How’s Fulfillment by Amazon working for you as a seller? Regardless of the answer, it may be time to reach even more potential customers by checking out what Walmart Marketplace has to offer.
The old saying, “Don’t put your eggs all in one basket” may be on to something.
Why not expand a market to even more buyers?
It might seem like a no brainer, but there is a learning curve associated with transitioning over to another e-commerce platform.
Luckily, it’s all in understanding the platform, not learning how to source all over again. That’s right, you can keep the same sourcing and data collecting tool, Tactical Arbitrage, that already makes your FBA sales a success.
What is The Walmart Marketplace & Why You Should Sell There?
My guess is you (or someone you know) has been to a Walmart in your lifetime.
That’s the beauty behind selling on Walmart Marketplace. Everyone has heard of Walmart and they have a huge customer base. Walmart Marketplace is a way to get your items noticed and sold by tapping into an already well-known and established store’s market.
Any online seller who wants to expand their customer base should sell on the Walmart Marketplace even if you’re already finding success with the largest retailer online, Amazon. It never hurts to diversify your portfolio and grow your business.
What is The Walmart Marketplace?
Walmart stores have been around in the brick-and-mortar style since 1962 when Sam Walton opened his very first store in Rogers, Arkansas. Since then, the way we shop and sell products has changed drastically.
In 2009, almost 50 years after the first Walmart store opened, the popular discount store opened up their online site for third-party sellers to offer products that were in line with what Walmart already offers.
They entered the online market and are in it for the long haul with statistics that rival only Amazon for the top-selling and buying spots on the internet.
Why Should You Sell On Walmart.com?
For starters, there are no upfront fees, no monthly fees, less competition than some markets, and the potential to gain exposure and gain customer confidence with a platform that provides an easy checkout.
So, a better question might be – What do you have to lose?
What could be better than free?
On Walmart Marketplace, there are no monthly fees and no listing fees. Besides the cost of your inventory, the only thing you will pay Walmart is a 6 to 15% referral fee when your item sells.
Compare this no-fee structure to FBA professional selling fee of $39.99 a month on Amazon. That’s the cost before your item even sells. On top of that, Amazon also charges its own referral fee when a product sells.
Referral Fee Breakdown
For Walmart, the lowest referral fee you will pay to sell is for personal computers, at 6%. The highest referral fee you will pay is for some jewelry, at 20%. Many electronic items fall into the 8% range. Most of the other selling categories fall in around the 15% fee range.
Amazon’s selling fees start at a $0.30 per item sold cost plus 8% at the lowest rate and up to 45% for Amazon Device Accessories sold. Grocery, personal care products, and electronics, as well as personal computers, all fall within the 8% range.
While you will never completely escape some amount of competition, Walmart sellers find that there is less competition for selling than the massive audience to people with millions of sellers on Amazon. The reason for the low competition rate is that Walmart is very exclusive about what companies they approve to sell on their site.
While the approval process may take longer than other marketplace selling sites, most sellers quit before ever getting started.
Statistically, as of 2020, Amazon has about 493,000 active US sellers. Whereas, Walmart screened and accepted only about 50,000 approved to sell.
What these numbers tell us is that while Amazon is easier to get on board and ready to sell, once approved Walmart offers a lot less competition to land the sales.
Sellers who have already discovered Walmart Marketplace can expect to see major growth in sales as the years go on and Walmart continues to establish itself as a go-to online shopping option.
Potential To Gain Exposure
Because the sellers are carefully screened to select only the cream of the crop on their marketplace, Walmart sellers find that they gain exposure across the board. Whatever brand you sell or represent gets noticed.
Even though Amazon is the largest online retailer, signing up to sell on Walmart.com will help you gain exposure to a market that you may not have reached on Amazon. Many Walmart.com shoppers are not Amazon Prime members.
Most choose not to pay the Prime membership fee that seems to always increase. On Walmart.com they find a nice contrast as a marketplace where they can still get fast shipping without exorbitant fees.
It’s true that Walmart draws in only about half of the monthly visitors that Amazon does. However, the important bottom line number is how many of those visitors buy products.
With Walmart drawing customers that Amazon does not reach, this means that they are more likely to notice your products on Walmart.com than what you have listed on Amazon.
Gain Customer Confidence
Immediately once your product goes live on the Walmart Marketplace, you adopt Walmart’s reputation. Shoppers tend to associate you with their established good name as they browse through product listings.
Buyers assume that since you are selling on Walmart.com that you must meet their high standards as well.
Simply by association with the Walmart name, you gain respect as a seller. You gain credibility among shoppers. Your target audience of buyers is often more likely to visit your other selling platforms once they know they can trust what you offer.
Since Walmart is already an established eCommerce site, its checkout process is fast, easy, and secure. It is encrypted, so buyers can pay without fear wondering who they just gave access to their money.
Getting Started On The Walmart Marketplace
Walmart only wants to open up its site to the best of the best. Walmart Marketplace is going to be more challenging than Amazon to get approved for selling.
But, this initial screening is worth it when it’s all said and done, and you are raking in the sales.
To get approved as a Walmart Marketplace seller, you will need to:
- Show that you care about and strive to provide excellent customer service
- Offer a unique assortment of products
- Offer competitive pricing
- Fill orders in a timely manner and with accuracy
To determine whether you meet Walmart.com seller standards, they will look at your reviews, pricing, and defect rates, on other selling sites.
If you meet their criteria, you’re in!
If you are found to be subpar, you won’t be able to sell on their marketplace. This may sound a bit harsh at first, but the truth is that once you’re in, you will find that the pool of competition among sellers is limited.
And, those who are approved strive to offer the best.
The application process for Walmart.com only takes about 15 minutes to fill out provided you have already gathered all the documents you will need which include:
- US Business Tax ID. Please note that an SSN will not be accepted, so you will already need to be set up as a business
- W9 or W8 and EIN Verification Letter from the Department of Treasury that lists your US business address
- Your planned integration method for the product catalog. Choose from bulk upload, API, or solution provider.
- Primary product categories, catalog size and related information such as SKUs you will be using with verified UPC information. Walmart requires all products sold on their site have a valid UPC. Also, note if your products are used or refurbished. Your products cannot include anything off of Walmart’s prohibited list.
- Proof of a history of a marketplace or some form of eCommerce success.
Provide as much information about your selling business as you can now, so you don’t have to worry about digging up documents later.
If Walmart contacts you requesting more information, reply with the necessary items as soon as possible.
How To Sell Successfully On Walmart Marketplace
You’re in! You’re approved and ready to sell your merchandise.
How do you sell successfully on Walmart Marketplace?
Once you have gone through the approval process, you will want to do everything you can to maintain the confidence Walmart has placed on your reputation as an online seller.
As soon as you’re approved to sell, you will receive an approval email at the email address you provided, that contains a link to register your business.
The registration process is done with 6 easy steps:
- Create account
- Read and sign Walmart Retailer Agreement
- Company registration
- Tax forms
- Payment Info – Walmart is partnered with Payoneer and Hyperwallet for processing Marketplace partner payments. You need to register with these sites to receive payments. If you are a W-8 ECI tax classification, Payoneer will be your only option.
- Shipping Information – Set up your shipping pricing model and regions where you will ship. To qualify for 2-day shipping so your customers receive 2-day delivery, you will need to meet some criteria such as maintaining on-time shipping, delivery, have valid tracking rates, and low cancel rates.
Before you go live with actual products for sale, give it a test run. Check out whether the order acknowledgement, order cancellation, order shipping, and order refund run smoothly.
Once the complete item setup and testing are complete, Walmart will work through the final review process and release your account to go live.
Now, it’s time to go live to start selling officially on Walmart.com!
When you set up your items for sale, be sure to include detailed product descriptions in your item page content. Start with just a couple of items, maybe 2-3 items, to list until you get the feel for the selling process.
Your items will be ready for potential buyers to view within about 24 to 48 hours.
What Sells Best On Walmart Marketplace v Amazon?
Whether it is Amazon or Walmart Marketplace, one of the best questions to ask when considering branching out to a new online marketplace or choosing between the two is, “What sells best?”
If you do a quick search, you’ll discover that Walmart sells a lot of bananas. In fact, in 2020, bananas were the large retailer’s hottest item.
For whatever reason, maybe it is because bananas provide a nice power-pack of potassium and are easy to pack in a lunchbox or grab and go for nutrition throughout the day.
That doesn’t help an online seller, but it’s an interesting tidbit that can help us learn a thing or two about Walmart customers.
They view Walmart as a place they get the items they need for the week. This is going to be heavily based on consumable products. Some good choices to sell on this platform are baby care items and health and beauty products.
Amazon FBA vs Walmart Marketplace
The question is not really which one is better or which one do you prefer, but rather how do the two major sales sites differ? You need to understand the differences and the similarities, so you can branch out and reach even more customers in a wider array of markets.
Amazon realized quite some time ago that offering FBA to sellers was a good idea that would benefit both the seller and Amazon’s profit margin.
It is estimated that sellers who choose to use the FBA option see a rapid increase in sales with their items being 30 to 50% more likely to sell than those not listed through the fulfillment service.
Walmart also saw the benefit of offering a fulfillment service to their sellers. Walmart Fulfillment Services WFS is set up similarly to Amazon’s.
Between the two online marketplaces of Amazon FBA and Walmart Marketplace, each has their own individual pros and cons.
Here are some of the main differences between the two:
The two marketplaces offer competitive shipping options with their own specific shipping info. For customers to receive an item through expedited shipping, with a guarantee with a 2-day shipping tag, they are required to be Prime members.
Whereas, on Walmart, there is no such membership cost required to get fast and reliable shipping.
Although, they did introduce Walmart + to buyers in late 2020 which is set up similarly to Prime.
Note that one major difference is that for customers to take advantage of the 2-day free shipping, their order needs to be more than $35 unless they are part of the newly launched Walmart+ program that works a lot like Amazon Prime.
With Walmart+, customers also get free delivery on groceries. Otherwise, Walmart has stepped up its game to compete with Amazon’s shipping rates.
When it comes to product offerings, Walmart has no minimums or maximums for products listed. Go crazy, and list everything you have for sale with no worry of them enforcing product limits.
Although, like Amazon, Walmart does have its own list of prohibited products, but they tend to be fairly standard items compared to the list of restricted or gated categories on Amazon.
FBA v WFS
Walmart Fulfillment Services is Walmart’s version of Fulfilled by Amazon. Much like FBA, sellers can send their merchandise to a Walmart Fulfillment center for secure storage and shipping.
They take care of delivery for items stored.
The returns shipping service makes any potential returns go smoothly as well on both sites.
There are some differences between the two. The Walmart fixed storage and fulfillment fee is based only on the shipping weight of the product.
Whereas, Amazon’s storage fees are based on how much inventory you have stored in the Amazon warehouses with fees that are based on the weight and dimensions of your product.
Removal of High-Priced Items
One thing that has shocked many Walmart Marketplace sellers is that suddenly they log on to see their item was removed because it was priced too high. Walmart wants to maintain its image as a low-price, discount store.
In doing so, they have price limits that you are allowed to sell at.
Also, Walmart has a price parity rule where sellers cannot sell their merchandise at a lower cost on another site. They also have a price leadership rule where Walmart will remove listings if the same product is available on another site for less.
The system is automated, so there is no debating it to reverse the decision.
Quality Customer Service
While Amazon became known for its convenience and great customer care, Walmart has taken great measures to step up to the plate to treat their customers well.
Both sites strive to provide excellent customer service with high levels of customer satisfaction. Both Amazon and Walmart look at statistics of how you handle customer inquiries.
They will look at reviews and item ratings and other factors to determine seller ratings.
Sourcing Inventory For Walmart Marketplace
Professional sellers need to sell quality items that are brand new. The trick comes in tracking down the products you want to sell at a low enough price to make the profit margin worth your while.
All of this takes a lot of time, research, purchasing in bulk, and striking while a deal is hot and active, so you don’t miss out on a bargain you can flip for a profit online.
Who has this kind of time, especially when you just spent quite a while trying to get approved just to sell on the marketplace?
Thankfully, there are software tools that understand what sellers need most. One of the best tools for sourcing products and comparing statistics on bottom-line business profit numbers is a software called Tactical Arbitrage.
Strategies To Use With Tactical Arbitrage
If you have already used Tactical Arbitrage to source for products on Amazon, you are already ahead of the game. The same concepts apply when you are sourcing for products to sell on Walmart.
The logic is simple. Tell Tactical Arbitrage what site you want to source and let it handle the heavy lifting.
But, it gets even better than that!
There are even better ways to source with Tactical Arbitrage.
One of my favorite ways is to use the Reverse Search feature. It allows you to take a look at the products already for sale on Amazon or Walmart and search for the lowest price supplier across the world wide web.
Another great feature to use is the Wholesale Search in Tactical Arbitrage. As you are sourcing for sustainable replishiables, you might consider opening a wholesale account. This is a great way to order large quantities of products.
Although this is a great sourcing technique, looking through wholesale manifests can be a huge time suck. Tactical Arbitrage can do all of this for you.
All you have to do is upload the wholesale manifest and Tactical Arbitrage will run the numbers for you.
These are just a few of the different techniques you can use to help you source for products to sell on Walmart. Although these are great starting points, there are a ton of more ways you can use Tactical Arbitrage to find items to sell.
All you need is your imagination and your subscription to Tactical Arbitrage. Grab a free trial here.
Selling on Amazon is a great way to make money online, but there is another option for sellers willing to put in the time and effort. That option is Walmart.com.
Walmart offers sellers a platform to sell their products to a new group of customers. If you are willing to go through the hoops of applying for Walmart.com, you can open a whole new world of possibilities.
When you’re ready to expand your online selling business to explore additional sites like Walmart.com, let Tactical Arbitrage do the time-consuming legwork for you. Let this helpful tool take the stress out of the time and energy it takes to source high-quality products for sale.
Get started today with the help of a software tool designed specifically for online sellers who do business through Fulfillment Centers.
How much does it cost to sell on Walmart com?
One sweet advantage of the Walmart Marketplace is that there is no upfront or regular fees to sell. The only fee you will pay is a referral fee for sellers when you make a sale.
Expect to pay between 6%-20% of the selling price when you sell your item.
How long does it take to get approved to sell on Walmart?
Once you submit your application, it will take about two weeks for the Walmart team to review your application.
Expect a Business Development Manager to get in touch with you to walk you through the verification process before you will be approved for selling.