Anyone who’s worked with Walmart understands just how committed they are to delivering great prices to their customers. Value is a fundamental part of the retailer’s DNA and for that reason Walmart closely scrutinizes all of their supplier costs including (and often especially) marketing. Marketing your online assortment can in fact be expensive, but If you’re smart and creative about it, you can get a lot of juice for just a little squeeze. Below, we’ve laid out five thrifty ways to grow your Walmart.com sales.
But before we start… it’s worth answering one question: WHY would you want to drive shoppers to Walmart.com when your stores business is already strong? First of all, omnichannel shoppers spend lots more - that's because online purchases are often incremental to planned store visits. Depending on your business model, you may also have a broader assortment online that can help you capture more market share by meeting a broader range of shopper needs. Finally, your opportunity to educate customers about new or high-consideration items is much greater online than on a shelf where space constraints limit the possibilities.
1. Drive Awareness of eCommerce Assortment In-Store
It’s no secret that eCommerce marketing content can drive in-store sales. Well, guess what? In-store marketing can also influence eCommerce sales. Over a quarter of a billion people walk through a Walmart store every week (globally). Getting even the tiniest fraction of those shoppers to visit your eCommerce content can dramatically change that part of your business.
With the exception of some Walmart technology pilots now underway, your options to communicate online offerings in-store may still be limited. That said, there are almost always workarounds. Consider how your in-store displays could support your awareness objective. Better yet, if you have Walmart-specific items, what could you do on (or in) your packaging to drive eCommerce repeat? Finally, if you’re participating in demos or other events like Walmart Wellness Day, what could you do to drive awareness of your eCommerce items using on-location collateral and other in-store materials?
2. Master Your SEO & SEM
Although Amazon recently surpassed Google for product searches, Google is still an incredibly important jumping-off point for shoppers. Ensuring that your listings are Google-optimized may be the best “bang for your buck” when it comes to driving Walmart.com item traffic. Although you’ll likely want to enlist the help of an expert down this road, you don’t need to hire a fancy agency, a Ph D in SEO, or a high priced consultant to get started… A little commitment, research, and some time spent with inexpensive tools like Long Tail Pro or SEMRush can help you chalk up some major wins.
After doing some research, build a list of high-potential target keywords that your product has a right to win . Then, revise your content to incorporate these keywords in an organic, human-friendly way (avoid making your content read like it was written by a robot). Don’t forget about neglected terms that have less competition but high search volume such as long-tail keywords and misspellings. These overlooked keywords can be pure gold!
While SEO can take a longer time to pay dividends, SEM (search engine marketing) can be a much faster win. Google Ads’ targeting, creative, and reporting options are incredibly diverse and, depending on your category dynamics, can be very affordable.
3. Don’t Forget About Store Pickup
Today, the line between in-store and eCommerce sales has been blurred. Walmart operates over 5000 stores in the US and has begun using these locations as a way to bolster their online shopping value proposition. This includes drive-through Online Grocery Pickup (OGP) and giant machines called “pickup towers” at 700 stores nationwide.
Make sure customers know about these buying options (especially for food and perishable items) by promoting them in your eCommerce marketing efforts. If you’re promoting a “buy online, pick up at-store” option for personal care or grocery items, schedule your marketing toward the end of weekdays when people will be thinking about doing errands on their commute home from work. This is a great way to sell convenience for your shoppers while supporting one of Walmart's strategic points of difference!
4. Make it Vivid with Video
When it comes to engagement, video outperforms other media... and it's not just for item pages! The possibilities are endless - create helpful product demonstration videos on YouTube and include links to your listings or use Instagram to demonstrate how your product is being used by customers. As of January 2019, you can no longer use YouTube annotations to embed direct links into videos, but you can still add links to your products in the video description (which also helps with your item page SEO).
5. Spark Intrigue With Solution Selling
Most marketers have used social ads and promotions to drive traffic to item content. If you don’t do so in the right way, you can end up wasting a lot of valuable resources. When someone’s checking their Instagram feed in “relaxation mode,” the last thing they want to do is go to a retail site to buy a $4 bottle of Sriracha. Your item ad will get very little engagement and even less conversion unless you market it in a different way.
One answer is to bring contextual relevance to your offer. Although that Sriracha offer may not entice a shopper to visit your item page, a recipe for a fresh take on spicy cocktail sauce a few days before the big game might be enough to reel-in a sports fan. Combine this with an existing deal (such as a coupon, special pack, etc.) to create even more urgency.
You can take things further with Walmart affiliate “Buy Now” buttons. Bloggers, influencers, and other publishers can make it easy to buy everything needed for the recipe with these simple buttons that will add products directly to the shopper’s cart. This offers greater convenience to the shopper and generates more sales for you!
Marketing in an everyday low-cost (EDLC) way on Walmart.com requires some creativity, but can have big payoffs. If you’re looking for ideas on how to drive more traffic to your listings and earn more return on your marketing dollars spent, we’d love to brainstorm with you. Schedule a free consultation below!