Walmart Boosts Efficiency with Digital Media Platform

Recently, Walmart announced that its media buying exchange – The Walmart Exchange (WMX) – was in beta phase. This is a prime example of how Walmart is tightening its grip on its digital assets, developing a platform that will better target audiences and media buying for both itself and the companies supplying its stores. To be truly customer driven, a retailer must be able to leverage customer behavior to shape its product development, marketing and merchandising to boost operational efficiency.
"It involves using Walmart's own trove of data from to store sales to social-media platforms and third-party data," said Walmart VP of media and digital marketing Wanda Young. "The retailer wants to fill in one of the gaps in that data with its Savings Catcher program designed to get shoppers to input their offline store receipts into their Walmart app, which will generate a database the retailer hopes will rival those of other retailers' loyalty programs."
The retailer is planning to use its digital media platform to apply big data to marketing for targeting audiences as well as helping suppliers. A recent meeting with 200 of its suppliers' marketing executives was arranged to discuss how WMX could be used effectively in order to boost sales and cut costs. WMX is expected to become an integral part of Walmart's supply chain management, acting as the retailer's social media platform to offer products at meaningful discounts to customers.
Taking such an important piece of digital strategy in-house is a big step for Walmart. This kind of a data play should be valuable to all involved, including publishers. Ultimately, WMX is a smart move to advantage of existing programming infrastructure and extend it to service the retailer's partners at scale.
How much of a game changer this will be is still up in the air. If the retailer can truly optimize the social networking platform, helping it to make customers' shopping experiences more profitable through customer-specific discounts, customers will grow to be more loyal thus allowing Walmart to gain more market share. The bottom line? This is the natural next step for the retail powerhouse to create an in-house marketing strategy that will help grow its profitability.
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