Though Amazon still holds the crown when it comes to being the world’s largest retailer, Walmart is not far behind. Walmart is on a clear mission to take back what was once theirs with almost constant releases of new features, programs and tools that are available for sellers to utilise.
Walmart Advertising is just one of their recent ventures – a program designed to offer sellers the opportunity to launch and manage their large-scale ad campaigns.
Where once Walmart Advertising campaigns were managed by dedicated promoters, at the start of this year, Walmart decided to launch a self-serve ad platform. Open to any Marketplace seller; you can bid for keywords, compete with other brands, and get your products seen in the Walmart search results.
Walmart Sponsored Products is just one of the ad opportunities to go for, where you can create a variety of ad campaigns to suit your business’ individual budget and goals.
Repricer.com is here to highlight all the benefits that come with Walmart’s Sponsored Product ads and outline how to set up your very first campaign.
What are Walmart Sponsored Products?
Walmart Sponsored Products, otherwise known as Performance ads, are essentially pay-per-click advertisements that allow Marketplace sellers to promote either specific products from your catalogue or an entire product range.
Sponsored Products can be displayed in several places across Walmart Marketplace:
- Product search results at position 3, 5, 6 or 12
- Category pages
- Specific product pages
With Sponsored Products being a PPC option, you only have to pay when people click on your ads and although Sponsored Products are a recent offering, Walmart’s ad platform is always evolving, offering users increased control over their strategy and results with a wide range of critical features.
Unlike many ad platforms, Walmart Advertising doesn’t limit where your ads can be seen, with Sponsored Products being displayed on desktop, mobile and when shoppers are browsing the Marketplace app.
Who is Eligible for Walmart Sponsored Products?
Despite Walmart Sponsored Products offering a tremendous amount of opportunity for you to elevate your selling strategies on the Marketplace, Walmart is still relatively strict on who is accepted.
The strict eligibility for the program makes it essential to ensure you have plenty of experience, a significant budget available to invest and a clear strategy in place before you apply.
When you’re ready to apply, head to the Walmart site to enter a few details about your products, budget and goals. Keep in mind that Walmart requires you to have a minimum monthly spend of $1000 to join the program.
What are the Benefits of Walmart Sponsored Products?
Aside from the apparent benefits that Walmart Sponsored Products can have on your conversion rates and overall visibility on the Marketplace, there is a range of other reasons to utilise all that the ad program has to offer.
1. Less Competition
With Amazon having more than two million marketplace sellers currently active on the platform, competition is fierce, and it can be practically impossible for new or emerging sellers to stand out.
Walmart, on the other hand, is a lot more exclusive in who can sell on the platform and benefit from the advertising features on offer. You will need to go through lengthy application procedures both to create a sellers account and launch an advertising campaign where Walmart will look at both your experience and budget.
The exclusive nature of Walmart Marketplace may seem like a downfall but, it means that as a seller you can be bigger fish in a smaller pond, get noticed and see some real results.
2. Shorter Customer Journey
As consumers, we are guilty of spending most of our time online window shopping and researching. We don’t go straight in to make a purchase until we know exactly what we’re looking for.
Walmart Sponsored Ads allow you to shorten your customer journey, putting your products in front of people and taking them straight through to the product they are after.
Unlike display or pop-up ads that can feel aggressive and irritating for a consumer, Walmart Sponsored Products blend in with the other listings in the search results – many consumers will not even be aware they’re clicked through to an ad.
3. Measure Your Ad Results
Once you have launched a Walmart Sponsored Products campaign and your ads are underway, you can benefit from a hugely valuable ad management dashboard to monitor your success and educate future strategies.
You can access data on your ad impressions, views, clicks and conversions to identify any patterns and use this insight to alter your budgets and keywords accordingly.
How to Set Up Walmart Sponsored Products
1. Become a Marketplace Seller
Before you start taking advantage of Walmart Sponsored Products and the benefits it can have for your conversion rates, you need to become a marketplace seller. You can apply for a sellers account using their dedicated application form where you will need to provide information on your annual online sales revenue, ecommerce experience, business details and more.
2. Upload Products to Your Catalogue
Next, you will need to make sure you have all your products uploaded to your catalogue. There are two ways to upload your products to Walmart Marketplace:
- Setup by Match: Usually, when you start to sell a product on Walmart, you should do plenty of research and planning to find a product that is both unique and profitable. Many sellers though, may choose to sell a product that already exists on the marketplace in an effort to compete with existing brands. In this case, you don’t need to create a brand new listing for your product, you can simply use Walmart’s ‘Setup by Match’ feature to pull information from existing listings and have your product uploaded in minutes.
- Full Item Spec: For sellers that have a unique range of products on offer with their own USPs, characteristics and features, you will need to create a brand-new listing. This may take more time, but it allows you to be in complete control of your product listing in terms of content, optimisation and more. Simply select a category template and customise the listing to suit your product(s).
3. Apply for Walmart Advertising
Once you have a sellers account setup, you will need to be approved to access the Walmart Advertising platform. The requirements for accessing the program are currently unclear, though Walmart is known to approve or deny applications based on the amount of experience of sellers and the budget you have available.
4. Create and Launch Your Walmart Sponsored Products
Approved for the Walmart Advertising platform? Then you are all set to start creating and implementing a Walmart Sponsored Products ad campaign.
- Choose Your Campaign Type: Walmart Sponsored Products allows you to choose between a manual and an automatic campaign. Depending on your experience in advertising or how much time you have to dedicate to managing your campaign, you can decide whether Walmart is in charge of when and where your ads are placed or whether you want to hold the baton. Manual campaigns are ideal for brands that have a deep understanding of product keywords to make sure their ads appear alongside the right types of keywords with the right search intent behind them.
- Choose Your Keywords: If you have decided to tackle your Walmart Sponsored Products head-on with a manual campaign you will need to do plenty of keyword research to find valuable opportunities. You choose and bid on keywords that trigger your Sponsored Products to appear making it essential to understand which keywords are worth your investment. By bidding on a keyword, you are essentially deciding how much you want to pay when someone clicks on your ad. Of course, some keywords will be far more competitive than others, making it essential to have a strong understanding of your brand’s ad budget and how much you are able to spend on Sponsored Products each month. When calculating budgets, your ad spend will be completely dependent on your business’ unique short- and long-term goals. Consider how many products you want to advertise, how much you want to bid for your keywords, and how long you plan to run your ad campaigns for to devise an educated strategy.
5. Measure Your Campaign
When releasing its self-serve ad platform, Walmart did not hold back. Brands gain full access to real-time data to measure the performance of each Sponsored Product ad. Sellers can use their Performance Dashboard to monitor key metrics and see a visual representation of how their ads are performing.
By having such a clear-cut and detailed insight into your ads, you can ensure your ad spend is being designated efficiently and generating the optimum results. Walmart also offers an insights area for brands from a variety of industries to benefit from their inside information on shopping trends and campaign performance data.
3 Way to Optimize Your Walmart Sponsored Products
1. Win the Walmart Buy Box
If your product already exists on Walmart Marketplace and you decide to upload a listing, your product will automatically share the existing listing. The brand that achieves the Walmart Buy Box for that listing, will have a bright blue ‘Add to Cart’ button next to their product, which in turn hugely boosts rankings and conversion rates.
To win the Buy Box and increase the chances of your Walmart Sponsored Products been seen there are several factors to consider:
- Competitive pricing
- Fast and cheap shipping
- Plenty of stock
- Optimized listings
2. Optimize Your Listings
A key component to running a successful Walmart Sponsored Products campaign is the optimisation of your listings. If your product doesn’t rank in the top 128 organic product search results, your Sponsored Product simply won’t be displayed.
To optimise your products:
- Use clear and specific titles
- High-quality images
- Key features
- Optimised product descriptions
- 2-day shipping
3. Inventory, Shipping and Returns
Sellers that offer fast, reliable, and quality shipping are far more likely to have their Sponsored Products appear and get noticed. Where possible, try to offer your customers two-day shipping and make sure that you have strict customer service policies in place.
You can utilise the Walmart Free Two-Day Delivery program that uses Deliverr to distribute your products and fulfil orders in no more than two working days.
What’s more, the fast delivery makes you immediately eligible for Sponsored Product advertising, far more likely to achieve a Buy Box and your site will rank better organically due to the prominent ‘2-day shipping’ tag on all your product listings.
Walmart rewards sellers that have loyal and returning customers. After all, they don’t want to be seen promoting a brand that their customers wouldn’t recommend or have had a bad experience with.
As well as making sure your shipping times are as short as possible, inventory management should be a top priority. Your Walmart Sponsored Products will be a waste of your budget if you don’t have a well-stocked inventory as your ads simply won’t be displayed.
Repricer.com is designed to help sellers to beat the competition, take advantage of their downfalls and make a profit on each and every sale. The tool works by analysing competitor stock levels, profitable Buy Box opportunities, changes in demand and more, allowing brands to get ahead without having to keep a constant check on their market.
You can try the Repricer.com for free for 14 days to see how it elevates your selling strategies and allows you to offer competitive prices consistently.