EconomyThe change in Walmart carts that you had not...

The change in Walmart carts that you had not noticed

Walmart’s advertising division has a very clear objective: that more brands are advertised through its omnichannel ecosystem. To achieve this, the retailer assures them to know the consumption habits of the different audiences, which would help them to have an adequate segmentation and, consequently, more sales.

This promise meant that in 2021 Walmart Connect registered 50% more customers and 80% more campaigns than the previous year. However, until now the retailer is based on the analysis of cookies to understand consumption habits.

Cookies are text files stored on a user’s computer to allow company websites to obtain data about consumer behavior on the Internet and then target advertisements based on their searches.

In theory, the famous ‘cookies’ were created to improve the user experience when browsing, but in practice they can be very invasive, since they know for sure what pages the user visited, what items were put in the shopping cart, and plus.

Because of this, cookies began to be limited. In 2017, Firefox was the first to announce that it would block cookies. Then came Safari and Google, who recently announced that they will delay the removal of cookies to 2024.

But despite the delay, Cookieless is still a reality. Clementina Briceño, head of data at Teads Latam, points out that the advertising industry is moving to new identifiers that are safer and less invasive.

Even more than 50% of the current traffic in the United States and the United Kingdom do not have cookies, he says. They are markets that, due to legal limitations on data privacy, do not use them.

“It is believed that brand activations will lose their effectiveness without cookies, as they will not be able to monetize their inventory. However, the only thing that will evolve is how we meet users .”

To think that right now there is no need to try other identifiers if the cookies are not going to be deleted for another two years is a mistake. 81% of users consider that the risks to their privacy outweigh the supposed benefits of giving their information through cookies, according to data from the technology company Teads.

What is Walmart Connect doing?

“We all know that the death of cookies has been postponed, it was for this year, then it went to the next and now it will be in two years. That gives us time to build new alternatives. There we go. The great advantage we have is that the data comes from our registered users and the different (business) verticals allow us to build a closed data ecosystem that makes us different”, comments Ricardo Adame, general director of Walmart Connect.

This means that the retailer is not only observing from the digital sphere, but has also taken on the task of putting together its own databases based on the information that the user shares to sign up for Cashi, Bait, Walmart Pass, Add Benefits and the e-commerce itself that today generates more than 5% of Walmart sales.

Thus, if a brand is looking to reach coffee buyers, the retailer ensures that only consumers who usually buy this product receive the brand’s message, which may well be a promotion, a launch or an advertisement to some extent organic. .

Adame emphasizes that the information they obtain from consumers is merely statistical. They do not share personal data, since what they are interested in is identifying consumption patterns that help brands connect with audiences that are potential buyers.

To attract brands, in addition to data, the retailer decided to take advantage of its more than 2,700 physical stores in Mexico and turn them into advertising space. The strategy is to make brand messaging act more like a decoration than a bombardment of ads with the phrase Buy me!

At the entrance, some stores already have a screen installed that shows certain promotions, while some shopping carts have a sign on the front that can show certain brands of milk, drinks or a particular shampoo.

It all depends on the time and day, says Felipe Gómez, deputy director of Product at Point of Sale. “If the brand is aimed at a male audience, then we check when there is more traffic from this target , so there is a greater probability of capturing their attention.”

Other advertising options are in the aisle arches, headboards, in the digital totem, in the price verifiers, in the counters and in retailtenment activations, which sometimes take place in an extended area in Walmart parking lots.

Even with the digital boom, the physical store is still a very important point of contact. 94.8% of purchases occur through this channel, according to Gómez. Additionally, 88% of Mexicans live within 10 minutes of a Walmart store.

Regarding digital channels, of the four main supermarkets that operate in the country, Walmart is ahead. Adame indicates that they have 124 million visits to their websites, which allows them to offer brands formats such as sponsored products or native advertising, traditional banners or communication on social networks.

Also remarketing , that is, following a user who showed interest in a product and then did not buy it, as well as live shopping or live sales, this is done through a video where a person can be cooking, for example, and with a click the consumer can upload all the ingredients to his shopping cart.

According to Adame, this year Walmart’s advertising division has run 180 advertising campaigns per month, each with their respective metrics and amount of investment, based on how aggressive the advertising brand wants to be.

The most striking option for brands, it reveals, is the sponsored product . When the consumer enters a category, the product or brand that wants to be advertised in that category comes out organically.

No registration no fingerprint

Despite the fact that currently 58% of advertising investment is in digital media and 42% in traditional media, according to the IAB, and that Walmart stands out for its omnichannel strategy, it is still struggling to reach -and know- the habits of purchase of all consumers.

A part of its buying population are the baby boomers , people born between 1946 and 1964 who are not as adept at technology as the new generations are. In these cases, the retailer cannot know for sure what their interests are, consumption preferences and even days and times when they make their pantry. Having an exclusive box for them can help, but it is less certain than the data.

Adame admits that they have made efforts for older adults to enter the digital world through Bait, their mobile phone and internet service. “There are many people of different ages who don’t even have a cell phone with data to be able to make a purchase. In all the stores we have digital kiosks and right there we help them so that they end up adopting the technology”.

“At Bodega Aurrerá, the growth of e-commerce is very large because it also has many advantages for these people. 70% of buyers do not have a car, so they spend time and money on public transport to go, buy and then return. E-commerce is very important to them, so we are working on giving them the tools and knowledge”.

Luis Felipe Díaz, marketing specialist and professor of Business Management at the Banking and Commercial School (EBC), emphasizes that the baby boomers were educated with a certain way of thinking, which determines their actions.

“With the pandemic, these generations had to use certain technology, for example, to make purchases online, but they did it through a third party, since they continue to have this mistrust of digital. His motto is: if I don’t do it, it won’t work out. If I want to make rice, I do it. I don’t see a tutorial”, he details.

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