The Walmart seller Marketplace is a platform that allows third-party sellers to list their items on Walmart, just like you would on Amazon or eBay. Selling to Walmart’s online marketplace is an easy way to get your products in front of a massive audience. Marketplace items appear in search results on Walmart.com alongside other items.
Why Sell on Walmart
Walmart seller is one of the fastest-growing marketplaces and continues to roll out features that make it easier for sellers and brands to reach Walmart’s enormous customer base. 2020 was an incredible year for the retail giant, and 2021 is shaping up to be impressive as well…
- For Walmart’s fiscal year 2021, which ended January 29, the company reported a 79% increase in online sales
- Pickup and delivery sales saw “triple-digit” percentage improvements YoY
- Walmart’s Q1 FY22 earnings showed a 37% increase in US eCommerce sales
- Walmart’s first-quarter 2021 earnings “handily beat Wall Street’s revenue and earnings per share (EPS) consensus estimates,” with Walmart earning $138.3 billion—$6.34 billion above analysts’ anticipated $131.97 billion
- Walmart seller was the second most downloaded shopping app in the US in 2020, with 34 million downloads. Amazon came in first place with 41 million downloads, and Wish rounded out the top 3 with 30 million downloads
- Walmart seller recently announced plans to dedicate $14 billion in the fiscal year 2022 toward “capital investments, including enhancements to the supply chain, increased automation and other areas of the business that executives say will drive long-term sales growth”
- Walmart seller receives hundreds of millions of visits every month, including up to 100 million unique visitors each month
The Walmart Marketplace is Rapidly Growing
We’ve seen Walmart scale product selection and gain access to Millennials and Gen Z-ers with a string of strategic acquisitions of digitally-native brands.
Additionally, Walmart has taken on Amazon Prime with free two-day shipping on millions of items and recently launched their own benefit-packed membership platform: Walmart+.
There are also some unique benefits to selling using Walmart’s eCommerce platform, Walmart Seller Center. The clean design and user-friendly features of Seller Center make optimizing and managing your listings and sales straightforward, with easily digestible —and actionable— insights available throughout the platform.
How to Sell on Walmart Marketplace
Now that you’ve gotten a brief overview of what it’s like to sell on Walmart seller, you may be interested in how to apply to sell on Walmart Marketplace. Consider this your launch checklist.
1. The application process.
Requesting to sell on Walmart Marketplace consists of an application process that should take 10-15 minutes if you have the required information readily available. These requirements include:
- US Business Tax ID (SSN not accepted)
- W9 or W8 and EIN Verification Letter from the Department of Treasury that verifies your US business address or place of physical operations
- Planned integration method for your product catalog (bulk upload, API, solution provider)
- 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.)
- The catalog cannot include any products from Walmart’s Prohibited Products Policy
- History of marketplace or eCommerce success
Providing as much information about your business upfront will save you time later. If you do have back-and-forth correspondence with Walmart Marketplace to fill any gaps in your application, it’s a good idea to act fast to avoid any delays in the review process.
Once you’re approved to sell on Walmart.com, the next steps begin. You’ll first receive an email that contains the link to register your business, and the entire process of registration contains six steps, outlined below.
The Walmart Marketplace registration process:
- Account creation
- Walmart Retailer Agreement
- Company registration
- Tax forms
- Payment info
- Shipping info
First, you’ll establish a username and password to rely on when managing your Walmart Marketplace seller account. Your username will be auto-filled based on the information you provided in your application.
You’ll use these credentials to log in to Seller Center, Walmart Marketplace’s portal for seller account management.
Walmart retailer agreement
Next, you’ll review the Walmart retailer agreement, a legal agreement that all Marketplace sellers sign. This document contains terms and conditions that sellers must accept before moving forward.
As you get one step closer to making things official, you’ll register your company by entering a display name and a corporate address.
- Display Name: The name that appears to customers on Walmart.com.
- Corporate Address: The address used internally.
This step consists of filling out a W-9 form for tax purposes.
The required fields include your name, address, and TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number).
Walmart has partnered with Payoneer (Payoneer.com) and Hyperwallet (Hyperwallet.com) to process Marketplace partner payments, and you must register with Payoneer or Hyperwallet to receive your Walmart payments. Please note that only Payoneer is an available option for sellers with W-8ECI tax classification.
This is where you’ll select your shipping pricing model, shipping methods, and the regions you’re able to ship to. Default shipping methods include Value, Standard, Expedited, and Next Day.
After initial setup, you’ll be able to dig deeper into your shipping strategy by using Walmart Marketplace’s customizable Shipping Templates (more on those later).
3. List, test, and go live.
The final step of onboarding as a Walmart Marketplace seller involves listing your catalog and testing orders before you officially go live. This process will ensure a smooth experience once customers are ready to add your items to their carts.
You should set up your top-selling items first, and remember that your items will go live once this testing is complete. For this reason, you should use real items with complete information and no indication that these are “test” items. If you have items belonging to multiple categories, provide a couple of items from each category for the initial round of item setup.
All of the items added successfully will automatically move to ‘stage’ status, which means that they won’t show up on Walmart.com until you go live.
Then test a few orders by publishing 2-3 items and placing your own test orders (no need to ship these). You’ll simply need to test the following scenarios in the Seller Center: order acknowledgment, order cancellation, order shipping, and order refund.
Once everything is validated and working as expected, you are ready to go live on Walmart Marketplace! Walmart seller will complete a final review process and then will release your account to go live. Once you are life, your items are published to Walmart, transactable within a few hours, and searchable in 24-48 hours.
Pros and cons of walmart seller (marketplace)
Pros of walmart seller
No Monthly Fees
Yes, Amazon FBA does offer a basic individual program for sellers based on sales per unit. But if you want to maximize your visibility and traffic, their monthly Professional plan is probably the most effective vendor option—at a cost starting at $39.99 a month. And that doesn’t even include shipping options. Walmart Marketplace doesn’t offer a monthly fee. Instead, you’re charged on a percentage-based “referral fee” for contract categories, helping you measure accurately just how effective selling on Walmart can be for your business.
An estimated 46 percent of online customers abandon their shopping carts directly at checkout. And it’s not always because they’ve simply changed their minds. In fact, it’s frequently because their preferred payment option isn’t always accepted. And this is where Walmart Marketplace excels. They don’t just process major credit cards and gift certificates, but alternative payment methods including AmEx Pay, Chase Pay, PayPal and Visa Cash; all with the same reliability and low cost shipping options your customers have come to expect from Wamart seller.
Walmart has been estimated to receive over 135 million unique visits each month. That might seem minor compared to the estimated 213 million visits reported by Amazon. But here’s a few things you may not know about Walmart Marketplace:
- Walmart Marketplace saw a 37 percent growth in eCommerce sales for the first quarter of 2019, in comparison to Amazon’s 10 percent.
- Walmart actually topped Amazon as the most widely downloaded app on Black Friday in 2019.
- An estimated 26 percent of all U.S. shoppers indicated they plan on using Walmart as their primary retailer for holiday shopping in 2019.
We’re not suggesting that Walmart can replace Amazon anytime soon. There’s well over an estimated 100 million Amazon Prime customers alone—and that’s only 62 percent of their monthly customers. But we are suggesting that maximizing your exposure across multiple channels can help boost both brand visibility as well as your sales.
Even though Walmart Marketplace has over 70,000 sellers and the number continues to increase, it is nowhere near the 2.4 million active sellers on Amazon’s marketplace. Walmart having fewer sellers on its platform than Amazon is favorable to brands and sellers as it reduces the competition.
Brands and sellers have a better chance at winning the Buy Box on Walmart’s marketplace than on Amazon’s since there are fewer sellers competing for the placement proven to boost sales.
Reach a New Customer Base
As mentioned, Walmart’s marketplace receives over 120 million unique visitors per month. Walmart’s Every Day Low Prices (EDLP) guarantee attracts audiences that are looking to purchase items at affordable rates. Brands and sellers can expose their products to a new customer base that they otherwise may not be able to reach on Amazon.com or on their own website.
Cons of walmart seller
Lower Profit Margins
Brands and sellers may need to reduce their product prices on Walmart’s marketplace compared to Amazon.com or their own website due to Walmart’s EDLP guarantee. Although offering products at a lower rate may increase sales volume, sellers will likely see lower profit margins. You should also note that Walmart will remove listings if the same product is sold at a significantly higher rate on a different marketplace.
Strict Price Requirements
Walmart is committed to offering consumers the lowest price possible for products on its marketplace. While brands and sellers choose the price for their products, it must not interfere with Walmart’s Price Parity Rule and Price Leadership Rule.
Price Parity prevents brands and sellers from listing their products at a lower cost on other marketplaces. Price Leadership will remove listings if the same products are priced lower on another marketplace, even if it is being sold by a different seller. Walmart takes into account the price for the products, shipping, and additional fees.
You Need Approval
Sometimes it’s not a question of should you sell on Walmart Marketplace, but rather, can you sell there? Sellers must be approved before setting up shop because Walmart aims to maintain its reputation both as a trustworthy vendor, and one that sells at affordable prices.
The application process takes about 10-15 minutes to complete (according to the instructions), but you’ll need some official documents like your tax ID, W-9, and product GTINs. You’ll also be assessed on your brand and performance, in particular your previous marketplace experience, fulfillment methods, and prices.
No Fulfillment for 3P Sellers
Some Amazon sellers swear by FBA as an alternative to storing and shipping their own products. Walmart offers no such service, and requires 3P sellers to handle their own storage, shipping, and returns.
It’s not all bad news, though. Walmart partners with Deliverr and encourages sellers to ship through them, even offering special benefits such as pre-approval for 2-day shipping.
Limited Fulfillment Services
Walmart previously required its third-party sellers to store, fulfill, and ship their own products. Walmart Marketplace sellers were also responsible for handling customer service and returns.
In 2020, Walmart launched Walmart Fulfillment Services, which takes care of fulfillment, shipping, customer service, and returns on behalf of eligible sellers. Brands and sellers who do not qualify for Walmart’s fulfillment service will need to handle these aspects of their business on their own.
All in all, Walmart Marketplace is a great platform for anyone looking to expand their ecommerce business. The approval process is a selective one, but sellers with high-quality products and previous marketplace experience may want to apply.
Think you’ve got a better understanding of what it takes to become a seller? For additional resources with more information, check out the Sell Better Blog, Walmart Marketplace FAQs, and QuickStart Guides.