How Walmart is Winning Social Commerce

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Walmart Challenges Amazon

Ecommerce has grown immensely, increasing 13.7% in 2021. Amazon leads the way in most ecommerce categories, but not all. One example is the ecommerce grocery market.

The ecommerce grocery market is set to hit over $120 billion this year, increasing to over $200 billion in 2024. While Amazon was the leader in this market until recently, Walmart has beaten Amazon to the #1 spot, cornering over a quarter of the ecommerce grocery market.

The fact that Amazon has “lost” an ecommerce category has broken the paradigm of Amazon being the constant leader with everyone else way behind. This time it’s Walmart, but it won’t be long before other ecommerce companies start challenging Amazon – and each other – in other areas. Does this mean that the ecommerce landscape is finally opening up to real competition?

One key indicator of the future of ecommerce is how brands are using paid social media marketing to direct their messages – and their shoppers. Thanks to trends such as social commerce, brands are now being more specific about where shoppers should buy their products – and it’s not Amazon!

What this Means for Marketers

There has been a definite uptick in the number of brands that push consumers to purchase their products at Walmart and other non-Amazon marketplaces. Some of this messaging is public, and can be observed by anyone. Much of these messages are not public however, and require specialized products to uncover this trend. 

With brands of all sizes using social media to target shoppers with offers on the likes of, understanding how the platform is used – and how leading brands and direct competitors are leveraging their social media spending in this regard – becomes crucial.

As we’ll see in this Report, much of this social media advertising is hyper-targeted at very specific consumers, and thus invisible to the general public and competitors – until now.

The BrandTotal competitive social advertising intelligence platform gives us the ideal launching point for exploring almost any brand and industry. If you want to know in real time what’s really going on when it comes to your competitors or even brands you admire, then BrandTotal is critical to your marketing success.

In this Report, we’ll reveal how brands are opening up the ecommerce sector using paid social media marketing, particularly by utilizing dark ads. 


08/03/2021 - 10/31/2021

Brands in this Report

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Companies leveraging social media to push their Walmart sales

Dr Teal's

Over half of Dr Teal’s creatives over the period of this Report – 75 out of 149 – featured Walmart in some way. In general, the brand’s creatives were 38% sponsored and 62% organic, with ads being 37% dark and 63% public. 

In Walmart-specific campaigns, 45 were sponsored ads (30%) while 30 were organic posts (20%). Fascinatingly, all Walmart-oriented sponsored ads observed during this period were dark ads. 

The brand’s overall Net Sentiment was 46%, with “Walmart” coming through as a net positive element of this consumer sentiment. 

A typical example would be the following comment on this ad:

Facebook Ad from Dr Teal's

“I just added this to my Walmart order… I love all things Dr Teal’s!” 

It’s informative to observe the various methods used by the brand to engage shoppers and direct them to Walmart.

Facebook ad from Dr Teal's

In this case, the “Shop Now” button leads directly to The description also contains “Find it at Walmart,” and the heading advertises rather than the brand’s own website.

From an engagement perspective, this dark ad had 4.2m views, 2.9k likes, and 271 shares. 

Other ads give specific information as to where the product can be found in Walmart stores, but also link to


Keurig is another brand with an exclusive line at Walmart – and one that uses its social media platform to celebrate this. In fact, over the period of this Report, Keurig posted 161 creatives on its social media channels; 28 of them (over 17%) were Walmart-oriented. 

Across all of Keurig’s social media creatives, 39% were organic posts and 61% were sponsored ads. Of these, 47% were dark, and 53% public.

In terms of the Walmart-oriented creatives, all were sponsored ads and all were dark. What’s more, all but one of these ads was conversion-oriented. This shows that Keurig is utilizing its paid social media marketing efforts to directly drive consumers to 

This is an example of such an ad, which had 6.9k likes. Note the “Shop Now” call to action.

Instagram Ad from Keurig

This ad from the brand even includes Walmart branding:

Instagram Ad for Keurig

In this ad, one can see that even the url for the “Shop Now” is

Facebook Ad from Keurig

The Ecommerce Landscape Is Being Unlocked — And Dark Marketing Is The Key

With the ecommerce landscape opening up, marketers are faced with many more choices in terms of strategies, tactics, creatives, messaging, platforms, calls to action, and more. 

It’s therefore more important than ever to understand what the world’s top brands are doing – and your closest competitors. 

Unfortunately, the cast majority of this activity is dark – invisible, concealed, unreachable.   

Unless you have BrandTotal. 

BrandTotal delivers deep insight into all competitors’ social advertising including all dark campaigns. You can use contextual intelligence layers and correlate filters such as consumer sentiment by dark ads, public ads, or all ads – and much more.

BrandTotal thus gives the most complete picture of a brand’s performance, its competitors’ strategies, and a clear and actionable path to success to see results a whole lot faster.

We evaluate the ecommerce strategies of several additional brands across industries within the full report, click here to access it!