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THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

With Vizio, Walmart Streams into the Future of Retail

23 Feb 2024

By Peter Gent, Mars United Commerce

Walmart’s acquisition of Vizio signifies a transformative shift in the trajectory of the Walmart Connect retail media network.

The deal signifies a bold move into the realm of in-home connectivity that gives Walmart unprecedented access for a retailer to the living spaces of consumers and positions the retail giant to compete head-to-head with media industry titans like Amazon.

The acquisition is actually a strategic fit in two key areas. From a consumer engagement standpoint, it has the potential to accelerate the subscriber base for Walmart+, whose 59 million members already enjoy access to the Paramount+ Essential streaming service along with other perks like free shipping.

Like Amazon Prime, Walmart+ aims to be a comprehensive solution for both the entertainment and shopping needs of consumers; it has the advantage of Walmart’s brick-and-mortar stores on the shopping side, and now has Vizio to help with the entertainment — while tapping into the growing trend toward ad-supported streaming amidst subscription fatigue.

From a retail media standpoint, the acquisition provides Walmart with invaluable insights into consumer viewing habits that will bolster Walmart Connect’s media offerings. Leveraging the ACR (automatic content recognition) technology embedded in Vizio televisions, Walmart will gain visibility into consumer interests and behaviors.

This deeper understanding enables Walmart to deliver targeted ads on larger screens — commanding premium prices. With millions of Vizio TVs already connected to the internet via the company’s SmartCast operating system, Walmart is inheriting a vast trove of consumer data beyond its traditional massive shopper pool. The expanded reach also allows Walmart Connect to diversify the network, helping extend its advertising services to non-endemic brands.

This integration into TV presents tremendous opportunities for seamless commerce experiences as Walmart capitalizes on the inherent association of TV with product discovery. And as a retailer, showcasing products in either commercials or content will let Walmart facilitate easy purchase options as well. This convergence of entertainment and commerce underscores Walmart’s ambition to become the ultimate “everything store.”

Walmart’s acquisition of Vizio represents a strategic maneuver that will fortify its leading position in the retail media landscape. By harnessing the power of in-home connectivity and consumer insights, the retailer is poised to redefine the intersection of entertainment and commerce, driving innovation and growth in the digital retail space.

Learn more about Walmart’s recent efforts to strengthen shopper engagement here.

About the Author
Peter Gent is Director of Data Partnerships for Mars United Commerce, where he builds forward-thinking integrations with commerce marketing partners for the Marilyn commerce marketing platform. He has been involved with ad tech data partners for over a decade, driving innovation and advancements in programmatic data.

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