Five ways to amplify your reach with Walmart Connect

June 25, 2024

Did you know that Walmart has roughly 255 million shoppers flocking to its stores every week? Those who shop with the retail giant spend an average of $3,500 annually in-store and online. With more than $648 billion in sales over the past year, Walmart has earned its spot as the world’s largest retailer.

Walmart’s vast customer base presents a significant advertising opportunity for brands to get their products in front of a large, high-intent customer base and drive sales. It’s just a matter of creating an advertising strategy that works — and we’ve got some of the top tactics you can use to maximize your ROI. 

Understanding Walmart Connect’s ad types

Here’s an overview of all the different types of ads you can run on, the Walmart mobile app, and Walmart's partner sites:

Sponsored products

Sponsored Product ads appear on Walmart’s desktop and mobile sites and the Walmart app. They serve in various high-traffic placements, such as search in-grid, buy box, and product carousels. They’re pay-per-click ads that drive traffic to your product detail pages. Here’s more about the different placements where Sponsored Product ads can appear - 

Search In-grid ads

Searches for designated keywords trigger these ads, which are great for promoting an individual product. These ads are part of the product grid, blended seamlessly with organic search results. Specifically, search in-grid ads will appear in spots 3, 5, 6, or 12 on search, browse, and category pages. To run one of these ads for a product, your product must appear within the top 128 organic search results, be in the same category as the search query, and be the same product type as at least one product in the top 20 organic results for the search query.


Carousel ads

These ads serve on search, browse, category, and product pages and typically appear in product recommendation modules like "Customers Also Considered" and "Products You May Also Like." Unlike Search in-grid ads, carousel ads do not have keyword requirements or require your product to rank within the top 128 organic search results. If you aim to promote products that may be unfamiliar to shoppers, then carousel ads can enhance visibility across Walmart's platforms. Your ad will appear in a scrollable carousel alongside up to 23 other sponsored products.


Buy box ads

These ads appear on the product detail page of a similar product, directly beneath the buy box. Each page allows for only one buy box ad, so this placement ensures high visibility. Like carousel ads, buy box ad placements do not have eligibility criteria. This placement lets you connect with users right when they’re about to purchase, stealing traffic away from the competition. 


Those are the three primary Sponsored Product Ad placements. Now, let’s discuss some other Walmart Ad types. 

Sponsored Brands

Sponsored Brand ads are perfect for spreading brand awareness and promoting multiple SKUs simultaneously. They prominently display your logo, a custom headline, and up to four products with shoppable links at the top of a search results page. They even feature ‘add to cart’ buttons directly in the ad. 


Native banner ads

When you use native banner ads, Walmart Connect showcases your products in a banner format atop product category pages. For instance, if you sell women’s apparel on, your native banner ad might be featured at the top of the "women’s clothing" section. While native banner ads are a superb method to enhance brand visibility for your business, these ads are not self-serve. You must reach out to the Walmart Connect team to launch these campaigns.


Display Advertising

Walmart Onsite Display ads are featured on Walmart’s desktop and mobile websites and the Walmart app. Walmart Offsite Display ads appear on external websites, social media, and other channels beyond Walmart’s platform and target specific customer groups. Think of these like traditional display ads you might run through paid search, like Google Display Ads that run across Google's entire partner network of sites. Since these ads serve on many sites, they have the furthest reach of any Walmart Ad type.

Catapult Ads

Catapult ads are a powerful advertising solution if you want to boost sales, drive conversions, and maximize return on investment. They leverage advanced targeting and optimization techniques to place products prominently within high-traffic areas, such as search results and product pages. These ads surface at the top of the page with a banner labeling them a “Featured item.” Ad placement is determined based on the product’s category. A click will take customers to the product detail page. 


5 strategies to optimize your Walmart Connect campaigns

Now that you understand all the different ad formats, use these strategies to take your advertising efforts to the next level.

1. Use automatic and manual campaigns

In an automatic campaign, Walmart's algorithm automatically selects keywords to target for you based on your product title, description, category, and related products. Walmart also determines ad placement across search in-grid, sponsored carousels, buy box, and product detail pages. This is ideal for new brands on Walmart Connect, since there’s no need for extensive keyword research or campaign setup. 

Automatic campaigns are great for gathering initial data and exposure, but manual campaigns give you more control over targeting and bidding. With manual campaigns, you can fine-tune your settings based on insights and performance metrics, often leading to higher conversion rates and more efficient use of budget. By running both automatic and manual campaigns, you can leverage Walmart's optimization algorithms while also making strategic optimizations tailored to your unique goals.

For instance, automatic campaigns allow you to explore new audience segments you may not have considered initially. Automatic campaigns also help you identify niche, high-converting, and low-competitive keywords that can be integrated into your manual campaigns to improve relevancy.

Pro tip: Start with 80% of your budget allocated to automatic campaigns and reserve 20% for manual campaigns. As your campaigns mature and you acquire data, transition to a nearly equal distribution of your ad budget, with approximately 45% assigned to automatic campaigns. Allocate the remaining 55% to manual campaigns, which are anticipated to generate roughly 60% of your sales. This approach will help you optimize your advertising efforts as your manual campaigns become more effective over time. 

2. Consider getting a Walmart Pro Seller Badge

Similar to an Amazon Prime Badge, the Walmart Pro Seller Badge earns your customers’ trust and credibility, bolstering sales. A Pro Seller Badge demonstrates that you adhere to Walmart's customer service and product quality standards and gives you access to exclusive perks like expedited payouts, reduced fees, and increased marketplace exposure. To qualify, sellers must meet the following criteria:

  • A minimum of 100 orders in the past 90 days
  • Maintaining a 95% or higher on-time shipping rate
  • Ensuring a cancellation rate of less than 2%
  • Achieving a delivery defect rate below 10% 

3. Optimize your advertising strategy for in-store and online

Some consumers prefer to purchase a product through an online retailer, while others still like to shop in-store. It’s easy for shoppers to visit a nearby store so they can buy what they want when they want it—90% of Americans live within 10 miles of a store. Walmart even offers "Buy Online, Pick up at Store" and "Buy in-store, ship to your door" options to make the shopping experience seamless.

So, how can you optimize your advertising strategy for both in-store and online? Start by segmenting customers based on purchasing patterns. Then, test different in-store and online ads for each segment. For instance, show "Buy in-store, ship to door" offers to in-store shopper segments and "Buy online, pick up at store" offers to online shopper segments. 

4. Use geo-targeting

Beyond optimizing your ad strategy for both in-store and online, aim to tailor your Walmart ads to specific geographic locations. Geo-targeted ads can help drive foot traffic to nearby stores, improving engagement and driving sales in hyper-targeted areas.

5. Focus on your best-performing devices

As you roll out ads for your products, they have the potential to reach audiences across desktop, mobile, and tablet devices. Walmart Connect enables you to refine your approach based on device usage patterns. Suppose you've been running ads for a while and notice that mobile users drive most of your sales. In that case, you can tweak your strategy accordingly, updating your budgets and bids to prioritize mobile users.

How Marin can supercharge your Walmart Connect campaigns

Marin is proud to be a Walmart Connect Partner, and our marketing automation software integrates directly with Walmart’s API. With Marin, you can easily manage your Walmart Connect campaigns alongside all your other digital marketing channels like paid search, paid social, and more. Take advantage of our reporting suite, which includes easy-to-read dashboards and automated alerts to save you time analyzing all that data. Plus, our advanced algorithms optimize your budgets and bids automatically to save time while giving you the best possible return on your marketing investment. Chat with a Marin rep today to learn more.

Lauren Neels

Marin Software
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