The Ultimate Sellers Guide to The Walmart Marketplace
Have you dreamt of selling your product at Walmart? While you might not be able to accomplish that very easily, Walmart is partnering with Shopify to make selling on their website easy for small and medium businesses. If you join Walmart Marketplace, you have a tremendous opportunity to reach over 100 million unique Walmart.com visitors each month.
The partnership will open Walmart's Marketplace to Shopify's small business sellers, to ideally bring 1,200 Shopify sellers to the marketplace this year. Additionally, entrepreneurs join thousands of suppliers and sellers as Walmart partners.
"We're excited to be able to offer customers an expanded assortment while also giving small businesses access to the surging traffic on Walmart.com. Shopify powers a dynamic portfolio of third-party sellers who are interested in growing their business through new trusted channels. This integration will allow approved Shopify sellers to seamlessly list their items on Walmart.com, which gives Walmart customers access to a broader assortment"
– Jeff Clementz, VP Walmart Marketplace (Techcrunch 6/15/20)
How to Sell on Walmart.com Using Shopify
There are a few steps involved when it comes to selling on Wal-mart.com after its Shopify integration. Not every business will be able to associate themselves with this product due to obvious reasons. Wal-Mart is mainly focusing on only those that will add to their customer’s experience and provide a larger array of goods for them.
First thing's first, your business must be in-line with what Wal-Mart wants to sell on its marketplace. They are looking for reputable retailers and brands that provide exceptional customer service, a compelling product assortment, competitive pricing, and fast, plus reliable, fulfillment.
Your business can be considered by going to the “request to sell” page and completing the Walmart Marketplace application. Once you make the cut, you’ll be required to make adequate listings of your products, synchronize your inventory with Wal-Mart, and other similar tasks. Once you are ready to go live, your items will be made visible to customers.
In the Walmart application itself, you need to specify which software integration provider you will use. Walmart's integration with Shopify is one option. However, the other current option is the integration app by CedCommerce. It’s probably the best way to connect Shopify and Walmart together currently. Walmart is working to improve the integrated platform.
Is this beneficial for your business?
As an online seller, you’re in search of a platform that gives you a way to reach the largest audience possible. As Wal-Mart holds a variety of departments on its online marketplace, you can now easily be a part of this community and improve your selling. But to do this, you need to ensure you meet Wal-Mart’s standards.
The platform offers businesses a more organized and automated way to handle their orders, finances, and logistics. With the technology that Shopify offers, paired with Wal-Mart’s audience, your business is more likely than ever before to see a boost in sales. It’s intended to create a better experience for both sellers and customers. Therefore, you’re sure to benefit from this in many ways. As a seller, automation, synchronization, regular updates, quick uploads, better visibility, and management of partial orders are only a handful of the benefits that await.
Shopify has aided Wal-Mart in getting back in the e-commerce game and it’s only a matter of time before Walmart.com goes head to head with Amazon.
Free Two-Day Delivery Program
In a 2018 survey report by Deloitte, 62 percent of responders said they define “fast shipping” as two days or less—up from 54 percent just one year earlier. As Deloitte executive Rod Sides concluded in that report, “Fast and free used to be considered incentives, and now they’re just table stakes.”
When you enable the Two-Day program and include your items, free Two-Day delivery tags are added to your listings. These attract a lot of attention, increase buy box wins, and drive more sales! Why would you not want to access these great benefits for your business?
The Two-Day delivery program is available to all Walmart Market Place sellers for free - without membership fees or minimum orders - and there are two ways to opt-in. You can manage shipping yourself, either nationwide or regionally, from your warehouses, or, you can use a third-party Walmart partner.
These flexible configuration options will help any type of seller reap the rewards of fast shipping. Plus, nearly 40% of Walmart Marketplace orders are already delivered within 2 days. You have a lot to gain even if you only add your regional deliveries to the program.
Advertising On Walmart With Sponsored Products
Utilizing Walmart Sponsored Products increases your visibility by allowing you to reach and engage shoppers at every stage of their journey. Your ads appear on the first page of search results, category pages, and item pages to drive traffic to your products.
Sponsored Products help consumers find and purchase products that you sell on Walmart. They are cost-per-click ads, so you only pay when a shopper clicks on your ad.
Sponsored Products are selected based on a combination of relevancy and bid. Products being advertised must win the buy box and must be in stock.
Walmart Fulfilment Services
Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) is a new program that allows sellers to store their inventory at Walmart fulfillment centers. When a customer places an order on Walmart.com, WFS picks, packs, and ships the item(s) to the customer on a seller's behalf. WFS also handles all customer support and returns for these orders. Products fulfilled by Walmart qualify for both TwoDay delivery and Free & Easy Returns programs.
WFS enables sellers to spend more time focusing on increasing their sales while having confidence that their orders will be delivered quickly and with outstanding customer support.
With the world's largest supply chain infrastructure, WFS has the unique ability to provide sellers with the scale, quality, cost, and efficiency to grow a successful business on Walmart.com.
These are some of the features Walmart Fulfilment Services offers:
- Guaranteed 2-day Delivery
- Inventory Management
- Item Page Content
- Enhanced Support
- Account Management
- Customer Service
- Simple cost structure
Additionally, there are several 3-party logistics (3PL) providers that you can use to streamline your operations. For example, if you use a 3PL to fulfill your Walmart orders, you could also use them to fulfill other marketplaces, such as eBay and Etsy, and your own Shopify store. You must ensure that any 3PL partner you choose can meet Walmart's 2-day shipping guarantee requirements.
If you are an Amazon FBA seller, you can’t use Amazon FBA to fulfill your Walmart orders. So fulfilling your Walmart orders has to be done using WFS, a 3 PL partner, or directly from the merchant.
“Brands need to meet shoppers where they are. As more consumers find their way onto Walmart’s online marketplace, it’s important to us as a retailer that we provide a premium experience that matches the quality of the products we sell.”
-Raj Sapru, COO Netrush
What Items Can I Sell on Walmart?
Walmart allows a very broad range of products to be sold on their site, yet all sellers must follow their policies. What may be of note are some of the limitations of items that cannot be listed on Walmart Marketplace. There are too many to list, but here are some of the prohibited products that stand out from the more obvious ones (i.e. animals):
- Art – unauthorized copies or reproductions of artwork that violate any copyright or trademark.
- Collectibles – products or compilations using unauthorized photos, autographs or signatures, or unauthorized reproductions.
- Digital Goods – including, but not limited to, currency, gift cards, eBooks, games, movies, songs.
- Electronics – any products required to be approved under the FCC equipment authorization program that has not been so authorized and labeled, any devices that replace or modify the existing technology in a device without being properly authorized as required under FCC rules, such as, or any devices operating on unauthorized frequencies.
- Jewelry – that does not comply with applicable laws or regulations, contains clarity-enhanced white diamonds, or loose gemstones.
- Plastic – including a product's plastic package or packaging component, that is labeled, or marketed as biodegradable, compostable, etc.
- Weapons – game guns, projectiles, firearms, non-projectile.
As a Marketplace seller, you must understand and comply with all of the legal requirements governing the sale of your products.
This is just a sampling. Please see the exhaustive list here:
Interview with Miro Posavec
Miro is a seven-figure online seller who opened a new sales item on Walmart.com in 2019. This was before Shopify officially had a relationship with Walmart.com so much of what he experienced has become a smoother and more successful process. Miro had to pave the way and be persistent. If it wasn't for his success on Amazon and his relationship with Channel Advisor, he would not have been invited in. Miro discusses the many pros and cons of the Walmart platform and how to use Shopify to manage listings and products.
Q: What are some of the pros of being on Walmart?
1) It is a growing marketplace, growing by leaps and bounds. There is a lot of potential there
2) You would be reaching consumers that wouldn’t otherwise be online. Somebody who will not be an Amazon Prime guy who will buy it on Walmart.
3) Their physical stores – they have a built-in distribution network. The items a customer wants can be picked up or delivered from the nearest Walmart store. This competes with Prime Now.
4) There is a higher barrier to entry. Some other marketers might be intimidated by this, which produces an opportunity. If you can unlock that and find the right product mix you will set yourself apart from the billions of sellers on Amazon. Additionally, you never want to put all your eggs only in the Amazon basket. It is always advantageous to diversify.
5) Free sales and now 2day shipping!
Q: What are some of the cons of being on Walmart?
1) Technology – the interface and infrastructure leave a lot of room for opportunity. Unlike Amazon, Walmart did not start as a tech company so they don’t have comparable issues.
2) Customer Service - There is no help on Walmart.com and the response takes days. Somebody on the phone is worse than going into the store.
3) Walmart doesn’t have clear guidelines like Amazon.
4) You don’t get paid in a timely fashion, although it is getting better.
If you have a tight margin, you are vulnerable and don’t want to put your business in jeopardy. They are trying to figure it out but still way behind.
Q: How do you bridge the gaps here then?
A: Go with a software solution, like Shopify, and do it that way would be my suggestion. Running thru Shopify is more effective because you are entering your pictures and descriptions already so you are just adding a few more fields to it. The bulk of what you are doing is going to be handled within Shopify. This is the way to do it if you are just getting started. You can take advantage of the interface, but at least you are not relying on it.
Q: How do you know if your product fits Walmart’s audience?
A: Interestingly, my top-selling products on Walmart are completely different than my top 10 on Amazon. The Walmart consumers aren't as price-sensitive, which is surprising. They will pay the full price. Although returns are much higher (20% on Walmart vs. 1% on Amazon). Any high demand consumer goods should be successful. Like an impulse purchase. Something you see on the shelf at a Walmart store. Art supplies are crushing it on Walmart.com.
Q: Is there anything you would have done differently that would have helped you avoid some of the speed bumps?
A: When I first started, I started with Channel Advisor, but I wish I had started with Shopify right away. It was a lot more work than it should have been. Shopify is quick and simple. You link to the Shopify app that you use.