The Secret Ingredients You Need to Win the Walmart Buy Box

In the world of Walmart eCommerce, seven factors heavily impact the Walmart Buy Box algorithm. Keep in mind that just because you may own the Amazon Buy Box does not mean you have the strategy in place to win the Walmart Buy Box. Each platform has its own set of algorithms in place that dictate the standards of a particular operation.

How to win the Walmart Buy Box with Walmart listing SEO

To give Walmart sellers a tactical advantage over their competitors, DataHawk’s marketing, tech, and customer success teams joined forces to provide you with the edge you need to transform from a prospective Walmart Buy Box candidate to a Walmart Buy Box winner. By following these recommendations, you will have the utmost potential to be the next Walmart Buy Box winner. 

It is no surprise that eCommerce sellers pride themselves on winning the Buy Box. Doing so provides them with the golden ticket to earning higher profits. However, each platform has its own unique Buy Box, and the criteria for winning them differ according to their respective platform. 

What Is the Walmart Buy Box?

The Walmart Buy Box is that blue “Add to Cart” button you see on product pages. There is only one Buy Box winner. That champion is the default seller whose product gets added to the cart upon clicking that magical blue button. 

The owner of the Buy Box is always a seller who meets all the qualification metrics defined by Walmart’s algorithm. Typically, those sellers have competitive prices and deliver products in a timely manner. However, there are four other key factors that assure you win and keep the Buy Box.

 Winning the Buy Box on Walmart marketplace

Benefits of Winning Over the Walmart Buy Box Algorithm 

There are hundreds of thousands of sellers in major online marketplaces, like Walmart. Generally, various sellers sell the same product and sell the product on the same listing page as all other sellers. If you are not the winner of the Walmart Buy Box, your products will be considered the second tier. 

Potential customers are more likely to buy a product from the Walmart Buy Box winner. This means the Buy Box winner has the edge over their competitors to generate the best sales and revenue. In a nutshell, the main benefit of winning the Walmart Buy Box stems from the fact that a particular seller's product has precedence over others. 

How to Walmart Buy Box In Seven Simple Steps

Given that many sellers on Walmart sell the same products as you, winning the Walmart Buy Box race is much more challenging. 

Seven things determine whether you win the Walmart Buy Box: offering competitive pricing, maintaining inventory, providing speedy shipping, establishing high performance standards, displaying optimal content, strategizing advertising, and sustaining healthy account metrics. The following sections provide more in-depth details and guidance on how to win and maintain the Buy Box on Walmart Marketplace.

Seven steps on how to win the Walmart Buy Box with Walmart listing optimization.

How to Win the Walmart Buy Box Step 1: Offer Competitive Pricing

Offering competitive pricing is perhaps the most important factor determining whether you will win the Walmart Buy Box. Product prices need to be competitive. Anyone who has ever shopped on Walmart Marketplace knows that the lower the price, the higher the share of the Walmart Buy Box. Set a price that is not only attractive to you but also to consumers and the Walmart Buy Box algorithm. 

Before appraising your products, consider Walmart’s pricing rules; there are two. The first is the Price Parity Rule or Walmart’s price matching policy. It enforces sellers who sell the same product at a substantially lower price (shipping cost included) to be unpublished from Walmart. Walmart will republish the product once the seller reprices the product to accommodate the price parity rule. 

The second regulation is the Walmart Price Leadership Rule. This rule states that Walmart will unpublish the product if a shopper can drastically save money on a product by purchasing a product on a rival website.

How to Win the Walmart Buy Box Step 2: Maintain Inventory 

Inventory levels, or in-stock rate, determine Walmart Buy Box eligibility. For one, maintaining a robust inventory ensures Walmart and its trusty algorithm that you can manage increased conversions that coincide with winning the Walmart Buy Box for a particular product. 

Regardless of the product price, if a seller does not have enough stock to meet increased demands, they will lose their chance at winning the Buy Box. Walmart's algorithm is designed to drown "out of stock" products all the way down the search results page to no-man's-land.

In other words, if your product is always in stock, it will always appear for your customers, and it will maintain its Walmart Buy Box eligibility status. Therefore, be sure to keep your inventory up to date by making sure you can fulfill orders if necessary. 

How to win the Walmart Buy Box with Walmart listing SEO

How to Win the Walmart Buy Box Step 3: Provide Speedy Shipping 

Providing and ensuring speedy shipping is key. In the age of instant gratification, customers expect fast delivery. To win the Walmart Buy Box, seek to deliver your products on time, or if possible, even ahead of time. Doing so can entice your customers to leave positive reviews about your product and the quality of your company at large.

Shipping speed is a known driver of conversion, which is why nearly every Walmart Buy Box winner offers two-day shipping. To distinguish yourself from the competition you should aim to deliver your products as quickly as possible. However, shipping speed is not the only factor that contributes to winning the Walmart Buy Box. As a result, sellers should be conscious of shipping prices as well. 

More often than not, a consumer will decide to buy a product over another if they do not have to pay additional shipping fees. Therefore, you should try to offer free shipping. Although, if free shipping is not an option, a low shipping price will suffice. Shipping price goes a long way when it comes to winning the Walmart Buy Box. 

For instance, imagine that two brands are competing for the Buy Box and are selling the same product for the price. One brand offers free shipping, and the other offers a low shipping cost. Walmart’s algorithm is designed to give the Buy Box to the seller who provides the customer with the best deal, which in this example is the seller who offers free.

How to Win the Walmart Buy Box Step 4: Establish High Performance Standards

As a seller competing to win the Walmart Buy Box, your products need to be associated with positive customer feedback. The following three performance metrics can indicate your chances of winning the Buy Box.  

  • Order Defect Rate: To win the Walmart Buy Box, your order defect rate (ODR) must be in good standing. ODR is composed of cancellation, return, and shipping defects which is why the lower your ODR, the better your Walmart listing optimization is. 
  • Policy Adherence: To remain in good standing with Walmart, you should aim to respond quickly to customer complaints and inquiries. Become well acquainted with Walmart’s Trust and Safety Performance Standards.
  • Prompt Customer Response: Timely customer response improves your search rank and your chance at winning the Walmart Buy Box. Therefore, you should strive to keep your customers happy by tending to their needs, questions, comments, and concerns.
How to win the Walmart Buy Box with Walmart listing SEO

How to Win the Walmart Buy Box Step 5: Display Optimal Content 

Listing optimization is the process of adapting your product listing to ensure that your product ranks as high as possible in the search results. Walmart listing optimization is key for five reasons: it allows you to earn better product listing visibility, have more marketing possibilities, win the Walmart Buy Box, enhance your product conversion rates, and reduce the number of product returns. 

The best way to prioritize your Walmart listing optimization is to have a strong SEO strategy that enables you to obtain higher organic rankings. In turn, you will have a better chance of winning the Walmart Buy Box. 

Before you do all that, you have to have a comprehensive understanding of what goes into Walmart SEO. Like any eCommerce platform, Walmart has guidelines in place to help your products rank higher.  

To remove the guesswork that comes along with optimizing your listing, follow these guidelines to help you maximize your performance and increase sales:

  • Product Category: Generally, you should aim to be as descriptive as possible when describing your product. The better it is described, the easier it will be to search for. 
  • Title: Make sure that your product title is concise yet inclusive. It should be anywhere between 50-75 characters. Keep in mind the color, model, and brand of your product when choosing its title. For example, if you are selling a pair of jeans, your title should read “Levi’s - Women’s Mid-Rise Authentic Bootcut Blue Jeans” or something along those lines.
  • Description: Your listing should include 3-10 main features and a description paragraph with a minimum of 150 words.
  • Attributes: To make your product more visible, specify and emphasize the properties that describe your product. Attributes include details such as tangible and intangible, subjective and objective. 
  • Images: The picture you choose for your product listing can be the reason why a customer buys or rides. Walmart recommends uploading four high-quality photos with a white background. To win the Walmart Buy Box, consider adding videos to your product listing or including 360-degree images.

DataHawk makes Walmart listing optimization quick and easy with a product listing quality score for each element on your listing. Get the Walmart listing quality score based on how a product listing page complies with Walmart’s content guidelines along with recommendations to help your products rank higher and increase conversions.

How to win the Walmart Buy Box with Walmart listing SEO

How to Win the Walmart Buy Box Step 6: Strategize Advertising 

American industrialist and business tycoon Henry Ford once said, "Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time." Advertising is an indispensable component of any successful business. Typically, the rate of sales corresponds to advertising. Therefore, the underlying goal of advertising is to reach those consumers that are most likely to pay for your product and entice them to purchase. 

To know how to win the Walmart Buy Box requires knowing how to strategize your advertising campaigns accordingly. 

The most successful advertising campaigns are linked to well-reviewed products and well-optimized product listings. This is because Walmart's algorithm emphasizes a product's pertinence and the cost-per-click (CPC) bid price. It analyzes properties like product title, description, click-through rate, and product category to determine pertinence. 

There are over 16 million searches on Walmart every day, which gives brands an opportunity to increase visibility. Below is some helpful information to help advertisers produce the most triumphant Walmart Sponsored Products campaigns that turn ad spend into revenue. 

To craft the best advertising campaign, you should know the difference between the two types of Walmart Sponsored Products campaigns: automatic and manual. 

Automatic Campaign: are easy to set up, have high-traffic placements, do not require keyword management, and generate high impression volume. As the name suggests, Automatic campaigns are automatic as Walmart's search algorithm is intended to do all the work for you. This type of campaign is better adapted for brands new to the world of advertising.

Manual Campaigns: are best suited for brands that are more comfortable with advertising. 

These campaigns require advertisers to manually select the keywords they want to bid on. Brands interested in implementing an effective advertising strategy to win the Walmart Buy Box can use keyword analytics and research tools to eradicate low-performing keywords and prioritize those keywords that generate higher search results.

How to win the Walmart Buy Box with Walmart listing SEO

8 Key Performance Metrics:

  1. Impressions: the number of times your ad was shown
  2. Clicks: the number of times your ad was clicked on
  3. Units Sold: the number of items purchased within 3/30 days of a click on your ad
  4. CTR: the rate at with your ads are clicked
  5. Total Attributed Sales Revenue: the total amount of sales generated from ad clicks
  6. Conversion Rate: the total cost 
  7. Ad Spend: the percentage of shoppers who purchased an advertised product
  8. ROAS: the return on ad spend 

To increase your odds at winning the Walmart Buy Box, consider investing in Buy Box ads. Buy Box ads are located under the Buy Box on product detail pages. This type of advertising strategy is a great way to earn more sales on Walmart by allowing you to compete for purchases with other brands after the shopper chooses not to buy from them.

How to Win the Walmart Buy Box Step 7: Sustain Healthy Account Metrics

Account metrics provide a synopsis of your selling history and rank your shipment rates, order defect rates, as well as customer feedback, among other things. Essentially, they measure your performance as it relates to your overall competency as a seller and judges your ability to fulfill orders and answer customer questions and concerns. Therefore, if you plan on winning the Walmart Buy Box, it is vital that your account metrics remain healthy, or in other words, above average.  

Sustaining healthy account metrics on Walmart Marketplace requires you to comprehend, monitor, and optimize your collective metrics as a seller. Selling on Walmart means guaranteeing a positive and consistent customer experience. To establish what constitutes a stellar seller, Walmart's Seller Performance Standards outlined which seller metrics are most important; such metrics include cancellation rate, on-time delivery rate, valid tracking rate, and return rate.

Walmart’s principal seller performance measurements include:

  • Cancellation rate < 2% in a 14 day period
  • On-time delivery rate > 95% in a 14 day period
  • Valid tracking rate > 99% in a 14 day period 
  • Return rate < 6% in a 90 day period 

Meeting these performance standards helps you grow sales, stay ahead of the competition, and establish customer loyalty. Best of all, attaining all these things means selling more, and the more you sell, the higher your products rank. However, because many sellers are marketing the same products as you, your product is not the only product going up in ranks by abiding by these performance standards. 

Nevertheless, there are solutions to every problem. So, suppose you want to have a competitive edge. In that case, it is recommended that you monitor the competition's performance so that you can respond in a timely and more effective manner to fluctuations in bestseller ranks, price, reviews, and listing data. Thankfully, DataHawk's robust intelligence on products and competition can help you do just that.

How to win the Walmart Buy Box?

Final Remarks

Some of you may be familiar with Austrian-American management consultant Peter Drucker’s famous saying, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.” This phrase went on to influence the philosophical and practical foundations of modern business. So why does this matter? How does all of this answer your main question, “How to win the Walmart Buy Box?” Well, because you cannot win the Walmart Buy Box without first measuring and subsequently improving your business metrics. 

Being the next Walmart Buy Box winner requires you to have a competitively priced product, maintain inventory, provide speedy shipping, establish high performance standards, display optimal content, strategize advertising, and sustain healthy account metrics. After meeting all these requirements, your product will be eligible to Win the Walmart Buy Box. 

While it may seem tedious and overwhelming at first glance, there is software in place designed to facilitate mundane tasks and provide you with all the necessary metrics you need to remain competitive and win the Buy Box. 

To stay ahead of the competition, use DataHawk’s Buy Box Tracking tool to monitor daily changes on the Buy Box for any product listed on Walmart. If you are interested in discovering the list of winning Buy Box sellers for a product, the win rate per seller, applied price range, price variance, and much more, sign up to DataHawk today.

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