Walmart Marketplace: Pros, Cons and Best Practices for eCommerce Small Businesses

You’ve got options when choosing a platform to sell your products online. Two of the best known are Amazon and Shopify. But there’s another big name player you might not have considered: Walmart.

The power of the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer is now expanding to Walmart’s eCommerce operation; and you can reap the benefits, from accounting to customer service.

Pros of Selling on Walmart Marketplace

Let’s start with a rundown of its advantages.

  • No set-up or maintenance fees (unlike Amazon). The only fee Walmart charges is a referral on sales (which other platforms also charge), typically 6% to 20% of the sale price.
  • Share in Walmart’s brand awareness. Customers trust the brand more than they do private Shopify sites and will be more likely to visit when directed by ads.
  • Attract a larger — and different — pool of customers. More than 100 million people visit walmart.com every month. And because of Walmart’s everyday low price guarantee, they aren’t all the same people who visit Amazon.
  • Less competition. Amazon has more than 2.5 million sellers. As of now, Walmart Marketplace has about 33,000. Which group would you rather compete with?
  • Returns to local stores (online return processing is still an option). This gives customers an added convenience and saves you from paying return shipping.

Cons of Selling on Walmart Marketplace

  • Walmart isn’t pie-in-the-sky-perfect. Before you choose this platform for your eCommerce business, decide whether these drawbacks are deal-breakers.
  • Lower margins. That low price guarantee we mentioned above might mean you’ll be making less profit. If you list the same product elsewhere at a higher price, Walmart will unpublish it on their site.
  • Application and approval hoops to jump through. Walmart vets every eCommerce business before they’re allowed to sell on the platform. Thus, they ensure the quality of products and services associated with their name.
  • Order fulfillment, another hoop. You must also be approved to participate in Walmart Fulfillment Services and a 2-day shipping program. If you don’t, you’ll have to handle it all yourself. Also, note that Walmart may penalize you for shipping errors.

Lackluster seller support services. There have been reports that Walmart is slow to respond to seller issues (or never responds at all).

Tips for Maximizing Walmart Marketplace Sales

  • Categorize products correctly when you upload product pages — including filling out all the attributes that customers might be inputting as keywords when they search walmart.com. If you aren’t complete and accurate, your product may never even be seen.
  • Use paid ads to drive site traffic. With a cost-per-click model, you are only charged when a customer actually clicks through to your site. Choose Walmart’s own Media Group or another third-party provider.
  • Price products for the “buy box.” Buyers on walmart.com can view this box to see which seller is offering the lowest price. It may not be a viable strategy for all businesses, but it can definitely amp up your sales volume.
  • Maintain quality fulfillment standards, as spelled out in the seller agreement contract — 99% on-time shipping, etc. You’ll not only be allowed to stay on Walmart Marketplace, you’ll move up in the rankings that customers use to choose a seller.
  • The same goes for customer service — prompt response to customer inquiries, number of complaint escalations, shipping notifications, and tracking.
  • Get favorable reviews. Because many people filter search results by best reviews, it’s worth your while to work for a positive customer experience every time. Also, send a follow-up email after the sale asking for a review — and a chance to fix any issues before the review is written.

Need help setting up your accounting for Walmart Marketplace? Turn to the eCommerce small business specialists at Xendoo. We’ll get you started with a one-month free trial.

 

 

This post is intended to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute as legal, business, or tax advice. Please consult your attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in our content. Xendoo assumes no liability for any actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.

 

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