Influencer marketing has become one of the most powerful ways for brands and retailers to advertise products and collections on social media. After all, the influencer market is estimated to become a $16.4 billion industry by the end of this year.
And while some legacy brands and companies have been hesitant to dive into the ever-changing world of influencer marketing, some may be realizing that in order to survive in the tumultuous world of retail these days, it might be a necessary move.
The company filed trademarks for “Walmart Creator” and “Walmart Creator Collective,” the intent of which looks like “the promotion of goods and services of others through influencers,” according to Reuters, though Walmart declined to comment.
Entrepreneur has also reached out to Walmart for comment.
Walmart currently works with some influencers on grocery and apparel promotions, although the retailer does not have a formally-named affiliates program.
The rollout of the Creator Collective would likely follow in Amazon’s footsteps, which runs the successful Amazon Influencer Program where users can link out to their own Amazon landing page and promote stoppable items that they will earn commission on should a follower make a purchase.
However, the program has received backlash in the past few months after the company took select influencers on a private, all-expense-paid lavish vacation to Todos Santos, Mexico just days after reporting a $3.8 billion quarterly profit loss in Q1 of 2022.
A boycott has also begun on TikTok over the Influencer Program called People Over Prime, where popular TikTokers are taking a pledge to no longer promote Amazon or any of its products until the company agrees to meet the demands of the Amazon Workers Union.
Though there aren’t any clearcut plans yet for how Walmart will design its version of a creator program, it’s likely that promoting Walmart+ (the company’s premium subscription program) will be a big play, as Walmart has been doubling down on efforts to grow the program through a new partnership with Paramount+.
Recently, Walmart slashed prices on big-ticket items and apparel across stores in an attempt to offset inflation costs and the subsequent change in shoppers’ mentalities.
Walmart was down just shy of 8% year over year as of Friday afternoon.