How advertisers can capture tax refund spending in retail
March 17, 2023

The post-pandemic world of retail and consumer behavior has increasingly felt like a moving target due to economic uncertainty. As tax refunds start hitting customers’ pockets, Walmart Connect is helping advertisers understand the nuances of how inflation will impact tax time spending this year. 

To uncover the real-time intent behind how families will spend their tax refunds, we surveyed our community of Walmart customers to learn what they will purchase and what will influence them to buy. Advertisers can use these first-party insights to examine and adjust their omnichannel strategy and creative messaging to effectively engage Walmart customers wherever and however they choose to shop using their tax refund money.

When customers plan to spend their tax refunds

Many Walmart customers are filing early to eliminate deadline stress and get their money as soon as possible. More than half of customers surveyed (64%) filed their returns in January and February, and 49% expect their tax refund amount to be the same or more than they received last year1. With refund money in hand, many Walmart customers started shopping as early as February and expect to spread the balance over several weeks, with the bulk of spending occurring between February and May1.


TIP: Stand out to customers during tax time by activating always-on Sponsored Products during the season to ensure Walmart customers discover your products at Walmart’s everyday low prices.

What customers are purchasing this tax season

Getting a tax refund this year could help families keep up with rising costs. Many customers are consolidating shopping trips, buying lower-priced items and shopping discount stores to reduce spending2. While half of the Walmart customers surveyed (50%) expect to spend more of their refund compared to previous years given the current economic environment1, many plan to prioritize paying bills and buying household essentials over major purchases. One Walmart Spark Community Participant was quoted: "I expect to get stocked up on groceries, health and household supplies." 1

Most Walmart customers plan to put their tax refund money towards groceries, apparel and personal care products. For customers shopping Electronics, TVs and computers are among the priority items1. Last year, the Electronics category saw the largest peak in sales online and in-store during tax season3.


TIP: Reach in-market customers when they search for products with their tax refund by leveraging on-site keyword and contextual targeting ads to increase product visibility and consideration throughout their online customer journey.

Reach customers with price and value messaging

We know customers want to save time and money when shopping at Walmart. This year, families are looking for low prices, value and convenience when spending their refund. More than half (51%) of Walmart customers surveyed said they would be more likely to shop at Walmart if the messaging focused on ways to save them or their families money1.


TIP: Ensure display and search creative incorporates price and value messaging.

Tax Time Campaign Checklist

  • Be prepared to take advantage of increased site traffic. Plan to increase your site presence during seasonal shopping surges. saw an average of more than 117 million unique monthly visitors to the website between February and April 20224. Consider using a combination of Walmart search and display advertising.

  • Showcase competitive pricing for your items. More than half (51%) of customers surveyed said they would be more likely to shop at Walmart if the messaging focused on ways to save them or their families money this Tax season1.

  • Lean into expanded targeting options for your display campaigns. Target electronic and wireless buffs with lifestyle targeting. Reach customers digitally in the aisles for specific categories with in-market targeting. Or leverage brand- affinity targeting for customers who have demonstrated a predilection for a specific brand. Check out this case study on brand-affinity targeting here.

  • Prioritize keywords that drive clicks and conversions. Use the Item and Keyword Recommendations Report to identify high-performing items and keywords to add to new or in-flight campaigns. Add as many keywords on your item pages to further enhance discoverability. 

  • Use bid multipliers to increase your chances of winning top-performing placements. You will never pay more than your maximum bid and may pay less.

  • Use the suggested bids feature to help deliver more relevant impressions. Suggested bids are automated recommendations provided to enhance the campaign management process by offering bid suggestions based on the winning bids for similar ads.

  • Setting bids a little higher on better-performing products can help gain more visibility.  

  • Add bid multipliers for mobile devices to take advantage of customers on the go.

  • Utilize Sponsored Brands to increase brand awareness and send your brand and up to four of your products to the top of relevant search results to help improve brand visibility and inspire product discovery.

Learn more about Walmart Connect’s solutions at or


1Source: “Walmart Tax Time Survey,” NielsenIQ BASES Custom Survey, November 2022. 2Source: Kantar ShopperScape, June 2022. 3Source: Walmart First-Party Data, September 2022. Reflecting Feb. 1 – Jul. 31, 2022 data. “Tax Time” = Feb. 5 – Mar. 18, 2022 data. 4Source: Comscore Media Metrix Multi-Platform, February – April 2022, U.S. 


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