Walmart suspended its affiliate programs, which will hurt digital publishers and decrease its website traffic.

WHAT HAPPENED: Walmart paused its partnerships with ecommerce platforms like MagicLinks, Rakuten, Vox Media and BuzzFeed without a definitive return date.

WHY IT MATTERS

  • Since Walmart is among the few retailers doing well during COVID-19—it plans to hire 150,000 employees through the end of May—pausing this revenue stream will have lasting effects on the viability of the affiliate ecosystem. Affiliate partnerships are a crucial source of revenue for many digital media companies and individual creators. Instead of suspending affiliate programs altogether, Walmart could create new terms and incentives that would help its partners align with Walmart’s focus areas—enabling both parties to continue benefiting from the relationship. Social media usage is at an all-time high and cutting these channels entirely negatively impacts partners and is a missed opportunity for Walmart to grow its customer base while consumers are stuck at home.