Should you sell on the Walmart marketplace?

The growth of the Walmart marketplace has been on a steady incline for years. Walmart.com is now a worthy competitor for Amazon. But just like any online marketplace, selling on Walmart requires a strategic approach for online sellers looking to expand their businesses and reach.

Walmart is one of the most recognizable brands within and outside the US, with a brick-and-mortar business model worth admiring. Not to mention, there is a physical Walmart store near about 90 percent of American homes.

 

 

For Amazon sellers specifically, the Walmart marketplace presents the perfect opportunity for diversification. Relying entirely on only one platform like Amazon can prove risky in the long run. High competition, policy changes, and unexpected seller account suspensions are reasons you should consider going multichannel. Listing your products on both Amazon and Walmart will help diversify your sales, reducing an over-reliance on one platform. Diversifying to Walmart means opening your store to new customers and higher profit margins.  

What is Walmart marketplace?


The Walmart marketplace is an online platform similar to Amazon where third-party sellers can list and sell their products to a vast customer base. The marketplace functions like any other e-commerce platform where approved sellers get to showcase their products alongside Walmart’s inventory on the store’s website.

In 2000, Walmart launched Walmart.com, a website designed to seamlessly blend the physical and online aspects of the departmental store giant and provide a consistent customer experience. In 2009, Walmart stepped into the online e-commerce world and launched the Walmart marketplace.

Today, the Walmart marketplace boasts more than 130,000 merchants, including giants such as ProTeam, Wayfair, and eBags. Products sold by third-party sellers appear under the Walmart Marketplace brand name. Walmart marketplace items are not available in physical stores and are exclusive to its online business.

Sellers must meet specific criteria and undergo a selection process to get approved. Approval to sell on Walmart isn’t as shrouded in secrecy as it once was; nonetheless, approval is required.

Is it a good idea to sell on Walmart?

 

 

Selling your products on Walmart can be a strategic move when scaling your e- commerce business. The e-commerce landscape is constantly changing, especially with online giants like Amazon. Fulfillment by Amazon, for instance, has undergone several changes, most notably, increased fees across different services. These are hurting sellers’ bottom lines. For example, FBA peak storage fees for bulky and oversized items increased by 20 cents per cubic foot. Sellers keeping their inventory at Amazon warehouses outside peak season have had to pay 3 to 4 percent more per cubic foot, while merchants with “aged inventory”’ stored for 180 to 270 days have seen fee increases.

Fee increases alone reveal the importance of considering Walmart and other e- commerce platforms. Walmart charges a competitive referral fee and provides various fulfillment options depending on the product. You can either ship products yourself, as long as you stick to Walmart’s customer satisfaction standards, or you can leave the shipping to Walmart altogether

Other reasons for you to sell on Walmart.com?

  • Walmart’s extensive and established customer base, both online and offline. With more than 120 million unique visitors to the website every month, you can tap into an already loyal and growing customer base. 
  • Since you must be approved to sell on Walmart, most customers tend to trust the brand and are more likely to buy from Walmart for that reason.  
  • Compared to Amazon, Walmart is more cost-effective. Walmart charges a competitive referral fee in percentage form, ranging from 6 percent to 20 percent, depending on the product and category. Unlike other e-commerce stores, Walmart has no subscription fees; their storage and fulfillment fees depend on the product’s weight. 
  • Walmart is less saturated than Amazon. To sell on Walmart, you must have an already registered business and a history of e-commerce sales before being approved as a seller. On Amazon, anybody with a product can create a seller account and begin selling. This exclusivity with Walmart makes it an attractive option for merchants looking to make more sales on a platform where they don’t need to move mountains to stand out.

What do you need to be a Walmart seller?

 

 

To start selling on Walmart, you must create an account and undergo a verification and approval process. First, you’ll want to ensure you have all the necessary documents and business information. Since Walmart is now open to sellers across the globe, you need a valid business license from your country of operation to show that you have already had success selling on an e-commerce platform like Amazon. Compared to Amazon’s start-up and verification process, it’s a breeze.

For merchants within and outside the United States, you must provide a U.S. Tax ID Number (TIN) or be incorporated in Canada. It’s important to show you have over a year of successful e-commerce experience selling to the North American market.  You must also have documents that prove your store exists, like a valid business email address and phone number. You also need product information like GTIN/UPC GS1 Company Prefix Numbers and SKU. 

How to create a Walmart seller account 

Step 1: Visit the Walmart seller center at https://marketplace.walmart.com/ and click “Join Marketplace.”

Step 2: Sign up for an account by filling in your name, legal business name, business email address and business phone number, and choose a password. Click on “Create My Account” and verify your account via the verification link sent to your email.

Step 3: From here, you’ll begin onboarding─a three-step process that involves verifying your business information and setting up your payment options and shipping methods. To verify your business, submit your details, including your U.S. Tax ID Number, ensuring all information matches your IRS records. This will ensure a faster verification process.

Step 4: Once you’ve submitted the required information, you can set up how you want Walmart to pay you when you start making sales. There are various options. Choose the one that works best for your business model.

Step 5: After that, set up your shipping methods. There are two options: standard shipping and value shipping. Choose what suits your business, then fill in the return center information for where customers can send products they wish to return to the store. Next, click submit once you’ve double-checked that all the information provided in all sections is correct.

 What is the Walmart account approval process?

Unlike e-commerce giants like Amazon, Walmart reviews all applications submitted and only approves sellers they believe meet their standards. Walmart might reach out for clarification. They may need additional information. Ensure you respond to all the queries to increase your approval chances.

The approval process differs from one seller to another. Usually, it takes between 48 hours and four weeks. There are several reasons why Walmart might reject your application, such as lack of excellent customer service records (bad reviews, slow fulfillment timelines, not responding to customer queries within a specific timeframe, etc.). Walmart may also reject your application if they don’t believe what you’re selling has the potential to succeed or if the category is already saturated. 

The main differences between Amazon FBA and Walmart

The Walmart marketplace and the Amazon FBA program differ in certain aspects, which is enough reason to consider going multichannel rather than relying on one platform.

  • Competition and market saturation: Amazon is the largest e-commerce platform in the world. Anybody can create a seller account and begin selling. While Amazon exposes your listings to millions of unique visitors per month, it can also be highly saturated, making it difficult for new sellers to stand out. While on a steady growth path, the Walmart marketplace offers less competition in specific categories. This can be good or bad; it all depends.
  • Different approval processes: Amazon is more open, as anybody can apply for a seller account and get approved. On the other hand, Walmart is a little exclusive in that you must meet specific criteria which we laid out above. Walmart’s approval process has led to only a few third-party sellers on the platform (135,000 sellers compared to Amazon’s 2 million sellers).
  • Significant differences in fees: Amazon FBA provides the perfect opportunity to get your e-commerce business up and running, even if you’re new to the e-commerce landscape. With the Walmart marketplace, the fees are straightforward. You are only charged referral fees based on the product category. Walmart also has simple fulfillment fees with zero monthly subscriptions. Meanwhile, you must incur referral fees, monthly storage fees, aged inventory surcharges, and fulfillment fees with Amazon. Amazon sellers pay an 8 percent to 28 percent referral fee for most product categories. The monthly storage fees vary depending on the type and size of product stored at one of their fulfillment centers. Besides the storage and referral fees, Amazon sellers must also pay Amazon fulfillment fees, calculated based on the product’s size and weight. Walmart is a lucrative choice regarding fee structures and why it’s a great marketplace to scale your e-commerce brand.
  • Accessibility of seller support: Amazon offers various support services for registered sellers, but the general support is often subpar. Meanwhile, their exclusive support system comes with hefty additional fees. Walmart provides all sellers access to a free Walmart Fulfillment Services expert to help you optimize your listings, enhance your sales strategies, and improve your performance. 

How to be successful selling on Walmart?

 

 

It may take a few weeks for Walmart to approve your account. Once approved, you can create your listings and start selling. But how do you ensure that you succeed in the Walmart marketplace? Here’s how:

  • Build a unique brand identity from the word go: Brand identity ensures you differentiate your products from other sellers on the platform. While Walmart isn’t as saturated and not as competitive as Amazon, you still need to ensure that your brand stands out. Highlight what sets your product apart. Is it the quality, price, sustainability, or free shipping? How is your messaging different, and what is it about your mission and values that customers feel in alignment with?
  • Consider bundling your products: Bundling Is an excellent strategy to offer value to your customers while improving your return on investment. Try bundling complimentary products together to increase the perceived value of your products. Bundling can also help your listings stand out. 
  • Optimize your product listing: Listing optimization is just as crucial on Walmart as on Amazon. Leverage high-quality images, but ensure they meet Walmart’s image specifications. Clear, professional, and well-lit photos that showcase your offering from different angles will help attract more people to your listing. You also need to think about crafting keyword-rich, compelling titles that describe the unique attributes of your product. Assume you are the customer. Use keywords that you would use to search for that product on other marketplaces. You can use keywords similar to those you use on Amazon. Once you have your title set, create an informative and engaging product description. A compelling product description should highlight your product’s unique features, selling points, and, most importantly, benefits. Use SEO-friendly words but avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Maintain competitive pricing: You need a competitive pricing strategy to attract and retain customers, no matter the platform. Research your competitors and review your pricing strategy based on time of year, seasonality, and competitor pricing. Walmart usually shows products that are low priced with free or low shipping costs to align with its mission and values as a company. 
  • Maintain positive customer reviews: Provide excellent customer service through satisfactory shipping, responding to customer queries, and setting up competitive shipping rates. Doing so will help you maintain a high seller rating, which means more visibility on Walmart. One of the aspects that Walmart takes seriously is customer service. The marketplace will only keep sellers who provide excellent customer service. 
  • Build customer trust: Is your pricing competitive compared to sellers offering the same product? Or do you offer fast and reliable shipping and adhere to the delivery timelines you’ve set? Perhaps your product descriptions are accurate and contain everything a customer would want to know about the product before adding it to their cart. Find your unique selling point to help build trust and ensure you maintain transparency in all transactions to foster customer loyalty. 
  • Leverage Walmart advertising: If you want customers to notice your brand more and visit your listing, you must consider Walmart advertising. Walmart offers different options through Walmart Connect. Like Amazon, Walmart runs sponsored product ads and sponsored brands. Sponsored product ads help increase the visibility of your products by ensuring your listing appears on relevant search results.
  • Try Walmart’s promotional events or create your own: Walmart runs occasional promotional events like holiday and seasonal sales. These allow sellers to get their brands and products in front of millions of customers per the current theme. If that’s not for you, you can create your own sales events, like offering occasional free shipping or discounts, to attract customers and increase your sales. 
  • Make sure you understand and comply with Walmart’s seller guidelines: Before you create a seller account, it is essential to familiarize yourself with Walmart’s guidelines and policies and make sure you keep up with the changes. Any violations of their policies could see your Walmart account suspended or your listings removed. Not what you want to experience as you scale your business. 

Is selling on Walmart worth it?

Selling on Walmart presents an excellent opportunity for e-commerce sellers to scale their online businesses and expand their reach in the e-commerce landscape. Walmart is one of the most recognizable brands in the US, and the marketplace introduction has only made the brand more attractive. 

The platform’s reputation can help you gain credibility and visibility as you look to scale your online brand, resulting in more sales and improved brand image. 

There is also the issue of Walmart’s omnichannel approach. Walmart already has established brick-and-mortar stores virtually everywhere. Integrating sales through offline and online platforms ensures stability for sellers and brand growth.  

Another reason selling on Walmart is worth it is their focus on customer service, quality, and competitive pricing, which encourages sellers to maintain these high standards, making the marketplace even better for all. 

Ready to “go Walmart”?

Over-reliance on one platform—Amazon—is dangerous. Diversifying marketplaces and going multichannel is a smart safeguard. Walmart allows you to reach more people and scale your business while learning to foster loyalty with an already trusting audience. If you’ve been on the fence about selling on Walmart, now could be the time to take the plunge.

Of course, like Amazon, Walmart can suspend your products and your account. That’s why we exist. We’re here to help Contact us any time.

Amazon. Solved™.

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