Making the jump from Amazon to Walmart isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Walmart’s platform is a lot different and comes with unique requirements for sellers. This means you’ll have to learn how to optimize your listings for the platform and get your products in front of the right audience.
However, the Walmart Marketplace is an opportunity sellers can’t ignore. Walmart currently allows third-party sellers in 35 categories.
More than 110 million shoppers use the platform each month, and 57% of its shoppers are also Amazon shoppers. What’s more, during the pandemic, Walmart’s grocery app has held the #1 slot amongst all shopping apps, which bears good news for sellers and advertisers. And it continues to grow, now outperforming both Amazon and eBay.
Here’s a breakdown of how to get started selling on Walmart’s Marketplace
Before Selling on Walmart
The Walmart Marketplace is a curated platform for sellers, so you’ll need to apply and get approved before you can start selling. To do this, you’ll need to be a U.S. registered business and have U.S. addresses for your warehouses. You should also have positive online reviews of your business to support your reputation.
Sellers will also need proof of merchant fulfillment (MFN) and at least one year of selling history. The last factor to keep in mind is Walmart’s “qualification metrics” — this means Walmart will review your accounts on Amazon or eBay to determine your feedback/rating is above 95%. If you don’t meet those top metrics, you’ll be denied immediately and won’t be able to apply again for six months.
The time it takes to get your store approved to sell on Walmart varies, case-by-case and depends on seller capabilities, size, and qualifications. Our partners at SellerActive, a multichannel software that consolidates your selling channels into one dashboard, can help get your store approved in record time if you are able to meet the basic requirements.
If you did happen to apply directly through Walmart and are having trouble with hearing anything back, SellerActive can pinpoint what the issue is and bring the application to Walmart’s attention. All in all, working with a third party provides more credibility in the eyes of Walmart and takes the burden of onboarding off their shoulders.
Once you’re approved to sell on Walmart Marketplace, you’ll need to create an account and register your company, provide tax information, and register with Payoneer (Walmart’s chosen payment gateway provider).
Walmart provides sellers with a launch checklist to get started including how to: verifying a deposit, complete your seller profile, and fill out product details. The last one is arguably the most critical, as the details you fill in can impact how people find your products.
You’ll need to select the right category and subcategory, use keywords in your listing profile, upload images, and add other attributes to make your products stand out.
The details you’ll need to include with each product listing are:
- Product name
- Long and short descriptions
- Product image
- Manufacturer name
- Tax code
- Availability code
- “Must ship alone” status
- Origin of components
- Partner item ID
- End date
Some categories may have other specific details, while others may have specific image formatting requirements to follow. When in doubt, reach out to experts for guidance.
How to Make Your Walmart Listing Stand Out
Walmart creates a basic framework for listing your products, but if you want to generate more sales, it’s best to go above and beyond the basics.
With their syndicated product catalog, SellerActive will pull in your listing data from other selling outlets and auto-map the content to easily transfer your listings to Walmart. Sellers who’ve already listed products directly from their seller account might be experiencing publishing issues, and it can be difficult to understand what the error is. SellerActive can pull in those listings and highlight exactly what needs to be fixed in order to get the listings published.
Here are a few more tips to keep in mind when developing your listings and climbing your way to the top.
Improve Your Listings
Go beyond the minimal requirements and shape up your listings with keywords and other helpful specs (while avoiding fluff at all costs). Your listing should help people find your product, then sell them on buying that product.
Walmart uses the Walmart Optimization Triangle to determine your listing quality score, which judges three factors of your listing — how descriptive the content is; how competitive the offer; and how great the performance, or customer experience, is.
Another major issue sellers run into when listing on Walmart is the delisting of products because of pricing errors. SellerActive’s repricing tool will auto-reprice your products to make sure they’re staying within Walmart’s pricing guidelines. No more checking your store and not knowing if listings have been deactivated — automated pricing strategies take care of this.
Having your products automatically repriced is proven to increase sales, but more importantly, it keeps them within Walmart’s price parity guidelines. This will ensure your listings are staying actively available for sale, and competitive at all times.
Go for the Buy Box
The Buy Box is like the Holy Grail of Walmart Marketplace, giving you mega visibility (and the sales that come with it). Walmart uses buy boxes to encourage competition among sellers who are offering the same product. This allows them to offer that product to the customer at a fair price.
However, buy boxes aren’t given or bought—they’re won.
Sellers can win the Buy Box by offering the lowest price for a product, including shipping costs, or by making the products available for Walmart’s expedited shipping programs, ThreeDay and TwoDay. If you do manage to win the Buy Box, you may be able to offset your lower price with more sales for that item.
A great tool to have in your seller toolbox is an algorithmic-based repricing tool. A repricing tool works in real-time via the APIs of the marketplace (be that Amazon or Walmart usually) to meet or beat the current market prices with competitors without going below your set floor (or the marketplace’s), enabling you to be much more likely to win. For example, using SellerActive’s repricing tool on Walmart, their client’s order volume jumped on that same SKU on Amazon from 6% to 22%. Definitely something to consider when getting started with Walmart.
Beyond Saturated Advertising
Advertising on Walmart can pay off big because it’s not nearly as saturated with ads as Amazon, there is simply less competition overall. Plus, the sales clicks and views generated from your ads can help boost your long-term SEO efforts – something that Walmart has stated in their own documentation as a benefit of advertising.
As with any marketplace, Walmart holds user reviews in high esteem, as social proof is a key to conversion. Tools like Bazaarvoice, which is also a preferred partner when it comes to reviews via the Spark program, can help you capture more of them, and you can import reviews from other platforms to further enhance your image. You’ll also want to respond to negative reviews to see if you can resolve any issues or clarify information for other buyers. Negative reviews may not harm you as much as you think, as long as you’re proactive in resolving complaints.
How Tinuiti Can Help You Master Walmart Marketplace
This guide gives a brief overview of how to start selling on Walmart Marketplace, but simply becoming a seller doesn’t guarantee your success. At Tinuiti and SellerActive, we have a proven methodology to optimize campaigns to make your ads more effective, along with a creative team to make your listings stand out. We’ve developed our business services around Walmart Marketplace to help you get the most from the platform and turn your efforts into sales. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you become a Walmart Marketplace master.