Walmart Advertising: Advanced Second-Price Auction for Walmart Sponsored Products

Last Updated on July 16, 2022 by

The second-price auction brings in a brand new bidding process to how Walmart manages PPC. Instead of advertisers bidding their maximum amount as they do currently in the first-price auction, they now have the option to seemingly place a bid without making an actual bid. This is done by marking a bid at one penny higher than the next highest ad.

For example, using a first-price auction, if the current highest bid is $0.55 and you bid $1.00, you pay $1.00 per click regardless that the highest bid was lower. In a second-price auction, if the current highest bid is $0.55 and you bid $1.00, you would pay $0.56 per click.

The new system is an online auction, where advertisers will be bidding against each other. The second-highest bid will determine the winner.

How Does This Affect Me?

As an e-commerce seller, you are likely wondering how this changes things for you and your business. Well, you’ve come to the right place!

As a seller, you need to try to understand how these new changes might impact you. While it may seem like a disadvantage, the second-price auction is actually a step in the right direction for e-commerce sellers trying to be successful on

With this new system, sellers will be able to save money and still compete against their competitors as it will allow you to save money while still placing the highest bid.

It means that you will get more competition, which will somewhat increase your visibility in the search results. With some competition, you will end up paying less.

With a second-price auction, your competitors will be forced to bid higher and higher prices, which should give you an upper hand, as your bidding prices will be lower. Therefore, the second-price auction allows you to win with fewer funds, which will be handy when bidding on more competitive keywords.

How To Win Second-Price Auctions

So, if the highest bidder does not win the auctions, how do you win them? 

You are only eligible to win the auction in a second-price auction if you place your bid at a penny higher than the second-highest bidder. This rule should be followed to understand how to win the auction.

You cannot simply place a bid on your competitor and win the auction. This will not work. Instead, you have to place a bid at a penny higher than the next highest bid.

The second price auction might be a little confusing at first, but you can turn it to your advantage if you understand the rules.

For instance, if you are competing with an ad that has a bid of $0.10 and you want to stay a step above your competitor, you can place your bid at $0.11, which will automatically be the highest bid.

How To Bid In Second-Price Auctions

The second price auction allows you to win with fewer funds, which will be handy when bidding on more competitive keywords.

You should know how to bid in this auction. You can only bid on the competitor’s bid by a penny extra.

For instance, if your competition is bidding $0.10, then you have to bid $0.11 to win the auction. This should be kept in mind because, otherwise, you would end up bidding the same amount as your competitor, which is the lowest bid. If you bid the lowest bid, then you will not win the auction.

Bid Above The Competition

However, oftentimes with second price bidding, you cannot see the competition’s bids. So what do you do in this case?

Because you do not pay the price as you bid, you can bid a bit more aggressively if you do not go over the price you are willing to pay.

Let’s look at an example

Let’s assume you are planning to bid $0.10 for an ad, and your competitor is also bidding $0.05. If you bid for $0.10, you will pay $0.06 instead of the $0.10 you originally bid. Even if your competitor places a bid between $0.05 and $0.10, you will still win the auction and pay one cent more than what the competitor bid.

Of course, if your competitor takes on the same strategy, you will both drive up the price by outbidding each other.

How Is It Better Than A First-Price Auction?

You will not be charged the bid price you originally placed in a second-price auction. Rather, you will be charged one penny more.

Walmart PPC used the first-price auction, which meant that your ad would only be placed if you bid the highest price.

You’d be charged the same price whether you were number one or number two in the auction. This means that you would pay the same price whether your ad showed up at the top or the bottom of the search results.

Following the majority of the industry, Walmart has decided to start using a second-price auction. This is a welcome change as other platforms like Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, and Amazon Ads all use a second-price auction. 

So, Walmart’s transition to a second-price auction will be extremely beneficial to advertisers as it will reduce the risk of overpaying and could potentially  increase a brand’s overall return on investment on Walmart . However, it is important to adjust your strategy based on this change  as well as your specific marketing objectives to ensure that you are fully leveraging the benefits of this new auction dynamic.  

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