Do you know that the average Walmart customer spends slightly over $2,500 annually, both in-store and online?
Moreover, Walmart ranks among the world’s largest retailers, serving more than 240 million consumers every week through more than 10,593 stores in 24 countries.
It gives e-commerce sellers massive opportunities to reach their products to a large, high-intent customer base and get more sales.
While creating a product listing on Walmart is the first step to that, it’s not the end. You still need to advertise your products to reach your target customers and generate sales.
It may sound easy, but creating a profitable advertising strategy for Walmart is no walk in the park!
This blog will tell you 11 actionable Walmart advertising strategies you can implement instantly to get the most from your campaigns.
Let’s jump into it!
A quick peek into the article:
Walmart provides different ad types and targeting options to align your advertising strategy to a specific goal. For example, if your goal is to generate more brand awareness, then run Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brand ads on the platform.
On the other hand, if you want to expand your omnichannel presence, then run on-site or off-site display ads to reach shoppers on social media and other platforms, including Walmart stores.
So, always ask yourself a few basic questions before launching your first Walmart advertising campaign:
Answering these questions will allow you to align your advertising strategy with your business goal and achieve better results.
A well-organized granular campaign structure reduces confusion and helps you manage bids effectively. Here are a few tips to do it:
Note: Stick to your campaign structure throughout. Changes in campaign structure can lead to confusion and repeat ads, causing problems like cannibalization and wasted money.
Walmart offers two types of campaigns for Sponsored Product ads: automatic and manual campaigns.
In an Automatic campaign, Walmart’s algorithm automatically picks up relevant keywords from your product information, title, description, category, and related products and shows ads against relevant search queries.
Walmart can also decide the placement for ads, including grid search, sponsored carousels, buy box, or product details page.
These are excellent for new brands on Walmart, as it doesn’t require extensive keyword research or setup.
Unlike automatic campaigns, manual campaigns let you choose the keywords and match types you want to bid on.
These don’t have wide reach like automatic campaigns, but they give more flexibility to create a more sophisticated advertising strategy.
That said, it’s better to use a mix of automatic and manual campaigns for better advertising results.
For example, with automatic campaigns, you can discover a new set of audiences you might have never thought about. Not only that, it’ll help you find niche, high-converting, low-competitive keywords that you can add to your manual campaigns for better conversions.
Note: If your brand is new, start with an 80% budget split on automatic campaigns and keep manual campaigns to 20%. As your campaign matures, keep a near-equal distribution of your ad budget.
Allocate about 45% of your budget to automatic campaigns, and they should generate around 40% of your sales. The remaining 55% of your budget for manual campaigns should bring in roughly 60% of your sales.
81% of retail shoppers’s shopping journey starts online. But not all of them buy things online. Most buyers don’t like to wait for a product. Instead, they go to the nearest retail store.
Walmart has 4,630 stores in the USA. That makes it easy for shoppers to pop into the store closest to them and buy any product they want.
Plus, Walmart also offers “Buy Online, Pick up at Store” and “Buy in-store, ship to your door” options to shoppers, making the shopping experience even smoother.
Then, how can you optimize your advertising strategy for both in-store and online?
For example, show ads for the “Buy in-store, ship to door” offer to in-store shoppers and the “Buy online, pick up at store” offer to online shoppers.
Analyze conversions and sales data across Walmart platforms. This involves testing advertising performance on mobile devices, desktops, and social media platforms.
Each of these platforms caters to different audiences with varying pain points. Therefore, it is crucial to understand their pain points and fine-tune your advertising strategies.
For instance, 97% of Gen Z individuals use social media as their primary shopping inspiration source. Moreover, 54% of Gen Z shoppers believe that social media is more effective for product discovery than online search.
So, if you have a product targeted towards Gen Z, consider running Walmart display campaigns on social media to reach a larger Gen Z audience.
Remember, if one platform is not converting, don’t hesitate to try another one until you find a profitable strategy.
Walmart display ads have a broader reach across multiple third-party platforms and social media platforms.
However, when creating a new campaign, remember that all placements don’t have the same visibility or conversion rates.
So, A/B tests multiple advertising strategies and sticks to the ones that align with your business goal. Here’s an example:
Let’s say you want to generate more conversion on a kitchen appliance product at Walmart. You create two types of ads under one ad group with the same budget but different placement bid combinations.
Run both campaigns for a few weeks and see which placement combination is working best.
Again, create a new campaign with the winning combination but change the combination for platforms.
Rerun it for a few days and observe which combination is performing better.
You can do the same with keyword match types and slowly find out the best campaigns that drive conversions.
If you’re just starting with Walmart ads, then don’t be too ambitious and set your target ACoS too low.
Instead, start with a middle-of-the-road ACoS target. It allows you to have room for adjustment and figure out what strategy works best for you.
Suppose a strategy works; slowly up your budget and increase bids. On the other hand, if a strategy doesn’t work or you see the conversion rate dropping, you can reduce bids for the time being until it becomes profitable again.
If you’re serious about scaling your business on Walmart, it’s better to get a Walmart Pro Seller Badge before advertising.
Similar to Amazon Prime Badge, Walmart Pro Seller Badge is a sign of trust and credibility that boosts your sales and conversions.
A Walmart Pro Seller Badge shows that you meet Walmart’s high standards of performance, customer service, and product quality. It also gives you access to exclusive benefits such as faster payouts, lower fees, and more exposure in the marketplace.
Here are the eligibility requirements to get the Walmart Pro Seller Badge:
It gives you better conversion on your Walmart ads and gives you better conversions.
If you’re new to Walmart advertising, learn about how the first-price auction works. Otherwise, you may end out spending a lot more than you expected.
For example, Amazon’s bidding operation works on a second-price auction model. That means if the 2nd highest bid is $0.20 on a keyword, and you bid $1.00, you just pay $0.21 for each click on the ad.
Walmart, however, charges exactly the amount you bid for each click. If you take the same example as above, you would have to pay $1.00 each time a shopper clicks on Walmart ads.
Your advertising spend can quickly go through the roof if you’re not careful with your bidding.
Walmart has recently launched a variant bidding option for sponsored product ads, which has been a game-changer for Walmart sellers.
It allows you to promote different product variations, such as colors and sizes, alongside the main product.
Before the variant bidding, sellers could only run ads on the base item from a stack, even if it wasn’t the best-selling option.
But with Variant Bidding, you can now strategically bid on specific variants within the stack. For example, if a red t-shirt in size L is a top seller, you can increase their bid for it, attracting more customers and boosting conversions.
It also opens doors to split testing and optimization. You can now experiment with different variants to determine which ones generate the most clicks, sales, and impressions based on your advertising goals.
Let’s take an example of a deodorant with different scents, like Vanilla, Lavender, and Coconut.
Now, you can use variant bidding to target deodorant shoppers with all three types of scents during different time frames and see which one is generating the most conversions.
Here are a few other ways you can use Walmart variant bidding:
Unlike other advertising options, variant bidding allows you to improve your conversions without necessarily demanding more spending. It’s a low-risk opportunity with the potential for high returns.
Note: learn about different advertising formats on Walmart, like Search Brand Amplifiers and Buy Box Banner ads.
For example. Search Brand Amplifier ads appear on top of the search placement and give your brand more exposure to shoppers who are searching for products in your category.
Buy Box Banners are another option to boost your sales at Walmart. They show up next to the buy box on the product detail page of a competitor’s product.
For example, you can use Buy Box Banners to show your product name, price, and rating next to the buy box of a similar product from another seller with a higher price.
This way, you can entice customers to switch to your product instead. Buy Box Banners are ideal for increasing conversions and market share on Walmart. They can also help you overcome price competition and differentiate your product from others.
Always bid on your brand keywords to maintain control over your brand’s online presence. It may seem redundant at first, but it’s essential to protect your brand’s reputation and drive sales.
If you don’t bid on branded keywords, you risk competitors hijacking the ad space for your brand keywords and stealing sales.
Let’s understand this with an example. Let’s say you search for Clorox wipes in Walmart. If Clorox does not bid on its brand keywords, other competing brands or sellers might appear in search results related to Clorox wipes.
Running ads on brand keywords also allows you to build and reinforce brand recognition.
When shoppers constantly see your brand at the top of the search for the keywords, it instills trust and brand recall.
Over time, it leads to more brand searches and higher sales.
Another strategy is to bid on long-tail keywords. These usually are high-intent keywords with less competition. So you don’t need to bid high on these keywords to generate sales.
One example of long-tail keywords is “black running shoes with rubber soles.”
Lastly, add irrelevant search queries as negative keywords to avoid wasting ad budget on them. For example, if you’re selling running shoes, you might want to exclude terms like “walking shoes” to prevent your ads from showing up to irrelevant shoppers.
Creating a profitable Walmart advertising strategy can feel like a complex puzzle. It is a big platform with multiple opportunities and ways to advertise.
However, as you split-test multiple strategies and understand the customers on the platform, your strategies will improve.
No matter which advertising strategy you go with, always keep it aligned with your business goals to get more out of it.
Once you start experimenting with different strategies, you’ll see a few of them work well for your business and a few of them don’t. Keep shifting your ad budget towards the high-performing ones to maximize profits.
Or, if you need help creating a comprehensive Walmart or Amazon advertising strategy, SellerApp can assist.
We have a team of PPC experts who have worked with 20,000+ brands like Philips and Samsung to create successful advertising strategies. And we can do the same for you!
Schedule a call with us today and take your business to the next level.