CANNES – A growing number of retailers are now selling digital .advertising, offering brands a way to reach consumers at all stages of the purchase funnel from awareness down to a final purchase. Retailers such as discount chain Walmart also offer the ability to reach target audiences based on their purchase histories.

“There is no better way to communicate with consumers with the first-party data that Walmart and retail media networks have in general,” Doug Jossem, head of food at Walmart Connect, said in this interview with Beet.TV contributor Jon Watts. “Brands want that first-party data, and then they also want the ability to close the loop with those consumers.”

As the world’s biggest retailer with U.S. sales last year of almost $500 billion, Walmart serves 90% of households.

“We understand where they buy. Is it online? Is it in store? We understand how often they buy, and we understand how to communicate with them,” Jossem said. “I know if you saw an ad. I know if it was on Walmart. I know if it was off Walmart. I know if you then went to a Walmart or went to, and purchased that product.”

Advertising sales offer high margins compared with those for many physical goods such as groceries. For retailers that already are dealing with slim margins, ad sales can become an important profit center.

“As more and more consumers continue to go to the digital avenues, our online pickup and delivery business continues to grow, it becomes more and more of a priority for us to drive traffic to it, but also to continue to monetize,” Jossem said.

Walmart has formed relationships with third-party vendors as part of the buildout of its retail media network. Those companies include streaming company Roku, ad-tech company The Trade Desk, streaming video service Paramount+ and social-media company Pinterest.

“A few days ago, we just announced a new deal with NBC, where we’re gonna be selling live sports through CTV for them,” Jossem said. “Our ecosystem continues to evolve and grow as the Walmart customer is literally everywhere. We have the ability to target them wherever they are, and help them find the products that they want.”

You’re watching coverage of the Global Retail Media Summit at Cannes Lions 2023, presented by Criteo & Habu. For more videos from Beet.TV’s Cannes Lions 2023 coverage, please visit this page.