By Dilip Vamanan
Walmart is one of the biggest adversaries of Amazon in the e-commerce world. Ever since the launch of its online platform in 2016, it has brought about a paradigm shift that has given well-established merchants a chance to broaden their customer base and increase their revenues. In this guide, SellerApp’s Co-founder Dilip Vamanan gives us an insight in to how to sell on Walmart Marketplace, step-by-step.
Despite being in the same league as Amazon, it is far more watchful of the sellers who are joining its marketplace. Walmart will first vet the sellers and their businesses before giving them the approval to sell on its platform. But don’t get your hopes down! As you will see in this article, it is more than possible to join Walmart and get approved.
In a Snapshot:
- Why Should Walmart be One of your Business Channels?
- What are the Criteria that You need to Fulfill to Get Approved for Walmart?
- How to Submit my Application for Walmart to Review?
- My Application is Approved. How do I Start Selling?
- How to Find Trending Products to Sell on Walmart?
- How to Enable Walmart’s Free 2-Day Shipping Feature?
- Are there any Tools that can Help me Sell Better on Walmart?
- How much do I have to Pay to Sell on Walmart?
Why Should Walmart be One of your Business Channels?
Walmart is a household name that has been in the market for several decades now. It is one of the newest members of the e-commerce club, joining the fray as recently as 2016. However, within just three years, it has become one of the most reputed brands online. Just take a look:
- According to Comscore, a leading analytics company, Walmart received more than 100 million unique visitors in February alone. In fact, the figure has been close to the 100 million mark for the last few months.
- For the fiscal year 2018, Walmart’s online revenue grew by 40% year-on-year, implying tremendous growth. As for the fourth quarter ended on January 31, 2019, its US e-commerce operations registered a growth of 43%, year-on-year.
- In 2018, Walmart overtook Apple to become the third-largest online retailer in the United States, leapfrogging Apple in the process (Source: eMarketer). It is now trailing behind only Amazon and eBay.
- Unlike Amazon, there is no FBA fees or monthly selling fees to consider here. All you need to pay is a small referral fee that depends on the product category.
Needless to mention, the opportunities for sellers on Walmart are limitless. It is rapidly building a name for itself in the e-commerce world, backed by a near-flawless reputation. It is aggressive in its pursuits with many acquisitions and new initiatives. With millions of visitors every month and fairly low competition in comparison to Amazon, it is undoubtedly an exciting prospect to sell on Walmart.
What are the Criteria that You need to Fulfill to Get Approved for Walmart?
Walmart hasn’t explicitly mentioned any criteria that sellers and merchants need to meet to sell on its marketplace. However, it does look for certain qualities in sellers and businesses looking to join the marketplace, such as:World-class, immaculate customer service
- Processing returns with ease
- Fast, dependable, and trustworthy fulfillment
- A high-quality product portfolio with competitive prices
- Prior experience from selling on sites like Amazon and eBay
As you may have guessed by now, Walmart is currently looking for those sellers who are well-versed with the e-commerce world. It wants its sellers to handle the crucial aspects of selling on its platform, without having to manage or intervene on their behalf. Therefore, if you are looking to join Walmart, you will need to have an established sales history online.
How to Submit my Application for Walmart to Review?
Before you start your business on Walmart, the first thing you need to do is submit your application so that it can be reviewed. Here is how you do it:
- Visit the official website of Walmart Marketplace here
- On the top right side, click on ‘Apply’
- You will be directed to the application page where you need to fill five different sections: Primary Contact, Business Information, Product Assortment, eCommerce & Marketplace Experience, Operations
You need to fill these sections to the best of your ability and the entire process will take you 10-15 minutes. Keep in mind that your application will be accepted or rejected based on the information you provide here.
Walmart will go through your sales history, reviews, and feedback, and cross-verify the information you have provided in these sections.
My Application is Approved. How do I Start Selling?
Once your application has been approved by Walmart, you will be required to acknowledge their Retailer Agreement. Once the agreement has been ‘signed’ by you, the onboarding process will start. It is a series of steps, starting with completing your application and setting up the account, all the way to product upload, order management, and product launch.
This is how it goes by:
- Walmart will send you a Registration Email with the link to configure and set up your Walmart seller account.
- Account Creation
You will now have to create your account by providing essential information like company address, tax information, bank account details and payment information, and shipping information.This account creation process will take you anywhere between 20-60 minutes. After you have created your account, you will be directed to Seller Center dashboard where you can add items to your inventory, build your listings, and launch your products.Keep in mind that Walmart has partnered with Payoneer to process its marketplace payments. Therefore, if you don’t have an account with Payoneer, you will be required to create one.
Coming to the shipping information, you will be required to choose shipping methods and regions, as per your preference. You need to select the options depending on your ability to process and fulfill orders.
Before submitting your application, review the information one last time to make sure everything is in order. Once you are satisfied, hit the submit button and you will be directed to your Seller Center dashboard.
Your Seller Center dashboard is where you are going to take care of other critical parts of your Walmart business. This entire process is tracked through a convenient Launch Checklist, like this:
- Adding Products to CatalogAfter you have set up your Partner Profile and verified your payment information, the next step is to add your products to Walmart’s catalog. You have a couple of ways to go about this step. You can either choose to upload the data in bulk through a CSV file or go for an API connection or an integration partner, depending on your preference.You will also need to familiarize yourself with Walmart Product Attributes and understand how it identifies the products on its marketplace. This includes individual elements like product ID, name, description, image, price, shipping, et cetera.
Just like Amazon, Walmart too has the factors it considers to rank products on its site. It is commonly known as Walmart SEO. A complete understanding of this will give you the much-needed edge to rank your product listings and make them visible to the customers.
- Test Run
Once your product listings are ready, you will need to run a test to make sure everything is in order. It is only after this testing that your items will go live on the Walmart marketplace. Ideally, you need to include a couple of products from each category to make sure that you cover all bases.After you have selected the products to test, you need to publish a couple of items and place your test orders. It is also a terrific way to preview your items and see how they will appear to the customers (For this, you will need to create a Walmart customer account). The idea here is to see how long it takes for the orders to show up in your Seller Center account.When you receive the orders, you should execute a few test scenarios like acknowledging the order, canceling the order, and finally, performing shipping and refund. This is the last stage of order testing.
Your products are now ready to go live. Walmart will review your listing one last time before making your account live. You will find this information and more in the Seller Help section of Walmart. It is strongly recommended that you check this section as it has detailed, comprehensive guides on how to navigate through Walmart Seller Center after you have been approved to sell on the site.
How to Find Trending Products to Sell on Walmart?
There are a couple of ways to find popular products on Walmart. The first option is the most basic method – a simple Google search with something along the lines ‘Popular Products on Walmart’ or ‘Trending Products on Walmart.’ Nine out of 10 times, either of the first three search results will direct you to the popular products page on Walmart.
Another option here for you is to visit the Walmart site and check the ‘Trending on Walmart.com’ section. However, you will see only three products at a given point in time, thus restricting your choices. Of course, this feature may change in the future.
You can also browse through individual product departments and sub-departments to find best sellers in each respective category. This part is more comprehensive but you will certainly find inspiring product ideas for Walmart.
Learn more about sourcing these products in China and other alternate markets at Global Sources Summit April 2019.
Use the code SS100 for US$100 off
How to Enable Walmart’s Free 2-Day Shipping Feature?
Walmart’s free 2-Day Shipping feature is a game-changer for its sellers. It is among the sure-shot ways to win the Walmart buy box and have your products rank higher in the search results. However, to enable this shipping feature, you need to meet certain stringent standards. This is because most of the orders on the marketplace are seller fulfilled and Walmart wants to be sure that its sellers can handle the responsibility.
- You should be a Walmart marketplace seller for more than 90 days
- You should have fulfilled at least 100 orders in the previous 30 days before you join the program
- Your returns policy must be customer-friendly
- Your cancellation rate must be less than 1.5% while your on-time shipping rate, on-time delivery rate, and valid tracking rate should be more than 95%
Once you feel you have met the eligibility requirements, go to the Shipping section of your Partner Profile in your Seller Center account and submit your request to join the program. Walmart’s executives will review your profile and inform you within 48 hours whether you have been approved or not.
Are there any Tools that can Help me Sell Better on Walmart?
Yes, there are. SellerApp’s Walmart Intelligence tool is one of the solutions that can help you boost your business on Walmart. SellerApp presently offer tools for Walmart product research, keyword research, analyzing listing quality, and keyword tracking.
Meet SellerApp co-founder Dilip Vamanan at Global Sources Summit April 2019
Use the code SS100 for US$100 off
How much do I have to Pay to Sell on Walmart?
Unlike Amazon, Walmart doesn’t charge a monthly fee or FBA fees to sell items on its marketplace. The only fee that you will be charged is the referral fee that, in turn, depends on the product category. The fee is a percentage of your selling price and is listed in the Walmart Marketplace Retailer Agreement. Depending on the product category, the cost varies from 6% to 20%.
Walmart serves as an excellent opportunity for those sellers who already have a well-established presence in the e-commerce space. Instead of starting from scratch, sellers can now simply expand their businesses and take their products to new customers with ease. At the same time, Walmart has its own set of challenges and sellers need to be wary of that.