When Walmart reported profits on Thursday, it went above and beyond in its support for its advertising division.
For the first time, the retail behemoth reported advertising income, which totaled $2.1 billion globally. A total of $500 million was recognized as revenue gained as a result of a reduction in an advertiser’s cost of sales. The remaining $1.6 billion was devoted entirely to the media industry.
Walmart CFO Brett Biggs said –
“We expect Walmart Connect to continue to scale over the next few years with plans to become a top-10 ad business in the midterm. We continue to make strong progress in some of our newer higher-margin initiatives. Walmart Connect advertising experienced robust sales growth this year with a strong pipeline of new advertisers and large growth opportunities ahead.”
Walmart Connect is an element of Walmart’s reciprocating eCommerce and margin expansion strategy. Whereas the high-margin advertising is important for its “growth algorithm” – a plan to invest substantially in brick-and-mortar revamps and fulfillment while preserving or even boosting its total profit margin.
Interesting Read: 6 Data Privacy Trends To Look Out For In 2022!
Instacart’s Ad chief will be moving over to Walmart as the chief revenue officer (CRO). Wal-Mart poaches Instacart’s CRO, Seth Dallaire, to fill the same role in the retail advertising wars. Before Instacart, Dallaire was responsible for turning Amazon into the world’s third-largest digital advertising company. Instacart had recruited him in 2019 to build a sizeable ad business. Business Insider reports, this part of the operation generated $300 million in sales last year. Now, it has lost the key architect who could make it possible.
Walmart intends to build its advertising business by utilizing customer data to drive digital ad revenue. Dallaire, an expert in programmatic automated advertising, will help Walmart scale Connect and Walmart +. Walmart Connect is Wal-Mart’s ad-platform unit, which will release its own DSP in the near future.
Relevant Read: A Panoramic Perspective Of Amazon’s Advertising Business!
As quoted by Adage, Walmart spokesperson confirmed the recruitment and said,
“His remit will include Walmart Connect, membership (Walmart+), data monetization, and business partnerships.”
Dallaire will directly report to John Furner, the CEO, and president of Walmart U.S. Instacart, an online grocery, and delivery service, has enhanced its advertising offerings and personnel. Seth’s exit comes after the company brought former Facebook executives Fidji Simo as CEO and Carolyn Everson as president.
It might look that Instacart is picking up the most talented Facebook execs. However, the reality is different! The Information reports that Instacart had earlier poached key executives that include developers and engineers from Amazon to build a $10billion to $20billion ad business.
Again quoted by Adage, an Instacart spokesperson expressed gratitude for his contributions and wished him for his future endeavors, said,
“Over the last two years, Seth and our broader advertising team have helped build Instacart into one of the largest pure-play grocery ad platforms in the world, supporting more than 2,500 brands.”
- In the eleventh hour, Tik Tok averted a shutdown in the U.S after President said he has given his blessing to a deal with Oracle and Walmart.
- The deal announced by the companies would create a new company Tik Tok Global that will be headquartered in the U.S.
- Silicon Valley giant Oracle will become a minority investor with a 12.5% stake in Tik Tok Global and a cloud partner.
- Tentatively, Walmart will own a 7.5 % stake in Tik Tok Global as a commercial partner and CEO Doug McMillonwould would serve as one of the five board members.
- Tik Tok’s Chinese parent company Byte Dance will own the remaining 80% of Tik Tok Global.
Tik Tok successfully averted the app store ban in the eleventh hour, with President Trump giving preliminary approval to the landmark deal with Oracle and Walmart. Meanwhile, the U.S judge issued a ruling early Sunday morning to block the WeChat ban.
In August, Trump had issued an executive order to face a ban if Tik Tok U.S operations were not sold to an American company by September 20, owing to its data privacy concerns related to Tik Tok’s ownership by a Chinese tech company.
- Tik Tok denied it and said that 100 million American users’ data is stored in the U.S and back up in Singapore.
- Shortly after the announcement, Byte Dance was in talks with Microsoft or Oracle to sell Tik Tok’s U.S operations.
- Meanwhile, the talks went kaput after the Chinese government implemented new rules on AI technology exports that prevented Tik Tok from transferring its recommendation algorithm and technology.
Of note: Presently, The U.S. Commerce Department has announced a delay by week to September, 27 to the executive order deadline.
What he’s saying: After all the twists and turns, Trump approved the deal ‘in concept’ and said,
“I think it’s going to be a fantastic deal. I have given the deal my blessing. If they get it done that’s great, if they don’t that’s okay too.”
He further added that the new entity to be formed will be exclusive for U.S operations.
“It will have nothing to do with any outside land, any outside country, it will have nothing to do with China. It’ll be totally secure. That’ll be part of the deal.”
- The President also noted that the new company will likely be headquartered in Texas and could bring at least 25,000 jobs across the country.
- One of the stipulations for approving the deal was a $5 billion commitment towards an education fund to teach kids about history, science, and other subjects.
- Trump also noted that “it’ll be totally controlled by Oracle and Walmart”.
Yes, but not completely true. Tik Tok Global will be a 100% subsidiary of the Chinese parent company Byte Dance. The company is planning to raise pre-IPO financing with new investors Oracle and Walmart taking 20% – 12.5% and 7.5% respectively after which Tik Tok Global will be a 80% holding subsidiary of Byte Dance.
However, Americans will hold a 4-1 majority on the TikTok Global board, whereas ByteDance shareholders — will own a majority of shares in the company that includes American, Chinese, and international investors. This shows Byte Dance will have some control over the product’s intellectual property. Therefore, it is debatable to say whether the Americans will have total control over the company from governance, management, and technology standpoint.
What did Tik Tok say:
“We are pleased that the proposal by TikTok, Oracle, and Walmart will resolve the security concerns of the US Administration and settle questions around TikTok’s future in the US.”
— TikTokComms (@TikTokComms) September 19, 2020
What did Oracle say: Oracle CTO Larry Ellison said Tik Tok will run on the Oracle cloud. CEO Safra Catz said,
“Oracle will quickly deploy, rapidly scale, and operate TikTok systems in the Oracle Cloud. We are a hundred percent confident in our ability to deliver a highly secure environment to TikTok and ensure data privacy to TikTok’s American users, and users throughout the world.”
“This greatly improved security and guaranteed privacy will enable the continued rapid growth of the TikTok user community to benefit all stakeholders.”
What does this mean for Oracle:
- The cloud deal is a huge win for Oracle and shows its expertise in cloud computing which is majorly dominated by Amazon and Microsoft.
- Oracle can expect a nice ROI when Tik Tok Global has a public listing n a year.
- Oracle will be the ‘trusted technology’ partner who will use its cloud infrastructure to protect U.S data.
- Oracle Generation 2 will isolate running applications and responds to security threats autonomously.
What did Walmart say: The retail giant will be a commercial partner and outlined the following in a statement:
“This partnership will provide Walmart with an important way for us to expand our reach and serve omnichannel customers as well as grow our third-party marketplace, fulfillment, and advertising businesses.”
- Walmart said it will provide “eCommerce, fulfillment, payments and other omnichannel services to TikTok Global.”
- It would work toward a public listing of TikTok Global in the U.S. “within a year” to bring more ownership to American citizens.
- The deal can help Walmart gain a foothold in social commerce and access to users who are younger than average Walmart shoppers.
What happens next: As reported by Bloomberg, The two companies would pay a combined $12 billion for their stakes if they agree to an asking price of $60 billion. However, the companies are yet to negotiate and finalize the valuation as they have worked out only equity and measures for data security.
As the deal inches closer, there are certain impending concerns :
- The Chinese government is yet to approve the deal. If sources are to be believed the deal will get a nod from China as it adheres to the new tech export rules.
- Given that Tik Tok is not completely cut loose of Chinese ownership, it is unclear whether it will satisfy the requirements of the U.S national security concerns.
This Tik Tok saga had many twists and turns and according to the U.S treasury, the deal still needs to be finalized and approved by the federal national security committee. More drama can be expected in the coming weeks.
Bottom Line: On the face of it, Tik Tok is here to stay and time-being influencers can do the happy dance.
While most of the brands are struggling to survive during the tough times of pandemic, Google has set its goals right for the whole year. It is innovating itself without any trouble. Every month Google targets to enhance itself, according to the growing demand of the society. Google makes sure, that it fulfills the need of its users by providing them with exactly what they desire.
Recently, Google introduced two new features for its search portals. One of the features is designed, and dedicated to the Black community. The feature will help in the upliftment of the community in society and will aim to end the injustice against them.
Due to the rise of anger in the community against the centuries-long injustice experienced by the community, several brands came forward to show their support towards the community. Google was amongst them.
To fulfill his promise, the CEO at Google, Sundar Pichai recently added a feature to the map and Google search listing.
This feature is launched to empower the Black community. The feature will highlight businesses owned by the Black community helping them grow. However, only those members can avail of the benefit whose business has verified profiles in the US. Also, the business must be owned by a member of the black community.
Those businesses highlighted under this feature will be marked by an image(as shown below). The symbol will signify that the business is owned by a member of the Black community.
It is said that the step was taken to provide a financial boost to the community. It is a foreseen step to finally end the orthodox discrimination towards the community. Google is also partnering with U.S. Black Chambers, inc. To provide better features like Analytics helping the businesses groom and blossom.
In a statement regarding this following statement was issued by Google:
“As part of our $300 million commitment to support under-represented entrepreneurs, we’re integrating the attribute into the digital skills training programs we offer Black business owners through Grow with Google Digital Coaches. And through Google for Startups Accelerator for Black Founders, we’re starting our work with the first cohort of 12 startups.”
Google is keen to develop the feature even more and is seeking ideas internally. According to the management, they have already received more than 500 creative ideas to get this model to develop more brilliantly.
The company is also working on better and much strict “Policies against hate and harassment”
“About this ad”- More power to the user!
With a more transparent approach towards their users, Google has launched a new feature popularly known as “About this ad”.
To implement this feature Google will be launching new tools. It will help the users gain information about the advertisement they are receiving. It will help enhance security and will increase user privacy on the digital platform.
According to Google spokesperson, the vision is designed for a “thriving internet where people around the world can continue to access ad-supported content, while also feeling confident that their data is protected”.
“But in order to get there, we must increase transparency into how digital advertising works, offer users additional controls, and ensure that people’s choices about the use of their data are respected not worked around or ignored.”
For a long time now, tech giants like Google are have faced a lot of criticism. Most of those were linked to their explicit behavior when it comes to money and user privacy. After being criticized and called upon several times by different government authorities for blind approach in the business during the usage of advertisers’ money, Google has finally decided to be more transparent with its business policies and proposals.
Therefore, Google shared a list of pricing for its tools used by advertisers for the advertisement. It was a huge step by Google, since before this release, advertisers were kept in the dark about the spent of their share of the money, and the profit earned by Google.
The tools for which Google revealed the prices include, DV360, Google Ads, ad manager, and its publisher tech.
The revealed prices are as follows:
These prices were revealed by Google in a series of articles and blog posts.
The prices are in the ratio of percentage for a $1 amount spent by an advertiser on an advertisement, divided between the publisher and Google.
- Google tech: Publishers – 69%, Google – 31%
- DV360: Publisher – 87%, Google – 13%
- Ad Manager: Publisher – 82%, Google – 18%
- Google Ads: Publisher – 86%, Google – 14%
- Ad sense by Google: 68% share taken by Google of the total spent by the advertiser.
Google has never been so transparent in regards to its prices, the sources say that this new transparent face of Google is due to the ongoing legal hearing conducted by the state attorney general and the Department of Justice.
Innovation has always been the motto of the company. To make sure that the advertisers at Google are equipped with the best tools available in the market, it recently launched its new self-service toolkit known as Display & Video 360.
The tool is launched to change the landscape of the advertisement. Display &Video 360 is a gift to its advertisers by Google.
Earlier, advertisers used the tools to make a hypothetical projection while running an online marketing campaign. The most crucial question that bothered the advertisers was the amount of audience that they will reach with the campaign. To make sure it’s no more a hit and try show for the advertisers, Google launched DV360.
With the DV360, the advertisers can now create a new campaign and check its reach to the audience as the tool provides a duplicate view of the campaign. The duplicate view will help the advertisers view the exact or say a more accurate number of audiences that they will reach with the campaign. Hence, no more blind bets!
The tool has better forecasting capabilities, giving the advertisers a glimpse of the future for their campaign. It is also a better solution for the media planners as it provides them with a large proportion of benefits as better access to the tool as they always have a larger role to play.
The most crucial answer answered with the tool is, “how many unique people can I expect to reach with my overall campaign across any open auction display and video inventory as well as YouTube?”
According to Anudeep Pedditi, Programmatic Manager, OMD NZ:
“Once we commit to a reach objective, neither underachieving nor overachieving is an option. Display & Video 360 gives media planners the accuracy they need to effectively plan across all our programmatic campaigns.”
The Tools main aim is to provide the following features to its advertisers:
Options For Buying
Optimization And Reporting
Google will launch a new algorithm for its page experience and design. The new model will be based on user experience.
The new algorithm will surely affect SEO and web traffic. Therefore, to make sure that the advertisers are not affected by the changes, Google has announced that they will apply the changes in 2021. They have promised to inform upfront, at least six months beforehand.
An early reminder will help advertisers to prepare themselves for the changes.
However, Google made it clear that the new algorithm will be even stricter in ranking the web pages. If the user experience of a web-page is poor, Google will not rank the page on to the top list.
Google has also published a detailed document dedicated to the page experience criteria.
The new algorithm will consist of some core vital features. This feature includes the following:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Measures the loading performance of your webpage.
- First Input Delay(FID): Measures the user interaction with the page.
- Cumulative layout Shift: Checks the stability factors of your webpage.
The Accelerated Mobile version (AMP) will also play a major role in the ranking of your page, as will be a metrics for the page experience.
Also, good content will always play a lead role in the page ranking.
As per a statement:
“While all of the components of page experience are important, we will prioritize pages with the best information overall, even if some aspects of page experience are subpar.
A good page experience doesn’t override having great, relevant content. However, in cases where there are multiple pages that have similar content, page experience becomes much more important for visibility in Search.”
Hence, entrepreneurs, startups, and businesses should be well prepared for the new changes.
Have you ever imagine the amount of traffic Google experience in a minute, month, or year?
Well, here are some fun facts, every second there is an approximate of 63,000 search queries entered on Google search.
Also, near to 2 trillion searches are conducted every year!
Isn’t it amazing? However, you might ask, why does it matter?
Let us understand!
Google holds an approximate 72% market share of search engines. To make sure that your webpage is listed on the top of the list of Google search results you must have an understanding of Google SERP (Search Engine Result Page).
What is SERP? And, what all it provides to the advertisers on Google?
The Search Engine Result Page of Google has gone through a lot of changes according to the user view. It has become much more dynamic, relevant, personalized, and helpful.
Now the search engine of Google is equipped with several enhancements that use structured data. The search page consists of visual enhancement, better index, and optimization for the website. You must be aware of all these changes if you are planning for a better organic ranking for your website.
Here is the new enhancement for the search page of Google:
- Direct answer Box
- Rich Snippet
- Rich cards
- Knowledge Graphs
- Knowledge Panels
- Local Pack
- People also ask
- Image Pack
- Site Links
You must be equipped with the knowledge of these for better results in organic ranking.
MSME’s got adversely affected due to the widespread of COVID-19. Several small and medium scale businesses have lost their source of income due to the sudden breakthrough of this epidemic.
Therefore to make sure that these businesses sustain the effects of the crisis, Google is allowing small retailers to list their products for free on Google Shopping.
Explaining this decision, Bill Ready, President of Commerce at Google cites the fact that it is difficult for struggling businesses to pay for Google shopping listings at this time.
“And as consumers increasingly shop online, they’re searching not just for essentials but also things like toys, apparel, and home goods.
While this presents an opportunity for struggling businesses to reconnect with consumers, many cannot afford to do so at scale.”
Earlier, Google charged its customers as Pay per click (PPC). It can also be seen as a tactic by Google to compete with Amazon in the market of e-commerce.
Two years ago, Google announced that it will discontinue the usage of third-party cookies in its browser, which is Google Chrome. Since the announcement, several speculations surfaced, to understand its effects on internet traffic and advertisement. However, Google seems determined about the elimination, and this year Google announced “Privacy Sandbox” a step towards the replacement of third-party cookies.
It is developed to provide a secure browsing experience to its user.
According to a spoke person from Google, “This is an early-stage concept, and we don’t have more details to share right now, We plan to publish updates and progress in GitHub as part of the process.”
The concept uses a new algorithm designed by performing “Bit Request Signal Experiment”.
Privacy Sandbox was launched in August. The idea was to innovate ad recurrence and behavioral advertising. It aimed to help them work on the web without using third-party cookies. A mega event was organized, 163 giant tech organizations like Apple, Facebook, Axel Springer, The Washington Post, Criteo, The Trade Desk, and even Google participated. All are requested to share their views via. World Wide Web Consortium or GitHub to help the project succeed.
However, according to the Google developers, it is still in its initial stage and there is a lot of work that is needed to be done in this field.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai explained:
“As the coronavirus outbreak continues to worsen around the world, it’s taking a devastating toll on lives and communities. To help address some of these challenges, today we’re announcing a new $800+ million commitment to support small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), health organizations and governments, and health workers on the frontline of this global pandemic.”
- WHO and other health organizations will get $250 million for advertisement.
- MSME’s and NGO’s will get $200 million.
- An additional $15 million in cash will be granted by Google.org to non-profits to bridge the gap between SMB’s.
- Those small businesses that are already active for a year with Google advertisement will get the help of a total of $340 million in Google ad. They will receive the credit in their accounts and can spend it by the end of 2020.
- The academic and research institutions in the field of COVID research will get $20 million.
- Financial support will be provided to the organizations to increase the production capacity for life-saving equipment.
However, not everything went great for Google during this tough time of COVID:
- Budget cuts and hiring freezes across marketing and across Google.
- For the second half of 2020, Google is cutting its marketing budget to 50%.
- The cut is due to the reduced expenditure on advertisement by the brands during the time of the crisis.
- The development comes in less than a week from where Google is scheduled to discuss Q1 2020 results on 28th April.
According to a statement released by email:
“There are budget cuts and hiring freezes happening across marketing and across Google…We, along with the rest of marketing, have been asked to cut our budget by about half for H2.”
A company spokesperson said in an emailed statement to CNBC,
“As we outlined last week, we are re-evaluating the pace of our investment plans for the remainder of 2020 and will focus on a select number of important marketing efforts….We continue to have a robust marketing budget, particularly in digital, in many business areas.”
…we continue to invest, but will be recalibrating the focus and pace of our investments in areas like data centers and machines, and non-business essential marketing and travel.”
As quoted by Digiday, the Head of Display at the U.S based retailer said,
“Google’s ad exchange didn’t make the list primarily because they’re not willing to give us any transparency or data around not only their take rates on our media sped but also anything we could already pull from our demand-side platform.”
“We’re seeing Google’s ad exchange become slightly less of the total pie,” said Jay Friedman, president at programmatic agency Goodway Group to DigiDay.
”I don’t have a percentage but it’s less but not significant.”, he further added.
The advertisers registered their doubts and raised concerns regarding the non-transparent behavior of Google. However, this must have been resolved after the release of the price list for its advertising tools by Google.
Google is all set to reveal its new initiative to fight the dominant Amazon in the e-commerce business.
After a series of serious attempts made by Google, to end the monopoly of Amazon in prior consecutive years, that is in 2013, 2014, 2017, and 2019. 2020 seems to be severely crucial as more customers are turning towards the online market every day, due to the COVID virus spread across the world.
Google announcement was a clear indication in the direction of its plans to spread its roots in the online market. Google has declared to charge lesser sales commission from the sellers on its platform and will also let third-party sellers like Shopify to use its platform.
Currently, the commission rates of Google’s online sales platform range from 5 percent to 15 percent depending on the category of the product.
Google might dominate the field of knowledge and information when trying to search for information. But, when it comes to searching and buying goods online, Amazon is the first choice of consumers. Due to consumers’ first choice as e-commerce, Amazon is spreading its wings in the advertisement market, which is a clear threat to Google’s core source of earning.
Google has taken several hits during these years while competing with Amazon. In a seven-year-long battle with Amazon, Google introduced several products to compete with Amazon. However, none of them succeeded. One such attempt at Google was Google Shopping Express! The service launched in 2013, offered one-day delivery for groceries. The users can take an annual membership for $95 and can avail of faster service. However, Google ended up shutting down the project.
After its failed attempts with Google Shopping Express, Google decided to convert it into Google online Mall. The Google online Mall included retailers like Best Buy and Target. In 2017, Google partnered with Walmart. This deal was supposed to bring many fortunes to the Google online market, but unfortunately, the partnership ended too soon.
However, never giving up Google, added a buy button to its search engine. The online-button allowed the users to directly purchase the search engine, with the help of their credit and debit cards.
For an effective competition strategy with Amazon, Google brought in Bill Ready. Bill Ready was a former executive at PayPal.
The announcement in April came as a piece of happy news for the retailers. Now, retailers can list their products for free on Google online market listing. However, early the sellers had to buy the ads to get their products listed with Google. By this step, Google is expecting to attract huge audiences!
Mr. Ready, in an interview, described the position of E-commerce across the world. According to him, there is a wide range of audiences who are shopping online for their needs. Although, there is just a handful of platforms entertaining all of them.
“We want to make sure selling online is easy and inexpensive,” said Mr Ready. Follow
According to Google spokesperson, the changes will be visible to the people in the USA. Those who are already listing products on Amazon can use the same listing on Google, that is, without making any changes to the format.
The aim of Google is to take over Amazon, or at least, for the time being, be the biggest competitor. However is a 20 minutes long conference, Mr. Reddy shy out to take the name of their competitor, even for once.
Even when asked the question to name the largest rain forest in South America, Mr. Ready decided to dodge the question.
Although, he stated:
“Consumers benefit from a diverse and thriving ecosystem of sellers.” Adding that, “There is no one player that can serve all the needs of consumers.”