Walmart’s advertising service, Walmart Connect, is much newer than other retail media platforms. It can therefore be easy for brands to feel like they are just getting more of the same.
What often gets lost, however, is that Walmart Connect reaches shoppers you can’t find elsewhere. If you’re a savvy advertiser, you can access shoppers who aren’t on, say, Amazon—and you can reach a lot of them.
According to a recent study by Comscore:
- 13% of the people who visited Walmart.com did not visit Amazon.com in the same month.
- 61% of the people who visited Walmart.com did not visit Target.com in the same month.
- 84% of the people who visited Walmart.com did not visit Instacart in the same month.
That means Walmart Connect boasts totally new audiences that you probably can’t find on other platforms.
Marketers need to start thinking of Walmart Connect as an incrementality play. With Walmart Connect, you can reach a whole new group of shoppers, whom your competitors probably haven’t invested in strongly yet.
First-mover advantage is real on Walmart Connect. Here’s how you can harness it before others in your category do.
How Walmart Connect reaches new audiences
We all know Walmart best for its massive retail presence. Walmart has 4,735 physical stores, and many of those loyal shoppers prefer Walmart.com to any other e-commerce site.
About 32% of e-commerce shoppers begin their journey on Walmart.com, according to data from Insider Intelligence. Sure, that’s about half of the number that start their journey on Amazon, but it is still a gigantic share of the e-commerce world.
It’s also probably going to grow as Walmart.com balloons in size. The number of products available on Walmart.com has increased by more than half over the past year.
So how does Walmart Connect all work? New users of Walmart Connect will almost certainly start using Walmart Connect’s Sponsored Search ads, which appear in search results, beneath the Buy Box, at checkout, and more.
Here’s a brief outline of where these ads are displayed:
There are a few unique features of Sponsored Search ads, such as the fact that you can analyze performance and add bid modifiers at the device level. In auto campaigns, you can also turn off certain placements entirely.
Plus: With Walmart Connect, you can also target Walmart’s vast audience in new ways.
Unlock new shoppers with Walmart’s targeting capabilities
Walmart Connect has also proven itself to reach incremental audiences through its unique ad targeting offerings. They include the ability to:
Go after in-store shoppers. Because Walmart has such a vast physical presence across the U.S., any brand that sells in Walmart stores will be able to unlock granular insights about the links between offline and online shoppers.
If you’re a brand with products stocked by Walmart, Walmart Connect can link digital traffic to in-store sales. You’ll know if someone who saw your digital ad bought your product in a store.
See a particular region you want to target? You can also run in-store ads at self-checkout in Walmart stores or on Walmart’s TV wall, to reach a whole new audience of shoppers.
Expand your reach to social media. The ability to use data from e-commerce sites to target shoppers on social media has long been a coveted prize for brands. That’s part of why it was such a big deal when Amazon was recently spotted testing a buzzy new ad and shopping partnership with Meta.
One reason for the excitement? Social ads let you access new audiences.
Walmart Connect quietly already offers social ad capabilities to select advertisers. Through the Walmart Connect Partner Lab, advertisers can target shoppers with unique “Test and Learn” opportunities on social platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok.
One of the big benefits of using Walmart Connect for social ads is better measurement.
Many advertisers believe that TikTok in particular is underreporting its sales conversions, since it can only track sales that happen immediately after an ad click.
Walmart Connect can help solve this problem, by serving in-feed ads with Walmart Connect targeting and measurement capabilities.
Target shoppers based on fulfillment type. This benefit applies mostly to big brands with products in Walmart stores. But if you want to tailor your ads and your messaging based on a shopper’s fulfillment preferences, Walmart Connect lets you.
Companies like the razor brand BIC have been able to track which Walmart stores had their products in stock, and run local ad campaigns involving those stores.
Further, Walmart Connect lets BIC see how their customers choose to fulfill products from Walmart: in-store pickup, purchase at the register, or home delivery. Those insights allowed the company to become far more precise in its marketing messaging.
So how do you get an edge on Walmart Connect?
Right now, we are in a unique moment for Walmart Connect. The platform is rapidly improving its capabilities, but many brands and agencies have yet to invest a significant amount of time and energy into it.
That gives brands who master Walmart Connect today a running head start. There are entirely new e-commerce audiences on Walmart Connect, ready to buy products like yours. You just need to learn how to reach them.
The good news: Intentwise has extensive resource guides for Walmart Connect.
First up: Our new Walmart Connect Learning Hub gives you an overview of the key terms to know on Walmart Connect, the main differences between Walmart Connect and Amazon Ads, the best practices for Walmart Connect if you’re starting out, and more.
Meanwhile, our new white paper, “The Complete Guide to Walmart Connect,” provides a step-by-step walkthrough of Walmart Connect and its unique features. Download it for free today, and easily circulate it with your team.
And, of course, if you want to scale your Walmart Connect presence, our Intentwise Ad Optimizer for Walmart Connect now includes sales data, automatically generated bid recommendations, search term analysis, and much more.