December 28th, 2021
What is Walmart Marketplace?
Walmart.com is the second largest eCommerce marketplace. Amazon continues to hold the number one spot. However, Walmart is growing in popularity and has some intriguing advantages for sellers to consider when thinking about diversifying their business.
5 Perks to Selling on Walmart
It is no surprise that Walmart marketplace is smaller (for now) since they more recently expanded their eCommerce selling platform to third party sellers. Entrepreneurs can view this as a lucrative opportunity. After all, Walmart is a household name with 90% of Americans living within 10 miles of one of it’s more than 4,700 retail stores.
While Walmart is competing and offering many of the same features and services of Amazon, they are also changing things up a bit.
- Less Fees: While Amazon charges $39.99 per month for a professional seller account, Walmart.com does not. They also have a favorable pricing structure for most businesses. The only cost is a referral fee on each completed purchase, that ranges from six to 15 percent. This percentage fee is based on the type of product you're selling.
- Low Competition: Walmart is a familiar name but there is substantially less competition than Amazon. One reason the competition is lower is because Walmart requires an application before accepting a seller. They vet the sellers carefully to ensure they are a good fit for the Walmart marketplace. Their selection process is lengthy and takes time but it does ensure that not everyone and their brother is selling on the platform. This has also helped to limit counterfeit sellers.
- More Freedom: As a Walmart seller you have more control over your return process. Walmart sets minimum requirements, like a standard 30-day return window for most items but does not force returns on sellers when a return may be unwarranted. You also gain more freedom when it comes to providing customer service to your customers.
- Fast Shipping: Customers don’t need a membership to take advantage of Walmart’s fast shipping. This can make the shopping experience more convenient and help expand your target market to an audience that can’t or won’t pay for faster shipping (aka a membership).
- Shopify Integration: Just like with Amazon, you can link your Walmart and Shopify accounts. This will sync your inventory, listing updates and live tracking.
How to Get Starting Selling on Walmart
Selling on Walmart is a little more complicated and time consuming to get started, but it’s for your benefit as a seller. Walmart’s thorough process helps ensure the integrity of the sellers on their platform.
In order to sell on the Walmart marketplace you need to first review their requirements and make sure you meet them as a seller.
- Have you established your eCommerce business and have selling experience?
- Is your business registered in the US?
- Do you have a history of positive customer support (your ratings and reviews from other platforms will be reviewed)?
- Can you conduct order fulfillment in a timely manner?
- Will your products fit into the Walmart catalog?
If you can answer yes to all of these questions you are ready to begin the application process. The application process should take approximately 10-15 minutes. Before getting started, make sure you have the following information readily available.
- US business tax ID (SSN not accepted)
- W9 or W8 AND EIN Verification Letter from the Department of Treasury (verifies your US business address or place of physical operations)
- Address or place of physical operations
- US business address
- Planned integration method for your product catalog
- Primary product categories, catalog size and related information
You’re Approved, Now What?
Once you’ve received official approval to sell on Walmart.com it will be time to register your business. Walmart will send you an email with a link to get started. The registration process involves six steps:
- Account creation
- Walmart Retailer Agreement
- Company registration
- Tax forms
- Payment information
- Shipping information
1. Account Creation
This is where you’ll set your username and password. These are the credentials that you will use to log in to Seller Center and manage your Walmart marketplace account.
2. Walmart Retailer Agreement
Review and sign the Walmart Retailer Agreement. This is the legal agreement that contains all the terms and conditions that sellers must accept.
3. Company Registration
During this step you’ll enter your Display Name (the name that appears to customers on Walmart.com) and the Corporate Address (used internally).
4. Tax Forms
Fill out the W9 form for tax purposes.
5. Payment Information
Walmart has partnered with Payoneer and Hyperwallet to process partner payments. You must register with one of those processing companies to receive your Walmart.com payments.
6. Shipping Information
You get to select your shipping pricing model, method and the regions you’ll ship to.
Get Your Listings Ready!
The next step is to set up and optimize your product listings. Be sure to complete all information which is key to helping the customer make an informed purchasing decision. Include relevant keywords in your copy so customers will easily be connected to your products when they are searching Walmart.
- Title or Product Name: Here you will want to use the specific product name. The goal is to use 50-75 characters. We suggest starting with the brand name but then if you have space add relevant information like size, key features, style, count, etc.
- Product Details: This is a great place to showcase the benefits and key features of the product with a little more detail. When writing, make sure you are including relevant keywords but also make the content beneficial to the shopper and easy to read.
- Bullet Points: Think of this information as the most important (or the answers to buyers most common questions about your product) but it needs to be quick to read. Consider calling out the main point by using all uppercase letters to highlight that main point. Then, use regular sentence structure (upper and lower case font) to dive further into that point.
- Images: Images help sell your products so make sure you use high resolution images. Show the product at different angles and create lifestyle images as well.
After the listings have been created they will move to the ‘stage’ status. This means that they will not show up just yet on Walmart's website.
Next, run a test to ensure that the order acknowledgement, order cancellation, order shipping and order refund are all working as they should. You can place an order but you don’t need to fulfill it in order to test these features.
Once you have everything tested and ready to go, you’re ready to go live! Walmart will review your listings. Once approved they will be published to Walmart.com. They will be transactable within a few hours and searchable within 24-48 hours.
Shipping Options for Selling on Walmart
Fast shipping is an important component to being successful selling on any eCommerce platform. There are two ways to ship your products from Walmart: Seller Fulfilled or Walmart Fulfilled.
Seller fulfillment is when the seller handles all of the shipping from their warehouse to the customer. Walmart fulfillment can now happen with Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS).
Walmart Fulfillment Services
Walmart Fulfillment Services is similar to what many seasoned sellers have seen with Amazon’s FBA. This order fulfillment concept is where you ship your merchandise into the Walmart fulfillment center. When a customer orders, Walmart will pick and ship the order to the customer.
As a seller, your products will also benefit from having the ‘2-day delivery’ tag added to your listing.
To be eligible for WFS your inventory needs to meet these requirements:
- Capability of shipping to Walmart fulfillment centers within the US
- No perishable or regulated products allowed
- Maximum product weight of 150lbs
- Maximum product length of 108”
- Maximum product length and girth of 165”
If your product meets all these requirements then you can log into the seller portal and complete your WFS application.
Walmart offers a fee structure that is comparable to Amazon. First, there are fulfillment fees based on the weight of your item. Second, there are monthly storage fees.
If shipping on your own works best for your business model you’ll want to strive to deliver with the free two- or three-day option. This option helps you get more visibility and better conversion rates. On average, sellers who offered the two- or three-day delivery options saw a 30-50% lift in conversions.
Additionally, by offering these fast, free shipping options to customers you are also getting to take advantage of having the 2-day delivery tag on your items. If you are a seller currently meeting these requirements but you don’t see the Smart Tags (2-day delivery tag) by your listing you can request access in Seller Center.
There are some qualifications that must be met before you qualify to be a 2-day delivery seller.
- You’ve been a seller on Walmart marketplace for at least 90 days or you’ve fulfilled 100+ orders
- Your on-time shipping and delivery rate is above 95%
- Your valid tracking rate is above 95%
- Your cancellation rate is less than 1.5%
- You offer free returns
You are not required to offer expedited delivery. However, it is a competitive advantage for your business.
How to be Successful Selling on Walmart
- Research the competition and their pricing strategy - In order to win Walmart’s buy box you need to have the lowest price in most cases
- Keep inventory in stock
- Offer free shipping and deliver on time
- Get product reviews
- Optimize your listings
- Advertise - Get eyes on your listing
Selling on Walmart or Amazon?
Why do you have to choose? We suggest selling on both platforms if possible. They both have their own set of pros and cons, but we feel it is more valuable as a seller to expand your reach and diversify your selling strategy.
Remember, the demographic for Amazon and Walmart shoppers is slightly different. Walmart marketplace shoppers don’t want to pay for a membership to get fast shipping. Also, as a seller you don’t have to pay a fee to list your products, just when you actually sell them.
Walmart marketplace is growing and right now there is limited competition. If you can submit your application and be accepted to become a Walmart seller, then we’d recommend trying it out.
Keep in mind that our team is here to help you along the way. If you are currently a client, simply reach out to your account manager. If you have never worked with us, let’s chat about your goals and needs to see if we’d be a good fit for you.