eagle, we are constantly innovating and refining how we engage with our loyal customers and work with our brand partners. While we’ve long been a pioneer in customer loyalty, and have cultivated relationships with three generations of shoppers, today’s consumer is searching for the best products in new ways,” Scott added. 

Retail media is an area of immense growth and opportunity at the moment. Speaking at RIS and CGT’s Analytics Unite event in May, Claire Wyatt, vice president, business strategy and marketing science for Albertsons Media Collective described how retail media and analytics – particularly first-party data – must increasingly go hand-in-hand in order to be profitable and deliver ever-more personalized experiences. To do this, Wyatt says, RMNs must be champions of standardization across the industry to become less of a “wild west.”

It makes sense, therefore, that Giant Eagle is using consumer insights gathered from its loyalty program to fuel retail media endeavors and create multipoint systems of engagement throughout the customer journey. By building these networks in-house, the retailers are also able to exercise a degree of control over operations and processes, while optimizing platforms to fit business needs. 

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