With an annual revenue of $514.4 billion, Walmart is the largest retailer in the world. For ecommerce sellers, if you can land on a spot in the Walmart Marketplace, that’s automatic visibility from millions of customers. That kind of exposure doesn’t come without a cost, though, and meeting the standards of getting approved can be tough.
Your sales history and the quality of your reviews are two of the main things that Walmart looks at closely. Getting approval on the Walmart Marketplace usually takes 4 to 6 weeks for most successful applicants, but if you’re associated with an official Walmart integration partner like Ecomdash, approval can take as little as a week. Either way, you have to pass the initial application process.
In this article, we explain how to sell on Walmart, and list some insider tips on how to get approved. If you’re interested in breaking into this lucrative online marketplace, keep reading to learn how.
How to Apply to the Walmart Marketplace
Step 1: Fill out the Application
The application to sell on Walmart is fairly straightforward and usually takes about 10-15 minutes (if you have the information handy). It’s divided into five sections:
- Primary Contact — Standard information on you: name, address, job title, etc.
- Business Information — Standard information on your company, including Tax ID and annual revenue.
- Product Assortment — Questions about the types of products you sell, particularly the category or industry.
- Ecommerce & Marketplace Experience — A quick section on your current online store (if you have one; you can opt out of this section by clicking N/A.)
- Operations — Technical questions about your logistics concerning fulfillment, delivery, integration, inventory storage, and your return policy.
Step 2: Set up an Account
After you’ve been approved, Walmart will email you an invitation to set up a seller account. The Walmart Signup Wizard and Launch Checklist will guide you through the process. At this point you’ll need to provide your business address, bank account information and a digital W-9 form, which Walmart uses to report third-party income to the IRS.
Step 3: Onboarding
The onboarding process on the Walmart Marketplace is almost entirely self-service. At this point you’ll upload your inventory, including product descriptions, product IDs and SKU numbers.
How to Get Accepted to Walmart Marketplace
Naturally, Walmart is judging your account based on more than just the address of your warehouse. The team is reviewing business practices, policies, popularity, customer engagement, reviews, and overall value. To get accepted, you’ll need to put your best foot forward.
Most consumers associate Walmart with low prices — it’s the heart of its brand identity. Walmart expects its third-party sellers to uphold its reputation by offering good products at a competitive price. Each product page shows the high performing sellers at the top, so you’ll compete on price with many other online merchants. Your business needs to have a high volume of sales to achieve scalability, and keep costs as low as possible.
If your product is more expensive compared to similar products listed on other sites, Walmart won’t hesitate to unpublish them. Remember that shipping is included when it comes to analyzing the final price of the product, so make sure to keep your shipping costs as low as possible.
Shipping and Fulfillment
While Amazon offers its FBA program to assist with storage and deliveries, Walmart leaves shipping and fulfillment in the hands of the sellers. That means you’re responsible for storing inventory, processing sales, and shipping out orders.
That’s no easy feat, especially if you have to manage other sales channels as well. That’s where a 3PL option comes into play. Choosing to partner with a fulfillment option like Deliverr could help you gain a competitive advantage on all your sales platforms while exceeding your shopper’s expectations.
The fastest way to get your application rejected is listing products that violate Walmart policy. Here are some of the most common prohibited products on Walmart to watch out for:
- Digital products (downloadable media, ebooks, online currency, etc.)
- Electronics not certified by the FCC
- Funeral items
- Products deemed offensive
- Age-restricted items
- Event tickets
- Tobacco products
- Certain weapons
On top of that, some products require pre-approval if it falls under the categories of:
- Luxury goods
- Cell Phones and accessories
- Halloween and select seasonal products
- Custom content
When Walmart partners with third-party online sellers, it wants to ensure that its reputation for high-quality customer service will be preserved. If too many customers have a negative experience shopping with you and leave bad reviews, Walmart reserves the right to unpublish your products from its marketplace. Be sure to implement these methods to keep a high customer rating:
- Make sure your inventory is always up-to-date to avoid oversells and backorders.
- New orders should be shipped immediately to hit the SLA.
- Process your returns as quickly as possible to avoid any backlash from a subpar customer experience.
Walmart recruits only the top sellers to maintain its reputation as a retail leader, so you’ll need to get your business in tip top shape before applying.
Once you make it through the rigorous application process and list your products on the marketplace, you’re competing against the best of the best. So, make sure you meet your shoppers’ expectations every step of the way, including product quality, competitive pricing, and shipping expectations. Need ideas – check out these 9 tips to sell more on Walmart.