Walmart Is Bringing Free Samples to More Than 1,000 Stores
There's just something about getting free samples at your favorite grocery store that makes the whole shopping experience a little sweeter. And in great news for Walmart shoppers, the retailer is currently planning to add that perk to plenty of its stores throughout the United States in the coming months.
Since April, Walmart has been testing demo stations that hand out product samples to customers at select locations. The chain said in a June press release that more 120 stores were offering demos on the weekends. The retailer now plans to expand the demo stations to more than 1,000 stores across the country by the end of January 2024, CNBC reported.
While not all Walmart locations in the United States will get the demo stations by the end of January, 1,000 stores is still a significant portion of the 4,700 stores across the retailer operates. Advertisers will be able to pay to display their products at these stations. The tables will also display QR codes that can pull up online shopping options and other helpful information when scanned. Suppliers will drive exposure to their products using the sample stations, while customers will have more chances to discover new items and get freebies.
"For suppliers, these demos create a massive opportunity to drive discovery and conversion, such as when launching a new product or driving an always-on presence for core products. For customers, this creates an experience to look forward to, and some have already shared that these demo weekends feel like customer appreciation events," the company said.
Walmart's plans to expand its demo stations are part of a major increase in in-store advertising across the board right now. The chain is leaning into advertising channels inside its brick-and-mortar locations because more consumers are returning to shopping in person after the COVID-19 pandemic. Walmart said that 88% of its customers made purchases in stores last year.
"When you think about our store, our store footprint and the percentage of Americans that we reach through our stores, we can deliver Super Bowl-sized audiences every week," Ryan Mayward, senior vice president of retail media sales for Walmart Connect, told CNBC.
As part of this advertising boost, customers can expect to see more ads on digital screens throughout Walmart stores, including the screens at self-checkout. They'll also hear more third-party ads on Walmart's in-store radio.