The largest e-commerce competitor on most people’s minds during the holidays is Amazon, and for good reason. Looking across Google Auction Insights reports for text ads, it is the single most ubiquitous challenger against retailers in very nearly all product categories.
Amazon’s presence in text ads has only grown during the holidays this year, as I wrote a few days ago. However, its presence on the Google Shopping side of things has actually been in decline.
That may sound like music to some advertisers’ ears, as Amazon is one of the few brands in the world that can completely alter the dynamics of the Shopping auctions it enters by virtue of its sheer size and product selection. However, another brand has aggressively expanded its Google Shopping presence since the beginning of the holiday shopping season: Walmart.
Walmart Shopping Impression Share Shot Up Thanksgiving Week
Taking a look at the chart below depicting Walmart’s impression share against the same set of retailers used to assess Amazon’s Shopping impression share, it’s clear Walmart started getting more aggressive with its Shopping campaigns beginning the week of Thanksgiving. The black line indicates Black Friday, while the green line indicates Cyber Monday.
It appears Walmart didn’t wait for Thanksgiving to start ramping up Shopping spend, as impression share jumped on November 19, the Sunday before Thanksgiving. By comparison, the Shopping impression share of Target, another big box retailer, has remained fairly stable from the beginning of November through the first week of December.
On the text ad side, Walmart’s presence is so spotty as to make trending its impression share pretty meaningless. In contrast to Amazon, it appears in text ad Auction Insights for only a small fraction of retailers.
So while Amazon turns up the heat in text ads and recedes in Shopping, Walmart seems to have taken quite the opposite strategy.