As a growing seller, you already know how successful Walmart Marketplace has become. But that still doesn’t mean it’s the right platform for your store. From price match scares to watching your referral fees stack up, is selling on Walmart Marketplace really worth it?
Ready to dig in and decide once and for all whether Walmart Marketplace is worth adding to your sales mix?
In this guide, we’ll answer the latest and most common questions about selling on Walmart Marketplace. We’ll also share strategies to help you get the most out of the platform.
What we’ll cover in “Selling on Walmart in 2023: Is It Really Worth It?”
- Walmart Marketplace: What’s in it for sellers?
- Is selling on Walmart Marketplace worth it? And other top FAQs
- How to get approved to sell on Walmart Marketplace
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Walmart Marketplace: What’s in it for sellers?
Walmart is now the second leading e-commerce retailer in the US after Amazon, with more than 410 million unique visitors visiting Walmart.com each month.
A recent Statista report reveals that the number of Walmart Marketplace sellers has surpassed 150,000 — that’s a 66% increase within a single fiscal year.
If you’ve overlooked the idea of selling on Walmart until now, there are new reasons to give it another thought.
To recap, here are the hard-and-fast numbers of Walmart’s massive impact:
- More than 410 million unique visitors visit Walmart.com each month
- One of the world’s largest retailers, second only to Amazon
- There are now over 150,000 sellers on Walmart Marketplace (a 66% increase in just one year)
- Walmart Inc.’s fiscal year 2021 revenue totaled $559 billion
Clearly, there’s a lot to be gained for growing sellers. Let’s take a closer look at some of the unique advantages you can benefit from when you sell on Walmart Marketplace.
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Benefits of Selling on Walmart Marketplace
While there are many reasons to love selling on Walmart Marketplace, these eight are high on our list:
1. Instant Credibility
While browsing the platform, you may notice that all products listed on Walmart Marketplace (even those listed by third-party sellers) look similar to those owned by Walmart.
This is no accident. Walmart Marketplace’s consistent product page structure helps reinforce consumer trust, as shoppers may associate third-party seller items with a trusted Walmart product.
In other words, you get to take advantage of Walmart’s major street cred when selling on its marketplace. 😎
2. Wide Customer Base
With 410 million unique visitors heading to Walmart.com each and every month, you have the benefit of accessing Walmart’s gigantic (and still growing!) customer base.
As one of the world’s largest retailers, expanding your reach via Walmart Marketplace could be a pivotal move toward becoming a trusted omnichannel brand.
3. Less Competition
As of June 2022, Amazon accounted for nearly 38% of the US e-commerce market, while Walmart accounted for only 6.3% market share. For many sellers, this makes selling on Walmart an even more attractive option, as there’s less competition and more room to grow.
However, while the Walmart seller application may be straightforward and simple to complete, not all sellers make it past this stage. Walmart makes it clear that it looks for premium brands — it wants the best sellers of items not currently on its marketplace.
This weeding-out process not only protects the integrity of Walmart’s own e-commerce offerings, it also speaks volumes about your business and product quality.
For brands looking to stand out in a competitive market, this makes Walmart Marketplace an even more attractive option.
4. Flexible Fulfillment Options
For e-commerce businesses, the pressure to master your inventory has never been greater. The good news is, once you become an approved Walmart Marketplace seller, you can start making strategic decisions to accelerate your sales.
One of the major pluses of selling on Walmart is access to its proprietary TwoDay and ThreeDay expedited delivery programs, which guarantee nationwide delivery within two or three business days.
The program is completely free for shoppers and as a seller, it also helps boost your visibility in search and browse results so you can convert more customers.
In fact, Walmart data has found that items on the TwoDay program can earn up to a 50% conversion lift — and items on the ThreeDay program have seen a 30% conversion lift. Sellers that sign up for the TwoDay program can also benefit from filter inclusion and the ability to add 2-day delivery tags.
Another great thing about TwoDay and ThreeDay delivery is that you’re in complete control.
You can offer shoppers expedited shipping locally or nationwide for any part of your catalog. You also have the option to ship products yourself, or you can apply for Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) which will handle it for you.
If approved, you can use WFS to:
- Store inventory at Walmart fulfillment centers
- Pack and ship your items
- Handle your customer support and returns
To answer the increasing demand for hybrid shopping options, Walmart Marketplace also allows in-store and curbside pickup, removing unnecessary barriers to entry and giving shoppers the flexibility they crave.
5. Enhanced Returns
Enhanced Returns is an add-on that makes the return process simple and convenient for your customers. With Enhanced Returns, you can offer shoppers the opportunity to return products online or in-store.
In fact, according to Walmart, most shoppers look for reliable return options as a core purchasing criterion before placing an order. In other words, taking advantage of Enhanced Returns is a strategic move for any store owner interested in boosting conversions and saving themselves the headache of handling their own returns.
6. No Recurring Fees
While you do have to pay the referral fee on every sale you make, the good news is Walmart won’t charge you any setup or monthly fees. For Amazon sellers accustomed to regular fee hikes, this is a major point on Walmart’s scoreboard.
Referral fees vary depending on product categories, so be sure to always refer to Walmart’s Referral Fees Guide for the specifics.
7. More Visibility with Walmart Sponsored Search
Using Sponsored Search advertising from Walmart Connect helps you increase the visibility of your products and brand when shoppers actively search and browse Walmart’s site and app for items like yours.
And bonus: You only have to pay if a shopper clicks your ad.
You can choose between two kinds of Sponsored Search advertising:
- Sponsored Brands: Take advantage of the sponsored search placement with the highest viewability on search pages. This option sends your products and brand logo to the top of relevant search results and is available for Marketplace brand owners that are registered with the Walmart Brand Portal.
- Sponsored Products: With Sponsored Products, your ads will appear in high-visibility placements, such as within relevant item pages and search results — each click advances shoppers to your product page.
No matter which route you choose, Walmart Sponsored Search can help increase brand awareness without breaking your marketing budget on low-impact impressions.
8. Business Optimization Tools
Walmart Marketplace provides several administrative tools sellers can use to optimize their listings and increase sales.
One of its premier features is the Listing Quality Dashboard, which measures product quality scores and serves up customized suggestions for marketing campaigns to improve your conversions.
To help you reach your catalog’s full potential, the dashboard now includes the ability to:
- Read item-level reviews
- Export up to 10K items
- Quickly correct price mismatches or incorrectly assigned product types
- Filter by priority to view which items have the biggest potential lift in gross merchandise value (GMV)
Using the dashboard and listing quality criteria gives your products the best chance at standing out so you can reach, nurture, and convert your ideal customers.
Is selling on Walmart Marketplace worth it? And other top FAQs
Now that you know the numbers and top benefits of selling on Walmart Marketplace, let’s get to those other burning FAQs you’ve been mulling over.
How much does it cost to sell on Walmart?
Unlike Amazon and other top marketplaces, Walmart doesn’t charge merchants monthly fees, closing fees, or subscriptions to use its platform.
Remember, it does, however, charge you a referral fee, which is deducted once a sale occurs.
Is it easy to sell on Walmart?
We hate to be annoying, but the answer to this one depends on who’s asking.
Walmart has a strict vetting process, which is a good thing for established e-commerce businesses.
But while getting approved on Walmart Marketplace can be an uphill battle for the average seller, the reduced competition on Walmart enables you to secure sales you’d likely have to fight much harder for on long-standing marketplaces like Amazon.
The good news is, once you’ve been approved to use the platform, selling on Walmart is just as straightforward as listing your products on any other marketplace.
Key Walmart Marketplace Resources for Sellers
Walmart also provides free online resources to help sellers build their stores according to its proven best practices.
Its user-friendly Seller Help page lists out the most common questions and issues, such as technical troubleshooting and help with processing orders.
Additionally, sellers can take advantage of comprehensive guides for extra growth tips and optimization strategies to stay profitable on the platform. The guides are fairly thorough, including YouTube video tutorials and in-depth FAQs.
Of course, all e-commerce marketplaces have their strengths and weaknesses — the selling practices you use on one marketplace may or may not be the best strategy for another.
In the next section, we’ll summarize Walmart Marketplace’s unique pros and cons to help you decide if this fast-growing channel aligns with your current growth strategy.
The Real Pros and Cons of Selling on Walmart Marketplace
Ultimately, the question of whether or not to sell on Walmart Marketplace doesn’t have a hard “yes” or “no” answer.
Here’s a quick pro/con list to help crystalize the benefits and drawbacks of selling on Walmart Marketplace:
- Brand recognition and credibility
- No setup or monthly fees
- Less competition
- Online and in-store returns
- Flexible delivery and fulfillment services
- Strict eligibility criteria
- Pricing rules*
*Depending on your pricing model, the pricing rule can be a doozy, so be sure to do your research in advance.
As with Walmart’s brick-and-mortar business, bargain shopping plays a major role in Walmart Marketplace.
With the philosophy of saving more, Walmart shoppers expect the lowest price. For this reason, Walmart Marketplace will remove your product if the same product is listed at a lower price on another website.
How to Get Approved to Sell on Walmart Marketplace
If you’re ready to start selling on Walmart Marketplace, get the ball rolling with the following five steps:
Step 1. Apply to Sell on Walmart Marketplace
Before you can start selling on Walmart, you’ll need to apply and wait for approval.
Make sure you have the following in hand before applying to ensure your session doesn’t time out:
- US business address
- US business tax ID
- Your typical product categories
To increase your chances of getting approved, include all of the products you have or could carry. Walmart favors sellers with lots of products. Thus, the more SKUs you have, the better chance you have of getting approved.
It’s also worth noting that Walmart doesn’t allow custom-made or print-on-demand products, so if that’s all you sell (and want to sell), you’ll need to give Walmart a pass for now.
You also want to make sure your information is correct before hitting submit. You won’t be able to go back and edit your application if you make an error.
Finally, make sure you have a solid brand presence before applying. Having a professional website and solid reviews on your Amazon store and products are effective ways to show Walmart you’re the real deal. A strong social media presence doesn’t hurt either.
One last caveat here, since there’s a different form and process for international sellers, make sure you use a US domain and email address when you sit down to apply.
Once you have everything you need, head to marketplace.walmart.com and click “Request to sell”.
Step 2. List Your Products and Optimize Your Listings
List your products and be sure to include images, titles, and proper descriptions.
As a seller, it’s your job to make sure your products stand out. Walmart Marketplace caters to multiple buyer segments, so it’s important to take demographics and lifestyle factors into account when optimizing your product listings.
Whatever you do, don’t copy and paste your listing from Amazon to Walmart. Focus on making your content as specific as possible to Walmart’s listing quality guidelines and your target shopper.
Here are two specific ways to do that.
1. Optimizing organically
First, write unique yet concise titles using relevant, large-volume keywords — no keyword stuffing, please.
Next, write detailed product descriptions using your keywords, but make sure they’re not too lengthy (Walmart doesn’t appreciate loads of keywords like Amazon does).
Always include seven to eight high-resolution images (a crucial factor to avoid a low listing quality score), and videos if possible, to demonstrate how the product looks while in use.
Finally, make sure to add tags and product attributes — things like color, shape, and quantity — to your listings, and remember to update them as things change or when you hit a dip in supply.
2. Optimizing using CPC ads
Once you’re well-optimized organically, you can use cost-per-click (CPC) ads for products that are more difficult to sell, for instance, products with lower product quality scores.
Step 3. Boost Conversions with WFS, the Pro Seller Badge, and More
Increase conversions by adding the Pro Seller Badge, applying for Walmart’s Fulfillment Services (WFS), and adding promotional tags and rich media.
WFS and TwoDay delivery are Walmart’s answer to faster delivery and customer satisfaction, at no cost to the shopper.
These benefits not only boost product visibility in shopper searches but also help to increase customer loyalty and conversion.
Step 4. Launch Your Product and Encourage Ratings and Reviews
Next, launch your product and encourage people to go to Walmart.com to buy, rate, and review it.
Remember, consumers want to know what other people think before they purchase a product.
Fortunately, Walmart Marketplace helps sellers obtain more reviews by sending automatic “rate and review” emails to customers. Definitely take advantage of this feature.
Step 5. Grow Your Business
Once you’ve laid the groundwork, you’re ready to grow your business on Walmart Marketplace by leveraging advertising for ranking, aiming to get your product into stores (totally possible if you do well on Walmart.com!), and regularly optimizing your listing quality scores.
Bottom Line: Selling on Walmart Is What You Make It
Here’s the deal. Amazon may still rule the e-commerce marketplace landscape, but Walmart is catching up quickly. When used strategically, multi-channel sellers can reach new customers by leveraging Walmart’s fast-growing and authoritative platform.
But in the end, the decision is — and always should be — up to you.
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