If you’ve been hearing more buzz in recent months about selling on Walmart Marketplace, or are actively considering becoming a seller yourself, you aren’t alone. As Walmart continues to build out their marketplace capabilities, the number of approved sellers has been climbing at an increasing pace.
From January 2020 to January 2021, the number of sellers on Walmart Marketplace more than doubled, increasing from 35,934 to 73,469 sellers. Fast-forward from January 2021 to August 2021, and that number grew to 110,048 sellers, with no signs of slowing down.
Naturally, this exponential growth has many sellers ready to jump in with both feet. It’s human nature to want to be part of something exciting and full of potential, but it’s also necessary to first build a solid foundation for your corner of the Walmart Marketplace. This lack of a solid foundation can lead to constantly ‘chasing issues’ in your account, with your Walmart advertising efforts not realizing their full potential because of your catalog’s shaky ground.
So what’s a seller to do if they want to explore the expanding Walmart marketplace as soon as possible, while also maintaining focus on building that stable foundation? One way to accomplish more in a shorter window of time is through partnering with Walmart Marketplace Operations experts, like Tinuiti.
Walmart Marketplace Operations Support Services
As all brands and sellers are already keenly aware, much more than meets the eye goes on behind the scenes of a successful business. There are sometimes more moving parts than can be counted, with many of those parts relying on each other to function optimally.
When you add selling on a marketplace to the mix, you’re dealing not only with a new territory and assortment of considerations to be made, but also an entirely new system through which to manage your catalog. And in this system, unlike your own website, you aren’t in control of creating any of the rules.
Whether you’re selling on Amazon, Walmart, or any other marketplace, the rules have already been written; it’s your responsibility to learn them, and adhere to them, for the greatest success on the given platform.
Of course, that is easier said than done. At the very least, it takes a steady investment of time and energy, something many 3P sellers are short on as they focus on growing their business. Luckily, you don’t have to go it alone.
Let’s explore some of the ways Tinuiti’s Walmart Marketplace management team can help you keep your focus on that growth, while our ‘foundation experts’ get to work.
Walmart Marketplace Platform Seller Launch Support
Launching on a new platform comes with a bevy of unique challenges as you work to not only establish a presence in a new space, but quite literally get your content, products, and more set-up correctly. Even seasoned sellers with years of marketplace experience will have to master navigating an entirely new backend, learning all the rules and requirements, from image specs to which Excel templates to use. In short, that takes time and careful attention, and an experienced partner leading the way can help fast-track the process.
With that in mind, many of our Walmart Operations clients first came to us for assistance during launch. We are fortunate to have former Walmart employees on our team familiar with all the ins and outs of the platform to help streamline set-up, and get your products ready for sale as soon as possible.
Once Walmart has accepted your application to sell on their Marketplace, our team can help with:
- Uploading your product catalog & inventory
- Setting up your shipping settings (and providing guidance if you’re unsure which are best)
- Filing & monitoring support cases, as needed
- Fulfillment center set-up
- First, we will help you determine whether seller-fulfilled or Walmart-fulfilled makes more sense for you, or if you might benefit from a mix of both depending on your catalog and considerations, including item seasonality
- Teaching you how to navigate Walmart Seller Center—the dashboard you’ll manage all your Walmart listings through—through 1:1 tutorials
- Educating you on the many exciting features and programs that Walmart has to offer. These include, but are not limited to:
- Listing Quality Dashboard
- Pro Seller Badge
- Free Two-Day Delivery and WFS
- Helping you establish strategies for optimized growth post-launch, which can include ongoing Operational support and/or Walmart advertising initiatives
The overarching elements of a successful launch can be summarized as:
- All listings are fully set-up with content and images that satisfy Walmart’s guidelines and recommendations
- Items are competitively priced, and winning the buy box
- You are set-up to fulfill to the customer with the best shipping speed possible, and are prepared to handle all post-fulfillment activities and customer communications
How long does it typically take to launch on Walmart Marketplace?
Our goal is to help new sellers launch on the Walmart Marketplace within 2 months, though each project can have a slightly different timeline. While there are other factors that can influence time to launch, the most significant determining factor is the number of SKUs you’ll be launching with.
If your business only has a handful of SKUs, you can expect to launch more quickly. If you’ll be launching with several thousand SKUs, or more, it may take longer than 2 months to ensure each is set-up correctly, and set-up for success.
Catalog Management (Product Listings)
Successfully launching on Walmart Marketplace is worth celebrating, but the work is not yet done! In addition to adding new items to your catalog over time, you’ll also want to regularly consider opportunities to better optimize your existing listings.
As the Walmart Marketplace becomes more competitive each day, it’s more important than ever to ensure your listings are not only functional, but exceptional. Those new competitors may be entering with better images, more robust copy that provides additional details and context, lower prices, and more. Our Walmart Operations team can aid you in enhancing your listings to maintain or expand visibility, and keep a step ahead of the competition.
Promotional Support: Vetting, Implementation, and Tracking
Running promotions on items in your catalog can be a highly effective way to reach new customers, and reward returning customers with an attractive deal. This can be especially important during periods where Walmart.com can expect especially high traffic and/or conversions, including seasonal and holiday events, category-specific events, and Walmart Deals for Days, the retailer’s own version of Amazon Prime Day.
Our team keeps up-to-date on all promotional opportunities available through Walmart, and will vet these opportunities for your consideration. We ensure you’re made aware of all available programs that align with your catalog offerings, and take the legwork out of participating in these programs by submitting your promotion sheets on your behalf.
We will also track promotions to provide you with deeper insights into how they’re performing. These learnings can then be applied to future promotions to maximize effectiveness, with your specific goals in mind.
Walmart Fulfillment Services Onboarding
Similar to Amazon’s FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon), Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) provides sellers with the option to have Walmart handle order delivery on their behalf, for a fee. Sellers ship their products directly to a Walmart fulfillment center, and when an order is placed, Walmart picks, packs, and ships the order, and manages any related customer service needs (inquiries, refunds, and returns).
Once a seller has applied and been approved to participate in WFS, our Operations team can help with onboarding. Our growing experience with onboarding clients to the program helps ensure we get you fully operational more quickly, with fewer hiccups than you might experience going it alone.
For many new and experienced sellers alike, handling Walmart support cases is among the most tedious—and sometimes frustrating—tasks on their plate. Oftentimes, it’s simply because they aren’t sure where to go for help, or what to say when they get there.
Our team is experienced in communicating with Walmart Support, and can handle submitting cases on your behalf directly, as well as assisting you with cases you’ve created. In instances where you’re experiencing recurring issues, we’ll work to get to the root of the problem and help remedy it.
Walmart Marketplace Reporting
While our Walmart advertising clients have always been provided with detailed, data-packed, actionable reporting, on the Operations side, we saw room for improvement (and acted on it). Whether you’re signed on with us for tactical or consulting support, we are excited to offer 3P sellers a variety of bespoke reporting options to suit your needs and goals.
Reporting options include:
- Weekly reporting to identify new areas of opportunity, including those related to sales trends, pricing, item performance, listing quality, and conversion opportunities
- Operational performance reporting, including your ODR (order defect rate), returns, cancellation, and on-time delivery metrics
- Buy Box, shipping trends, and unpublished items reporting
- Detailed reporting at your preferred cadence (monthly, quarterly, or annually)
- Advertising impact reporting (consulting only)
“The analytics reporting that Tinuiti provides Walmart sellers is extremely effective in enabling them to identify key trends and opportunities to grow their business. We utilize this data to help clients take their performance to the next level.”
— Santiago Rocha, Brand Services Specialist at Tinuiti
Walmart Operations Consulting Services
While the majority of our Walmart Operations clients opt for our full-service offering, which includes both consulting and tactical (hands-on) support, others prefer to handle all the tactical elements themselves with expert guidance along the way. For the latter, consulting-only services are available.
Consulting Services for Sellers and Vendors include:
- Platform Launch
- Catalog Management / Product Listings
- Inventory Forecasting
- Promotion Implementation & Tracking
- Weekly Reports to Identify Areas of Opportunity
- Monthly, Quarterly & Annual Reports
- Case Management
- Content Upload / Recommendations
- Advertising Impact Reporting
- Chargeback Analysis & Disputes
- WFS Onboarding
- Warehouse Operations
- Order Defect Rate (ODR)
- PO Management (Processing) – Only applicable to vendors
- EDI Implementation – Only applicable to vendors
- WFS Shipments – Only applicable to sellers
- Return Disputes – Only applicable to sellers
Master Your Walmart Ops & Ads Strategy
While Walmart advertising and Walmart Operations support services are both available to our clients independently of one another, they undeniably work well in tandem, merging the art and science of maintaining a polished, highly visible, and technically-sound digital presence.
Want to chat more about how our experienced team of Walmart experts can elevate your positioning in the bustling Walmart Marketplace? Reach out today!