Effective September 20, 2023, Walmart is updating its approval requirements for the Pro Seller Badge offered to high-performing sellers on the Walmart Marketplace. This is the first time the requirements have been changed since the badge was introduced in October 2020.
The new requirements include higher on-time delivery rates and lower seller-accountable cancellation rates, as well as new requirements around delivery times and seller responsiveness.
This latest move from Walmart comes in the wake of several other big moves to compete harder with Amazon’s offerings for third-party sellers, including a massive web and mobile marketplace redesign with an overhauled search function, and Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) options for multi-box and big and bulky items.
Here’s what you need to know about earning or maintaining your Pro Seller status under the new requirements and what these changes could mean for your future e-commerce sales.
Getting the Walmart Pro Seller Badge
- What Is the Walmart Pro Seller Badge?
- What Are the Benefits of the Pro Seller Badge?
- What Does it Take to Get the Pro Seller Badge?
- 4 Tips to Help you Win the Badge
What Is the Walmart Pro Seller Badge?
The Walmart Pro Seller Badge is the little blue “verified” check mark of the Walmart.com world.
Like the Amazon Prime badge, it’s a mark of excellence that adds an extra layer of credibility to your store and product listings, letting customers know they can rely on you to deliver on-time shipping and responsive customer service.
The badge appears alongside your seller name across the Walmart Marketplace, including on your storefront, product listing pages, in search results, and in customer carts.
How to Check Your Pro Seller Badge Status
To check your Walmart Pro Seller Badge status:
- Log in to your Walmart Seller Center account
- Go to Analytics & Reports
- Click on Growth Opportunities
- Navigate to the Listing Quality Dashboard
- View the Pro Seller Badge section
If you have a Pro Seller Badge, you’ll be able to see it in this section, as well as key information on your performance and what to do in order to maintain your Pro Seller status.
The Benefits of the Pro Seller Badge
As of September 2023, there are over 150,000 sellers on Walmart Marketplace — more than double the number of sellers than just three years ago. At that time, only about 350 sellers had secured the Walmart Pro Seller Badge.
The Pro Seller Badge isn’t awarded to just anyone. Now that the standards to get and keep the badge are even higher, it’s important to know what’s in it for you.
According to Walmart, products with a Pro Seller Badge are “designed to be eye-catching in search results and increase visibility” for top-performing sellers. Anecdotally, having the badge can also boost your search rankings and give you higher odds at the Buy Box. Either way, customers are much more likely to see and notice your page and product listings with the badge.
The Walmart Pro Seller Badge tells every customer who sees it that your business adheres to the same high standards Walmart expects of every Pro Seller. If they need an item delivered within a certain window, they trust that it’ll arrive on time. If an issue arises, they know they can count on reliable customer service.
Having the badge means increased discoverability, visibility, and confidence in your brand. As a result, sellers who have the badge should see higher conversion rates across the board. At least one merchant reported a 200% MoM sales lift after achieving badge status.
As the Pro Seller program matures, Walmart seems likely to offer new perks and incentives to help sellers achieve and maintain badge status.
How Does the Walmart Pro Seller Badge Compare to Amazon Prime?
At the end of the day, there’s still no beating Amazon’s Prime’s conversions. Amazon Prime members are notorious for having an unbelievably high conversion rate, whereas the average Amazon shopper has a conversion rate closer to 11.1%, according to similarweb.
In comparison, Walmart’s conversion rate hovers around 6.5%. When customers head to Amazon, it’s usually because they’ve already decided to make a purchase. As a newer marketplace, Walmart.com still has some work to do to become the place shoppers default to when they’re intent on getting what they need, when they need it.
What Does It Take to Get the Pro Seller Badge?
To earn or maintain a Walmart Pro Seller Badge under the new requirements, sellers need to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Seller-Accountable On-Time Delivery greater than or equal to 95% in the last 90 days
- Seller-Accountable Cancellation rate less than or equal to 1.5% over the last 90 days
- Seller Response Rate greater than or equal to 95% in the last 30 days
- 2 or fewer calendar days difference between Actual and Promised delivery dates
- Have Weekend Delivery enabled (Saturday and/or Sunday)
- 1 business day or less lag time on entire catalog
- Have received more than 250 orders in the last 90 days
- Active seller for at least 90 days
- No violations of Walmart’s Trust & Safety or Performance Standards
Sellers need to meet and maintain all of the above conditions in order to keep the badge, and can monitor their performance in the Listing Quality Dashboard.
Compared to the initial eligibility criteria, the most notable changes are the increases in required on-time delivery and decreases in permissible cancellations, as well as the new response rate category.
However, the standards are still less stringent than the requirements for Amazon Seller-Fulfilled Prime, so if you’re already fulfilling your own Amazon Prime orders in-house or with a trusted 3PL, Walmart Pro Seller status should be well within your reach.
4 Tips to Help You Win the Badge
Unlike marketplaces with long, convoluted criteria for earning higher status levels, Walmart is pretty transparent and consistent with its rules.
To become a Pro Seller, you just need to meet the listed requirements. But that still takes a good amount of strategizing.
Here’s how to get started:
1. Keep an Eye On Walmart’s Optimization Triangle
Walmart’s listing quality scores are based on three main factors: your content, your offer, and your performance. Walmart maps these out for you in its handy optimization triangle.
The most relevant corners of the triangle for earning and maintaining your Pro Seller Badge are Offer and Performance.
To keep these on track, ask yourself the following questions:
- How competitive are my item prices? Do they meet Walmart’s requirements?
- Are my products always in stock? What are my stockout rates?
- Am I offering fast, free shipping? Can I improve delivery speeds and on-time rates?
- How prompt is my customer responsiveness, and what could I do to make it better?
- How well is my business adhering to Walmart’s policies?
- What is my Seller Order Defect Rate (ODR)? How can I ensure higher quality standards?
While there’s less emphasis on Content in the Pro Seller requirements, it’s still important to stay on top of your product listings, including:
- Addressing any errors
- Eliminating duplicate listings
- Staying compliant with Walmart’s Marketplace policies
Manage all three corners of the triangle effectively, and you’re on your way to Pro Seller status.
2. Monitor Your Listing Quality Dashboard
To make sure you’re hitting all the metrics on the new Pro Seller Badge requirement list, check your Listing Quality Dashboard regularly.
Located in Seller Center under Analytics > Growth Opportunities, this dashboard lets you see your overall listing quality score, current Pro Seller Badge status, and any criteria you need to meet in order to obtain, maintain, or avoid losing Pro Seller status.
At any given time, the Pro Seller Badge section of your Listing Quality Dashboard will display one of five possible status options:
- Locked: This usually means you haven’t earned eligibility for the program, usually because your account hasn’t been active long enough. Check for your eligibility date under the Pro Seller heading.
- Become a Pro Seller: This status keeps tabs on which eligibility criteria you’ve met so far and which ones you still need to meet before the next refresh cycle in order to earn the badge.
- You are a Pro Seller: This means you have a badge. This status will also display the date you received the badge.
- Pro Seller Badge at risk: This means you’ve fallen below the Badge eligibility metrics and could lose your badge after the next refresh cycle.
- You’re ineligible: If you see this status, click “View progress” to find out what you need to do in order to qualify for the Badge.
Within the Listing Quality Dashboard, you can see detailed analytics. Walmart also maintains a list of internal tools and tips for meeting each individual metric, which is especially important to take note of if you’re not using Walmart’s Fulfillment Services (WFS).
3. Choose the Right Fulfillment Option
Walmart Fulfillment Services is a good choice for certain Walmart marketplace sellers. It’s a simple option that takes care of returns and customer service, and it’s less competitive and more transparent than Amazon.
On the other hand, some sellers using WFS complain of issues like late deliveries and lost inventory, and Walmart limits you to using its preferred shipping carriers, among other restrictions — which could be bad news in the event of labor strikes or other supply chain snags.
Contracting with the right 3PL can help you achieve optimal delivery times and consistent on-time orders, and give you tons of flexibility when it comes to diversifying your shipping options to prevent supply chain setbacks. You may also be able to spend less with a 3PL than you would on WFS or handling orders in-house.
To find a 3PL that can help you win the coveted Pro Seller Status, consider four core criteria:
- Experience: Does the 3PL have a solid track record of working with other growing sellers? Do they have a good reputation, strong reviews and case studies? A record of good security and risk management?
- Omnichannel Capabilities: After you earn that Pro Seller Badge, you’ll likely want to expand into other channels and regions. Does this 3PL offer a variety of shipping options? Do they have a national or international footprint? Does their software integrate easily with your current and future sales channels? Do they offer deep, end-to-end inventory visibility across your supply chain?
- Scalability: As you grow, will this 3PL be able to keep up with the new demands of your business? How much volume can it handle in its warehouse space? Can they move inventory efficiently to new markets? Can they handle regulatory and compliance issues as you expand?
- Costs: What will your initial investment be and how soon will you start seeing sufficient ROI? Can this 3PL help you negotiate better shipping rates with carriers? Do they have their own delivery vehicles or other resources in place? How much could you save on warehousing costs with this 3PL?
As the logistics industry evolves, there are countless new options popping up every day, but these FBA (and WFS) alternatives are a good place to start your 3PL search.
4. Optimize Your Inventory with AI-based Tools
To meet the new Pro Seller requirements for consistent on-time delivery and low seller-accountable cancellations, you need to keep your inventory and supply chain flowing smoothly.
For the best shot at the Walmart Pro Seller Badge:
- Invest in an inventory solution that automates your inventory planning
- Use demand forecasting to make sure you’re prepared for fluctuations in order volumes
- Make sure your inventory platform accounts for all SKUs across all sales channels
To earn the customer trust and visibility that comes from Pro Seller status, steer clear of stockouts and move inventory as efficiently as possible. The best way to do this is with an inventory platform that uses AI and advanced algorithms to keep your inventory levels exactly where they need to be.
Go Pro with SellersFi
Meeting Walmart’s new Pro Seller standards can feel like an uphill climb, especially if you don’t already have the systems in place to meet the new requirements. But for the increased recognition (and sales) that come with the badge, you can bet it’ll be worth it.
SellersFi can help you get the capital you need to stay discoverable on Walmart as the marketplace expands. With flexible, usage restriction-free funding, you can invest in whichever tools will give you the best shot at the badge.
Explore our full suite of financial solutions to learn more about how we can help you reach the next level.