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Walmart Buys Ad Tech Platform To Compete With Amazon

 |  February 4, 2021

Walmart is buying up the technology and assets behind Thunder, which uses automation to create digital ads. One key goal for the retailer is to bring in more advertising business from small to medium-size businesses (SMBs). The behemoth retailer’s latest move is part of its campaign to take on Amazon’s advertising division, in part by broadcasting what Walmart can do for online sellers.

“Thunder’s technology and team will reduce the time between the idea for an ad and the ad going live for suppliers,” said Janey Whiteside, chief customer officer for Walmart, in a press release. “While we expect our largest suppliers to adopt automation technology fastest, we are building this new platform to scale for Marketplace sellers and suppliers of all sizes.”

Whiteside added that “Thunder technology will be integrated with our display self-serve platform,” and that “Thunder will also increase ad effectiveness over time with creative versioning, testing and optimization.” Over the last two years, she noted, Walmart “has been on a journey to help advertisers run their campaigns more efficiently using self-serve and automation capabilities.”

Last week, on January 28, Walmart renamed its media operations from Walmart Media Group to Walmart Connect. The retailer stated the new name reflects its capacity to connect its 150 million weekly shoppers and advertisers, according to an announcement.

Also last week, Walmart announced a plan to roll out more fulfillment centers at local stores to better serve online buyers, which could be “a compact, modular warehouse built within, or added to, a store.”

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