Consumer budgets may be more crunched these days, and so to provide an incentive to keep shoppers active, while keeping spending in mind, Walmart+ is growing once again, this time with its own micro-rewards program built into the larger membership offering.
Chris Cracchiolo, senior vice president and general manager of Walmart+, said the company’s ambition is to turn the membership program into a suite of benefits that are additive for members and evolve as their needs evolve.
How does the new program work? When members search for products on Walmart.com or when using the Walmart app, they will now see an option to add rewards for hundreds of items across the grocery, home goods, pet care categories, and beyond. They will have the option to save their digital rewards using the Walmart app’s wallet function, or doing so online, in order to use funds for future purchases in stores and online.
The program will be free for Walmart+ members and they will not be required to download a separate app or sign up. Members can simply log into their Walmart+ account, clip eligible rewards, and choose to either save the earnings or apply them to a purchase.
To redeem rewards, Walmart+ members can simply scan the Walmart Pay QR code at checkout in stores and select “Use Walmart Rewards.” If shopping online, they simply follow the prompts at checkout.
While Walmart Rewards is currently available exclusively for Walmart+ members, the company said it plans to expand the program to deliver new ways to earn rewards.
[Read more: Walmart Emphasizes Importance of Digital and Customer Growth Amid ‘Dynamic’ Environment]
For this initiative, the company is leaning on its partnership with Ibotta Performance Network, which launched at the end of June. The technology will allow Walmart to enable cash rebates across large third-party sites, including social media channels, recipe sites, and other platforms.
“We’ve always been committed to saving members time and money, and with Walmart Rewards, we’re rewarding members for shopping with us through added savings on the items they want and need most,” said Cracchiolo. “It’s a little more that adds up to a lot.”
Walmart Rewards Bolstering Retail Media Efforts
Walmart’s loyalty strategy isn’t tied to solely consumers, the company has expanded the offering to bolster its retail media efforts.
Suppliers can reap the benefits of Walmart Rewards by targeting members through a Sponsored Products campaign. Item rewards will be integrated into ads in the same format as organic search results listings to maintain a cohesive user experience. Item rewards will appear during search in grid placements for members logged into their Walmart+ accounts.
“Combining the power of Sponsored Products with item-specific rewards will enable suppliers to reap the benefits of both marketing strategies and help them to better engage with members and provide even deeper saving,” said Rich Lehrfeld, senior vice president and general manager of Walmart Connect. “We’ve always been committed to partnering with our suppliers to help our members save time and money. Combining the power of Sponsored Products with Walmart Rewards enables suppliers to play an even bigger role in this.”
Walmart Connect data shows that consumers are looking for deals on pricing. Sixty-seven percent of surveyed customers said they will spend more time looking for a discount, due to inflation, and 32% plan to switch brands to save.
Suppliers who want to take advantage of Walmart Rewards will need to work directly with Ibotta to set up an item rewards offer that is available nationally and at other retailers. Existing Walmart suppliers who would like to participate can complete this form.