Walmart Adds NBCUniversal to Stable of Omnichannel Partners

Walmart omnichannel

Walmart and NBCUniversal have teamed to test retail media-powered ads within live sports streaming.

“This will mark the first time NBCUniversal’s live sports streaming inventory will be available through a retail media network – just in time for this autumn’s prime sports seasons and holiday campaigns,” Walmart said in a Thursday (June 15) news release.

“Brands will be able to use Walmart Connect’s unparalleled targeting and measurement to reach streaming viewers during live sports programs.”

Aside from testing live sports streaming ads, Walmart says it has combined NBCUniversal’s premium inventory with its measurement capabilities as part of its premium CTV bundle — which helps brands connect with Walmart shoppers via streaming platforms.

With this agreement, NBCUniversal joins a stable of other companies — including Roku and TikTok — in Walmart’s Connect Partner Lab. Thursday’s announcement was included in a larger report by Walmart on the progress of those partnerships.

For example, the company says its research shows that Walmart Connect-powered TikTok ads with targeted audiences have generated an engagement rate that is — on average — two times higher than the social media platform’s standard benchmark for U.S. ad campaigns.

Meanwhile, a pilot program with Roku to test shoppable ads showed “strong performance from both an awareness generation and engagement standpoint,” the company said, with the ads receiving click-through rates that were at least three times greater than average video campaigns powered by Walmart’s in-house platform.

Walmart says it is now expanding its partnership with Roku to include the company’s premium inventory within its connective TV offering.

In other recent Walmart news, PYMNTS wrote this week that the company had been making waves on social media after it began replacing its traditional printed price tags with an in-store digital price tag system.

But the fervor on social media wasn’t from angry customers, but rather those who were mostly in favor of the move, with some noting that retailers such as Kohl’s have been using a similar system for years.

Support among consumers and retailers for digital pricing is in keeping with research by PYMNTS in reports like “Big Retail’s Innovation Mandate: Convenience And Personalization,” created in collaboration with ACI Worldwide.

Among surveyed U.S. retailers, 24% said they believed consumers would be very or extremely likely to visit other merchants if the capability were not provided.

“Although that share is not massive,” PYMNTS wrote, “it means that almost one-quarter of these retailers believe the stakes are high in providing this feature, and even that much adoption by large retailers could change the paradigm for the industry.”