307 million people.
That's the number of people who visited Walmart.com in January 2020, according to SimilarWeb. By June, that number increased by almost 30%, to over 398 million, likely, at least in part, due to COVID-19.
Even beyond the pandemic, selling on Walmart Marketplace gives you access to a massive amount of potential customers, including many who might not have found you otherwise.
For those who do find you in other ways, it's an instant credibility boost to learn that your company has partnered with such an established brand name.
And to top it off, Walmart is still significantly less crowded than Amazon, with significantly less sellers to compete with, and you only pay a fee when you make an actual sale.
Ready to get started?
Application Requirements: What it Takes to Sell on Walmart Marketplace
In order to start selling on Walmart Marketplace, you need to go through an application process. But before you get started, verify that you meet the basic requirements.
Essential Business Requirements
Walmart is looking for established companies, with at least $500,000 in annual revenue, and experience selling on other marketplaces, such as Amazon and eBay.
In addition, your company needs to be registered in the US – including tax ID, business address and documentation. You'll need to provide Form W-9 or W-8 and an EIN verification letter from the Department of Treasury.
International companies are welcome, but still need to have a US tax ID, a legal US business name, and a US-based warehouse.
Customer Service Capability Requirements
Your experience on other marketplaces needs to be proven, among others, by positive reviews on these platforms that indicate the quality of service you provide.
To meet Walmart's customer service requirements, you need to have representatives available from 9 AM to 9 PM ET, and be able to respond to customers within 24 hours.
Shipping Capability Requirement
You can use your own shipping operations or outsource this part of the business, but you are not allowed to use Amazon FBA to serve Walmart customers (We'll suggest an alternative later in the article).
During your application, you'll be required to share what percentage of your current orders is fulfilled by Amazon FBA, to make sure you have the infrastructure in place to meet this requirement.
Walmart Marketplace Fees
One of the benefits of selling on Walmart Marketplace is that you don't have any ongoing fees. You only pay a referral fee once you sell an actual product.
Referral fees vary by product category, ranging from 6% for personal computers to 20% for jewelry. Expect to pay a 15% referral fee for many of the categories.
You can see the full list of fees per category here (Just give the page a moment. It might look like you got to an error page, but it's actually loading and will show up in a moment. That was our experience the multiple times we've tried, anyway).
How to Apply to Sell on the Walmart Marketplace (AKA "Request to Sell")
Application to the marketplace is done online directly on Walmart's website. Here's the link to the "Request to Sell" landing page. Walmart estimates the process takes 10-15 minutes assuming you have the following information ready:
- US business tax ID
- W9 or W8
- EIN Verification Letter from the Department of Treasury to prove to Walmart that your company is indeed located where you say it is. The company must have some operations in the US, with a verified US address, in order to apply.
- The product catalog integration method that best fits you out of the available options: API integration, single item add, bulk upload, and solution provider. To understand what each option includes and what is best for you, check out Walmart's quick guide here.
- Catalog size, primary product categories and information about your catalog (including total SKUs you intend to sell, their verified UPC information, and used versus refurbished).
Once you’re approved, you’ll get an email with your seller number and ID, as well as your agreement number.
You'll also get an email to let you know it's time to start listing your products on the marketplace.
Remember to take a moment (or a few) to celebrate.
You've earned it.
Congratulations, You're In! Here's the Most Efficient Way to List Your Products on Walmart Marketplace… Despite its Infamous Interface
How to List Products on Walmart Marketplace
Listing products you intend to sell on Walmart Marketplace is done in the company's Seller Center. The only challenge?
Seller Center is notoriously buggy.
Even in 2020, changes don't always save, numbers are typed one way and saved another, some sellers can't upload products one at a time while others can’t do a bulk upload. Very often, sellers often find themselves unable to list their full catalogs, or they list them, but are unable to fix errors the process has created.
We have seen some great sellers give up at this stage.
It's that frustrating.
Thankfully, though, there are trusted third party platforms for operations management that assist with onboarding to the Walmart Marketplace. They provide listing tools and post-onboarding management tools that help sellers overcome all these tech issues. The two we've found most efficient are Zentail and Sellbrite.
How to Optimize Listings and Increase Sales on Walmart Marketplace
According to Walmart's own Listing Quality Optimization guide, each listing you publish gets a quality score. The higher your quality score, the more profitable your partnership with Walmart will be.
According to Walmart, a High Listing Quality Score Gets You:
- Higher ranking in marketplace search results.
- Inclusion in Walmart marketing campaigns, which gives your catalog prioritized traffic.
- Prioritization in the buy box, so you can win it more often.
- Higher conversion rates, less returns, more repeat business. This isn't an algorithm thing. The requirements for a high quality score from Walmart.com are the same things shoppers look for. Give them what they want, and they're more likely to buy, keep the product, and come back for more. So what are those requirements?
The Three Factors that Impact Your Listing Quality Score
- How competitive is your offer? True, selling on Walmart Marketplace is less competitive than selling on Amazon, but it's still very competitive. According to Walmart, a product's price, shipping price, shipping speed, and in-stock rate are some of the factors that make your offer more competitive.
- How descriptive is your listing? Use your product category, product title, description, images and attributes to make your product enticing – but also keep it authentic, so consumers know exactly what they're buying. Winning the buy button is just the beginning. You want them to keep the product, come back again and tell their friends. Speaking of which…
- How great is the customer experience you provide? Provide fast and high quality, empathetic customer service, adhere to policies and keep your order defect rate (ODR) down to stay on Walmart's happy side. Use customer reviews to prove the value and service you provide to both Walmart and your customers. If you're new to selling on Walmart Marketplace, but already have reviews on other platforms, Bazzarvoice is a great tool to help you display these reviews on Walmart authentically.
Walmart's Guide to Succeeding on Walmart Marketplace
To dive deeper into optimization strategies that can make a difference for your profitability, we highly recommend you take some time to review Walmart's own guide too. It's pretty short, and it's packed with additional practical strategies.
Shipping the Products You Sell on Walmart Marketplace: Critical Dos and Don'ts
To successfully sell on Walmart Marketplace, you need to align your shipping operations with Walmart's requirements.
Don't Rely on Walmart Marketplace's Interface to Generate Shipping Labels
Use ShipStation, a really great shipping software for ecommerce fulfillment, instead.
Don't Use Amazon FBA (Do This Instead)
If you're like many Amazon sellers, you probably don't have your own warehouse to hold inventory and ship orders. The challenge is that Walmart doesn't allow usage of Amazon FBA for its orders. It makes sense. You probably wouldn't want your products showing up on customers' doorsteps with your competitor's branded boxes either.
You can still outsource your warehouse – just use a different provider.
Deliverr is the best option we've found in terms of pricing, quality and flexibility, especially if you sell on more than one channel. It lets you fulfill orders from Walmart, eBay, Amazon, Shopify and Wish Sales. On Walmart specifically, it will help you meet the much desired 2 day shipping.
Do Provide 2 Day Shipping
According to Walmart, providing faster shipping can increase your sales by up to 40%. As mentioned above, fast shipping is one of the key factors that go into your listing quality score.
In addition, Walmart allows customers to screen results, so that they'll only see products available for 2 day shipping. If your company doesn't offer it, you products might not even get seen by a large portion of visitors.
*Deliverr gets you the 2-badge badge
Reach More Customers by Advertising the Products You Sell on Walmart Marketplace
To maximize your results, consider advertising on Walmart Marketplace. Sponsored products, as the available advertising opportunities are called, show your products on the first page of search results in both category and item pages.
The payment model is cost per click (CPC), meaning you only pay when someone clicks through to your product page, but you do need to commit to a minimum of $1,000/month in ad spend.
To get started, you first need to contact the Walmart Media Group by filling this form.
As Ecommerce Becomes More Important, Walmart Marketplace Needs Your Help. Ready to Start Selling?
"Growing our marketplace is a strategic priority," wrote Jeff Clementz, VP of Walmart Marketplace, on the company's website in mid-June 2020. "The US ecommerce business grew 74% in total last quarter, and growth in [the] marketplace outpaced the overall business," he explained.
The massive growth is likely due to COVID. Ecommerce skyrocketed as people started spending more time at home and taking safety measures. According to a Mastercard study, "more money was spent online in the US between April and May than the last 12 Cyber Mondays combined."
As new shopping habits started getting established, Walmart launched an integration with Shopify in June 2020, intending "to add 1,200 Shopify sellers this year," wrote Clementz. "We are focused on U.S.-based small and medium businesses whose assortment complements ours and have a track record of exceeding customers’ expectations," he added.
Whether you sell on Shopify or not, there is still plenty of room to shine. Now is the time to start selling on Walmart Marketplace and establish your company as a category leader for years to come.