Maximize Walmart Advertising Potential with Variant Bidding

Strategy & Trends
  • Dhara Patel
  • February 22, 2023

Exciting news for Walmart advertisers.

Walmart advertisers can now use Walmart Variant Bidding to promote various product variants, such as different colors or sizes, alongside the primary product.

Variants enhance product listings for both shoppers and advertisers, giving the shopper a wider variety of choices while potentially helping to increase sales for advertisers.

Before, advertising a specific variant as a Sponsored Product was not possible for Walmart.com advertisers. They could only advertise the base item of a variant stack that was displayed as the main image of the website item.  

For example, a sponsored slipper might have a brown variant in size 8 that sells well (see below).

But the main image featured on Walmart.com might be a grey slipper variant that doesn’t sell nearly as well.

But now, with Walmart Variant Bidding, advertisers can increase their bid for the brown shoe in size 8 to attract more customers, generate more clicks, and increase conversions.

And there’s even more good news.

Walmart Variant Bidding opens the door for advertisers to test each variant’s performance.

Take shampoo, for example.

Let’s say a CPG company sells a line of shampoos with different scents, such as lavender, rose, and coconut.  The brand can use Walmart Variant Bidding to target shoppers searching for shampoo by advertising all three scents in their ad campaign during different time frames to see which variant generates the most clicks, sales, and impressions based on advertising goals.

On January 30th, Walmart opened Variant Bidding to all advertisers. This means that advertisers can now promote any product in a catalog, including those with variant stacks, without worrying about the previous limitation of only promoting one color, size, or quantity set as the base ID.

Here’s how to take advantage of Walmart Variant Bidding today.

Identify Top-Performing SKUs and Enhance Profitability

To increase their chances of success, advertisers can experiment and find out which SKUs in a variant stack perform best as a sponsored search listing.

They can focus on specific variant SKUs based on their goals and test them as ads against more relevant keyword targets to determine what attracts shoppers the most.

This update allows for seasonality testing in coordination with other media channels. By bidding on different variants and evaluating performance, advertisers can identify the highest converting variants and minimize guesswork.

Raise Brand Awareness and Customer Engagement

It’s tough to raise brand awareness and visibility for products, and brands do so at significant costs. With Walmart Variant Bidding, advertisers can diversify their retail media strategy by bidding on multiple variants from a single listing.

This drives brand awareness in two complementary ways: first, customers can discover products they might not have considered purchasing before, and second, advertisers can better promote a more complete catalog to attract new and existing customers.

Tailor the Walmart Advertising Strategy to Meet Goals

Diversifying the advertising strategy is crucial to enhancing profitability. With Walmart Variant Bidding, advertisers can promote more than one base ID depending on business goals. For example, during the winter holiday season, spending can divert toward red or green variants to earn more relevant clicks.

Or consider this example targeting “orange shirts” prior to Halloween.

Or “large trash bags” the week of the Super Bowl.

Another goal could be to drive clicks based on top-selling items or to increase awareness and ranking for a new SKU with no reviews.

Low Risk, High Potential

Walmart has not suggested increasing campaign budgets to use this feature, making Walmart Variant Bidding a low-risk opportunity with high potential.

Although advertisers can choose which products to feature in Sponsored Ads, the number of ad placements for a product stack is still the same.

While variants in product listing variant stacks are not grouped together, Pacvue uses item tagging to make sure variants are grouped correctly.

Without this feature, advertisers would have to manually identify and analyze the performance of each variant before tagging. Luckily, with the appropriate tagging in place to identify base IDs and their variants, advertisers can optimize performance and avoid this tedious process.  These steps can help advertisers take full advantage of Walmart Variant Bidding to gain the full benefits.

Bonus Tip: With Pacvue Optimization Rules, advertisers can seamlessly integrate Item tags into automated optimizations. Advertisers can set up rules that cater to specific variant stacks within a campaign or apply them globally to variants, base IDs only, or both. This is an excellent way to maximize advertising campaign effectiveness and streamline the process.

Want to maximize advertising with Walmart Variant Bidding? Learn how to optimize this fresh, innovative feature today!


Author
Dhara Patel

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