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Walmart Introduces Keyword Bidding for Sponsored Ads 

In mid-April, Walmart introduced keyword bidding to its online marketplace. The addition of keyword bidding for Walmart Performance Ads (WPA) is a significant step forward for Walmart.com, although in its early stages, the service is far more limited than its Amazon counterpart. 

etailz has been exploring the new service and testing its capabilities. Here’s what we know so far.   

What Are Walmart Performance Ads? 

Like Amazon, Walmart.com’s sponsored ads operate on a bidding system. Sellers bid on a list of keywords assigned to their ads. When a shopper’s search query matches that keyword and the seller wins the bid, their ad populates.  

Like Amazon, WPA allow keyword bidding based on match type: sellers can bid on keywords based on broad, phrase, or exact match. As of April, the minimum keyword bid is $0.30. 

Walmart.com does not currently allow for negative keywords, but the platform expects to add negative keyword capabilities by the end of 2019. 

Keyword Bidding Limited to the Campaign Level 

Currently, Walmart.com allows keyword bidding only at the campaign level. Sellers can group any number of products into a campaign, although Walmart recommends 30-50 products. Once a campaign has been created, sellers create a list of keywords for that campaign. If you win the bid, Walmart selects what they consider to be the most relevant product in your campaign for that keyword, and then an ad for that product appears. Walmart has indicated that it considers the title, product description, backend keywords, price, and sales history when determining the most relevant product. 

Another major difference between WPA and Amazon’s Sponsored Products: Walmart requires a minimum budget of $1,000 per campaign and a minimum daily budget of $100 per day. Amazon, on the other hand, requires only $1.00 per day.  

How Are Keywords Selected? – Manual vs Automatic Campaigns 

Walmart.com offers two campaign types: manual and automatic. These campaign types function similarly to their Amazon counterparts.  

In manual campaigns, you select the keywords you want to bid on from a list Walmart provides.  Walmart uses an automated keyword suggestion tool to determine the most relevant keywords for the products in your campaign, and then provides a maximum of 220 keywords to the seller. Sellers then choose which of those 220 suggestions to add to their manual campaigns. For the time being, sellers cannot add keywords outside of the provided list to their manual campaigns, although Walmart plans on adding the ability within the year. 

  • To place, you must win the Buy Box 
  • Bids are set at the keyword match type level (broad, phrase, exact) 
  • Ads are eligible for search in-grid only 
  • 220 keywords per campaign 
  • Minimum campaign budget: $1,000 
  • Minimum daily spend: $100 

In automatic campaigns, Walmart decides when to display sponsored products based on keywords identified from the product title, description, and other sections of the product listing, product category, and related product section. Walmart sends sellers a list of search terms that have led to conversions in the automatic campaigns. 

  • To place, you must win the Buy Box 
  • Bids are set at the product level 
  • Ads are eligible for all WPA placements 
  • Minimum campaign budget: $1,000 
  • Minimum daily spend: $100 

What Are the Benefits of Walmart Performance Ads? 

When it’s all said and done, Walmart.com’s keyword bidding advancements is a great step forward, but it has a long way to go before it will be as robust as Amazon’s. Even so, Walmart Performance Ads come with their own set of benefits for the Walmart marketplace, including: 

  • Boosting sales 
  • Presenting your product to Walmart’s massive daily audience 
  • Defending against competitive product launches 
  • Enhancing seasonal campaigns 
  • Helping you discover new audiences and keywords for listings 
  • Improving organic ranking by increasing conversions and traffic 

Expand into Walmart 

While Amazon remains the dominant ecommerce marketplace, Walmart is aggressively expanding their online platform. Backed by enormous capital, Walmart.com has the potential to become a significant ecommerce player, and brands would be remiss to not pay it heed.  

If you want to expand your online presence to Walmart, contact your etailz account manager or complete our contact form. We’ll partner with you to begin your expansion into Walmart’s online marketplace.