As one of the biggest names in physical retail, Walmart‘s ecommerce business has grown substantially over the last couple of years. Many third-party sellers have taken advantage of this expansion to reach millions of loyal Walmart shoppers.
Here are nine essential tips to make your expansion on the Walmart marketplace much more lucrative.
1. Sell Smart
You need to be strategic about what you decide to sell on the marketplace and how to prioritize those listings. First, start by listing your best-selling items. You can really spend the time making each product listing perfect and ensure you can handle the influx in sales before moving on to the rest of your catalog.
Next, you want to research SKU gaps on Walmart. Finding products in your catalog that could fill those gaps on the online marketplace could give you a great competitive advantage, leading to more sales.
Finally, you want to focus on listing what you can competitively price. From there, you can move through the rest of your catalog as you see fit, keeping products with a low profit margin for last.
Prioritizing the listing process give you time to perfect the selling process and allows you to build a favorable reputation with products most likely to sell. It also allows you to learn the lay of the land and what the Walmart shoppers like and dislike in terms of product offerings.
2. Optimize Your Listings
You should spend most of your time on the product listing content. Don’t just copy and paste your eBay or Amazon listing details. Spend the time to craft the product title, description, and details with the Walmart audience in mind.
Walmart product titles are usually between 50-75 characters long, so you want to use that space wisely. Be sure to include any brand names, specific sizes, model number, and any key differentiators. This title is your first impression, be sure to make a good one!
So, you’ve made a great first impression with the product title. Now you need to tell this shopper why they need your product. Try some of these tips:
- Highlight all the great features of your product in a concise manner.
- Keep the content professional.
- Push your brand voice and use evocative storytelling to keep the shopper engaged.
- Don’t forget your keywords – make sure the listing is optimized for the search engines.
Put down your iPhone! If you want to increase sales, you need to incorporate professional photography in your marketing strategy. The Walmart audience has very different expectations than an eBay audience. Be sure to meet those expectations with clean and crisp photos that showcase your product.
3. Add Your Products to the Right Shelves
Okay, you’ve spent the time applying to Walmart, writing eye-catching product titles, and posting beautiful photos. You may be wondering, “why am I not seeing any more sales?” Well, the shoppers may not be able to find your products.
It isn’t always easy to decide on the correct product categories and attributes for every item your store sells. The Walmart marketplace separates online products similarly to how their brick and mortar store shelves are arranged. Be sure to refer to Walmart’s Knowledge Base before listing your products to be sure you’ve added all the necessary attributes and placed the product in the right category. If you put your product in the wrong category or miss some key attributes, it may not show up in the shopper’s search results.
4. Price Competitively
Walmart is very serious about providing customers with the lowest prices and highest value of purchase. That is their mission.
They expect the same from their third-party sellers. If you want to obtain instant visibility and be successful on the Walmart platform, you must make low pricing a priority. Of course, it needs to make sense for your business.
To determine the best pricing, for both shoppers and your bottom line, you need to calculate what it costs to actually sell the items, then you can determine the markup required to be profitable. For a full breakdown on pricing strategies and calculations, check this resource out.
Pro Tip: Already know your markup percentage? Try one of these strategic pricing options to make your prices much more attractive to shoppers.
5. Improve Customer Service
Doing so will not only keep your account in good standing, but it will also increase the likelihood of you receiving more product reviews. Walmart already sends an email request to their shoppers requesting product reviews. All you need to do is provide a great shopping experience for the user to entice them to leave a review.
So, how do you actually provide good customer service through a marketplace? First, you want to remove the need for it. Ensure your product descriptions are accurate and informative. Add frequently asked questions, sizing charts, and any other necessary details that you commonly field from customer questions.
From there, you want to ensure you’re available for customer issues and questions. Walmart requires you to respond to customer emails within 1 business day. That SLA is the minimum – try to be a quick as you can. You want to resolve any problems as fast and as positively as you can.
Lastly, you want to meet their shipping expectations and have contingency plans in place if something goes wrong. Here are a few contingency plans to have in mind:
- Have a reserve level of products at all time. This stash of inventory helps you prevent overselling products.
- Use at least two suppliers for each product. If one supplier has issues or sells out, you have a backup supplier to contact.
- Develop an alternative fulfillment option on deck for when the worse-case scenarios do occur. That way your business continues to run without skipping a beat.
- Create templates for customer service inquiries. These templates not only make you more efficient when replying to customer service issues, but it also helps you maintain a structure when replying to unhappy customers. It helps keep you on track and removes the emotional element that can sometimes occur when you feel attacked.
6. Join Walmart’s Free 2-Day Shipping Program
Back in October 2018, Walmart extended their 2-day shipping program to eligible third-party sellers. This program is a game-changer for many merchants on Walmart. Not only do their products show higher in the search results, these merchants usually see lower cart abandonment rates and more Buy Box wins (meaning more sales).
So, sign me up, right? There was that keyword “eligible” though. Not just anyone can be a part of this program. You have to prove that you can meet these shipping expectations, which in most cases means you have to pack and ship the order within the same day.
Here are all the requirements you need to be eligible if you want to join the program:
- Offer a simple and generous return policy. This is not the time to be Scrooge.
- Been a Walmart seller for at least 90 days OR shipped at least 100 customer orders in the last 30 days.
- Meet the delivery performance criteria:
- Over 95% success in shipping orders on time, delivering orders on time, and providing valid tracking information.
- Less than a 1.5% cancellation rate.
7. Try WPA
Also known as Walmart Performance Ads, WPA is a wonderful CPC (cost-per-click) marketing option to grow your sales on the Walmart marketplace. They are affordable and well-targeted.
Walmart uses an internal algorithm to determine where and when to show your ads based on their user data. The ads can be seen by shoppers on item pages, search result pages, and category pages.
The key benefit to the program is that you’re showing ads to warm leads – shoppers that are ready to buy and are searching for similar products on Walmart. Many customers have sited seeing 10% conversion rates using WPA, much higher conversion rates than typical Facebook and Google ads combined.
8. Drive Outside Traffic To Walmart
It’s important that you market your Walmart listings off the marketplace too. While the conversion rates aren’t as high, you will grow your customer base by implementing a marketing strategy to attract outside traffic to your Walmart listings.
Try a social media strategy, like Facebook’s advertising program, which is a great way to get your products in front of a new audience. Email and content marketing can also increase your products’ visibility and help personalize your brand with the intention of helping you sell more on Walmart’s marketplace. Here’s a great series with tips on how to attract customers at every stage in the ecommerce sales funnel.
9. Streamline Your Operations
Maintaining a good standing with Walmart is every bit as crucial as any of the items listed above. You can do all the marketing options available, but if you aren’t executing the rest of the sales process (e.g. fulfillment), you can risk being suspended altogether.
Keep in good standing by streamlining your operations to avoid inventory and fulfillment issues. Fortunately, Walmart works with many ecommerce solutions to provide you with easy integration so you can effectively manage your backend operations.
Ecomdash, which partners with Walmart, offers an ecommerce inventory software that will make your job easier if you sell on other channels, as well as an integration that streamlines your Walmart inventory.
Final Thoughts about Selling on the Walmart Marketplace
Everything falls back on the customer experience. If you can deliver good, quality products in a timely manner with a positive attitude, you’ve won half the battle. Keeping your customers happy and your account in good standing will help you become eligible for many of the amazing programs Walmart has to offer. Put together a plan to tackle at least two of the tips listed above in the next month so you can start reaping the benefits ASAP!
Don’t sell on Walmart? Get a jumpstart and apply to sell on Walmart through our partner portal.
Editor’s Note: This blog post was updated in June 2019 to reflect more accurate and relevant information.