The past six months have completely rocked the ecommerce world, and with major retailers like Walmart staying shut on Black Friday, it’s safe to say this is a paradigm shift moment for the industry. To help you navigate this exciting time of year, we joined forces with Walmart for an in-depth webinar that shows you tips and tricks for increasing your sales on the Walmart marketplace over the holiday season.
We spoke with Andrei Parenco, the Senior Manager of Walmart Marketplace and Jonathan Perez, the platform’s Channel Partnership Manager, about the growth opportunities Walmart sellers have this season and how to optimize shipping performance during one of the busiest shopping times of the year. You can catch up with an on-demand recording of the webinar here.
How consumers buy products has changed.
Retailers have essentially been in Black Friday mode since March. Thanks to Covid, more shoppers than ever have gone online to make purchases, creating a tidal wave of new opportunities for sellers. Predictions show that this is going to be a record year for holiday shopping.
But there are still challenges in place - particularly the “total commerce” challenge.
Sellers are having to be everywhere that consumers are spending time, and this is increasingly becoming marketplaces. The problem is that attracting customers to your own website comes at a high cost and you’re essentially competing against other channels that are spending millions and are masters at customer acquisition.
This is where marketplaces come into play.
The strength of marketplaces
Marketplaces are basically the masters of ecommerce. 50% of all transactions online go through various marketplaces, and this trend is likely to accelerate pretty rapidly.
In the webinar, we talk about having a multichannel strategy that goes beyond having your own website and a presence on one marketplace. Instead, you need to focus on a total strategy that involves being everywhere your consumers spend time.
One of these channels is Walmart.
The Walmart marketplace has seen incredible growth over the past few years, and this is reflected in its numbers. In fact, sales hit 97% annual growth in its most recent quarter. Ignoring these stats and numbers might mean you lose out on potential customers and the opportunity to secure a solid presence on one of the world’s fastest-growing marketplaces.
We kicked off the webinar with a presentation from Jonathan Perez who spoke about prepping your Walmart store for optimum sales this holiday season.
Preparing For a successful holiday season.
The presentation revealed there are plenty of tools in Walmart’s seller centre and those provided by partners such as Linnworks that provide insights into top-selling products.
There has been great growth in most product categories on Walmart, including the food and beverage category, where 131 purchases are made every minute, the gaming industry, with 2 million video games purchased each week, and the electronics industry, with 126,000 electronics purchased every single day.
Growth opportunities for Walmart sellers this holiday season.
1. Unpublished items.
Many Walmart sellers hit the holiday season with a catalog of unpublished items. This can lose them potential sales at the busiest time of the year. Watch the webinar to find out how to avoid this?
2. Pricing opportunities.
Pricing is crucial to how competitive you are on Walmart. Customers want to find the best price for their products, so Walmart favors brands that are competitive with their numbers.
Watch the webinar to find out about the latest Walmart pricing feature feature and how it can help you to differentiate yourself from other similar listings.
3. Listing quality.
Your listings are a vital piece in the conversion puzzle. Without compelling, optimized listings, customers will go elsewhere to get their goods.
Listing quality really does make a difference - high quality listings help you:
- Gain more product visibility
- Win the buy box and sell more
- Get more marketing opportunities
Watch the webinar to find out tips to increase the quality of your listings and win more sales.
How to start selling on Walmart Marketplace.
Sellers have to apply to Walmart Marketplace through an application process. Once approved, this is what the setup process looks like:
1. Receive an invite to set up your Marketplace seller account
2. Sign the Retailer Agreement with a Walmart representative
3. Complete your seller profile and connect your payment account
4. Choose an integration method, connect and add products
5. Go through a final review and get ready to launch
Top tip: if you get an application through Linnworks, you’ll get through the pre-check line and speed up the launch of your store.
Because it’s an application-only process, Walmart has a couple of criteria they look for from sellers - Watch the webinar to find out how to meet the requirements to join the Walmart marketplace.
Optimize your shipping performance this holiday season.
Shipping has been a point of contention for sellers during the pandemic. Delivery times have been all over the shop, which is why we asked Walmart to talk specifically about optimizing shipping performance during the busy holiday season.
Watch the webinar to find out the six-step process Walmart recommend to make sure you can keep your shipping times on track and your customers happy and the new Walmart fast delivery solutions that will help you optimize your delivery times.
In the webinar, Walmart also reveal their best practices to maximise sales through shipping during the holiday season. These include:
- Shipping in two to three business days where possible
- Carrying out same day order processing
- Free shipping for your entire catalog
- Having products in stock and ready to ship in your own warehouses
Linnworks top tips for selling more this holiday season.
We wrapped up the webinar with a Linnworks presentation outlining three key tips for sellers this holiday season.
1. Own your brand
Differentiate products through brand and community rather than by distribution channel. Think about why people buy from you, who your customers are, and focus on your brand and the story you have to tell.
2. Define your marketplace strategy
Treat marketplaces as marketing channels. Understand the customers on each of them, leverage unique customer experiences using the tools and programs available, and optimize your listings to raise brand profile.
It helps to work with marketplaces that have programs in place to protect you as a seller - like Walmart - rather than marketplaces that make you compete against fraudulent brands.
3. Invest in built-for-purpose technology
Put commerce control at the centre of your organization. This helps you to grow by being where your customers are, automate your operations by integrating and orchestrating distributed systems, and control and manage your inventory centrally and in real-time.
Linnworks provides a built-for-purpose technology to allow you to sell on these channels and let you connect up to other tech in your stack. The key is to rely on systems that allow you to grow and give you control over the experience. And remember to optimize for each channel - don’t let your tools get in the way of fulfilling orders to customers.