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Unlocking the Holiday Magic for Brands with Sponsored Products and Display Auctions
October 3, 2023

The holiday season is fast approaching, and shoppers are gearing up to find the best deals to make their shopping budget stretch. For customers, Walmart is the go-to destination for all their holiday shopping needs. For brands, this is an opportunity to activate their advertising strategies and capitalize on peak shopping periods, such as the Walmart Deals Holiday Kickoff. 

Taking place from October 9th to October 12th, this highly anticipated event features offers across electronics, home essentials, toys, fashion, and more. Deal events like these provide an opportunity for advertisers to tap into unreserved inventory by utilizing Sponsored Products and Display Auctions, a combined strategy that can help advertisers drive visibility and engagement throughout key seasonal moments during the season.

Retailer deal events fuel holiday spending

Retail events like Walmart's Deals for Days helped to propel holiday spending last year, and this trend is predicted to continue. In addition to snagging a good offer, deal events are seen as opportunities to save on major purchases and stock up on everyday essentials. In a recent customer survey:

  • 81% of Walmart customers said that retail deal events and sales are extremely or very important to them, considering the current economic situation and concerns around inflation.1

  • One-third of Walmart customers said they make unplanned or impulse purchases when they find a good deal during shopping events.2

Last Walmart Deal Event drove an increase in online unit sales with a +12% YOY increase in Online Units sold vs prior year with no event.3 In particular, we saw spikes in online unit sales for the Apparel, Home, Hardlines, Electronics, Wireless, Toys and Beauty categories from October 10 - 13 when last year's deal event occurred.4

Unlocking holiday inventory with Sponsored Products and Display Auctions 

Sponsored Products and Display Auctions are two of our self-serve solutions that enable advertisers to efficiently capture unreserved inventory while immediately adjusting ad spend in response to traffic fluctuations based on category deals. When used together, these tactics can be a powerful combination to help brands engage with customers throughout their entire shopping journey. In fact, customers influenced by both Sponsored Products and Display ads spend approximately 3.1x more than those not influenced by ads.5

Best practices to maximize holiday campaign success

Sponsored Products and Display Auctions offer flexibility in campaign setup. If you're unsure where to begin, consider the following recommendations.

Sponsored Products

  • Analyze ad impression share data at the search term level for both overall and top of search ad placements in the Search Term Impression Share report for Sponsored Products in-grid ads.
  • Leverage the Item Keyword Performance Report to add new keywords in real-time to live campaigns; prioritize those that drive clicks and conversions. Be sure to add the high-converting keywords as an exact match.
  • Use the All Keywords page in the Walmart Ad Center to analyze performance metrics, strategize with key metrics on a single screen and optimize multiple keywords at once.
  • Review budget run rate: If budget usage is high, increase budget. If budget usage is low, increase bids to improve chances of ads being served. 

Display Auctions

  • Campaign setup: Include a minimum of 25-100 items in your item set. Including more items is best to help ensure you see the full effect of your Display campaign across your product catalog. Campaigns house the item set used to attribute sales and other conversion metrics in reporting.
  • Line item setup - Group line items into campaigns based on your goals: Remember, line items sit underneath your campaign because all line items under a single campaign will report on the items included in the item set, which lives at the campaign level. Your targeting, scheduling and budget all live within your line item.
  • Build multiple line items under a campaign to test targeting tactics: Include multiple line items, each with a different targeting tactic, in the same campaign. Once your line items have run for at least two weeks, start making bid adjustments. Pause underperforming lines and reallocate spend to the top-performing line item based on your goals.
  • To test creative strategy: Include multiple line items, each with a single creative attached, under the same campaign. Once your lines have run for at least two weeks, you can pause underperforming lines and reallocate spend to the top-performing line item.
  • Targeting recommendations: Focus on using targeting solutions that have the potential to increase your reach to audiences.
    • Behavioral: Serve ads to customers based on their omnichannel Walmart shopping history, including items they’ve purchased at Walmart stores or on digital properties.
    • Persona: Prebuilt segments of Walmart customers with specific interests or traits, or at a specific life stage.
    • Category: Recent or in-market customers within your choice of categories.
    • Contextual: Serve ads to Walmart customers actively searching or browsing relevant categories, so your ad can appear in front of customers in-the-moment.
    • Macro-contextual: Enables you to expand your campaign reach to include Additional and Related categories.

By employing these strategies, advertisers can fully capitalize on the Walmart Deals Holiday Kickoff and other peak shopping periods, driving increased sales and brand awareness. To learn more about Sponsored Products and Display Auctions, visit the Walmart Advertising Help Center.

Sources:

1Walmart first-party data, Sept 2022, Walmart Deals Day Survey, provided by Walmart Luminate.

2Walmart first-party data, QT WMTUS Omnibus Monday Week 15 FY24

3Walmart first-party data, Sept 2023. Reflecting Aug 1 – Oct 31, 2022. “Walmart October Deal Event” dates were Oct 10 – 13, 2022. *Search Impression volume during full week of 10/8 vs. Q3 weekly average.

4Walmart first-party data, Sept 2023, Reflecting October 2022.    

5Walmart first-party data, Aug 2023, Reflecting Feb 1 – July 31, 2023.

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