Walmart Enhances Search Advertising

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Walmart routinely evolves its media arm, Walmart Connect, and its core offerings, including search capabilities and relevancy enhancements. The aim is to deliver better experiences to both advertisers and shoppers, according to a June Insights post to Walmart Connect’s website, written by Dionne Resnik, senior product marketing manager.

Last month marked a major milestone in that evolution with the launch of the retailer’s advanced second-price auction and a new campaign optimization tool called Item Recommendations.

Using a new Search Performance Dashboard tool, Item Recommendations will identify unadvertised items with the potential to perform well in a search or Walmart Sponsored Products campaigns. The tool scans an advertiser’s full Walmart product catalog for items that are not live in an in-flight campaign but are eligible to be advertised and have been previously purchased. Recommendations are refreshed weekly and can be filtered by brand, category and department.

Other recent offerings enhancements to Walmart Connect include:

  • Search-relevancy enhancements: In April, Walmart simplified its ad-serving criteria to make all qualifying Sponsored Products ads eligible for relevant in-grid results on search and browse pages. Ads can now qualify based on the advertised item’s contextual relevancy, customer intent and the item’s historical performance, to name a few factors.
  • Advanced second-price auction: Combined with Walmart’s recent search-relevancy enhancements, its new advanced second-price auction aims to reduce advertisers’ risk of overpaying for cost-per-click bids, wrote Resnik. Launched in early June, this model enables the most relevant product — combined with the best bid —to win the auction. The winner pays the amount necessary to win based on relevant competing bids, which may be less than the winner’s maximum bid.  
  • New Sponsored Products placements: Walmart expanded its Sponsored Products inventory for ads to serve in in-grid placements one-four. For the rest of the search grid, two ads will continue to appear for every 10 results. Resnik says this will give items more opportunities to surface at the top of searches, which can help boost product sales and lead to higher ROAS. 

Walmart Search Advertising Background
When a Walmart shopper enters a search term on its website or mobile app, relevant products appear as search results, which offers two types of search advertising: Sponsored Products and Search Brand Amplifier. Sponsored Products and Search Brand Amplifier ads boost relevant products to higher positions within or above search results, according to the company. Sponsored Products ads also appear in prominent positions on other high-traffic pages.