A Retail Access & Ads Platform Centered on the Member
June 15, 2022
By Lex Josephs, VP/GM, Sam’s Club Member Access Platform
At Sam’s Club, we are member obsessed. We lead with this obsession by offering a curated assortment of high-quality products at an incredible value. We lead with this obsession by providing our members with a multi-touchpoint experience, whether they are shopping at our Clubs, on SamsClub.com, in app, or with Curbside Pickup and Delivery. We lead with this obsession every day.
With this heritage, we are announcing Sam’s Club is transforming its advertising business into the Sam’s Club Member Access Platform (MAP). Today, we’re reintroducing ourselves as an access and ads platform focused first and foremost on our members by delivering an additive ads experience.
We know our members want a shopping experience that is easy, convenient, and personalized. And we know our agencies, ad tech platforms, suppliers, and marketers want to reach our members efficiently and effectively. With MAP, our journey will always start FIRST with our member. Next, we will create and give partners experiences, tools, and opportunities that help members discover new products at the time they need and want them.
It's our member-first approach – which is now aligned with the overall Sam’s Club member-obsession – that differentiates us, along with the combination of our platform, our products, our people, our processes, and our first-party data. Let me tell you more.
Our Platform & Products
We believe every member experience should be curated, consistent, qualitative, comprehensive, and quantifiable. We believe our platform should be easy to buy, easy to sell, and easy to operate – regardless of the size of our partner. We know our members are searching now more than ever for solutions to meet their personal needs. For these reasons, we are launching a member-additive ads experience with sponsored product (search) ads. In tandem, we are also launching a self-service platform for sponsored product (search) ads. These product initiatives will allow our partners to buy search in an automated way, enabling them to easily operate and easily buy with MAP.
We also know that, in addition to our owned and operated platforms, our members discover products and browse many other places beyond SamsClub.com. As a result, we are launching a Programmatic Partnership with LiveRamp, IRI and TradeDesk. This opportunity will allow Sam’s Club to partner with our suppliers, marketers, ad agencies, and ad tech platforms in unique data-driven ways, but ultimately, bring members back to the Sam’s Club ecosystem.
But what makes MAP unlike other retail ads businesses and membership & subscription platforms is this: as a membership organization, we have an incredible amount of insight on our members. Not only do we have 100% visibility into their purchases, but we also know their search behaviors. We know our members incredibly well. In addition, we offer a curated assortment of high-quality items. Therefore, we can predict what our members want and need with great precision. And because of this, we’re able to build partnerships and ad experiences that are additive to our member’s experience, while also being extremely effective and efficient.
As part of our transformation, we will continue to evolve our data monetization and partnership strategy (one key partner is IRI), while maintaining the trust of our members.
Our People & Processes
Easy to Operate. Easy to Buy. Easy to Sell. Recently, we’ve built an incredible leadership team that allows Sam’s Club to realize this formula. Our goal is to first and foremost create a member-additive experience, but to also grow profit and revenue for Sam’s Club. And this is quite fitting, because MAP is part of Sam’s Club’s newly formed growth organization – led by Kieran Shanahan, Chief Growth Officer, Sam’s Club – that includes Product, Strategy, Marketing & Membership, and MAP.
By working cross-functionally with Sam’s Club E-commerce, Sam’s Club’s Merchandising Organization, and the Growth Organization, MAP will help drive alignment and direction for our partners. This will ensure that our members receive what’s right for them, while advertisers receive the results they need.
Our mission is to deliver the most valuable member additive ads experience in the industry, and with our focus on the member – across all of Sam’s Club, now inclusive of MAP – we are poised to do so.
We are member-obsessed. We are associate-inspired. We are partner-focused. And we are excited about making our member’s shopping experience with Sam’s Club even more valuable, measurable, and fun.