Ecommerce is always changing. Take Walmart, for example. Last year, they were a noteworthy, up-and-coming marketplace. Now, they are a major player, crucial to online sellers’ success through omnichannel marketing. To succeed as competition increases, you need an intimate understanding of your preferred marketing channels. Fortunately, we’re continuing our deep dives with a key breakdown of Walmart, its growth and changes, and how you can make the most out of its unparalleled opportunities.
Advertisement Auction Style
Walmart has recently switched to a second-price auction. Once again, this auction style is the more commonplace version where, if you win a bid with $5, but the next highest bid was $3.50, you only have to pay $3.50.
With this similarity in mind, Walmart’s second-price auction still differs slightly from the version we see on Amazon and other marketplaces. While bid winners pay the price of the second-highest bid, the first-highest bid is not necessarily the winner. Walmart emphasizes the customer experience, meaning that you can bid the most money and still not win the auction. In addition to larger bids, Walmart looks for sellers that provide solid service to their customers and products that are most related to the keyword in question.
Search Results Placements
Appearing high on search results pages is critical to succeed in Walmart’s marketplace. After all, this is the main avenue consumers find the products they want to purchase. It is also a fantastic opportunity to prove the value of your catalog. When consumers are searching a marketplace, they have a problem that they are looking to solve. If, in that search, they find a product that fulfills their needs, they are likely to buy it.
Walmart previously had only allowed one listing per product to appear in search results — either organic or paid. However, recently, Walmart made a huge improvement that benefits sellers greatly. Based on their research, to provide a better shopping experience, Walmart allows both organic and paid to appear in search results.
This is great for growing your business as it doubles your performance. You get twice as much real estate in search results, twice as many opportunities to be seen, and twice as many opportunities to convert. So be sure to plan your strategies and budget accordingly to take advantage of both listing styles.
Shoppers expect a more streamlined, tailored experience by the day. That means they are going to be far more amenable to ads, products, and explanations that fit their lifestyle. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that many sellers experience better results when they target consumers based on the device they use.
You can set ads on Walmart.com, but there is no devoted device targeting at this time. However, Walmart Connect allows you to leverage their bid multiplier feature at the device level — for example, potentially shifting bids/budget to one device type versus another. This allows you to stay agile and improve your advertising process.
Sponsored Search Match Types
Just like Amazon, Walmart sellers have an easier time allocating their budget wisely with its ability to support multiple match types:
- Broad Match
- Phrase Match
- Exact Match
Thanks to multiple match types, your keywords don’t have to be as targeted. The Walmart Connect ad system can use a few guiding keyphrases to determine relevant search results.
While Walmart has limited targeting options compared to Amazon, it still offers powerful tools to grow your business. The most useful of these resources has to be competitor targeting. By leveraging competitor keywords, you can improve your performance by using strategies that have worked for others. Note: this is not the same as competitive conquesting, which is not currently supported by Walmart Connect.
If you find that your competition is starting to outpace you — or worse, actively try to steal your audience from you — you can focus on the keywords and trends that are performing well with them. With a little budget and strategy, you can ensure you take your customers right back, and some of theirs for the trouble!
The Walmart Connect Approval Process
Lastly, Walmart’s Sponsored Brands ads require dedicated review for approval, potentially resulting in rejection of unapproved ads. While this process is designed to be expedient, it is important to take the extra time into consideration when creating your ad campaigns. Another way to help this process is to stay updated on Walmart Connect’s guidelines and expectations to ensure you’re not missing any details. With this approach, you’ll always be growing your business and performing your best.
Keep your education going with the other marketplaces featured in our deep dive series:
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