Wal-Mart to Tailor In-Store Messages

A point-of-decision commercial about how Tide's concentrated laundry detergent benefits the earth may not ignite trial by price-sensitive shoppers the way a spot promoting its rolled back savings would. Now, with its new Smart Network, Wal-Mart will determine which in-store messages resonate with shoppers, and then customize brand-specific content by store, screen, day and even time

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — A point-of-decision commercial about how Tide's concentrated laundry detergent benefits the earth may not ignite trial by price-sensitive shoppers the way a spot promoting its “rolled back savings” would.

Now, with its new Smart Network, Wal-Mart will determine which in-store messages resonate with shoppers, and then customize brand-specific content by store, screen, day and even time of day. It will gauge different messages' effectiveness against POS data.

“The entire experience will be enhanced by the power of response measurement, which determines which messages shoppers respond to best in each store, every hour,” Wal-Mart spokeswoman Linda Blakley told SN.

The network will be supported by an Internet protocol television platform that allows Wal-Mart to monitor and control more than 27,000 screens in 2,700 stores.

Procter & Gamble, Cadbury Adams, Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline and Reckitt Benchiser have signed on as charter advertisers. “We expect many more commitments in the coming weeks,” Blakley said. The network is the result of $10 million in research.

“The testing included interviews with over 5,000 shoppers and sales analysis of items featured during in-store tests,” said Blakley.

Wal-Mart will deliver messaging on category screens in its grocery, HBC and electronics departments, and on endcap screens throughout the store. The Smart Network will begin later on this month.