With a 79% eCommerce growth in 2020, Walmart has long been a popular brick-and-mortar name in the US, if not the world.
The launch of Walmart Marketplace in 2009 greatly contributed to its omni-channel strategy by offering a selling platform for third-party merchants. Fast forward to 2020, Walmart was the second most downloaded shopping app in the US, with 34 million downloads.
Walmart Marketplace is rapidly growing in popularity among sellers — and for good reason. Breaking into this platform can bring a total competitive edge for business owners while entering the US market and going global.
We’re here to tell you why, and most importantly, how.
I. Introduction: Why Sell On Walmart Marketplace?
Quick history on selling on Walmart Marketplace
Founded in 1962, Walmart is one of the world’s leading multinational retail corporations with more than 11,700 retail stores in 28+ countries.
Walmart delivers quality merchandise for the lowest prices possible, adorned by strong logistics, supply chain management, and efficiency.
Launched in the year 2009, Walmart marketplace, Walmart.com, permits third-party sellers to list their products on its website – Walmart.com.Walmart.com receives hundreds of millions of visits every month. To date, Walmart Marketplace has helped put more than 50,000 sellers in front of its 120 million monthly visitors.
Quick stats about selling on Walmart Marketplace
Walmart’s online marketplace now includes more than 100,000 sellers and is growing. In 2021 alone, over 31,000 sellers have joined the marketplace. This growth is expected to skyrocket even more, in light of Walmart international expansion and the intense eCommerce competition during the pandemic.
Walmart Marketplace offers a robust mix of 52 million SKUs across 35+ product categories, ranging from automotive to furniture.
According to Walmart, more than 33% of customers are between ages 23-38. The average buyer has a medium-to-high household income, and most are homeowners with families.
(*) Note: HERE is a full list of prohibited categories and product limitations by category.
II. Selling on Walmart Marketplace: Cost and Fees
One major pro you can gain by selling on Walmart is that there are no monthly or initial set-up fees. Listing to the marketplace is 100% free.
For every sale, Walmart just charges a 6-20% referral fee depending on your product category. There are no minimum referral fees, either.
(*) Note: HERE is a full list of Walmart’s referral fee percentages by category.
Walmart, however, is pretty strict about pricing. If Walmart finds that you list a product at a lower price point on another site, you will be delisted. Seller payment frequencies are determined once your account is approved, and are typically set for bi-weekly payment. Walmart sellers are paid the total amount from sale of products (retail price + shipping costs) minus Walmart’s referral fees.
For more in-depth tutorials like this, check out:
- How To Sell on Wayfair: A Complete Sellers’ Guide
- How To Sell On Rakuten & Go Global Effortlessly
- How To Sell On Wish: The Definitive Pocket-Guide
III. 05 Steps To Sell On Walmart Marketplace
Click ‘Request to Sell Application’ to start the registration process.
Fill out your company details as instructed.
Please bear in mind that there are certain requirements for international sellers who want to sell on Walmart in the US market.
- Having a US entity (including a US W9 tax ID and mailing address)
- The ability to ship from a US warehouse (excluding FBA)
- Product identifiers (if the barcode is missing, invalid, or a duplicate, the product won’t be accepted)
- An international returns address.
Do note that there some rules for Chinese businesses who want to sell on Walmart, including:
- Valid Chinese business license
- Greater than a year of operating experience selling on North American marketplaces
- Solid store ratings
Once you have provided the above details, proceed towards the Product and Integration.
Finish the ‘Shipping and Operations’ and you’re almost good to go!
Review and complete the process. Once you have completed the Walmart seller registration process, wait for one week to approve the registration from Walmart Marketplace.
IV. Selling on Walmart Marketplace: Best Practices
There are many different factors that could heavily influence your sales on the Walmart Marketplace. The efforts that you need to make in order to meet all of these requirements are flexible, but can be grouped into a few key areas as follows.
1. Win the Walmart Marketplace Buy Box
If a product is sold by more than one seller, Walmart presents all the seller listings in one single page. This listing page contains all the merchants selling the product, even sellers with different prices.
Walmart Buy Box winner is the default seller whose product goes into the cart when the blue ‘Add to Cart’ button is clicked.
A few tips to stay ahead of the game.
- Offer competitive pricing, while looking out for your competitor sellers
- Maintain proper stock availability.
- Try to offer free shipping methods on Walmart or at least, keep the shipping price very low.
- Make sure that your delivery is on time
- Garner positive reviews
2. Facilitate customer reviews on Walmart Marketplace
If available, customer reviews of the product will appear under the price.
Some site visitors may search by average review. Therefore, these product reviews could really impact your sales.
An easy start would be to clearly ask your customers to leave their reviews right on the site. You should also consider responding to all the questions from your customers, whether they are positive or negative reviews. This is the best way to show your customer support!
3. Consider Walmart fulfillment services
It is important that Walmart seller performance standards are met. Here’s the gist:
- Order Cancellation Rate: < 2% in a 14-day period
- On-Time Delivery Rate (OTD): > 95% in a 14-day period
- Valid Tracking Rate (VTR): > 99% in a 14-day period
- Return Rate: < 6% in a 90-day period
With Walmart Fulfillment Services, you can focus on sales while Walmart staff will take care of fast shipping, seamless returns, and customer service. Simply send your inventory to Walmart fulfillment centers, where Walmart will store your products securely and prepare them swiftly for shipping when an order is placed.
4. Advertise on Walmart.com
Ads are a great way to promote your products on Walmart.com above organic results.
Walmart offers ad solutions that aim to influence their customers at every step of the shopping journey with advertising backed by powerful, traceable omnichannel data.
- Search ads help customers discover relevant products as they search and browse Walmart.com. Ads appear on the Walmart site in prominent, high-traffic spots such as search results, product detail pages and Buy Box.
- Display ads help deliver brand marketing materials across Walmart’s onsite and offsite digital channels and keep the brand top-of-mind.
5. Optimize your Walmart product listing from seller center
As a Walmart seller, you have an opportunity to optimize product listings and product visuals to create better customer and brand experience on Walmart’s marketplace.
These elements include product titles, descriptions, images, variants, and many more, which, if used about right, can lead to better improvement on conversion rates, revenue, and even product search rankings.
Check out our blog post to understand more about product listing pages in general HERE.
While starting to sell on Walmart Marketplace, you should consider the following action items:
- Be concise in your copies
- Be clear about your products and service offerings
- Include images that show your product in use and from different angles
- Add video if your product category allows it
- Add product attributes, tagging, and backend keywords via Walmart Seller Center
6. Expand to new distribution channels
Apart from selling directly from Walmart, you can employ other sales channels to link to your primary product listings on Walmart Marketplace.
One of the most recommended platforms out there is Shopify.
Walmart Integration app on the Shopify app store
Launched in 2006, Shopify has solidified its mark as one of the leading commerce platforms for online stores and retail point-of-sale (POS) systems. With a dynamic portfolio of a million businesses looking to expand their sales, Shopify is a perfect choice to become Walmart’s commerce platform partner.
In March 2020, Walmart announced a new partnership with Shopify, exposing international Shopify’s small business sellers to the promising Walmart Marketplace.
Here’s how you can start selling on Shopify with Walmart.
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V. Selling On Walmart With Shopify
Step 01: Add the Walmart Marketplace App (AWM) as a sales channel on Shopify
Go to the Shopify App store and search for Walmart Integration -> Add app -> Enter your Shop’s URL and log in.
Click the Install app button.
After installing the app, you can begin the configuration process.
The registration process is pretty straightforward with Client ID and Client Secret.
After that, you can proceed to import products to Walmart.
In the Import Product Options, you can select one out of the following three alternatives:
All items: Import all the Shopify store items.
Published Products: import just those items which are accessible at the Shopify retail end.
Filter Products: Import the products based on Product Type, Product Vendor, Smart Collection or Collection
Here is your Walmart dashboard in the Shopify backend.
Step 02: Complete your Walmart dashboard components
Setting up a dashboard is easy, yet it’s all the more important to fit it into your business management process.
Fill out the form in the ‘Profiling’ section to ensure legitimacy for your business
Look into Product and Order management
For the product section you can perform the following tasks:
- Edit Product Information
- View Product
- Add Swatch Images
- Preview Product on Walmart:
- Filter Products
- Bulk Uploads of Products
- Update Product Status
- Retire Products
- Update Price
- Update Inventory
From Walmart Integration App, you can perform the following actions for your orders:
- Fetch new orders from Walmart
- Synchronize all orders with your Shopify Store
- Update shipment information
- Update order status
- Cancel orders
- Create order Refunds
- View Failed orders
VI. Selling on Walmart with Shopify: Best Practices
01. Build a good online store presence
First off, do check out the following stores
1.2. Urban skin
Given that Walmart is a mass marketplace for all, competitive businesses such as Dropps and Urban Skin Rx rely on Shopify to push their competitive edge.
For the look, The Shopify Theme Store includes more than 100 free and premium themes that are professionally predefined for your online store.
The designs can fit a variety of stores from different industries
As a theme itself, a Shopify free theme comes with irreplaceable core values, forming the backbone of an online store.
With a page builder, you can do a lot more! The best page builder PageFly offers solutions of both visual and functional values that cater to every kind of business need online.
Belows are screenshots of a product page made with PageFly.
Building with PageFly, all designed pages will be optimized and responsive on mobile and tablet devices.
Click here for the inspiration to craft a wonderful website with Shopify and PageFly.
02. Win the Walmart Buy Box
For higher sales or conversions, it is crucial to win the buy box. The buy box of Walmart is highly controlled by price. The lower the price, the more likely it is for sellers to win this powerful display opportunity.
You should employ Walmart Repricer Tool to win Buy Box and remain on top while selling. Automated repricing software is technology that helps sellers automatically update prices on their listings by looking into certain aspects such as buy box ownership, selling a certain number of units during a specified time, or mirroring prices across multiple sales channels.
03. Provide A Customer-Centric Approach
Walmart works on a customer-centric approach and thus, you should work more on your customer service to yield more positive reviews. There are a few metrics that need to be closely monitored, including product shipment rate (below 99.5%) or product cancel rate (less than 1.5%). Go ahead and explore the Shipping Exception feature and apply more than one shipping method such as Standard, Freight, Express, 2-Day Shipping, Free Shipping, etc., on one product. Also, you should make sure that your team timely answers customer calls and resolves 90% of emails within 1 day.
Putting up a promotional price is an evergreen strategy to attract more customers for your business. From the Walmart Integration app, go to the navigation menu on the left and click on ‘ Promotional Price,’ Here you can choose to ‘Upload Promotional Price’ or ‘Remove Promotional Price’ for bulk products or individual products based on your promotional strategy.
Suggested reading: If you want to sell your online Shopify Store. Here’s the detailed guide on how to prepare your business for sale, and how to sell your Shopify store.
With exponential growth in the US and every other part of the world, there is no denying the opportunity that the future might hold for Walmart.
The leading retail platform is not just a one-stop-shop for everything eCommerce. Rather, Walmart lays an open playground for all daring entrepreneurs to get in on the ground floor and thrive with a supportive network of Walmart ecosystem.