BENTONVILLE, Ark. — The soon-to-be launched Wal-Mart Smart Network will allow the retailer to broadcast the most relevant content to shoppers by store, by screen, by day and even by time of day, according to Wal-Mart. It will determine which brand-specific messages resonate where, when and with which shopper segments by keeping a close watch on sales data, Linda Blakley, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, told SN. “Category and endcap screens will offer 10-second solutions and suggestions to help moms shop smarter and save money,” she said. “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.” The network’s Internet-protocol television platform will allow Wal-Mart to monitor and control more than 27,000 screens in 2,700 stores. Later this month, the retailer will begin to deliver messaging on welcome screens at the entrance of its supercenters, on category screens in its grocery, HBC and electronics departments, and on endcap screens throughout the store. It will complete the installations by early 2010. Procter & Gamble, Cadbury Adams, Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline and Rechitt Benchiser have signed on as charter advertisers, according to Blakley. “We expect many more commitments in the coming weeks,” said Blakley. The retailer’s second-generation in-store network is the result of two years and $10 million worth of research. “The main components of testing included interviews with over 5,000 shoppers and sales analysis on hundreds of items featured during multiple in-store tests,” said Blakley. Although she couldn’t provide result details, Kim Miller, vice president of marketing at Kellogg’s, was pleased with the pilot’s effectiveness. “The results we’ve seen during tests of the new Walmart Smart Networks have been impressive,” she said in a statement.
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