Easy as ABC: Helping Marketplace Sellers Ace the Back-to-School / Back-to-College Season
August 13, 2023

Many advertising campaigns are in full swing for Walmart Marketplace sellers looking to make the most out of the Back-to-School / Back-to-College season. With 52% of Marketplace shoppers purchasing from Marketplace last spring and summer,1 sellers have a big opportunity to scale their business and connect with new customers this Back-to-School season.

Walmart has always been an important destination for Back-to-School / Back-to-College essentials. Last year, approximately 4 out of 5 Walmart customers surveyed said they bought a backpack and/or shoes when shopping for the upcoming school year.2 For busy parents packing school lunch boxes, is the go-to for healthy snacks,3 according to a Kantar Shopperscope study. 

If you’re a Marketplace seller wanting to create more meaningful connections with customers, our Back-to-School / Back-to-College customer insights can help you optimize your Sponsored Search campaigns. For more customer insights and campaign best practices, download our 2023 Back-to-School / Back-to-College Insights Guide.

Walmart customers are open to trying new brands when shopping Back to School / Back to College 

The Back-to-School / Back-to-College moment is the perfect opportunity for Marketplace sellers to connect with new customers and help drive sales. We found that 81% of surveyed Walmart customers visit Walmart online first for shopping ideas and inspiration.4 With Sponsored Search strategies, Marketplace sellers can capitalize on this open mindset by increasing their products’ visibility and discoverability with in-market customers actively searching.

Walmart customers are also open to trying new brands. In fact, 51% of Back-to-School / Back-to-College shoppers said they weren’t looking for specific brands.4 More specifically, last year, searches for Back-to-School / Back-to-College essentials such as bedding, home décor, women's and men's apparel and snacks were primarily unbranded.5,6,7 This allows Marketplace sellers to attract potential new customers searching for their products.  

In-market Back-to-School / Back-to-College Walmart customers are shopping all summer long 

Students and families don’t wait until the first day of school to make essential purchases. As college students prepare to move into a new dorm or apartment, they are shopping for products like mattresses, furniture, bedding and appliances throughout the summer.8 Marketplace sellers should optimize product pages and set campaigns up in advance to reach in-market customers when they are ready to purchase.  

For example, in 2022:

  • Bedroom Furniture & Mattress online sales peaked in late August as students returned to campus.5

  • Online visits for Bedroom Furniture & Mattress customers began to rise in early August.5

  • Online searches from Home Décor customers spiked in mid-August when students moved onto campus.5

Students also shop for their first day looks throughout the summer. Online apparel sales peaked during summer through August.6 Based on this shopping behavior, Marketplace sellers can leverage always-on campaigns to help reach customers while they browse and curate their school wardrobe.

Back-to-School / Back-to-College resources for Marketplace sellers  

The Back-to-School / Back-to-College season is an exciting time for Walmart Marketplace, filled with opportunities for sellers. We’ve put together the latest tips and tools to help you make the most of it:

Sources: 1Walmart First-Party Data, July 2022, Walmart Customer Spark Community, provided by Walmart Luminate. 2Walmart First-Party Data, December 2022, Walmart Customer Spark Community, provided by Walmart Luminate. 3Kantar Shopperscope: “Better-For-You Snacking: A Cross-Category Perspective,” April 27, 2022. 4Walmart First-Party Data, December 2022, "Back to School/College 2022 Look-back Seasonal Survey” for Apparel Shoppers, Walmart Customer Spark Community, provided by Walmart Luminate; survey conducted by the Walmart Connect Customer Insights & Advanced Analytics Survey team. 5Walmart First Party Data, May 2023. Reflecting June 4 – September 3, 2022 data.   6Walmart First-Party Data, May 2023. Reflecting June 4 – September 10, 2022 data. 7Walmart First-Party Data, May 2023. Reflecting July 2 – September 17, 2022 data. 8Best Colleges, “Make Sure You Have These 42 Dorm Room Essentials,” August 8, 2022.

No Endorsement of 3rd Party Data Sources


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