While Amazon remains the #1 destination for online shopping, retail giant Walmart has been aggressively expanding into the e-commerce space and is now a solid contender. Here’s why merchants should consider selling on Walmart.com, and how they can get started.
Walmart.com: A Great Opportunity
Many of us can still remember a time when e-commerce was in its infancy, but now it seems like almost everyone orders what they need through an app or website. The unparalleled convenience and accessibility of online shopping have transformed consumer habits, and countless brands have seen incredible growth by building up an online presence.
Amazon is still the undisputed leader in the e-commerce space, with over $470 billion in revenue in 2021, which is why most sellers exclusively focus on it. However, as big as Amazon might be, it does have its downsides. Smaller merchants often find it difficult and expensive to break into their desired markets, while others are understandably wary of keeping all their eggs in one basket. Both of these are good reasons to explore other avenues.
Walmart.com is the retail giant’s foray into the e-commerce space, and it has become a solid alternative to selling on Amazon. While it does have a smaller market share, Walmart Marketplace also has much less competition. Merchants can establish themselves in highly sought-after niches for a fraction of the cost and effort it would take to do the same on Amazon.
Combined with the excellent support and infrastructure that Walmart.com offers, plus the fact that it has no monthly or initial fees to worry about, it’s no surprise that more sellers are giving the platform a try. It can easily become a valuable secondary revenue stream, ensuring that you’re not entirely reliant on Amazon, or it could even be where your brand’s growth truly skyrockets.
How to Start Selling on Walmart Marketplace
Launching your brand on Walmart.com isn’t complicated, as the company has done its best to make the process as streamlined as possible. If you’re an existing Amazon seller, you should already have everything you need to get started. Here’s how:
- Apply to be a seller – Go to marketplace.walmart.com and click on the Join Marketplace button. You’ll be asked to create an account and fill out a form, but this step should only take a few minutes as long as you have all of the information handy.Click on “Apply Now” and wait for approval (you’ll get an email). Just make sure to check all of your details beforehand since any errors here can delay the approval process
- Create your profile – Your approval email will have a link that takes you to a page where you can set up your Partner Profile. This process is separated into five sections. Fill out the fields, bearing in mind that you’ll be asked to provide a digital copy of your latest W-9 form.After this, you’ll gain access to Seller Center, where Walmart will have a handy “Launch Checklist” that highlights anything you might be missing before you can launch your account.
- Set up your products – The most time-consuming part of your Launch Checklist will be the “Item & Order Testing” step, where you’ll have to create the listings for your products. You’ll be asked to upload images, copy (such as the title and descriptions), videos if you have them, and so on. Don’t forget the backend attributes as well!
Once you’re done, use the Preview Item function to check how the listing will look to your prospective customers. Make sure that it’s exactly the way you want it! Then you can test orders by changing the item inventory to 1, clicking on Publish Item, and then trying purchasing it.
And with that, you’re ready to launch! As soon as your Launch Checklist is complete, you should receive a prompt asking if you want to submit a launch request. You’ll have to wait for the Walmart Marketplace Integration Team to check everything, but if there are no issues, your products should be live within 24 hours.
Good Practices for New Sellers
Congratulations! Your account is live on Walmart.com, but now what? While it’s true that there are fewer sellers to compete with, your brand will still see much better results if you adhere to several good practices.
First, this might be obvious, but the content is king. Your product listings affect both your placement on Walmart.com’s search results and also how likely a shopper is to convert. Make sure that your copy is well-written, and that your images and videos showcase your product’s strengths while adhering to the marketplace’s guidelines. As mentioned earlier, don’t forget the backend attributes either – fill out everything you can since attributes have significant SEO weight. Listing creation and optimization can make or break an item’s success on the platform. Shorter titles tend to perform better, while a well-formatted and keyword-rich description can significantly boost listing performance.
Related to the above, your Listing Quality Score is something you have to pay attention to. It’s a comprehensive rating that lets you know roughly how optimized and high-quality your listing is, based on Walmart’s criteria. Fortunately, low scores are accompanied by suggestions on how to improve your rating, whether it’s changing the length of your descriptions or fixing the attributes. Just follow these automatically generated action plans to improve your score. Do note though that there are times when it might be worth it to sacrifice a few points of your Listing Quality Score, such as when you want to increase keyword density in your product copy. As long as you stay above 90, it shouldn’t have too much of a negative impact on your listing performance.
We’ve found that a strong PPC campaign also makes a big difference when launching a product. The early boost from paid impressions can help establish your product, leading to more organic sales down the line. While advertising on Walmart.com is much cheaper than on Amazon, smart spending through good PPC management is still essential – make sure to track, test, and optimize your campaigns on a regular basis. In our experience, an aggressive campaign can do a lot in getting your newly launched product into the top 100 for its desired search terms, but it’s still important to have a solid foundation by making sure your listing is well-optimized, to begin with.
A good pricing strategy is critical to your success as well. Most Walmart.com customers expect low prices since that’s Walmart’s main value proposition, so it’s important to stay aware of your niche and competition. But a word of warning: if you’re selling on both Amazon and Walmart, you can lose your buy box on Amazon if you sell at a cheaper price on Walmart. Make sure to match your prices!
You may also want to sign up for Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS), which is similar to Amazon’s FBA. It will let you take advantage of one of the world’s largest supply chains, get included in the platform’s free two-day shipping program, and free up your time to focus on other aspects of your business. Not only that, WFS sellers enjoy increased visibility and conversion thanks to the free shipping and Fulfilled by Walmart tags. You’ll also gain access to support from WFS associates, and Walmart will handle any customer service on your behalf.
One last thing Keep a close eye on your account metrics, of course. Poor seller ratings, shipping delays, customer complaints, and other issues can lead to the loss of the Pro Seller Badge, penalties, or even the suspension of your account. If you find yourself struggling with the day-to-day challenges of running your Walmart.com business, an agency like Sellcord can help by handling the routine tasks on your behalf.
SellCord is an agency exclusively focused on Launching and Managing brands on Walmart.com. We work with hundreds of brands across all categories. As a team of experienced sellers ourselves, we gained a deep understanding of what works best in the marketplace and work with brands to help them replicate that same success.
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