Selling on Walmart Marketplace This Holiday Season
‘Tis the season to optimize your eCommerce strategy, boost your products’ visibility, and up your profits on Walmart’s Marketplace. Now is your time to take advantage of this small window. The holidays always bring about a blizzard of eager shoppers with long shopping lists and stretched budgets for brands to target. Given the huge shift to eCommerce buying during the pandemic, it’s no surprise that gift-givers log online to check off items on their “to-buy” lists.
We can expect this trend to stay, as eMarketer predicts that online retail sales will reach $6.17 trillion by 2023; to enjoy a satisfying piece of that pie during the holidays, your brand must consider harnessing another eCommerce giant. Enter Walmart Marketplace. Who knew the north pole relocated online?
What is Walmart Marketplace?
Since 2009, when the Walmart Marketplace first launched, the eCommerce titan has invited and partnered with retailers to list their products, broaden reach, boost visibility, and increase sales. A key ingredient in Walmart Marketplace’s profitable holiday recipe is the 100 million+ unique visitors that visit the site every month. A curated list of nearly 400 brands, including huge brands like eBags and Wayfair, list their merchandise on the platform. So, how can you secure a coveted spot-on Walmart’s growing list of trust sellers?
Review Walmart’s Membership Requirements
Before you embark on your holiday selling journey, you must first file a request to sell on the platform. Simply navigate to the Walmart Marketplace application page and begin the 10–15-minute application process. To ensure the process goes off without a hitch, take note of these minimum qualifications this step will require:
- To identify your brand’s business entity, Walmart will first require your business’ tax ID or license number.
- You’ll need to verify your business name and address, so dust off the filing cabinet and pull out those supporting documents like rental and lease agreements, utility bills, or tax returns.
- Walmart wants to partner with the best brands, so you’ll need to show a history of eCommerce success on other third-party platforms like Amazon, Shopify, and Squarespace.
- Your products must have GTIN/UPC GS1 Company Prefix Numbers, codes that uniquely identify products and shipping locations, enable tracking, and create coupons.
- Fulfillment requirements mandate that you use either Walmart Fulfillment Services or another B2 US warehouse with returns capability.
The two most common reasons for rejected applications include inconsistent tax or business documents, or a lack of sufficient eCommerce experience. If Walmart rejects your brand, you can utilize Walmart’s Seller Help service to appeal the application decision.
The Onboarding Process for Walmart Sellers
After ticking off the above boxes and receiving approval from Walmart, there will be a short waiting period ranging from 24 hours to about four weeks. Once Walmart approves your brand’s application, the onboarding process includes only two additional steps before the selling festivities begin. The verification process described above is the first step. After that, you will earn a Walmart Seller Profile, where you’ll tell Walmart where to send your payments, so you can get paid as you start to make sales. Finally, remember to configure your shipping methods and costs and select your preferred returns method and carriers.
Walmart Product Listings
Once you complete the onboarding process, you can start listing products for sale. Luckily, the process is straightforward. The best method to quickly get listings uploaded involves adding them individually using the “Add Single Item” method on the Seller Center. To list these new products, you navigate to the “Add New Items” under the “Items & Inventory” tab on the Manage Items page. First, identify your product using the GTIN (Global Trade Item Number), ISBN, or UPC (Universal Product Codes), enter the product name, and choose a product category. Next, input the SKU, description, and content attributes such as item quantity and key features like color, material, and uses.
Don’t forget to spruce up your listing with attractive lifestyle images. To entice holiday shoppers, these photos must feel alluring and exciting, like the Macy’s glittering window displays in New York City or standout decorations in Brooklyn’s Dyker Heights area. For this same purpose, you can also export reviews from your DTC (Direct to Consumer) website and submit them to Walmart for review syndication.
Lastly, Walmart will ask for general listing settings, including attributes like item price and shipping weight. After you fill in all these required fields, allow up to 24 hours before Walmart lists your product.
The Benefits of Selling on Walmart’s Marketplace
We know what you’re probably thinking: why go through the trouble to verify your brand, get onboarded, and list your products on Walmart Marketplace? After all, you have an Amazon storefront, a brick-and-mortar storefront, and a DTC website. Surely those channels will suffice, right?
Well, Walmart’s Marketplace offers your brand six special benefits that’ll brighten any holiday season.
1) Diversify Your Distribution Channels
Adding to the number of places you sell gives your products extra opportunities to reach a broader audience. The more potential buyers that see your product between their chestnut roasting and hot cocoa making, the more sales you’ll see. By adding Walmart Marketplace to your docket, your products reach Walmart’s ready-to-buy users, which reaps an enormous ROI (Return on Investment) for brand visibility. Last December alone, visits to Walmart’s website grew to a whopping 553 million. What could make you feel jollier than those awesome insights?
2) Optimize Your Pricing Strategy
Amid rising inflation, shoppers adjusted their purchasing habits and actively hunt for sales and discounts. A recent 2022 survey, for instance, found that 79% of 15,000 U.S. consumer respondents sought discounts and 77% reduced their shopping, citing inflation as the cause. These days, buyers are ever more sensitive to costs, and you don’t want to miss any sales due to exorbitant prices that make you seem like a Grinch. If buyers find your products too pricy, we guarantee they will investigate other brands on eCommerce platforms like Amazon or Target.
Luckily, Walmart Marketplace’s Repricer tool can help your brand manage pricing efficiently by allowing automatic price adjustments. To ascertain competitive prices, Walmart’s algorithm considers prices on Walmart.com and other eCommerce channels, so you can outsell the fierce competition.
3) Provide Quick Shipping
Beware of the late shipment that stole Christmas! Shoppers expect their purchases to arrive on time. But meeting that demand becomes taxing as you offer your products to Walmart’s 150 million weekly customers. Try streamlining the process through Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS).
To utilize Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS), you first create an inbound order that includes item and shipment details, in Walmart’s Seller Center. You will then receive an address to a fulfillment center to send your inventory. The facility will then store, pack, and ship out your orders. Overall, Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) is a low-cost end-to-end fulfillment service that can provide the scale, quality, and efficiency in shipping you’ll need to thrive selling on Walmart’s Marketplace.
4) Offer Hassle-Free Returns
Not all gift exchanges work out perfectly, and that’s where the Return process comes in handy. On Walmart’s Marketplace, your brand can offer gift-givers the simple and transparently outlined return experience of their dreams. Shoppers simply select the items and provide a reason for return, such as if the item arrived with damages, on either the Walmart app or Walmart.com, and create a return barcode. Then, buyers can either bring the product to the store or drop it off at a USPS or FedEx location.
Take Advantage of Walmart’s Advertising Capabilities
Every new marketplace seller automatically enrolls in Walmart’s Ad Center, a self-serve advertising platform. In this portal, you can select the paid campaign type you want to run and market to holiday shoppers. For these PPC campaigns, you only pay when customers click on your ad. After your campaign finishes, you can track the results with a summary of your return on ad spending, order defect rate, and on-time shipment rate made available in the Ad Center. Not sure which types of PPC ads to run on Walmart? Consider these three options.
- Walmart Sponsored Product Ads: This ad type places your products in high visibility placements, such as at the top of relevant search results, on item pages, and on product carousels that list similar products.
- Walmart Sponsored Brands: These ads send your brand logo, a custom headline, and four advertised items with shoppable links to the top of relevant search results. It’s especially helpful for smaller brands in need of increased brand awareness.
- Walmart Targeting Campaigns: Running this promotion helps display your product to the right consumers, those actively searching and browsing their site for products like yours, and most likely to make a purchase. Walmart suggests that new advertisers use an automatic campaign type that lets the algorithm serve up the most relevant keywords. Using the Walmart platform’s algorithm, this method can provide the maximum exposure for your products. Alternatively, for manual campaigns, you choose the most relevant keywords for your campaign. Walmart recommends this second type for more well-established brands that know which keywords will work for their customers.
Weigh the Potential Drawbacks of Walmart’s Marketplace
Before making this merry move to join Walmart Marketplace as a seller, you should take note of some of its potentially negative components.
1) Remember Product Restrictions
Since Walmart houses your listings in its channel, Walmart has the liberty to remove any listings in violation of the law or its policies or get deemed incompatible with Walmart’s brand values. While some product categories are blatantly prohibited, such as firearms and fireworks, others have more specific restrictions. For baby and grocery items, for example, Walmart will remove any items exhibiting performance issues, where the cancellation rate is greater than 2% and the return rate is greater than 5%.
2) Beware of Commission Rates
Walmart has commission rates, extracting a portion of your profits. These referral fees are listed transparently within their simple pricing structure on the Walmart Marketplace site. For Apparel & Accessories, that fee is 15%, and for Automotive & Powersports, the percentage is 12%. Overall, the rates range between 8-15%.
Ring in the Holiday Season with Walmart Marketplace
This holiday season, Walmart Marketplace might just be the path to take in putting your products in front of the highest possible number of eager gift-buyers and making the most sales. Considering eligibility requirements, onboarding steps, and advertising possibilities, the time is now to decide if Walmart Marketplace would be the right move to make for your brand. For guidance in determining if Walmart’s Marketplace is for you, and to fine-tune your selling strategy once you join the platform, contact Premiere Creative at (973) 346-8100. Get jolly and get listing! Happy Holidays, everyone!