The average consumer has increasingly high expectations of convenience when it comes to shopping online.
So much so that 76% of customers say convenience is a key priority when choosing a retailer, according to Linnworks research. One of the best ways to provide this convenience to customers is to put your products on the sales channels where they're already spending their time.
In this article, we’ll discuss why Walmart Marketplace should be one the sales channels you sell on, how to start selling on Walmart and how an automated inventory and order management system will help you sell better on Walmart Marketplace.
What is Walmart Marketplace?
According to Walmart, “Walmart Marketplace is a curated community of respected, professional sellers who offer only top-quality, authentic products and best-in-class customer service.”
According to Linnworks research, more than nine in ten shoppers start looking for products on online marketplaces. The reason being that consumers enjoy the convenience that a marketplace provides, shopping for multiple products with lots of choices all from one platform.
Why Sell on Walmart Marketplace?
Walmart is all about customer satisfaction and trust.
Every Day Low Price (EDLP) is at the center of Walmart’s strategy. They have consistently focused on customers as a #1 priority, in turn building up a loyal customer base. Selling on Walmart is selling to customers who are loyal to Walmart itself.
Walmart has mastered the art of convenience with 4,700+ US stores located within just 10 miles of 90% of the US population. According to Walmart, "We're creating an experience that lets customers shop anytime, anywhere — delivering exactly what they want, when they want it."
Access to Walmart Fulfillment Services
Walmart has one of the world’s largest supply chains and offers sellers the ability to store their inventory at Walmart fulfillment centers. Walmart takes care of the order management process and their fulfillment service picks, packs and ships orders after they're are placed, striving towards the class 2-day delivery promise. By doing so, Walmart helps you turn one-off shoppers into loyal customers.
They'll also manage the returns process through Walmart Fulfillment Services, which is especially helpful if you're serving an industry with a high volume of returns.
Unlock a new audience and grow your business
By selling on Walmart Marketplace, you'll have access to their loyal consumer base of over 120 million unique monthly visitors. Plus, the Walmart seller community is composed of respected, professional sellers who only offer high-quality products so you’ll be selling your products alongside other established and well respected sellers.
Walmart says it is the world’s largest and most innovative omnichannel retailer and it’s certainly one of the fastest growing ecommerce channels in the US.
A seamless return process
Enhanced returns help save time and improve customer experience. With Walmart Marketplace, you can offer your customers a chance to return a product either online or in-store. The return process is a big factor in the customer’s journey and offering these options can create a seamless shopping experience. You can boost conversions by offering free returns, according to Walmart. Learn more about Enhanced Returns here.
First, make sure you have a history of success with other marketplaces or ecommerce sales platforms. Walmart views having been successful with their competition as a good thing. Also, Walmart focuses on sellers that have a compelling product catalog, as well as competitive pricing and speedy and reliable fulfillment. Ultimately, you need to have high-quality products to sell on Walmart.
Walmart lists prohibited products, so be sure to check the list and make sure you don’t sell any of these products. Prohibited products include alcoholic beverages, hazardous materials and specific types of food.
To complete an application, head over to the application page for your respective region:
Remember that customer experience is one of Walmart's top goals, so be prepared to offer fast and reliable fulfillment, have a track record of first-in-class customer service and have a B2C warehouse or other shipping and returns capability (like Walmart Fulfillment Services or fulfillment through a 3PL provider).
How to Apply for UK Merchants
Before you apply, be sure you meet Walmart’s qualifications for UK sellers. These include:
History of marketplace or ecommerce success
Fast and reliable fulfillment
Track record of world-class customer service
Unique Taxpayer Number (UTR), Corporate Registration Number (CRN), and Form W-8BEN-E
Enhancement to the Walmart.com assortment
GTIN/UPC GS1 Company Prefix Number
B2C US warehouse or an approved 3PL fulfillment provider with shipping and return capability that meets Walmart Service Requirement; a US return warehouse is required
Once you know you meet the qualifications, it’s time to move on to the online application. The application has five sections: Application Start, Company Registration, Product & Integration, Shipping & Operations and Confirmation. With all of the required information, the application should only take about 10 to 15 minutes.
How to Apply for USA and Canada Merchants
Once you’re ready for the application. It should only take about 10 to 15 minutes if you have the required information.
Here’s what you need:
US Business Tax Id(SSN Not Accepted) - [For International Sellers, your Foreign Entity Tax ID]
Primary product categories, catalog size and related information (e.g. total SKUs you will be selling on Walmart.com initially with verified UPC information, and used vs. refurbished etc.)
Using Walmart Fulfillment Services
Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) is a useful tool for third-party ecommerce sellers, offering end-to-end fulfillment. Using WFS allows sellers to benefit from one of the world’s largest supply chains. This means not only meeting, but exceeding customer shipping expectations by offering low-cost options for delivery and two-day shipping.
Here are the five-step process for WFS:
Join WFS once you’ve started selling on Walmart Marketplace.
Within the Seller Center, set up your WFS products.
Ship any inventory to a WFS facility
Walmart will store, pick, pack and ship all of your orders.
No need to worry about returns or customer care. Walmart handles both online and in-store returns.
With WFS, orders are stored, picked, packed and shipped. Not only that, but WFS can even handle both in-store or home pickup customer care and returns. The efficiency, cost, quality and scale are provided to help grow your business.
Other benefits from WFS include discounted rates from FedEx small parcel and less-than-truckload (LTL) deliveries, fast inventory receiving at fulfillment centers, improved conversion items and increased product visibility. You can also get access to customer service and seller support.
You can synchronize Walmart Fulfillment processes into Linnworks. Features include the ability to automatically download and capture orders, receive order status updates to existing orders, receive inventory level updates and keep track of WMS products. Orders that are shipped by WFS are marked as processed, and order cancellations are automatically synced.
Cost of Selling on Walmart Marketplace
Walmart prides itself on competitive commission rates along with transparent pricing for Walmart Marketplace Sellers. Rates vary by total sales price and by the category. Rates can change, but they generally range from 6% to 15%.
How inventory and order management automation helps ecommerce businesses sell on Walmart Marketplace
With an inventory and order management system, you can connect your Walmart seller account via API. Here are the benefits of consolidating your processes into a back end automation system:
Centralize inventory levels in one place
With inventory across all sales channels things can get chaotic quickly if you are tracking inventory manually. Be in control with a centralized view of all inventory across all sales channels with an automated platform.
The more you sell and grow, the more you will need an automated system. An automated inventory and order management system grows with you as your business grows.
When managing inventory on Walmart Marketplace in addition to multiple other sales channels, you want to make sure you’re not overselling products or creating stock outs, which leads to a negative customer experience. As an example, when a basketball looks to be in stock from the customer’s viewpoint on Walmart, but in reality it’s not in stock and the shipment doesn’t get to the customer, the customer will then instead find a basketball from your competitor.
Streamline the order management process
Once a customer places an order, there should be an automated system that immediately goes into action on the back end to ensure orders are correct. And in addition, to ensure that orders get to the customer on time. An automation system is especially important for growing businesses that experience higher and higher volumes of orders on both Walmart Marketplace and other sales channels like Amazon.
Provide faster shipping
A good inventory management system also integrates with major shipping carriers and 3PLs — And, for Walmart Marketplace Sellers, an automated system like Linnworks integrates with Walmart Fulfillment Services. WFS stores, picks, packs and ships your orders. WFS also handles customer care and returns (in store or home pickup).
Create a world-class customer experience
If you want to truly create a world-class customer experience, you need to meet customers where they already spend their time by selling your products in multiple sales channels. This requires making the shopping experience seamless and effortless.
Customer experience is not just about how a customer interacts with your brand one time, it’s about how they interact with your brand over and over again. You must provide a consistent experience to keep customers coming back.
With an automated inventory and order management system, you’ll have complete visibility of inventory levels across sales channels and warehouses so you’ll know how much and where stock is at all times, so you don’t oversell on product. And because customer experience continues with the post-purchase experience, returns and exchanges can be managed more efficiently with automation.
A powerful tool with order and inventory management software is demand forecasting. Knowing how much stock order during particular time periods helps you ensure you don’t order too much or run out of stock too quickly, especially around high-demand periods in the year, so that you meet the expectations of your customers.
Additional resources from Walmart to help maximize success:
Is an address in the US required or registration in the US required?
Walmart does require a return address located within the US or US-based 3PL return service provider, but a physical operation in the US isn’t necessary.
What is the SKU limit or minimum?
There isn’t any limit or minimum.
What are the fees associated with WFS?
Walmart Seller Help provides information on fulfillment fees, storage fees, problem inventory, fulfillment and return exceptions and disposal and removal fees. Learn more here.
How do I get started selling my products?
After completion and approval of an application and the agreement is in place, approved sellers receive an Invitation to Sign Up email. From there, sellers register on Seller Center, where products are integrated.
Who chooses the price for a product?
Sellers set their own prices.
How does Walmart.com’s Sponsored Products work?
These ads are cost-per-click, so you pay when someone clicks on your ad. Sponsored ads can help reach the 150 million unique customers per week. You can also track how your campaigns are increasing your product sales.
How do I get paid?
Payments are determined once the seller account is approved. It is typically deposited into a bank account every two weeks.