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Walmart acquires self-serve ad tech

by Serenah McKay | February 5, 2021 at 9:31 a.m.
FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, file photo, signage is pictured at a Walmart store in Oklahoma City.

Walmart Inc. has bought digital technology to enhance a new “self-serve” advertising tool that lets suppliers test and tweak their online ads.

Walmart said Thursday it has acquired the assets of Thunder Industries Inc., a San Francisco-based company that develops automated ad technology. Thunder’s employees will move to Walmart, as well, Walmart Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside said in a news release.

Walmart did not disclose the terms of the deal.

“Coming later this year, our display self-serve platform will enable partners to activate and manage their display campaigns with the help of automation,” Whiteside said.

This means suppliers of all sizes, including third-party sellers on Walmart’s marketplace, can try out different versions of ads created for them by Walmart’s in-house media agency, Whiteside said. They can then quickly see which versions are most effective.

The ad agency that Walmart brought in-house in 2019 changed its name last week to Walmart Connect. It offers digital advertisers an extensive customer database and a proprietary ad targeting and measuring platform.

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