The move is a big one for Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, which only began offering a customer membership program, Walmart+, in 2020. Instead, the retailer has historically relied on its motto of Every Day Low Prices to offer customers savings.
The new customer loyalty program will create digital offers on Walmart.com and the Walmart app, where customers can access hundreds of cash rebates. Walmart will join the Ibotta Performance Network, which delivers cash back to loyalty customers. The IPN enables cash rebates to be delivered in a coordinated fashion across large third-party sites, including social media networks, recipe sites and other platforms.
“We’re pleased to partner with Ibotta to bring unmatched digital offers to Walmart shoppers while still giving customers a consistent way to save,” said Janey Whiteside, executive vice president and chief customer officer, Walmart U.S. “The partnership is a win-win. We’re able to find new and exciting ways to help customers save even more with Walmart, all while propelling our business forward, driving loyalty and creating new ways for us to engage suppliers.”
Walmart has worked with Ibotta since 2018, and the two companies envision integration opportunities with Walmart’s broader financial services offerings. Digital coupon redemption surpassed free standing inserts for the first time in 2020, meaning more customers are looking to digital solutions to find savings.
Customers in the new loyalty program will receive cash back directly to their Walmart accounts when using digital rebates. That cash back can be used for future Walmart purchases or applied toward a Walmart+ membership, grocery delivery and more. Walmart launched Walmart+ last year as its answer to Amazon Prime.
“In expanding this important relationship, we are thrilled to bring the value of closed-loop cash rebates and the IPN to the world’s largest retailer and all of its customers,” said Bryan Leach, founder and CEO, Ibotta. “Walmart has been an innovative leader in retail for six decades, and we are honored to work with them on this program and to be their exclusive third-party provider of digital item-level rebates on Walmart platforms. Walmart’s participation in the IPN will further enhance our ability to drive significant traffic and sales to their stores and digital properties.”