Learn all about Walmart.com, the online marketplace extension of the famous retailer, in this Shopping Feed Channel Partner Profile.
Walmart.com sees up to 100 million unique visitors a month, according to comScore, and is growing every year. With innovations like Online Grocery Pickup, NextDay shipping and a whole host of apps, the company says it’s providing customers with more ways to save time and money while “reimagining how digital and physical shopping work together.”
In 2016, Walmart acquired Jet.com and began expanding its portfolio of e-commerce sites. As part of the Jet acquisition, Hayneedle.com (home furnishings) also joined our family. In 2017, Walmart added Shoes.com (footwear), Moosejaw (outdoor apparel and gear) ModCloth (women’s apparel) and Bonobos (men’s apparel) to the portfolio. ELOQUII, Bare Necessities, and Art.com rounded out Walmart’s family of brands in 2018. That same year it also bought Flipkart, the largest e-commerce site in India. (See more on that below.)
How Walmart is working to outshine Amazon
Retail analytics firm First Insight conducted three consumer surveys of about 1,000 people each in December 2017, September 2018 and last September to compile the results. They included shoppers with and without a Prime membership.
The findings were enough to make the famous Amazon “smile” logo start drooping at the corners. A majority this year, 55%, said they prefer to shop at Walmart versus Amazon, up from about 47% a year earlier. The percentage of people who favor Amazon dropped in 2019 to 45%, from about 53% in 2018.
Competitive shipping policies
Walmart Free 2–Day Shipping offers free expedited shipping with no minimum order requirement for marketplace listings. Like with Amazon Prime, they promise a quick, hassle-free shipping experience, but unlike Amazon Prime, Walmart doesn’t charge any membership fees to consumers.
Friendlier merchant terms
There are no setup, monthly or subscription fees, which is one of the benefits that Walmart touts in trying to lure sellers from rival platform Amazon. Their seller page also states that sellers are paid instantly.
Global expansion through acquisitions in foreign markets
Walmart, which entered India’s wholesale business back in 2007, had no online presence in the country until 2018, when it bought India-based Flipkart in the world’s largest e-commerce acquisition. The acquisition also added to its kitty online fashion retailer Myntra, which Flipkart had bought back in 2014.
Walmart’s $16 billion investment in Indian e-commerce may finally be bearing fruit. Flipkart and Myntra together clocked 1.7 billion app sessions, compared to under a billion for Amazon, data show.
That’s a lot of opportunity for third party sellers, although over time they may see profit margins slip as the competition between these two marketplaces continues apace.
Becoming a seller on Walmart.com
Who can sell on Walmart.com
Criteria for acceptance to the marketplace are designed to weed out inexperienced and casual sellers. Serious e-merchants only need apply. Here’s how Walmart describes who gets accepted:
If you think you meet all those criteria, the next step is to complete an application form. Have all of this information handy:
- 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
- US Business address
- 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.)
Fees and Commissions
Like most marketplaces, Walmart.com charges a “referral fee” (aka commission) on each product sold. This can be as low as 6 -8% for PCs and consumer electronics, to a maximum of 20% on jewelry. Most items fall in the 10 – 15% category. You can see the full fee schedule here.
Walmart.com will definitely remain one of the top players, together with Alibaba and Amazon, on the global e-commerce stage.
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