Wal-Mart's Digital Reach: Only Half The U.S. Population

As if we needed another reminder of just how big Wal-Mart is, the $400-billion gorilla released some updated data this month at the NRF Big Show on its digital signage program and online media at Walmart.com. For the Web site, the numbers are predictably huge: 1 billion ad impressions each month to 32 million unique visitors. For the Web and digital signage combined, the monthly reach in the U.S. is a staggering 100 to 150 million people, or between one-half and one-third of the U.S. population, according to Wal-Mart marketing director James Beck.

With that kind of reach, it may be a blessing that Wal-Mart is notoriously conservative in how it uses the digital signs. Wal-Mart doesn't need to get any more of its customers' attention; a 90- to 120-second message about a particular product on the digital signs can already double the product's sales. If Wal-Mart got really serious about using sign technology to get customers' attention, there might really be no attention left for any other retailer.