Retail sites like Walmart are typically the first place where consumers start their purchase journey. In fact, 50% of shoppers start their product discovery on retail sites. It’s important that advertisers have a presence on sites where their customers shop to reach and engage them at every stage of their purchase journey. Walmart Sponsored Products allows advertisers to increase visibility on Walmart with ad placements on the first page of search grids, category pages, and product description pages. Before advertising on Walmart, here are the top 5 things that advertisers should know.
#1: Walmart bids are based on First Bid Auctions.
The most important thing to know about Walmart Sponsored Products is that it uses a first bid auction model. First bid auction means that the winning bid during an ad auction is the max CPC bid. This differs from Amazon Advertising which uses a second bid auction model. With a second bid auction, the winning bid is a penny over the second highest bid amount. Because of this major difference, advertisers will need to adjust their bidding strategy between these two ad platforms.
Below is an example showing the difference between a first bid and a second bid ad auction.
#2: There are various criteria for winning Sponsored Product ad placements, but the two main criteria are relevancy and bids.
Much like Google, which factors in a relevancy measure such as Quality Score, Sponsored Products on Walmart are selected based on a combination of ad relevancy and bid amount. The most relevant product with the highest bid will win the Sponsored Product ad placement. Additionally, to win a Sponsored Product placement, the advertised product must:
- Appear within the top 128 organic search results
- Be winning the Buy Box
- Rank lower than, or equal to, the organic search ranking for that product
- Fall in the same product category as the search query
- Be the same product type of at least one non-sponsored item in the top 20 search results
#3: Walmart Sponsored Products has both Automatic Campaigns and Manual Campaigns.
Automatic Campaigns: Sponsored Product ads with this campaign type will be automatically served to the most product relevant keywords being searched. Bids can be set and optimized at the product level. Automatic campaigns provide the most reach as these ads can show up in the search grid, carousel placements across the site, and in the buy box on product description pages.
Manual Campaigns: Sponsored Product ads with this campaign type will be served based on keywords manually selected by the advertiser and matched to the consumer search query on Walmart.com. Keywords can be selected as either Broad, Phrase or Exact match keywords. Bids are set and optimized at the keyword level for all products contained within the campaign. Manual campaigns do not have quite the same reach as Automatic campaigns as these campaign types only appear in the search results grid. However, Manual campaigns give greater transparency and more control than Automatic campaigns, allowing you to build a much more sophisticated search strategy that maximizes your search investments.
#4: Walmart Sponsored Products has both a minimum and a maximum bid.
Walmart Sponsored Products has a minimum bid level for both Automatic and Manual campaigns. The minimum bid for Automatic campaigns is $0.20 and the minimum bid for Manual campaigns is $0.30. For both campaign types there is a $20 max bid. This differs from Amazon Advertising which has a minimum bid of $0.01 and no cap on maximum bid.
The $20 max bid on Walmart Sponsored Products somewhat levels the playing field. Advertisers can’t just continually raise bids to dominate the sponsored results. In cases where there are multiple advertisers at the max $20 CPC bid it is important to have SEO optimized detail pages to increase relevancy and win the ad auction.
#5: Your product description page is the most important asset in your Walmart search strategy.
Set up your Walmart Sponsored Product campaigns for success by optimizing your product detail pages to drive conversion and increase sales. The product detail page should have meaningful content, high quality photos, high ratings & reviews and be search optimized for your core keywords.
Since Walmart Advertising isn’t as mature of a platform as Amazon Advertising, there is tremendous opportunity for early adopters on an emerging marketing platform like Walmart Advertising. Currently, advertisers can expect less competition and lower CPCs than on Amazon, which may in turn lead to a higher ROI. Keeping the above 5 Things to Know About Walmart Advertising in mind, now is a great time to start advertising on Walmart.