February 6, 2019
A Deep Dive Into Walmart Sponsored Products
This blog post was originally published by Deliverr, which is now Flexport. The content has been adjusted to fit the Flexport brand voice and tone, but all other information remains unchanged. With the merging of Deliverr’s services (DTC fulfillment, B2B distribution, and Last Mile delivery) into Flexport’s existing international freight and technology services, we’re now able to provide merchants with true end-to-end logistics solutions spanning from the factory floor to the customer’s door.
With more than 110 million unique visitors per month and only around 15,000 sellers, the Walmart Marketplace is an attractive sales channel for any eCommerce business looking to boost their numbers. But, with over 80 million products for shoppers to wade through, getting yourself in front of potential customers before your competitors is crucial – something that Walmart Sponsored Products can help with.
Why is Walmart so popular?
The world’s largest multi-channel retailer is becoming increasingly popular with online shoppers and sellers alike. Customers love the range of products, top brands, fast delivery options, and the big Walmart name they can trust; while e-retailers are falling for its record customer numbers, supportive community, zero setup and monthly fees, and sales tools such as Walmart Sponsored Products.
What are Walmart Sponsored Products?
As Walmart’s facts and figures increase, so do its tools. eCommerce sellers looking to boost their Walmart sales figures can now take part in Walmart Sponsored Products. This CPC advertising campaign promotes certain products throughout its desktop website, mobile platform, and app as Sponsored Products – bringing with it a range of conversion-improving benefits.
Where sponsored products are displayed
The following locations are available for both automatic and manual campaigns;
- Ads may appear in slots 3, 5, 6 or 12 on the first page of search results
- Only two slots will be filled by Sponsored Products at any given time
- In order to be eligible, product must appear organically within the top 128 results and must win the buy box
Sponsored Product Carousels and Buy Box banners are available for automatic campaigns only.
Sponsored Product Carousels
- Located within search results, category and product pages
- Ads do not need to appear organically in the top 128 organic results to appear in carousel
Buy Box Banner
- Located on product detail pages
- Utilize the bid multiplier to increase your chances of winning the ad slot
- Minimum $1 CPC due to high visibility
The benefits of Walmart Sponsored Products
Getting your listings on Walmart Sponsored Products is a great way to boost your conversions, drive qualified traffic to your listings, and affordably increase sales. You’ll maintain full control of your campaigns, and can access easy-to-understand metrics that show how well your ads are performing. Online sellers eligible for Walmart Sponsored Products benefit from:
1) Increased visibility
Sponsored products appear at the top of the search results, with a red sponsored product tag (denoting power and affluence according to Shopify). This makes the product stand out against other listings, making it more compelling for potential customers to click on. Additionally, they appear on banners and advertisements on product and category pages, through the purchase funnel – giving you even more exposure.
Walmart.com boasts more than 100 million shoppers per month who visit the search, product detail, and browse pages. These are the locations that Walmart Sponsored Products can appear.
2) Return on investment
“We are getting bids at about ⅓ the cost of similar keyword bids that we are running on Amazon Sponsored Ads.” – Ross Baker, Deliverr seller reaches top of search after activating Walmart Free 2-Day Shipping
Walmart’s internal relevancy engines use its extensive online and in-store data to target your ads for you properly. You get more qualified leads, only playing for those who click and convert, and you don’t waste time targeting ads yourself. Your ROI is better and you get additional insights into the type of customers buying your products.
3) Testing new products
It’s vital for eCommerce sellers to expand their catalog and continue to test out new items. This is essential to growing your business and keeping it sustainable, even as purchasing trends rise and fall for different SKUs.
“Activating sponsored products not only increased sales, but helped us launch new products on Walmart immediately…We saw sales for new products the same day we launched with sponsored product ads.” -Hamza Ramzan, How Equinox International reached 4-figures daily and a 900% sales increase with minimal effort
Walmart Sponsored Products can help you rapidly test out new products and ideas, get them in front of customers, and get your sales running.
4) Easier customer journey
According to a report by ClickZ, consumers spend 55% of their purchase journey in the initial research stages. Using marketplace ads helps you to stand out from other items and inspire shoppers through to purchase. Long processes are the third highest reason for cart abandonment.
Native ads, such as Sponsored Products, make the customer journey easier by taking online shoppers directly to the product of interest; reducing the number of clicks it takes to buy, leading to increased conversions.
The subtle and non-intrusive nature of native ads also makes them more effective than traditional display ads – most online shoppers won’t even notice that they’re being advertised to.
The Walmart Sponsored Products dashboard provides you with access to data and analytics to track performance metrics, measure ROI (on a 3, 14, 30 or 90 day period), and alter CPC budgets – giving you the insight and statistics to properly plan your Walmart eCommerce strategy.
6) Less competition
Finally, Walmart Sponsored Products is a limited program, which retailers must meet certain qualifications for before participating in. This means that there is less competition for advertising space and the top spot – making it an effective program for online retailers. Learn more about this topic and the 14:1 rule.
7) Boost sales affordably
Drive shoppers directly to product pages to shorten their path to purchase. Since you only pay when shoppers click through to your ad, you filter your volume for high purchase intent. That means whoever gets to your listings from those ads are more qualified leads, and more affordable to boot.
8) Quick setup
There’s no keyword or page setup necessary to get started with Sponsored Products. Walmart will take care of finding the best location and keywords to use with your different listings.
Note: Only items that are available to purchase online and ship to home are eligible for Sponsored Products.
Who is eligible for Walmart Sponsored Products?
All Deliverr sellers get automatic access to Walmart Sponsored Products. If you aren’t fulfilling through Deliverr, Walmart Sponsored Products have strict eligibility criteria. Here are a few things to note about Walmart Sponsored Products:
- To be eligible for the Sponsored Products auction, you must win the buy box
- There can only be one Buy Box Winner. The winner is the seller whose product goes into the cart when the “Add to Cart” button is clicked, and product will say “Sold and shipped by”
- If a product is sold by more than one seller, all seller listings are presented on a single page
Specifically, you must:
- Have a verified Seller Central account;
- Have high shipping standards;
- Have competitive price points;
- Ensure your product is always in stock;
- Have positive reviews;
- Commit to a minimum of $1,000 monthly spend, with a $100 daily cap; and
- Provide specific information if self-serving (see below).
Setting up Walmart Sponsored Products
Those meeting the criteria can apply for Walmart Sponsored Products via:
Online sellers self-serving must provide comprehensive information including:
- Company name
- Contact information
- Total number of Walmart SKUs
- Product categories
- Primary campaign objective
- Target audience
- Interest in the annual plan, specific seasons and/or holidays
- Anticipated budget.
Online retailers using Deliverr to fulfill with Walmart Free Twoday Delivery are automatically approved for Walmart Sponsored Products. Simply contact us and then create a campaign by:
Entering your campaign name, budget, and timing;
Selecting the products you want to boost (multiple SKUs lead to better performance and more analytical insights);
Reviewing the automated CPCs and amending if necessary; and
Scheduling your campaign.
Deliverr users have access to unlimited campaigns, with up to 300 SKUs each.
Getting the sponsored product placement: Relevancy and bid
Sponsored products are selected based on relevancy and bid. The most relevant product with the highest bid wins the sponsored product placement. Your product must also:
Appear within the top 128 organic search results
Rank higher than or equal to organic search ranking for that product
Have the same category as the search query
Have the same product type of at least one non-sponsored item in the top 20 results
Walmart Sponsored Products best practices
Optimize your listings regularly. You should be consistently improving your product information with Buy Box variables in mind.
Enroll multiple listings. Sponsored Products work best when multiple SKUs are sponsored, plus you get to see trends across multiple items. Multiple products gives the Walmart algorithm more options to optimize your placements.
Advertise your regular products. Evergreen Sponsored Products means you won’t go out of stock of anything you’re advertising, but still complements your promotional or seasonal listings. It’s also important to use ads that will run for long periods of time, so that Walmart’s relevancy algorithm can factor in sponsored SKUs and clicks over time.
Test and measure your ads. You can easily track your ad impressions, clicks, CPC, and ad performance by item, category, page type, brand, and more. ROI is calculated on either a 3, 14, 30, or 90 day window.
Boosting your Walmart Sponsored Product listings
Once you’ve created your first campaign, it’s time to boost your sponsored product listings even further by:
Fast delivery is important to 99% of US consumers buying online, which is why logistics is one of the biggest reasons for cart abandonment. Convert more customers visiting your sponsored product listings by offering fast delivery through self-fulfillment or third-party fulfillment such as Deliverr.
Optimize your Walmart listings to appear in relevant search results by:
- Using a short and specific title
- Using high-quality images and rich media
- Including three to 10 key features
- Using keywords in your product description
- Entering relevant attributes
- Enabling 2-day delivery
95% of online shoppers are influenced by reviews, making your star rating on Walmart critical. Provide up-to-date tracking information, on-time deliveries, and free shipping to create a better buying experience for customers to talk about and be influenced by.
Walmart Sponsored Products and beyond
Beyond Walmart Sponsored Products, there are plenty of other ways to increase your Walmart conversions.
Walmart 2-day delivery (formerly Free 2-Day Shipping)
Walmart Free TwoDay Delivery, Walmart’s fast shipping program, offers customers free 2-day delivery with no minimum spend or membership required, leading to increased conversions.
Sellers on this program benefit from vibrant fast shipping tags, improved search rankings, and increased chances of winning the buy box.
Walmart Sponsored Products are a great way to increase visibility, boost conversions, and help you understand your target audience better, but the key to making them successful is to combine Sponsored Products with fast shipping, outstanding customer reviews, and buy box prominence.
The contents of this blog are made available for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for any legal, business, or financial decisions. We do not guarantee, represent, or warrant the accuracy or reliability of any of the contents of this blog because they are based on Flexport’s current beliefs, expectations, and assumptions, about which there can be no assurance due to various anticipated and unanticipated events that may occur. This blog has been prepared to the best of Flexport’s knowledge and research; however, the information presented in this blog herein may not reflect the most current regulatory or industry developments. Neither Flexport nor its advisors or affiliates shall be liable for any losses that arise in any way due to the reliance on the contents contained in this blog.