Amazon has long been the dominant force in eCommerce, offering sellers a vast customer base and unparalleled reach. However, as Amazon marketplace rules change, brands are looking to diversify their sales channels and mitigate risks.
As if on queue, Walmart, with it’s massive customer base has a quickly growing Marketplace to reach their customer base. The articles touting Walmart Marketplace as the next frontier for e-commerce expansion are right. In this article, we’ll explore a couple potential benefits and challenges of venturing into the Walmart Marketplace and why you should strategically leverage their platform to broaden your business horizons.
Already know you should expand to Walmart but have questions, book time with me to discuss.
The Rise of Omnichannel Selling
As a Brand, Agency, or Seller, you’re likely well-versed in the concept of omnichannel selling—utilizing multiple sales channels to maximize exposure and sales. DTC and Amazon channel selling have likely been your primary focus—perhaps with the addition of retail—and the buzz surrounding Walmart’s growing presence has caught your attention. Embracing an omnichannel strategy is not just a trend; it’s a savvy business move that positions your brand for resilience and growth. Choosing where, when and how to utilize your resources helps you increase sales or reduces profitability.
…So, Walmart the next best option?
Taking the Plunge into Walmart
Remember the success stories of early adopters on platforms like Amazon, and how much market share they took? The opportunity to establish a similar foothold on Walmart is available right now.
Yes, the nay-sayers are right, currently Walmart’s volume is low compared to Amazon. Just like when you started your business, the key is recognizing the opportunity and growth trajectory. Walmart is where Amazon was 8-10 years ago—Walmart is throwing tons of money at their Marketplace and demonstrating MASSIVE YoY growth and adoption by sellers worldwide (see chart below).
Navigating Walmart's Unique Landscape
Walmart, like Amazon, has its respective challenges and idiosyncrasies.
New listings are unlikely to result in an immediate surge in sales. Walmart’s algorithm appears much slower, which is why you should list now and start climbing the relevancy ranks.
Foolishly, many Sellers fail to follow Walmart’s recommendations. Listing Quality Score for example, tells you exactly how to make your listings perfect in Walmart’s eyes. This perfection increases relevancy in the algorithm. Walmart literally tells you in simple terms what to fix – allowing you to spend time where you want instead of on forums and videos trying to figure out how to optimize.
Walmart really wants to grow, and to do that they need more brands and products available. If you’re a recognizable brand, or do a ton of volume, Walmart wants you there. Knock on doors about WFS and Advertising, you’ll find some really great people who provide amazing support.
Reality: My Observations of Walmart's Growth
Comparing Walmart to Amazon, Walmart lags behind in Customer Awareness and selection, thus putting Walmart where Amazon was 8-10 years ago. While this might deter some business owners – to much effort for a small percent of incremental sales – business connoisseurs recognize the immense growth potential.
Walmart bought Jet.com in 2016 for $3.3B knowing they were way behind the times with Ecommerce. Walmart largely let Jet.com run itself until 2020 when they brought it all under Walmart.com and got serious about their Marketplace growth.
When I joined Walmart marketplace in Feb 2022, our team rapidly grew from 9 to +70 to keep up with Walmart’s ambitious growth plans. Several partner teams saw similar growth. Walmart’s significant presence at major trade shows, including SEMA in 2023, makes a bold statement in categories they are seeking to serve. While eBay’s visibility was no surprise, and somewhat surprising Amazon did not have a booth there, Walmart knocked it out of the park. Walmart showed up with Sam Walton’s 1979 Ford F150 one upping Ebay and telling everyone, ‘We’re here for real’.
The reality: Walmart is investing heavily into their marketplace, word is getting out, they’re gaining traction with new sellers—which should include you.
Getting Start on Walmart in 2024
- If you register yourself, you end up with their high volume onboarding support
- If you register through a “Walmart Solution Provider” like iDerive, you’ll receive additional support.
- Refer to Walmart Seller Help Guides for answers to common questions.
- Walmart’s support guides are easier to read compared to Amazon and are now nearly as comprehensive.
- Walmart’s ‘WhiteGlove’ Onboarding support makes listing creation easy.
- They can pull your listings over from your Amazon store.
- Excel files are straight forward
- API connection is available
- Adopt Walmart Programs to Grow and Sell More
- Walmart Fulfillment Services – WFS, the FBA equivalent
- Walmart Media Connect – WMC – Advertising
- Walmart Pro Seller Badge – Stand Out
- Regionally restrict products to offer selection not available on Amazon
Gain unprecedented views and insights into your Walmart performance
with our series of platform-tailored Dashboards.
An Omnichannel strategy is critical to growth and market coverage. It is important for your brand to have a presence on Walmart, whose growth trajectory provides opportunity and diversification both of which reduce risk for your business. At this stage Customer awareness and Selection are the biggest hurdle for Walmart. With Walmart’s size and customer base, that’s a short term problem and why new sellers will receive a ton of support from Walmart.
You don’t have to go it alone!
Whether you’re transitioning from other platforms or venturing into eCommerce for the first time, iDerive is a comprehensive resource designed to streamline your journey. Having worked for Walmart’s Marketplace we know the crucial areas such as setup, Walmart programs, review-gathering and content strategies to provide you with a competitive edge.
Have specific issues, or need support on next steps? Book a demo with iDerive to discover how you can enhance your Walmart.com operations with Walmart Connect, and our expert insights and tailored solutions. We love helping clients like you navigate the complexity of Ecommerce marketplaces to maximize Omnichannel potential.
To kickstart your Walmart journey, follow these steps:
- Register and provide your business details, including your tax ID. If you register yourself, you end up with their high volume onboarding support. If you register through a “Walmart Solution Provider” like iDerive, you’ll receive additional support
- Refer to Walmart Seller Help Guides for answers to common questions. Walmart’s support guides are easier to read compared to Amazon and are now nearly as comprehensive.
- Explore Walmart programs, including Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) – a FBA equivalent – and Walmart Media Connect (WMC) for advertising.
- Get the Pro Seller Badge (with over 250 sales in the last 90 days)
Boost your business with Walmart Fulfillment Services, Walmart+ loyalty program, and the Pro Seller Badge, earned through meeting performance criteria to build buyer confidence.
Explore expedited shipping options, leverage Walmart Fulfillment Services, and consider alternative delivery methods for quick order fulfillment.
While Walmart has its challenges and may not yield immediate sales, strategic planning, understanding the platform’s ecosystem, optimizing listings, and using advertising features can lead to significant returns over time.
Walmart, although lagging behind Amazon in development, presents a substantial growth potential with its commitment to expanding its e-commerce presence and a large customer base, making it an attractive platform for sellers seeking new opportunities.