Walmart Marketplace Seller Program – Is it Right For You?
If you’re already a third-party merchant on either eBay or Amazon and you’re looking for another channel to add to your marketing efforts the Walmart Marketplace seller program, a program that is expanding rapidly, may be worth a look.
What is the Walmart Marketplace Seller Program?
If you have shopped online at Walmart.com recently, you may have noticed the legend “Sold & Shipped by Marketplace Seller.” attached to some listings. These items are offered by Marketplace Program sellers and they appear in an increasing number of categories.
The program is basically Walmart’s ‘answer’ to the Amazon third party marketplace that now, according to Jeff Bezos himself, accounts for more than half of the company’s retail revenue.
Who Should Consider Selling on Walmart Marketplace?
Small Businesses with Great, Hard to Find in Walmart Products
While the application to become a Walmart Marketplace Seller is quite strict, and no one really knows what criteria the company follows to decide who gets in, those who have studied such things say that quality products that are not easily found in Walmart stores come at the top of that list.
Small Businesses Struggling to Market Their Products
The average small retail business site usually considers itself lucky if it gets a couple of thousand visits a month. Walmart.com is visited by over 100 million people every month and as a Marketplace Seller you will gain access to that huge audience, without having to invest too many more marketing dollars of your own.
Small Businesses Who Already Sell on Amazon
Amazon and Walmart do not really share the same audiences, so if you are already doing well as an Amazon seller, and find the process comfortable, the Walmart listing process is similar enough that adding another sales channel should be reasonably seamless.
Who Should Not Consider Selling Via the Walmart Marketplace?
If you sell handmade crafts, then Etsy or eBay are still the best sales platforms for you. Neither Amazon nor Walmart are good options for these businesses yet, although that may change in the future as they continue to battle for domination in the online mass retail space.
Brand New Businesses
Walmart like its sellers to have an established online footprint. They look for a functional website, preferably with an online store of its own and some form of social presence. If you do not have these in place yet, it is unlikely they would approve your application to become a Walmart Marketplace Seller.
Walmart Marketplace Selling Pros and Cons
For many, the biggest pro involved in becoming a Walmart Marketplace seller is the straightforward fee system. Where Amazon has selling fees, per-item fee, referral fee and other variable closing fees, Walmart makes it simple. When you make a sale, you pay them a set referral fee, one that is usually around 15% of the sales price.
That any item sold via Walmart.com – including those by third party sellers – can be returned at a physical Walmart store is an inducement to buy for many consumers. You will still have to handle replacements and refunds, but not having to make a trip to the post office is a big plus for some.
Then there is the immediate association with a huge name. Walmart is a name known to every shopper in the US, whether they will admit to shopping there or not. The same is now true of Amazon of course, but for many Walmart is the brand they grew up with so it has a little extra trust ‘built in’ right away.
On the downside, because Walmart is very strict about maintaining competitive pricing – you could see your items delisted if they don’t keep up – and so your margins may be a little a little lower than they might on Amazon. Walmart Marketplace is relatively new and some sellers report that Customer Service is rather hit or miss, but that is something the company says they are working hard to improve.
If you want to read more about Walmart Marketplace Selling you can do so here.