With ‘Anytime, Anywhere‘ at the brand’s core, Walmart’s digital marketing strategy is rooted in two ‘A’s’–Accessibility and Availability.
It has 10,622 stores across 24 countries and successfully caters to over 37 million customers daily through its marketplace and offline stores, ticking off both A’s.
Starting its journey as a small discount retailer today, entails a solid branding story that’s not only backed by a wide and loyal customer base but also by statistics.
So, what’s that hidden gem in Walmart’s marketing strategy that makes it a know-it-all-done-it-all retailer?
To get to the answer, we’ll deep dive into Walmart’s digital marketing campaigns from 2020 to 2023 and analyze its digital marketing journey. However, before that, let’s take a look at its marketing mix.
Any digital marketing campaign falls under a single P of the four P’s or a combination of two. However, understanding all the P’s of the marketing mix of Walmart allows for a comprehensive framework to build a marketing strategy.
Walmart’s Product Strategy
Primarily rooted in offering retail service, Walmart has an array of product categories, further divided into subcategories. It covers a wide network of product departments, such as:
- Home Improvement
A few key reasons why Walmart offers such a variety of products are:
- Becomes a one-stop destination shop for its customers,
- Gives an edge over other retailers,
- Serves wide range of customers.
In addition to this, the brand offers season-specific products such as Halloween party costumes or Christmas-related decor. This wide product category automatically attracts a wide number of people.
Walmart’s Pricing Strategy
Walmart’s pricing strategy could be easily summed up in one sentence.
Best products at least prices.
Since the company procures products in bulk worldwide, the pricing strategy enjoys economic benefits.
- Walmart has a highly efficient supply chain management system, reducing operational costs enabling more competitive pricing.
- It invests in store-brand products, giving full control over manufacturing products and eventually reducing costs.
- It uses data-driven approach to forecast demands accurately, reducing waste and optimizing inventory management.
However, the brand prices its products differently at different hours by coining terms such as “Every day, low prices.” Walmart’s low-price policy can also be seen in its tagline, which serves as the brand’s cornerstone: “Save money. Live better.” The tagline aptly targets people from socio-economic backgrounds, making the pricing strategy effective among other strategies in the marketing mix for Walmart.
Walmart’s Distribution and Place Strategy
Walmart uses the hub and spoke method, wherein the goods ordered centrally are distributed to individual stores.
- Walmart optimizes the distribution process and enables quick replenishment of store inventories.
- It collaborates with vendors, ensuring a smooth product flow from suppliers to stores.
- It operates various regional distribution centers, ensuring the receipt and distribution of products to specific regions.
With over 10,000 retail units spread across over 20 countries, it delivers products directly to stores by suppliers or vendors of the stores. By transporting huge volumes of products, their distribution strategy stresses reducing transportation costs and supply chains with greener transportation.
Walmart’s Promotion Strategies
Walmart’s “Every Day Low Price” strategy has set a milestone for other retailers, given that the model relies heavily on the idea that customers prefer to buy products at low prices than wait for discount coupons or seasonal sales.
- Attracts price-conscious customers,
- Offers personalized promotions, ensuring customers get offers specifically tailored as per their preferences,
- Promotes impulse buying with limited-time promotions.
With EDLP, Walmart gains a competitive edge over its budding competitors by opting for smaller margins per product in exchange for increased sales volumes. Walmart’s promotional strategy is similar to one of Costco’s marketing strategies – selling bulk-size, high-quality products with low-profit margins.
Now that we know the marketing mix of Walmart, let’s start with its digital marketing campaigns.
Walmart’s “Different Kind of Membership” Campaign (2020)
A campaign that makes you feel more connected to yourself or your loved ones stays a little longer with you.
The Walmart digital marketing strategy exactly does so with its “Different Kind of Membership” campaign.
The company rolled out this campaign in 2020 to introduce the Walmart+ program, promoting unlimited free deliveries, special fuel prices, and other tools to make shopping easier for families.
The campaign video stars 22 cross-sectional families from diverse backgrounds and displays their mundane, chaotic lives. The central theme of these videos is a simple but effective quest–to be able to find and spend more quality time with loved ones. From family dinners to welcoming a newborn baby, the video smartly fits the Walmart+ program and how it enables families to do more of what matters.
Through the campaign, Walmart’s marketing strategy subtly plugs in its products and services, such as home delivery, leaving families more time to spend with each other.
Key takeaways from the campaign:
- Fosters inclusivity,
- Adds value to customers,
- Puts customers at the center.
Walmart’s “Built for Better” Campaign (2021)
In 2021, Walmart launched this campaign and tactfully up leveled its customers’ trust by imbibing sustainability.
“Customers have trusted us for our low prices, but they also want to know that the products they buy are good for their families, the planet, and the people who made them,” said Ewing Walmart, Walmart’s Senior Vice President.
The company used the icon “Built for Better – For You” for products and “Built for Better – for the Planet” for other items. Products with the former icon met higher nutritional standards, falling under EWG verifications, Standard 100 by Oeko, etc.
While products carrying the latter icon are confirmed with over 30 independent standards having a primary focus on environmental benefits, such as Rainforest Alliance, Better Cotton Initiative, etc.
This Walmart marketing strategy puts sustainability and humility at the center while also practicing one of its core values–transparency. It lets its customers know what they’re buying and the effects of the products on the environment.
If you’re scratching your head over your next campaign idea, observe an ongoing challenge that the masses face and see if you could align your brand value with what aims to solve or at least mitigate the challenge. For example, if you’re a fashion store, use biodegradable or recycled fabrics to seamlessly integrate sustainability.
So the campaign
- Promotes sustainability,
- Attracts environment-conscious customers,
- Fosters transparency.
Walmart’s “Live Better Now” Campaign (2022)
What if a company could help you live a better life?
Like previous campaigns in Walmart’s marketing strategy analysis, Walmart’s “Live Better Now” campaign primarily focuses on this question.
Walmart took a step further toward bettering its customers’ lives by launching a one-minute-long commercial during the Winter Olympics opening ceremony that ran across digital and linear media in 2022.
The video’s prime focus was telling the story behind its greater purpose of helping people live better.
The video radiates nothing but wholesomeness. It shows a couple, arm-in-arm, walking through a parking lot with puppy chow, a Walmart employee helping an elderly shopper carry plants into the car’s trunk, and a family sitting down at their dinner table.
“At Walmart, we understand how the human connection ignites the potential for a better life,” said Walmart’s Chief Marketing Office.
Through this campaign, Walmart not only emphasizes the importance of human connection but positions itself as a crucial node of connectivity within the wide network of huma connection spread across.
Must-knows of the campaign:
- Highlights Walmart’s tech prowess at the end of the video,
- Infuses a feeling of safety to certain populations that felt anxious to step up during the pandemic,
- Debut during the Winter Olympics, making the ad an event.
Walmart’s “Welcome to Your Walmart” Campaign (2023)
Walmart is known to have everything for everyone. However, its new campaign, Welcome to Your Walmart, reinforces that the store has that specific thing for you.
The campaign, launched in 2023, spanned a full spectrum of broadcast and digital channels and focused on showcasing simple stories and moments that Walmart customers experience daily.
The company tactfully seized the opportunity to engage its customers during the summers. And, the video showcases search queries that customers usually pop up with during the summer, such as “What’s in season” or “Summer family fun trip” on socials.
It conveys that Walmart isn’t just there for you in-store but is also a few clicks away on Walmart.com or its app as your needs arise. The company states that it has customers at every step of the day.
While many digital marketing agencies will help you personalize campaigns, this one stands out as it’s tailored specifically for customers while also addressing season-specific customer demands.
Key takeaways for you:
- Meets exactly where its customers are,
- Provides answers to customer queries,
- Smartly fuses SEO with content marketing by using the most searched keywords in a way relevant to customers,
- Drives engagement in a customer-centric way,
- Leverages influencer marketing.
On conducting Walmart digital marketing strategy analysis, we observe that it has continued to focus, convey, and practice “making lives better” through each campaign in one way or another.
When looking at any Walmart marketing strategy closely, whether a campaign from the year 2020 or the year 2023, it has carved creative ways to connect with its customers, keeping the central theme the same. While these campaigns can be an excellent source of inspiration for your upcoming campaigns, don’t hesitate to reach out to retail marketing agencies for well-thought and executed campaigns.
At the end of the day, it’s about finding a fine balance between your brand’s value and your customers’ needs. So, where’s your brand currently at?