Your Guide to Selling on Walmart’s Marketplace

 In eCommerce Marketing, Paid Advertising, Social Media

Walmart is undoubtedly the second largest eCommerce marketplace, ranking behind Amazon. A household name, Walmart’s low prices and wide selection of products offer an immense opportunity to attract and retain retail customers online.

Launched in 2009, thousands of sellers comprise the Walmart Marketplace with dozens of categories spanning from fashion to electronics and more. As Walmart continues to penetrate the online shopping landscape, now is the ideal moment to diversify your sales channels on this expanding eCommerce platform.

The Benefits of Walmart Advertising

Despite earning the distinguished spot as the No.2 eCommerce platform in the world, many sellers still shy away from registering their brands on Walmart. Some may believe that setting up a listing on Amazon—the world’s No.1 eCommerce marketplace—will suffice. But this approach creates a disservice because these sellers ignore a massive audience segment that actively transacts at Walmart.com.

Are you still not feeling convinced that a Walmart listing can generate revenue and sales? Then check out some of these great benefits:

  • Increased visibility and discoverability through advertising assists with an organic presence on Walmart.com
  • New sellers and products can drive sales through advertising
  • Struggling or low performing SKUs can improve visibility
  • Seasonal products can take advantage of seasonality spikes
  • Improve seller’s share of voice
  • Advertisers are charged only when a user clicks on the ad and is forwarded to the ad’s landing page

How to Sell on the Walmart Marketplace

To launch as an approved third-party (3P) seller on Walmart.com, you will need to complete a five-step application process. These steps include:

  1. Approval
  2. Contract
  3. Registration
  4. Onboarding
  5. Request Launch

What is the Fee for Selling on Walmart?

Sellers pay Walmart a referral fee for every product sold on Walmart Marketplace. “The Referral Fee is calculated as a percentage of the gross sales proceeds from the sale of each product.” Outside of referral fees, there are no additional charges, Walmart does not charge sellers any account setup fees or recurring monthly fees to participate. To learn more about referral fees, you can turn your attention to this video.

Using Walmart’s Seller Central Platform

Walmart’s Seller Center is a self-service platform used for uploading and managing your product listings, establishing pricing, tracking inventory, and fulfilling orders. Follow these steps to start selling your product on Walmart.

1) Access Your Walmart Seller Center Account

Log onto your seller account by visiting: https://seller.walmart.com/

2) Avoid Banned Products

Walmart has a hefty list of prohibited or restricted products. These include:

  • Alcohol
  • Animals
  • Artifacts
  • Collectibles
  • Used products
  • Currency
  • Digital goods
  • Drugs and medical devices
  • Certain electronics, including jailbroken cell phones and jammers
  • Certain jewelry items, including loose gemstones
  • Counterfeit items
  • Offensive products
  • Recalled items
  • Tobacco
  • Weapons
  • You can view the full list of prohibited items on the Walmart site.

3) Build Your Walmart Product Content Feed

You can upload an item feed for a specific Product ID. Use the Feed Item Status API to get the feed status for a specific Product ID. You will need your Consumer ID and the Private Key to make this API call. You can upload content through several different methods:

  • Via the Walmart API
  • As a single item directly from your dashboard (ideal for sellers adding just one or a few SKUs)
  • As a bulk upload using an Excel template (category-specific templates can be downloaded from Seller Center)

4) Upload the Correct Walmart Product Content

Walmart uses algorithms to determine the content displayed on a product page. Each item attribute is considered separately to aid in crafting the most helpful, informative descriptions to encourage shoppers to click the add to cart button.

How to Make Your Walmart Listing Stand Out

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when developing your listings:

  • Go beyond the minimal requirements and amplify your listings with a variety of highly relevant keywords and enriching copy (while avoiding fluff at all costs). Your listing should first help people find your product, then convince shoppers to buy your product.
  • Walmart uses the Walmart Optimization Triangle to determine your listing quality score which evaluates three factors of your listing the quality of your:
    • Content description
    • Offer
    • Customer experience.
  • Visit your Listing Quality Dashboard regularly to review opportunities for further improving your listings, such as:
    • Product Images
    • Customer Ratings & Reviews
    • Listing Category & Attributes
    • Pricing
    • Shipping Options
    • Order Defect Rates
    • In-stock Rate & Inventory

Shipping & Customer Service on the Walmart Marketplace

There are currently six shipping methods available to sellers on Walmart Marketplace. Every seller on Walmart must support at least one of these shipping methods.

  • Free Value Shipping: This option is available for all sellers in Seller Center. Free Value Shipping is ideal for buyers who are willing to wait longer for their purchase in exchange for free shipping. While this option cannot be disabled in Seller Center, sellers can still create Shipping Overrides that exclude specific items
  • Standard Shipping: Optional; can be enabled or disabled for any region. Shipping time of 2-5 business days within the 48 states
  • Three-Day Shipping: Optional; can be enabled or disabled for any region. Shipping time of 2-3 business days within the 48 states
  • Two-Day Shipping: This shipping option is available to all Marketplace sellers. Like other shipping methods, it can also be managed through Seller Center but requires that sellers first apply for Walmart’s free Two-Day Delivery program. Walmart offers sellers two opt-in methods for the program—Seller-Managed or Third Party-Managed—which are based on how they handle fulfillment
  • Next Day Shipping: Optional; can be enabled or disabled for any region. Shipping time of 0-1 business days within the 48 states
  • Freight Shipping: This option only applies to sellers offering oversized items that do not qualify for basic ground or air carrier shipment. This option is not set as an available option in Seller Center. If an item you are selling requires freight shipment, you can configure a Shipping Override for that item. When enabled, this replaces all other shipping methods for the item. This can be enabled or disabled for any region, with a preconfigured transit time of 5-10 business days

Walmart Marketplace customer service requirements include:

  • Maintaining a current customer service escalation email address in Seller Center
  • Maintaining an accurate customer service phone number in Seller Center. If a live agent is not available to handle incoming calls, voicemail must be available
  • Customers must receive a greeting upon calling before they are placed in the queue to speak with a representative. This greeting, and the voicemail message, cannot include advertisements
  • Responding to all customers and Walmart Customer Care, inquiries with a high-quality response (not automated) within 48 hours (about 2 days)
  • Sellers are not to initiate correspondence with a customer regarding the status of their order or additional information about the product(s) they have purchased. Automatic emails are generated by Walmart’s system as the buyer’s order moves through each stage of fulfillment
  • Sellers are not permitted to contact sellers with unsolicited emails or phone calls
  • Sellers must regularly monitor all email addresses tied to their account to ensure they are aware of any communication sent by Walmart
  • If Better Business Bureau (BBB) or Attorney General Complaints are received, sellers are required to send a thorough, “high-quality” response within the first hour of receipt
  • Customer support is still required during Additional Days Off; these are only designed to apply to order processing exceptions and do not relieve sellers of their customer service duties
  • All customer support, including phone and email support, must be provided in English
  • Sellers are required to behave professionally, and courteously, with customers, Walmart, and other sellers; there is a zero-tolerance policy for abusive or threatening language

Meet Walmart Seller Requirements for Customer Service & Shipping

Just as an Amazon seller must sell up to Amazon’s standards, you will need to make sure you adhere to Walmart’s shipping and customer service standards. Otherwise, you risk suspension. Seller Performance Standards include:

  • 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

Walmart Seller Returns and Refunds

Return Window

Walmart.com sellers are required to have a minimum return window of 30 days for most items, with the option to extend this window if they choose. The 30-day window begins 7 days after an item has shipped.

There are some exceptions to this minimum requirement; for certain electronics items, sellers can shorten the return window to 15 days after the item has been delivered. Certain luxury items may also be set up with a maximum return window of 14 days following the item’s receipt.

Return Eligibility

Customers can easily return items to Walmart.com or a physical Walmart store if all conditions outlined in the seller’s policy are satisfied.

Return Labels

Walmart offers sellers the choice of shipping through FedEx or UPS—their currently supported shipping carriers—and gives sellers the option to use Returns Shipping Service (RSS) from Walmart for label generation.

Walmart Product Listing Optimization

Optimizing a listing’s content will result in a significant increase in traffic & conversions, resulting in long-term sales growth for a product. Here are some best practices for making the most of your Walmart product listing content:

  • Be concise
  • Use an active voice
  • Include images that show your product in use
  • Add video if your product category allows it
  • Tell the value proposition of your products to make them stand out
  • Utilize and repeat relevant keywords, but do not use the same keyword more than three times
  • Remember to add product attributes, tagging, and backend keywords via Walmart Seller Center

Build Your Walmart Marketplace Listings Today

With decades of combined experience, the eCommerce team at Premiere Creative can help create a Walmart Seller account. Using a multi-faceted eCommerce strategy, Premiere Creative can help you find the appropriate keywords, optimize product titles and descriptions, and deploy PPC (Pay-Per-Click) strategies to guarantee higher product visibility. Dial (973) 346-8100 to learn more about our Walmart Marketplace PPC agency services.

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