Here’s what we cover:
- Detailing new product detail page content functionality for Walmart Marketplace sellers
- Outlining new Walmart reporting functionality on the seller dashboard and within the Teikametrics platform
- Utilizing the latest tactics around conquesting on Walmart to capture competitor sales
- Stories of sellers who grew on Walmart.com over the first half of this year, and what you can learn from them
Watch the replay:
Read The Full transcript
Andrew Waber (00:00:01):
Okay, so we are just a minute past the hour, so I think we can get moving as more folks roll in here. But again, so my name is Andrew Waber, I’m the Director of Insights here at Teikametrics, and just really excited for this presentation with someone from the Walmart team and then again, Teikametrics here as well.
Andrew Waber (00:00:18):
So, what we’re going to be talking about today is really what’s new for the Walmart Marketplace sellers like you in Q3. With me today is Alicia DeFinis, who is the Assistant Director of Partnerships over at Walmart, and Jason Magee, who is the Director of Business Development over at Teikametrics. So thank you both for joining, just really excited. There’s a lot of great content we’re going to be covering.
Andrew Waber (00:00:41):
So just to hop into the agenda here and kind of just run down what we’re going to be covering today. So the first is, and this is going to be Alicia is going to share some of the latest figures when it comes to Walmart Marketplace seller growth, kind of looking over the last several months and obviously that’s top of everyone’s mind with everything going on. So there are some really great stats there. Then we’re going to move into things that you kind of as sellers really should be aware of from Walmart Marketplace either that just launched or are set to become part of Walmart’s overall offering over the new few months. So that includes a Shopify integration, which just went live earlier this month, and then listing quality dashboard and some new details and shipping and performance that are going to be coming out over the course of Q3.
Andrew Waber (00:01:32):
Finally, we’re going to pass it over to Jason for some real deep dive on some best practices, and depending on your different goals and objectives on Walmart, a new reporting functionality that we’re rolling out on the Teikametrics platform for Walmart that’s super interesting. Then finally wrap it up with some seller success stories from the first half of this year. What’s interesting is as part of these stories we have some great notes in terms of folks that saw some impact due to COVID for one reason or other, and they were able to make a successful pivot and would still even grow their business in the face of those challenges.
Andrew Waber (00:02:05):
So again, a lot to cover, and then we’re going to wrap up with some Q&A. Just before we get going, a couple of quick housekeeping notes. We will be recording this session and sending along the recording to everyone within the next 24 hours following the conclusion of the webinar. Additionally in terms of questions, if you have any questions that you’re thinking about throughout the presentation, feel free to enter them in that question box on the right hand side of your screen. What I’ll be doing is just kind of attacking those and we’ll be trying to tackle those again at the very end of the presentation. Again, you don’t have to feel free to wait till the end, you can do that just throughout the presentation.
Andrew Waber (00:02:43):
So with that, I just want to pass it over to Alicia.
Jason Magee (00:02:47):
Yeah, and just a quick heads-up, Alicia, I know I’m putting you in the spot here, I’m very excited about this. Obviously we know what we’re going to be sharing today. You guys are in for a real treat today, so thanks everybody for joining.
Alicia DeFinis (00:03:00):
Yeah, absolutely. Thank you guys so much for having me. This is my second webinar with you guys. I’m excited to be welcomed back. I think it means you like me.
Jason Magee (00:03:11):
Just a little bit.
Alicia DeFinis (00:03:12):
Thanks so much for having me, and I’m really excited today. I know we probably have a mix of people joined who are either currently on Walmart and then also who are thinking about the possibility of joining and utilizing Teikametrics and talking about or thinking about how they can grow.
Alicia DeFinis (00:03:35):
So, I really just want to give you guys an overview on Walmart ecommerce and where we are in the marketplace, and how we think about growth, and then also the number one or one of the number one topics that we’re really thinking about on kind of the day-to-day here at Walmart is how are we better prepared for what’s coming. So, if that’s a second surge of COVID, or another lockdown, or another pandemic in the future, how are we better preparing ourselves, our sellers, and how will we be able to be there for our customers in an even bigger way in the future, should we need to be? So I know that conversation is happening at Walmart, I know it’s happening at Teikametrics. I am sure it’s probably happening at a lot of your businesses too, and so want to just have you guys think about that and think about how Walmart and Teikametrics can be a partner that helps solve some of your potential issues in the future as we’re all navigating this new world of rapid change.
Alicia DeFinis (00:04:45):
So, if you want to go over to the next slide, I’ll talk just a little bit about Walmart’s ecommerce growth. So, a lot of this has been in the news. I’m not going to hammer this home too hard, but we’re really growing in a meaningful and in what we believe is the right way. So we’ve had 20 consecutive quarters of positive comp. Last quarter obviously Q1 with everything that’s going on across the nation we saw our largest quarter of growth, so 74%, which is really significant year over year growth in Q1, and a lot of that being driven by our Marketplace business, our healthy thriving Marketplace business. We’re also getting the traffic that sellers need to have success. So 120 unique monthly visitors, we’ve definitely seen surges over the last couple of months that I’m sure a lot of you have seen on your ecommerce channels as well, so holiday like traffic, and really learning to navigate a new norm and be there to delight customers when they’re in need.
Jason Magee (00:05:54):
The one thing I’ll say about this, Alicia, and this is why we’ve been so excited about the partnership, is you guys are outpacing everybody, and you’re doing that while maintaining not only incredible partnerships with your suppliers and partners and retailers, but the customers are loving it too. I mean, I’ve just been really, really fascinated by watching all of this growth happen, so it’s incredible to see.
Alicia DeFinis (00:06:20):
Absolutely. Thanks for teeing this up because really I want to talk about the way that we think about growth on the Marketplace. So the way that Walmart Marketplace thinks about growth is really about partnering with the right sellers to grow in the right way. So what I mean by that is we will really never be a place that has millions and millions of sellers. We don’t always believe that more is more. What we’re looking to do is have a like experience to our competitors where we have the assortment that people know and love and the brands that they really want to shop for, and everything that they need in a one stop shop type experience, but we want to do so by partnering with the right sellers who can delight our customers and deliver fast, at the right price, and help us grow in a meaningful way.
Alicia DeFinis (00:07:12):
So, we are not a saturated marketplace. Because we have less sellers, we actually see that our sellers get more monthly visitors. What does more mean? For us more is pretty significant, it’s about 13X what you would see on Amazon. So an Amazon seller is on average getting 2,100 monthly visitors, whereas on Walmart they’re getting 27,000. So, this is something that we believe by partnering with and being selective about who we partner with we can make a more meaningful experience for that seller as well because they’ll be getting increased traffic on our platform.
Alicia DeFinis (00:07:53):
This is just to go into that in a little bit more detail of exactly what we’re looking for. So we want professional sellers. We want people who’ve done this, who understand ecommerce, who know how to fulfill fast, who have the ability to scale and perform. We also really care about customer trust. So the products have to be top quality, authentic. We have the lowest basis in the marketplace industry of counterfeit and we want to maintain that, so we keep a really high bar for who we’ll allow to sell on the platform. We want exceptional customer service, that’s what our customers have come to know and love through shopping with Walmart, and that’s really important for us to continue to grow. So, the-
Jason Magee (00:08:36):
The one thing I’ll say-
Alicia DeFinis (00:08:38):
[crosstalk 00:08:38] go ahead.
Jason Magee (00:08:38):
… [crosstalk 00:08:38] is it does not mean that Walmart does not want to grow and does not want to add sellers, but you’re doing so in a manner that maintains the integrity of your marketplace rather than … And that actually puts every retailer and seller on the marketplace in a much better position to know that it’s a trusted bunch of sellers, which I think is just a key point here.
Alicia DeFinis (00:09:01):
Absolutely, and that’s the thing, is we want to protect our sellers from things like ASIN hijacking or other fraudulent activity that really makes selling risky and unenjoyable and unprofitable in a lot of ways, so that’s a great point. Thanks, Jason.
Jason Magee (00:09:18):
Alicia DeFinis (00:09:22):
So the process as well is really simple. You need to apply. We do a thorough vetting to make sure that you are who you say you are, your products come from where you say they do, we do a trust and safety screen. You can then accept the contract, register your seller center account, go through the onboarding process and launch on site. So, it’s relatively smooth and we have people available to help you through the process, especially I think my colleague Jonathan added in we have created a cobranded application link with Teikametrics. So for utilizing that link we’ll be monitoring the queue as the applications come through and make sure you’re having success getting through the process, and I’ve worked with Jason on a number of different sellers who’ve run into issues and making sure it’s just really super smooth and helping if something does come up.
Jason Magee (00:10:13):
I know there’s been a number of questions about this, but we’ll be sending out those links, the recording, and the slides as well so everybody will have access to it. Also, I put my email in at the very end, so you’ll be able to contact me directly if you have any questions.
Alicia DeFinis (00:10:30):
Then when we’re talking about integration, I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about Shopify. So, we had a big launch last week with the Shopify partnership, and there’s been a lot of questions I think across the industry of what exactly does this mean. So, I want to give you guys kind of an overview of what we’ve done here. Essentially Walmart we created an app that lives within the Shopify App Store. So this app, if you have a Shopify storefront it essentially makes integrating with Walmart much easier than ever before.
Alicia DeFinis (00:11:05):
So, you would download the Walmart app in the Shopify App Store and install, and once you’ve installed that you will be prompted to if you don’t currently have a Walmart account you’ll be prompted to apply. We still are having every seller applying do that. This doesn’t circumvent any of that. We want to maintain that high bar for trust. So you’ll apply, be approved, you can then go ahead and sign in to your Seller Center account and begin the integration process. So essentially pushing your listings that live in Shopify through to the Walmart marketplace, making it really easier than ever to integrate. Then when you receive an order we essentially push it back into Shopify and Shopify is where you would manage your orders and do everything within their UI with all of your other ecommerce that you’re managing there.
Alicia DeFinis (00:11:59):
So you can go to the next slide, and this is kind of what that looks like. So you have the ability to manage your listings, to fulfill your orders and really optimize from Shopify, which just streamlines the process. It’s a really meaningful important partnership for us because it also allows us the ability to tap into some really great professional sellers that are Shopify trusted users and bring them into the Walmart Marketplace in a really cohesive way. So, if you’re a Shopify user, we really hope that you’ll take advantage of this.
Jason Magee (00:12:32):
I think that’s just incredible and it’s such a stellar move. The ability to make things a lot simpler and to invite quality sellers and quality products and listings to the Walmart store is just going to be incredible, and then obviously with your integration and managing of the logistical components. I mean, that’s just an incredible partnership and we absolutely love to see it, and I know a lot of our clients are excited about it.
Alicia DeFinis (00:12:57):
Yeah. This is everything right now. We just want to continue to make selling and having success easier and easier.
Jason Magee (00:13:04):
Alicia DeFinis (00:13:04):
So listing quality is the next part I’m going to talk about, and really we think about listing quality kind of in three ways at Walmart, and it really has to do with content, offer, and performance.
Alicia DeFinis (00:13:19):
So, if you want to go to the next slide. So why is listing quality important? If you’re a professional seller, and I know the majority of you on here are, you understand. You want to gain visibility, you want to reach your customers, ultimately you want to win. You want to win the Buy Box and you want to convert and sell more products. So this is how we think about you having the tools to be able to do so. It’s three parts, content, offer, and performance. So in other ways, the way that we were thinking about this is how descriptive is your listing, how competitive is your offer, and how great is your customer experience, and this is what we kind of think of as the trifecta. Content is, you guys, I feel like this word gets thrown around so, so much, and it is so, so important. My counterparts, my buddies here at Teikametrics, they have a ton of really great data and information on content as well, but I’m going to give you just kind of a brief overview of what we’re looking at and what we think is really important and how we’re working with sellers to help you guys have access to the ability to optimize your listings.
Alicia DeFinis (00:14:31):
So obviously you need to have the right categorization so that you’re coming up accurately in search results. Product title is super important, and I’ll let the Teikametrics team talk about that in a little more detail. But your description, the fact that you’re filling out all of your attributes, the fact that you have images that are high quality, that give multiple views, that make customers feel really confident when they’re purchasing, and then going a step further into rich media, so video and other content that really paints the full picture and increases that customer trust.
Jason Magee (00:15:06):
Yeah, 360 degree is just huge right now. I mean, I know Salsify and other one of your partners is doing a webinar on this topic as well. I mean, that’s absolutely something that folks should be leveraging in order to increase conversion rates.
Alicia DeFinis (00:15:21):
Absolutely. You’re totally right. Then this is what we have coming down the pike. So, we’re constantly working on innovation and ways to help our sellers have success. So, what we really want to focus on and what we want to provide for you guys is the ability to arm yourself with data to improve. So we’re going to be coming out with this listing quality dashboard that will take into account all six items and tell you where you stand, where you stand versus other people selling and other listings, and give you the opportunity to see where you’re having a lot of great success from a content standpoint and where you have the ability to improve, and also see if that correlates with your … our data tells us that it typically correlates with your conversion and with your sales. So this will really bring to the forefront where you have the opportunity to improve and sell more products. So we’re really excited about this release, which is coming in just the next couple of months.
Alicia DeFinis (00:16:20):
The next piece is offer, which this is probably the most important of the three when you’re thinking about selling on Walmart. So the way we think about how good is your offer, how competitive is your offer, is two components, shipping and pricing. So expedited shipping is just super important, and I know you guys know this. The industry has been conditioned, or the customers have been conditioned to receive products in two days. We at Walmart have a two day program that’s healthy and thriving and that we would love for you to participate in, but we also see that our data reflects that the three day delivery promise actually is just about as meaningful. So really if you’re looking at it from a conversion standpoint you’ll see a 41% increase by utilizing two day and a 35% increase by utilizing three day.
Alicia DeFinis (00:17:19):
So this is really important to know, is that it’s a flexibility in the market, it’s a bit of the COVID effect, it’s a little bit of just the changing in the industries where customers are more flexible to receive something in three days, and it’s really only when you get down to five days and beyond where we want to avoid. We really want to make sure we’re getting products to our customers within four days, but five days and beyond is where you start to see a decrease in your conversion rate or it really starts to hurt you. So want to make sure that that is really crystal clear for you guys, and I want to talk a little bit more about the three day program, but go ahead, Jason.
Jason Magee (00:18:00):
I was just going to say going back to this, I mean, it’s good to actually see the data, right? It’s one thing to be like, “Hey, customers want to receive products as quickly as possible.” It’s another thing to say, “Look, this is exactly how your conversion rates can be affected the longer lead time you have.” So this is just the proof is in the pudding, right? To your point, consumers are conditioned in they want the immediacy of short delivery times. That also is reflected in how people purchase your products as well. So I think it’s just an incredibly important factor that everybody should take into account how they’re fulfilling on the marketplace side.
Alicia DeFinis (00:18:35):
Absolutely. So right now I think another piece that I want to make sure we’re talking about is that fast shipping doesn’t have to be expensive or it doesn’t have to break the bank is essentially I think something that is a misnomer about fast shipping. So right now we have 20% of our orders that are getting to customers in three days on value or standard shipping. So it doesn’t have to be unprofitable or really eat away at your margin to deliver for the customers. So this is a look at next day, two day and three day, and the requirements for each. Again, if you have the ability to do the two day program, that’s going to be the best bang for your buck, so to say, because it has the highest conversion increase and really that is that two day promise is what has in a lot of ways become important across the industry.
Alicia DeFinis (00:19:29):
What we’re encouraging you to do is if you can’t do two day, don’t feel like you can’t participate at all. What’s important for you to understand is that you can participate in three day and still see a lot of the benefits that sellers get for two day but have a little bit more flexibility.
Alicia DeFinis (00:19:45):
So what are those benefits? This program you can opt into in Seller Center, and there’s no prerequisite, you can opt in and start participating. As long as you consistently deliver in three days you’ll be able to stay in the program, and it gives you points towards a Buy Box, so it gives you Buy Box prominence. When you opt into the three day program you’re more likely to win the Buy Box, which equals more likely to convert and sell more products, and we’re giving you the flexibility to be able to get your order, a little bit of lag time when you’re getting your orders out, and then when you get the products to the customer. So everyone, if you’re a professional seller I would say the majority of your products, everyone is constantly working on increasing the speed to which they’re delivering for customers. You could probably participate in this program and really see the benefit, and we want to make sure that you’re not missing out.
Alicia DeFinis (00:20:42):
So, the last piece that I’ll talk about is price, and I won’t talk too much about this. I will just say that being price competitive is something that’s in the fabric of what we really believe in at Walmart. We really want to be delivering value for our customers, and people come to Walmart, in many ways they want a competitive price. So we are serving up data that you guys can utilize to understand what’s happening in the categories and in the item listings that you’re selling in, and we encourage you to be compelling and be aggressive. Remember that this is really Walmart we’re about scale, we’re about volume, and you’re going to … Winning the Buy Box by being price competitive is going to allow you to win over and over again and ultimately grow your business and have that scale that you desire.
Alicia DeFinis (00:21:32):
Then the last piece I’m going to talk about is performance. So, the way that we really think about performance is how you’re delivering for or delighting customers and how consistent you’re being. So we are serving up performance information in your seller scorecard in Seller Center, and this is basically calculated taking into effect a number of things. So it’s your on time shipping rate, your order cancellations. So are you shipping on time? Are you canceling a bunch of orders? Do your orders receive a ton of returns? Do we get complaints about or are there delivery defects or customer complaints? These are the things that we’re taking into consideration and that all puts together your ODR rate or your order defect rate.
Alicia DeFinis (00:22:17):
So this is just really making sure, again, that we’re maintaining that high bar for allowing our sellers some flexibility to be able to operate but also for making sure that they’re focused on what’s most important to us, which is customer experience. Now, this is not to say if something goes wrong and you need to cancel some orders, we do understand that things happen. This is calculated on a 90 day time span, so there is some flexibility in there, but we really need to see consistency and the fact that you’re delivering for the customer.
Alicia DeFinis (00:22:53):
Then the last piece that I’ll talk about is reviews. This again is something that you guys probably know a ton about and you know the importance of reviews. People want to read reviews. It’s something that’s important for the decision-making process, and that’s no different on Walmart.com. So, it helps increase your conversion. If you have reviews, consider using one of our syndication partners to bring those reviews over to Walmart. Bazaarvoice is a really great partner of ours that allows you to bring your reviews over to your Walmart listings. We’ve got other partners that specialize in this as well. You can find them all on marketplace.walmart.com. We encourage you to participate in this. This really helps with your overall performance and conversion as well.
Alicia DeFinis (00:23:44):
And that’s everything I have for you guys today. I’ll kick it over to Jason.
Jason Magee (00:23:48):
Well great. Well Alicia, thank you so much, and I saw a ton of questions coming in, which is great. So hopefully I’ll be able to get through this pretty quick and we’ll leave some ample time for Q&A.
Jason Magee (00:23:57):
So let’s talk about keys to scaling successfully on Walmart. Now, Alicia mentioned some of this. I’m going to dive into a little bit more detail. Ensuring your categorization is set up correctly. I’m calling this out because this is something we see more than we would expect when it comes to sellers setting up on Walmart. So you can easily have a product that technically exists and it’s live, but if you do not have it categorized correctly, technically you cannot find it, and for all intents and purposes, it doesn’t exist for customers, even though it’s live in the system. So it’s really important that you have that because you cannot even run an advertisement against a product if it’s not categorized correctly.
Jason Magee (00:24:38):
The second point is on the listing optimization. So, we obviously all know from those professional sellers on Amazon and other marketplaces the importance of a properly optimized listing. I’m going to talk about a few ways why this really, really matters. So there’s two aspects of this. There’s the organic ranking and then there’s advertising. So, when you are listing a product on Walmart and Walmart is trying to figure out and query a search term versus a product that fits that product, they’re going to dive into your listing. They’re going to drive in the metadata, they’re going to dive into your images, your bullets, your content, your title. So if you don’t have the keywords that you know you are very relevant for, your chances of ranking organically are significantly reduced.
Jason Magee (00:25:26):
The second thing is is when you actually go to run advertising, for those who are familiar with automatic campaigns, you’re essentially assigning a budget to Walmart and Walmart is going to go look at your listing and pull out keywords they think are relevant for your listing. Now, if they go into your listing and you don’t have the keywords and you don’t have rich content there, there’s less of a scope or a matrix of keywords that they can pull from. So not only can you not get good keywords from automatic campaigns and get the searchability and discoverability you need. One thing I’ll talk about is search term data coming from automatic campaigns, which you can now get. You don’t have a good set of keywords that you then can mine over to manual campaigns to really control their performance.
Jason Magee (00:26:13):
Next, reviews matter, just as Alicia said. Walmart offers two partners in particular. You also have a lot more companies they work with that you can syndicate reviews from other places. Bazaarvoice, Spark Reviews, those are just two of them. In our experience, having at least one four or five star review puts you at a massive competitive advantage compared to products that do not have any reviews at all.
Jason Magee (00:26:39):
Third is the Flywheel effect, which is incredibly real. So much so that we’ve named our technology Teikametrics Flywheel on the back of it. Let’s dive into some examples. So here’s an example of what it means to not be categorized correctly. So this children’s orange deluxe front loader hunting vest. While it technically exists on Walmart, you can see in this red box that I have right here that there’s no categorization here. So you cannot see where that product should actually exist, and you can see here that there’s just not a ton of information that can really grab you to help drive not only Walmart’s algorithm but also how customers buy products and decide to make a purchase.
Jason Magee (00:27:23):
On the flip side, here’s an example of a listing that has been optimized. First thing I will show you here is from a categorization perspective that you can see it’s under electronics, iPads and tablets, tablet accessories, all tablet accessories. So not only are they categorized correctly, but look at the quality of these images. You should be able to make a purchase decision off of images alone. So the fact that they have images with very good infographics overlaid, this is an Apple original gold-plated charger anti rust, lasts five times longer than a regular connector. That is some very, very well represented positioning based on the listing with some of the images alone. Then if you go and look at the title of this listing, Apple MFI Certified Lightning to USB Charger, iPhone Charging Cable Cord by iPhones. Now, this is the art and the science of doing this.
Jason Magee (00:28:17):
The science is you want to make sure that your keywords are presented in terms of how you want to be found, but at the same time too the art is you need to make sure that me as a human, I don’t see that as a keyword stuffing or spam, I actually want to purchase that product that fits my need this well. So here’s just one good example of doing that very well.
Jason Magee (00:28:37):
Now, I mentioned it before, the Flywheel Effect. So what is the Flywheel Effect in terms of advertising? So, I know I can’t see a show of hands here, but outside of maybe the handful of folks like myself who are nerdy and love advertising, nobody wants to advertise just to generate ad revenue. We do see it on marketplaces as the toll to get on the sales highway and get traffic. If you get advertising dialed in and you optimize how you spend your advertising dollars, your ads are going to perform better. If your ads perform better, yes, you will see an increase in sales.
Jason Magee (00:29:14):
What you’re really doing is two things. You’re giving yourself a position to get more legitimate reviews from buyers, that’s a numbers game. On average we’re seeing one to 5% of sales get feedback on a particular product. What you’re also doing is you’re proving to Walmart that you deserve to rank for those keywords because essentially you paid to get an advertising up there, but when somebody clicks on the advertisement and they convert to a sale, you’re proving to Walmart’s algorithm that this product legitimately should be ranked. What that means is you’re going to help improve your organic traffic if you get it right. If you get more organic traffic, that means more organic sales, which then gives you more data to put back into the technology or your learnings and how you further optimize advertising going forward. So the short of it is, if you get advertising right the North Star should be total sales velocity while making sure that you’re not overinvesting in advertising, you’re hitting that right pivot point.
Jason Magee (00:30:15):
So speaking of hitting that pivot point, I’m going to get into the specifics and nitty-gritty about how you should think about structuring campaigns. So here’s an example. If you’re running manual campaigns, which is you control the keywords that you want to bid on, a general strategy is you should have single item campaigns. The reason why this is you want to make sure that you’re able to isolate every variable and know exactly which leverage you can pull and test and iterate to drive performance. Within a particular campaign based off an item, you should have four ad groups. The beauty about having these ad groups is you can actually adjust bids at the ad group and item level, in this case it’s a single item, so you can do it at the ad group level, but you need to break out how buyers find a product in order to meet them in where they are in their buying journey.
Jason Magee (00:31:08):
An example like this, if I love sunflower seeds, so I have a package of DAVID Sunflower Seeds here. How do people actually go and search sunflower seeds? They’re going to do one of two things. I’m going to go and say, “I want ranch sunflower seeds.” Or I’m going to say, “You know what? I want DAVID Sunflower Seeds.” They’re actually going to look at your own brand, or they’re going to go to a competitor’s brand, say, “You know? Actually I want to buy BIGS sunflower seeds.” If you actually separate these ad groups out by shopper segmentation, you’re able to do three things here. You’re able to make sure that you are defending your own brand and you want to make sure you’re not overly investing in brand because it’s not a great way to drive incremental sales, but it’s a good way to make sure that you are not losing to your competitors. The other end is if you want to go deep into somebody else’s funnel, you want to go and position yourself against a competitor, you can bring in customers if you have a better offering, a better price point, better reviews, better listing.
Jason Magee (00:32:05):
The other thing too is 78% of search terms on marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart are generic in nature, and you don’t tackle generic terms the same way you tackle a brand versus a competitor terms. You need to have a designated strategy, different ACOS or ROAS targets there. The other thing too, which is a really nice hot tip, is if you were to take your learnings, so say your Amazon search data, your Google Analytics, et cetera, if you know keywords have historically performed well for you, you can use a lot of those key terms if you get it right and apply those learnings and methodology to your Walmart manual campaigns as well.
Jason Magee (00:32:45):
So let’s talk about manual campaigns at greater detail. So one thing that is important to note is that your placement is limited to search in grid. So what this means is the only inventory for advertising is you actually will have the search in grid placement, which is when you look at a page organically in a search engine result page, it’s going to say sponsored product but it’s going to be in the midst of the organic products. The other challenge too is you have to rank in the top 128 items organically to even be able to run a search in grid placement. Once that’s done, here’s where the give and take is. You get limited exposure and scale. On average on an automatic campaign you maybe get a million impressions in a week or less. Manual you may only get thousands, but what you get instead is highly targeted audience, we see the average ROAS and conversion rates be 4X what they are in automatic campaigns.
Jason Magee (00:33:46):
So let’s run through best practices with two scenarios. Scenario one, your goal is to drive incremental sales only. This means that you want to drive sales from folks who are not likely to buy from you directly, which means are not looking for your brand, they’re either looking for competitors or generic terms. You should run a single item campaign, but when you look at keyword targeting you want to make sure you’re only targeting generic and non-branded keywords, and potentially competitor keywords as well. It’s a great opportunity to use exact targeting here, and then for everybody who is on the call here, Walmart is a first price auction, Amazon is a second price auction. What that means is whatever you bid on Walmart, you pay 100% of that bid. So it’s important that you leverage a conservative approach to find the pivot point. I mean, shameless plug about Teikametrics, this is what technology does for you, but you cannot go out there and just bid ridiculously high and expect to pay the second highest bid. You need to be conservative in your approach.
Jason Magee (00:34:49):
Second scenario is if your goal is to drive overall sales volume. Again, go with a single item campaign, but when you look at keyword targeting you should open it up. You not only should focus on generic or category specific terms, you should also go after your own branded terms as well as competitor terms at the same time. That’s how you increase and maximize your potential of getting exposure, and then you should use every match type, exact, phrase and broad. Again, you want to make sure you’re conservative in terms of how you go out there and bid. So it’s very important you know what you’re doing when it comes to runting the advertising auction.
Jason Magee (00:35:25):
So, another hot topic here is conquesting. This is something that Walmart has opened up for brands and product owners to actually go out there and bid against competitors’ products. A couple things that I will say is there are two sort of strategies when it comes to conquest. One is I call it the crush the weak strategy, which is you go after products that are inferior to yours. They have no reviews or bad reviews, the pricing is off, the image isn’t great. You go and you say, “You know what? I have a shining bright spot here for you, you should look at our product instead of a competitor’s product.”
Jason Magee (00:36:02):
The other strategy is follow the strong. You find the biggest baddest best-selling product in a particular category that you’re trying to be like, and you can go and conquest there. It definitely can be a costly strategy but you’re going to milk and ride on the coattails of that traffic. So the way you should go about this is you should produce a competitor matrix of your competing brands you compete with in the particular products that map to every SKU that you have that you want to advertise. When you build out your manual campaigns you should make sure that these keywords with those competitor terms are a part of those keywords as well.
Jason Magee (00:36:39):
Now, the one thing I will say is you want to make sure you have more flexible ROAS targets here because it is more of a costly strategy, which means your ROAS will be lower, but the incrementality, the ability to actually get a net new customer, it is so much more incremental than any other keyword type.
Jason Magee (00:36:58):
So, shifting gears here a bit let’s talk about automatic campaigns. Automatic campaigns, the general best practice is you have the ability if you want to actually put, if products have a very similar thing, if I’m going back to DAVID Sunflower Seeds and I have five different flavors, you actually could go and have all five of those in one master automatic campaign. Then with one ad group you can have each individual product listed. The beauty about Walmart’s program on advertising is you can adjust bids at the item level. So you don’t have to roll up to an ad group or a campaign level target, you can actually go and just bid per item. The other thing too is the ability to have bid multipliers. I’ll talk about this in the next slide or two, but Walmart does something incredible with how they advertise. You can see whether your product showed up as an advertisement on the desktop version, somebody’s computer, versus the mobile browser, versus Walmart’s app, and you can leverage bid multipliers by device type. That allows you to really hone in on hey, you know what? This is a very, very well performing product on mobile.
Jason Magee (00:38:07):
We have so many examples where we see companies that have fitness equipment that’s $1,500 price point, the data showed us that mobile is a much better performer for that product over a given period of time. So diving into this a bit more, one thing I want to talk about automatic campaigns that I am so excited about is historically Walmart’s only given keyword data from your manual campaigns, but starting last Friday sellers now have the ability to get search term reports from automatic campaigns. So what this means is you could run an automatic campaign and see which keywords folks search to purchase a product. This now allows Walmart to be a lot closer to parity with Amazon and you leverage automatic campaigns not only for searchability and discoverability, you actually can now use these key terms and migrate them over to manual campaigns to further optimize.
Jason Magee (00:39:02):
So, let’s talk a little bit more about automatic campaigns. Unlike manual campaigns, which you’re limited to search in grid, automatic campaigns you have the ability to show up on the carousel searches, the search in grid, Buy Box banner, and category placements. You get all exposure levers there. The challenge is is you need to be very careful because it can be easier to spend more money and lose out on ROI, so you need to be very vigilant in terms of how you actually go out and advertise against those.
Jason Magee (00:39:35):
Let’s go through a couple scenarios. So if you have no budget constrains and they’re tied to top line metrics of other KPIs, you should create single item campaigns in regards to automatic. So every auto campaign should have one product associated with it, and that drives maximum visibility and exposure while using your budget effectively.
Jason Magee (00:39:55):
The second thing is let’s say you do have budget constraints, that goes back to the example I used with DAVID Sunflower Seed, which is you may want to just put all of those or similar products or product theme into one master auto campaign, because as we all know Walmart does have minimums that you have to abide by in terms of advertising. So if you’re limited on budget, that’s the approach that I would take.
Jason Magee (00:40:17):
So, lastly, bid multipliers. Bid multipliers allow you to increase exposure and key placements and platforms, whether it’s search pages, the item pages, all the way down, like I said, to the platform. But if you just start putting search multipliers on products that aren’t converting well and you don’t siphon out which ones are actually key, the needle movers for you, you can definitely get poor efficiency and spend a lot of money that way.
Jason Magee (00:40:45):
So some best practices here. If you have platforms or placement types that are operating at two to three X what your average ROAS is at the account level, that is bid multiplier territory. That’s going to help accelerate growth and drive incremental sales. An example, let’s say that one of your top campaigns has a 2X ROAS on desktop in the first month of sales. If you were to apply a 5% bid multiplier a result could look like getting a 67% increase in ROAS from $12 to $20 by the second month.
Jason Magee (00:41:16):
So, I did want to talk about a brand-new solution that Teikametrics rolled out as well. Teikametrics has rolled out a portal and dashboard that every one of our clients can log into and you can set customizable date ranges and dive in two areas. At the account level you can dive in by impressions, clicks, CPC, ad sales, ad spend, total ROAS as well as direct ROAS. You can even export this data. Going into more particulars here, you can even do it on an individual campaign level. So you can dive into any campaign that you have and look at the data in a much more myopic focus as well. So this is something that soon that all of our clients will have access too as well, and again, the ability to export and have custom date ranges is incredibly key.
Jason Magee (00:42:07):
So what I’m going to round out with is just talking about a few success stories and best practices, and I think this is very relevant because a lot of these clients of ours actually ran into issues with COVID. So this just shows about how staying on top of it and being proactive to pivot strategies, how you can benefit from this.
Jason Magee (00:42:25):
This first one is in the baby category. So their goal was to get a high ROAS. In late March we launched campaigns for 47 items, and then COVID struck. So what happened with COVID is there were some supply chain issues and they actually had to reduce spend because of their inventory on hand. So what we did is we quickly revised our strategy to conform in this new budget, and the results were averaging a 32 ROAS for this client in the data, and now their inventory is in a much healthier spot. We are able to increase the budget because the data had been so good. I think what’s important than anything is the ability to stay on top of this in the world of COVID.
Jason Magee (00:43:09):
A second example, a client of ours in the office space. Similarly, one thing that’s incredible is we created over 1,000 campaigns when we launched with them with a very conservative strategy, and then right as we launched the effects of COVID really hit home. So what we did is we revised our strategy and said, “Look, let’s pull it back from all 1,500 items, let’s focus on your best performing items right now and let’s just show exactly what we’re able to do here. So the results after this pivot, we’ve increased the ROAS 2.4X compared to what it was before. The conversion rate is right in line with that at 2.4X and we did this while having a reduced budget of 65%. Now that they were able to get through this, they’re now able to accelerate to a position they were pre-COVID and they’re better for it.
Jason Magee (00:44:00):
Lastly, here’s an example of ours, GoPlus. They came to us with targets, but they wanted to do things. They wanted to have a very, very good ROAS, they wanted to max out sales within a given ROAS. So once we actually went to work for them in a very quick amount of time we were able to more than double their expectations in terms of what their ROAS goals were. You can see this actually working for them. They were spending on average 50K a month. This has now shot up to 200K a month because we’re hitting those targets, and more important than anything else, we’re driving top line sales for them.
Jason Magee (00:44:38):
So, just to round this out, here’s our playbook. First we’re going to do a deep audit and dive of your Walmart catalog, any previous Walmart advertising you’ve done, even learn from other channels and success there. Then we’re able to build out the right campaign hierarchy and structure via API. That’s how we have the ability to launch 1,000 plus campaigns just like that. Again, we’re going to do a lot of our research during the research phase to find the keywords that we know will be needle movers for you, and then we deploy our advertising strategy. Return on our bidding technology, we are hands on keyword, optimizing and pacing your budget to control inefficient spend. Harvesting new keywords from automatic to manual, broad phrase, exact, bid multipliers, et cetera, and then we are doing daily performance monitoring and account optimization as well as weekly reporting. Not to mention, you can go in and log in and get this data whenever you want to as well, and then we have a standard cadence through our managed service where we’re actually meeting with our clients, talking about what we should start, stop and continue, where we should double down, et cetera.
Jason Magee (00:45:44):
So, that’s all I have here today. I know we’ll switch it over to Q&A. Alicia, anything you wanted to add in closing before we get to questions here?
Alicia DeFinis (00:45:54):
No. I mean, that was so much great information. I love the work that you guys are doing to help our sellers optimize. I hope more people will take advantage of it.
Jason Magee (00:46:06):
Yeah, absolutely. So in closing, two things. If you guys, and guys or girls, if anybody wants to reach out to me, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can reach out to me directly. Again, we’re going to be sharing with you all the links in the webinar and recording, et cetera.
Jason Magee (00:46:22):
With that being said, Andrew, I see a ton of questions here, so I’ll leave it to you to decide how we want to tackle these.
Andrew Waber (00:46:29):
Yeah, and then we got a ton, so thank you so much for everyone for asking a question. We’ll get to as many as we can. I think just a bit of housekeeping before we get started with the Q&A. We will, to kind of Jason and Alicia’s point, be sending along a link to the Marketplace queue, the application queue that Alicia talked about earlier. So keep an eye on that in the webinar followup that we’re going to be sending out within 24 hours. We’ll kind of get you, again, into a prioritized queue for getting your products up and running. So definitely keep your eyes open for that.
Andrew Waber (00:47:02):
So with that, I’m going to just get to questions here. Let me queue up the kind of first one. I’m going to try to go in order from some of the earlier ones answered or asked rather. So the first, this is more of a basic one, but I guess is there kind of a difference in terms of Walmart terminology there’s a lot flying around, kind of supplier center versus Walmart Marketplace? How should folks think about that? There’s a little confusion on that.
Alicia DeFinis (00:47:28):
So Supplier Center is really like our 1P business. So basically Walmart has a number of different ways that we work with vendors or sellers. So you can be a seller in store, you could be … Or I’m sorry, you could be a vendor who supplies products for in store, you could be a vendor who supplies products for our ecommerce site, to our ecommerce team and they buy them directly. You could be a DSV who does dropship on our site, which is still considered within the 1P purview, all of those are suppliers, and then there’s Walmart Marketplace, which is a different model. So this is where we engage with sellers, where essentially you’re selling your products on Walmart.com, you’re doing the fulfillment to the end customer, and we’re taking a revenue share, so like a small piece of the order, and that’s the only piece that Walmart takes. There’s no wholesale, it’s really on the retail end price, and that’s the main difference, is really how you’re compensated for Marketplace, and then also the ability to you decide the pricing. Walmart has no impact over that or no ability to change your pricing. You handle the fulfillment, you own the listings, and the content, and all of that is the big difference on Marketplace.
Andrew Waber (00:48:51):
Great. We had this question a couple times, which is kind of just thinking about folks that are more kind of independent resellers. What’s kind of the prospects for those? I know you kind of have some requirements around sellers. Maybe some advice for some of those folks that are more in the reselling market.
Alicia DeFinis (00:49:09):
Yeah, I mean, we love independent resellers and we still encourage you to apply for Walmart. The thing that I talked about are the things that we really care about from the standpoint of if you’re a small independent business but you have really great products that our customers need and want and you can deliver to them, and you can deliver and you can be price competitive, we would love to have you sell. There’s going to be requirements for resellers, for specific products you need to show invoices, but we encourage resellers. A lot of our business is made up of small independent resellers.
Andrew Waber (00:49:50):
Great. This was a question, kind of a thing about more on the first party vendor side. So this is a question from Jackie. Does Walmart encourage their first party vendors, who again, sell directly on Walmart.com, to integrate their Shopify sites and their Shopify storefronts? Is that something that’s being encouraged or is that kind of separate?
Alicia DeFinis (00:50:13):
Yeah. So I would say we, if you have products that you’re selling through Supplier Center to Walmart, that’s not really what we’re looking for on Marketplace. But let’s say you have a large catalog and Walmart is buying directly through Supplier Center a portion of your catalog. Anything else we would love to have listed on Marketplace, but we don’t want to have competing listings. If you’re selling 1P you don’t want to have a competing listing on 3P. I mean, it’s just not that advantageous, but if you have other products that aren’t being sold 1P, I would encourage you to list them via 3P, and if you have Shopify, that’s even easier because you can utilize the integration and get up and running pretty quickly.
Jason Magee (00:50:56):
I think the other thing too is the spirit of this is how does Walmart reduce barriers and obstacles to getting inventory live on Walmart and just make it easier for sellers, especially on a third-party site to get listings live on Walmart Marketplace. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s probably the goal and the ethos of you guys striking this partnership, is to help sellers migrate their categories and get them selling on Walmart. Is that right?
Alicia DeFinis (00:51:24):
Andrew Waber (00:51:26):
Great. I guess a follow-up question on that, which I think dovetails nicely, was just in terms of fulfillment, kind of if you use the Shopify integration, how does that fulfillment work in conjunction with that?
Alicia DeFinis (00:51:40):
So I know there were some questions around Deliverr. If you’re utilizing Deliverr, your orders will still flow to deliver to be fulfilled. So there’s no concern there, and you would fulfill your orders the same way you fulfill any other Shopify order that’s coming through. So if you’re hosting your own ecommerce site, you get an order on Shopify, you get an order from there and you just fulfill it. It’s going to come through for a Walmart order in the same way, with the information they need to get that order out.
Andrew Waber (00:52:10):
Great. This is probably a question more for you, Jason, which is kind of as a person is getting up and running and figuring out what products they want to advertise, there’s these requirements in terms of where that product shows up and your ability to advertise. Is there a good way to kind of figure out hey, is this product advertising eligible or not? Does it show up in the top 128, anything like that?
Jason Magee (00:52:32):
I mean, there’s no hard and fast input and you can have it spit out. The challenge, the reason why that is is I can look up mouse and somebody else could look up mouse and we’re going to get different results, because it’s really based on a lot of our historical and our buying habits. The short of it is look, just take a second and just look and see what shows up on the first three or four pages. That’s the easiest way to find out. The other thing too is even if you’re not, here’s what I recommend. Is if you’re not going to take the time to do that you can still set up manual campaigns, they’re just not going to kick in unless the product shows up in the top 128. So it’s a good strategy if you don’t want to go through that legwork or if you’re not using somebody like us who would do that for you is to create manual campaigns but also run automatic campaigns as well. So if you’re not ranking and you know you’re not in the top 128, number one thing you can do is leverage automatic campaigns to increase discoverability, searchability and sell-through. That will put you in a position to have you rank better organically as well.
Andrew Waber (00:53:38):
Great. Kind of another one for Jason, which is just thinking about maybe a good strategy around manual campaigns, when you think about a brand that maybe has let’s say dozens of products, making sure kind of there are some minimums that you got to hit. So what are some thoughts around that in terms of setting up campaigns that maybe have folks with a wider product catalog and making sure that they’re hitting all the right metrics there from a minimums perspective?
Jason Magee (00:54:06):
Yeah, yeah. My recommendation is if you have a very wide catalog, I would go with the 80-20 rule. I would take your top 10 or 20% of SKUs or your best-sellers. If you don’t have the sales history I would just use data from other channels like Amazon. That’s where I would start advertising. I think it’s always very good instead of the spray and pray in advertising an entire assortment, is just start with your best movers or products you really want to move for strategic reasons, like a new product launch, et cetera. So the short of it is look at historical data to know what your best-selling products are, advertise those. If there are other products that you know are important to you, they’re a new launch, et cetera, that’s what I would start with. Then as you start to get the sales velocity, et cetera, and you start to drive top line sales, which gives you more money, that’s when you can expand the other more downstream products or tier two products.
Andrew Waber (00:54:58):
Great. This one’s probably more for Alicia, but it’s a great one, so I thought we’d … This is from Gerardo. “We’re a new company with a proprietary product but very little sales history. What should we do to be able to sell via Shopify?”
Alicia DeFinis (00:55:11):
To be able to sell via Shopify. So if you’re-
Andrew Waber (00:55:18):
[crosstalk 00:55:18] get that over to Marketplace presumably, yeah.
Alicia DeFinis (00:55:22):
Yeah, so I guess it depends on have you had an issue with your application. Because I mean, just because you’re a small seller with a proprietary product doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t be somebody that would be accepted. So I would say number one, apply for Marketplace. Number one, you need to apply and be approved to be able to utilize the integration through Shopify. So that’s step one. Go ahead. You can actually from you Shopify account if you go install the Walmart app it will prompt you to either log into Seller Center or apply if you don’t have log in information, and then you’ll be in a queue that comes in from Shopify, or if you use the co-branded application link with Teikametrics, those both come into prioritized queues, and we can utilize, we can dive into some of the information and make sure you’re getting the help that you need. But yeah, being a small seller or a seller with a product, as long as it isn’t in a prohibited category and you have the ability to deliver, there’s not concern around availability.
Alicia DeFinis (00:56:29):
Another thing I’ll call out is that you do need to have at least 25 units available to be able to push your listings from Shopify to Walmart, which is really done intentionally because Shopify can only update the inventory feeds every six minutes. So it’s done kind of as a fail safe so we don’t end up getting a lot of canceled orders. So, that’s the only thing that I would say maybe is a possible thing to be aware of.
Andrew Waber (00:56:58):
Gotcha. So still I’m kind of looking through just a bunch of questions here. I think this is a good one. I know this was kind of a new functionality, Jason, I think we just got some notification, which was around automatic campaigns and getting some stuff around-
Jason Magee (00:57:15):
Andrew Waber (00:57:16):
Reporting around the automatic campaigns.
Jason Magee (00:57:22):
Yeah, absolutely. Just if you want me to touch on this a bit more. When you run an automatic campaign on Amazon they give you a search term report in terms of what keywords were clicked on that converted to sales. On Walmart that is exactly what they rolled out as of last week, which is the ability when you’re running automatic campaigns to see what the underlying search terms were that led to those sales. This is just an incredible move on Walmart’s part to be able to give sellers more access to data. That is what you should use. When you think about it, it’s an explore exploit mentality. Now, exploit is probably the wrong term, I don’t have a better one, but they go together, so I’m going to run with it. You want to explore what keywords or products are associated with your products, and then you want to grab that data and then really hone in on controlling how you bid against those keywords specifically by migrating them into manual campaigns.
Andrew Waber (00:58:19):
Great. I think we have time for one last question here. Let me just find it. There’s this one I think around … Some people were asking, I saw a lot of questions around review programs. I know you talked about Bazaarvoice. Some people have questions around the Spark program, which from my understanding is kind of a Walmart supported program. I don’t know if Alicia you can give a little more details around that, if you have some stuff to share on that.
Alicia DeFinis (00:58:50):
Honestly I’m not familiar with the Spark program, so I don’t know. I honestly don’t know a ton about it.
Jason Magee (00:58:58):
I can touch a little bit about this. Spark program, as far as I understand it, is more for customers who are buying products already on Walmart and they have very good review history. It’s not something that a particular retailer or seller would actually become a part of. Spark sellers are folks who’ve been approved by Walmart to leave quality reviews in exchange for products. If you do a simple search and type in Spark Reviews Walmart, I know there’s a YouTube video that comes up, but it’s not necessarily something that sellers enroll in themselves. Unlike a company like Bazaarvoice where you actually do partner with Bazaarvoice as a seller and you can syndicate your reviews as well. I don’t want to put my foot in my mouth here, but I do know some companies like Yotpo, which is a review company, I believe there are companies like thatere you can migrate some reviews over. But Alicia, I don’t know if you have any more about something like that.
Alicia DeFinis (00:59:59):
Yeah, no, you’re completely right. It’s really a 1P program, so it’s more like the Spark program is really done more in the 1P business as opposed to the Marketplace business.
Jason Magee (01:00:09):
Andrew Waber (01:00:09):
Alicia DeFinis (01:00:09):
Andrew Waber (01:00:09):
Awesome, well thank you so much. This was terrific. Again, for all of those still on the line, just remember you’re going to get a recording of this webinar along with the full slide deck, along with again that Marketplace link for that priority queue if you’re not already on Walmart. So thanks again to Alicia and Jason for this awesome, awesome content, and yeah, looking forward to seeing you all on the next one. Thanks again.
Jason Magee (01:00:37):
Thank you all so much. Appreciate it.
Alicia DeFinis (01:00:38):
Thank you everyone. Take care.
Jason Magee (01:00:41):