How big a part does Walmart advertising play in your eCommerce strategy?
Many companies were only experimenting with Walmart eCommerce ads a couple of years ago. Now, with the massive growth in eCommerce in general and the steps Walmart has taken to boost Walmart.com orders and advertising options, the retail giant is an eCommerce necessity.
Last year, Walmart saw eCommerce growth of 79% year over year. They now offer pickup of online orders at over 3,750 stores and same-day delivery at 3,000. While Amazon is still ahead in sales, Walmart is a serious competitor. An estimated 20% of Walmart+ subscribers – Walmart’s subscription based loyalty program – migrated from Amazon Prime.
As more advertisers increase focus on Walmart, now is the time to get in and establish your brand. However, advertising on Walmart requires a different strategy from your current Amazon advertising strategy. Whether you are just getting started with Walmart advertising or looking to increase spend on Walmart eCommerce, here are a few key strategies to get quick eCommerce wins on Walmart.
Focus on Pickup & Delivery Placements
Walmart saw a 300% growth in Pickup & Delivery services from mid-March to May 2020. This is an attractive option for consumers as 90% of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart store. Walmart is now retrofitting many of their 4,000+ stores to increase in-store order fulfillment by 5-10x.
Starting in March 2021, Walmart Pickup & Delivery merged with Walmart.com. This streamlined how they serve search ads and advertisers no longer need to split spend between the two options. Since the merger, conversion rates increased by 14.5%. Due to increased conversion rates, return on ad sales for Pickup & Delivery ads are 25% higher on average.
While you can’t create specific campaigns for only Pickup & Delivery, you can use bid boosts to prioritize P&D placements. Run campaigns for P&D only SKUs, Walmart.com only SKUs, and shared SKUs to Test & Learn which perform the best.
Forecast and Track Product Stock
With the unexpected changes in consumer buying behavior over the past year and a half, out-of-stock issues have been a major concern for brands. On average, it takes 5 days to regain Search Placement on Walmart after only a day of being out-of-stock. On Amazon, regaining placement only takes 3-4 days after out-of-stock issues.
With the increased damage out-of-stock issues can cause on Walmart, it is important to get good at forecasting and tracking what’s in stock to anticipate needs. Your Walmart buyer may not have the same information you do so make sure you are open and transparent about any out-of-stock issues.
If you do need to deal with advertising out-of-stock items, make sure you have control over how your ad spend is allocated so you can prioritize spend on second tier ASINs or your brand store.
Run Auto and Manual Campaigns
Automatic Campaigns allow you to benefit from Walmart’s algorithm and automatically serve your ads to the most relevant customers. Manual Campaigns provide more control over keyword targeting to better tailor campaigns to your goals.
The main consideration on Walmart.com is that SKUs must already appear in the top 128 search results organically in order to be included in Manual Campaigns. When launching new products, use Auto Campaigns to maximize impressions and get your product into organic search results. Manual Campaigns can be used to focus on hero SKUs and increase efficiency through more granular targeting.
Maximize Visibility for Organic Search Results
As we mentioned above, organic search rankings are heavily prioritized on Walmart.com – much more so than on Amazon. Make sure you are both optimizing product detail pages for organic searches and using advertising to complement your organic strategy.
The number of reviews and images on product pages are both highly correlated with a higher search ranking. Optimize your product pages with product descriptions that are specific to Walmart, enhanced, feature-benefit images, and videos.
Search ads have the highest conversion rate of Walmart’s ad placement types, at 7.35%. It should come as no surprise that Walmart advertisers devote 43.41% of their Walmart ad spend to search. In order to complement your optimized product pages, use the same key search terms from those pages as keywords in Manual Campaigns to increase sales velocity. You can also leverage other Walmart Connect offerings, such as Brand Amplifier and Display, to help build awareness and grow organic search rankings.
Fast Start Guide to Walmart Advertising
Looking for even more guidance on growing or getting started with Walmart advertising? Pacvue partnered with leading eCommerce solutions providers to offer you our “Fast Start Guide: 10 eCommerce Quick Wins on Walmart.” Experts from Pacvue, OneSpace, Profitero, and firstmovr weigh in on the most important strategies you should adopt to see immediate results in your Walmart eCommerce ad strategy.