Walmart Marketplace has come a long way with its e-commerce platform in the past few years, thanks in part to the demands of the pandemic. Not only does the site welcome more than 150 million customers weekly, its advertising business has also grown due to expanded offerings and enhancements.
As part of rebranding its media management arm to Walmart Connect in 2021, the company also announced a big push to become a top-ten advertising platform in the US — and revealed plans to expand options for advertisers. As a result, brands and retailers are seeing increased options for “holistic campaigns” that the company says put “advertiser messages right next to where customers are making purchasing decisions.”
Interested in breaking into the Walmart advertising game, but don’t know where to start? Here’s an overview of everything you need to know about advertising with this e-commerce giant.
Advantages of Advertising on Walmart Marketplace
Amazon may still be the leading e-commerce site, but Walmart is America’s largest omnichannel retailer — and it knows a thing or two about growing business. When you advertise with Walmart, you enjoy:
- Less competition, more discoverability. Amazon has become quite crowded with 1.9 million active sellers, whereas Walmart.com has hundreds of thousands. This leaves plenty of room for third-party sellers to reach target audiences who are just as large.
- Brand visibility and organic presence. Advertising on the world’s second-largest marketplace improves your brand’s overall visibility and awareness, even improving your organic search results.
- Options to boost struggling products. If your products haven’t performed well on Walmart.com or other marketplaces, ads can increase their performance by large margins. (Check out these Walmart Connect case studies for specific results.)
- Deeper insights. Walmart offers platform-level targeting and reporting to not only review ad performance, but also help you better segment customers, determine their channel and product preferences and fine-tune campaigns.
Types of Walmart Marketplace Advertising
Walmart Connect is the marketplace’s hub for advertisers to connect with customers. It gives third-party vendors a place to advertise with Walmart customers via Walmart.com, the company’s app or in its many physical stores. Walmart also has a demand-side platform, allowing advertisers to promote products across selected third-party sites.
Though Walmart offers an impressive portfolio of digital ad options, in-store experiences and off-site media opportunities, its primary online offerings include Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, Onsite Display and Offsite Display.
Walmart offers brands a way to easily catch shoppers’ eyes with multiple placement options, including:
- Search In-Grid Results: cost-per-click ads that appear within the first three pages of search results
- Carousels: groupings of sponsored products that appear on search, category, browse, curated shelf and product detail pages, as well as the homepage
- The Buy Box: a coveted spot on product detail pages featuring an alternate or complementary product
These search ads showcase an entire brand with opportunities to display logos and multiple products through the Walmart:
- Search Brand Amplifier: placements that feature a brand’s logo, custom headline and up to four product SKUs
These are ads that display on Walmart.com and the Walmart app.
These are ads that display on external sites, including social media and other relevant websites.
How to Advertise on Walmart Marketplace
Walmart Marketplace was previously only open to major brands. Today, the site opens Walmart customers up to more third-party sellers than ever. Ready to get started?
- Become a Walmart Marketplace seller.
If you want to advertise on Walmart.com, you have to be an approved marketplace seller first. Join the marketplace by creating a Seller Central account and filling out an application. Once approved, the onboard process involves setting up a profile, connecting your payment account and launching your product catalog.
- Apply to advertise.
The application to advertise on Walmart is simple and straightforward. After you complete it, you should hear from a Walmart representative within 72 hours. Before you apply, note that Walmart has more rigorous advertising requirements than other marketplaces, including a minimum spend of $1,000 per month.
- Get started in the Ad Center.
Once you’re approved, you’ll see Walmart’s Ad Center appear at the top of your Seller Central account. Walmart Connect offers a number of video tutorials to help you navigate the Ad Center and set up campaigns.
The absolute best way to advertise on Walmart Marketplace? Leverage Walmart Advertiser Partners, an API program created to connect advertisers with approved platforms.
By using a preferred partner, brands and retailers can simplify the process of building and managing campaigns while simultaneously reaching wide swaths of shoppers. While you can certainly manage your Walmart Connect campaigns on your own, these platforms are an ideal choice for brands and retailers that want to maximize their ad spend but have limited time.
ChannelAdvisor, An Experienced Walmart Advertising Partner
ChannelAdvisor is a long-time Walmart preferred advertising partner. In fact, we were the site’s first-ever launch partner. With ChannelAdvisor, you can save valuable time and resources with powerful automation tools to manage your Walmart advertising campaigns in the same platform as your listings. You can also automate keyword selection and bidding, perform bulk actions, apply performance-based ad rules and more. The best part? Using these features can boost your return on ad spend (ROAS) not only on Walmart, but dozens of other e-commerce channels as well.
Still need help getting started? ChannelAdvisor Managed Services professionals are experts in navigating and winning in the Walmart Advertising world. Contact us to get started, boost your visibility and drive performance on one of the world’s leading marketplaces.
Editor’s note: This blog post was originally published in June 2021 and was updated in October 2022 for accuracy and comprehensiveness.