Daily Insights

Optimizing for Walmart

By: Susruthi Vasudevan | Sep 25, 2019

Walmart has made headlines as it continues delivering growth in e-commerce, rivaling Amazon and other grocery retailers.

The store’s share of CPG e-commerce grew 4% for the year ending January 2019 versus two years ago, compared to a 4% decline in Amazon’s share during the same time. Although Amazon is ahead in monetizing its platform through data, digital shelf and display ads, Walmart has also been making strides—including bringing its advertising in-house in an effort to sync offline and online operations.

At this juncture, though, it has yet to scale the monetization to its grocery platform. Nestlé, with a portfolio lined with perishable products like ice cream and frozen foods, is the only major enterprise that invested entirely on Walmart for its multibrand ice cream display ads during January to July 2019. The ads direct consumers to a custom landing page on Walmart Classic, featuring links to recipe content and product pages that drive consumers to Walmart Grocery. However, search performance of Nestlé brands on Walmart Grocery is weaker than Great Value, Breyers and Halo Top. That cohort garnered high above-the-fold organic visibility on Walmart for nonbranded ice cream terms, mostly owing to robust PDPs with extended product descriptions.

In terms of change in share of ice cream sales dollars on Walmart Grocery for January to July in 2018 versus 2019, Great Value and Breyers grew by 12% and 4%, respectively, while Edy’s/Dreyer’s declined by 27%. Halo Top’s minimalist PDP content yet high search visibility reflects on the power of aligning to health and wellness trends, while also implying an influence of brick-and-mortar sales performance in online search visibility. This means that brands should continue to optimize merchandising both in-store and online for omnichannel retailers.