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Walmart-owned Sam's Club announced that "real-time, intelligently retargeted display advertising is now available across tens of thousands of sites on the open web through Sam’s Club Member Access Platform (MAP). This feature — provided in partnership with The Trade Desk and LiveRamp (RAMP) — leverages first-party member data, advertiser data and AI-powered, real-time behavioral insights from Sam’s Club to make advertising campaigns smarter, more effective and more personalized."

The announcement notes that "advertisers have long been challenged to better optimize retargeting, but often wind up bombarding consumers with repetitive or irrelevant ads due to inaccurate and incomplete data. Sam's Club MAP is uniquely positioned to solve this challenge because it uses real-time, accurate data from registered Sam's Club members, including exact data on purchase history, demographics, recent purchases of similar items and basket size — data not available on other retail media platforms. As a result, MAP campaigns can deliver personalized ads in real time to members who’ve expressed interest in a product but have not yet made a purchase. And MAP campaigns are smart enough to stop serving ads to members — even when they are not on Sam’s Club properties — once the member makes a related purchase."

The announcement goes on:

"MAP retargeting automatically connects ads to membership data and member behavior, delivering tangible results, including incremental ROAS (return on ad spend), all 3rd party verified by IRI. Advertisers are able to track those results, including iROAS, right up to the point of sale, by using MAP’s reporting feature.

"Sam’s Club MAP offers advertisers real-time retargeting for a variety of scenarios, including:  A member has browsed a specific item on, or placed an item in their cart, but did not complete the purchase … A member visited a specific landing page, brand page or shelf page on, but did not make a purchase … A member placed an order online to be picked up in club but still plans to shop the club while they’re there – like many members do.

"MAP’s real-time retargeting allows advertisers with complementary products to deliver relevant ads between order placement and club check out effectively allowing advertisers to 'Win the Second Cart'."

KC's View:

This is all about continuing to nurture alternative revenue sources that can be used to fund the core business model and compete more effectively.  People are used to it - many of us are familiar with the fact that after we look at a pair of shoes on Zappos, say, those same shoes seem to show up in lots of ads, prompting us to go back and buy them.

The thing that Sam's and other retailers following this path have to be careful about is that it annoys some percentage of shoppers - they feel manipulated and tracked.  Which, of course, they are.