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Walmart is taking a bigger step into working with creators.
The retailer said on Tuesday that it is rolling out a new platform that is designed to help creators easily monetize products sold by the retailer when they appear in shoppable content.
Called Walmart Creator, the platform is described in a news release as a one-stop portal that will provide access to “tens of thousands of products” for creators. It will offer opportunities to earn revenue in the form of commission on sales that creators refer to Walmart. The platform, said Walmart, "democratizes the tools and resources" needed to be a creator.
“We know our customers are inspired by the content and stories they see from their favorite influencers in their social feeds every day,” said William White, chief marketing officer of Walmart US, in a statement. “This next step in our strategy will help fuel inspiration for our customers by connecting their favorite creators directly with our brand and the brands they love at Walmart.”
The platform is being released in beta during the 2022 holiday season, with a wider rollout expected in 2023.
More details on how it works from Walmart:
- Links to product pages can be shared on any platform or group.
- Product recommendations based on a creator’s interests will be provided.
- Performance data will be available through the platform via an analytics dashboard..
There have been hints of Walmart’s work on a creator platform in recent months. In August, Reuters flagged trademarked filed by the retailer for "Walmart Creator" and "Walmart Creator Collective.” The story noted that Walmart already works with creators as it promotes goods like apparel and groceries, as well as its Walmart+ membership program. Walmart has also made forays into livestream shopping, which centers on sessions hosted by creators. This included recent partnerships that were announced with TalkShopLive and Firework, as well as an integration that will allow Walmart Connect, the retailer’s advertising arm, to serve in-feed ads on TikTok.
Creators and retailers
Spurred on by the rise of TikTok and the staying power of YouTube, creators have become a force in social marketing. With large audiences built primarily around video-based content and often particular interest areas, creators often promote products in content, while directing users to complete a purchase through affiliate links.
While TikTok already has (and is upgrading) a creator marketplace to help creators connect with brands and agencies, Walmart’s introduction of a platform shows a role for retailers. Walmart’s release suggested that it will leverage the volume of products offered through its marketplace of first and third-party sellers to provide curated product collections. It will also offer connections to brands, with opportunities to apply for brand campaigns set to be made available through the platform.
Walmart is among ecommerce platforms that are increasingly recognizing the opportunity to not only sell goods made by others, but also to directly market that merchandise. In August, Shopify recently rolled out its own creator platform, called Collabs, which is designed to connect merchants and creators. Meanwhile, Amazon’s growing work with creators has been on display at its recent shopping events. During last week’s Prime Early Access Sale and July’s Prime Day, platforms like TikTok and Instagram were filled with content promoting the deals, while Amazon ran live sessions where creators talked about the products on sale. Instacart, too, is rolling out its own creator-friendly features like curated Carts and shoppable recipes.
Walmart’s exact plans for where creators will fit within its own strategy aren’t clear yet, but the new platform announced this week gives it a jumping off point to connect directly with creators, and establish working relationships. The company’s news release said that it plans to evolve the platform and to “build features and experiences that make it easy for creators to create and publish content, and customers to shop their favorite products through Walmart.”
That could go in a number of different directions, from shoppable content that appears on Walmart’s site, to content that is ported to other platforms. We’ll be looking for hints about Walmart’s approach during the holiday season.
In the meantime, creators can apply for beta access to the platform at WalmartCreator.com.
Trending in Marketing
Self-serve advertisers will be able to access five firms to optimize creative on Walmart's retail media network.
Walmart Connect is expanding the self-serve tools offered through its partnership ecosystem.
The retail media platform provides access to a number of firms that can help advertisers as they seek growth and support. Now, that ecosystem will operate under the banner of the Walmart Connect Partner Network, Walmart said.
The latest expansion comes in the area of creative, which describes the content and design of the ad itself. A group of firms that focus on optimizing ad creative will now be available to Walmart Connect self-serve partners. Walmart said this will become more important as it continues to roll out new ad experiences.
“Ad creative plays a critical role in ad campaign effectiveness. But we understand it can be challenging for self-serve advertisers – particularly smaller businesses – to get the support they need for their ad creative, especially as our self-serve ad formats evolve,” wrote Diana Finster, head of agency and technology partnerships for Walmart Connect, in a blog post announcing the news. “Those challenges might be creating content, iterating creative based on performance, or even just understanding best practices for the Walmart customer.”
They will combine managed services and technology to provide the following:
- Item setup and detail page optimization for Sponsored Search campaigns.
- Video creation and editing, for media such as Sponsored Videos.
- Display content support across placements and formats
The Walmart Connect Partner Network also includes a number of other firms that can be accessed by suppliers and sellers as they seek to grow advertising. Walmart Connect outlined the following groups of partners:
Solution Partners: 19 API partners are available to help scale, automate, and optimize search campaigns. Most recently, Helium10 joined this group. Creative Partners will also be a part of the Solution Partners cohort.
Service Partners: More than 80 agencies help Walmart advertisers plan, buy and optimize media.Technology Partners: Offsite placements are available through Meta and Pinterest. Walmart Connect also partnered with The Trade Desk to create a standalone demand-side platform called the Walmart DSP.