How do I sell successfully on Walmart?

Walmart is a household name.

Walmart.com says that 95% of the population shops at Walmart.

Regardless of where you live, chances are high you know where the closest storefront is. And if you choose online, you can join over 100 million other customers to buy from Walmart.com each month.

This is great news if you have a proven product or service you want to include into their enormous catalog.

The easiest and fastest way to successfully sell to Walmart’s customer base is to join the Walmart Marketplace. Walmart is in constant search for great products at fair prices to provide to their customers. While you have many options to work with Walmart, certainly the easiest option is to sell in their Walmart Marketplace at Walmart.com. 

If it fits your marketing strategy and you’d like to become a formal supplier, you can review Watmart’s supplier checklist and create a Walmart supplier account.  And you can also explore selling a service or investigate leasing in-store space.

But if you’d like to build another sales channel for your eCommerce sales strategy, this tutorial is going to go deep into helping you sell successfully on Walmart.com.

So let’s get started!

What is the difference between Walmart and Walmart Marketplace?

If you run an ecommerce store, one of the great opportunities to increase sales is through Walmart.com.

Walmart sells through their local stores and on their website at Walmart.com. Walmart also has a 3rd party supplier service called Walmart Marketplace that lets certain sellers also sell their products at Walmart.com.  

The purpose here isn’t to get your product on the local Walmart store shelves. You can investigate those options in the links above. This tutorial is to help you put your product online through their Marketplace -- a wonderful opportunity to help you sell more of your product, to more people with one of the largest retailers in the world.

After all, similarweb.com reports that Walmart.com generated 432 million visitors in October 2021 alone!

1 similar web walmart traffic report

While Walmart’s primary focus is not eCommerce, this can’t be overlooked.  And it’s only about 40% behind eBay’s traffic count, who is still very much a player in the online sales making business.

2 similar web amazon traffic comparison

Point being … Walmart.com makes serious sales. And if you have a quality product you may be able to successfully sell right alongside the biggest brands at Walmart.com, too.

What do you need to sell on Walmart?

The Walmart marketplace is surprisingly friendly to work with.

To be a seller on Walmart.com, the main requirements are that you:

  • Provide great customer service
  • Have a solid product offering
  • Provide a fair pricing structure
  • Deliver fast, reliable shipping

None of this sounds out of the ordinary, do they?

In fact, these are bare minimums you need to succeed in business anyway, even without Walmart.

Similar to being an Amazon seller but different from stocking Walmart’s store shelves, at the Walmart Marketplace you’ll have full control over your inventory, your retail pricing, fulfillment and customer care.

How do I set up a Walmart seller account?

The first thing you’ll need to do to set up your Walmart seller account is to fill out an application.  They call it their Request to Sell. For this process, you’ll need:

  • Tax ID number (no SSN’s)
  • W9 or W8 and EIN verification letter from the Department of Treasury
  • Your address
  • Business address
  • How you will integrate your catalog (bulk upload, API, solution provider, etc)
  • A variety of product details

If you become a seller, you’ll confirm their agreement and will be asked to formally sign up and register on their Seller Central platform.

Just like Amazon’s Seller Central, here you can manage your products and set up your fulfillment options.

You stay in control of the process.

4 walmart seller central admin example screen shot

What barcode format does Walmart use?

To add a product to your catalog, simply add the product name (50-75 characters). Here you can upload your images, manage your pricing and add your unique identifier.

The four options in their drop down for the unique identifier are:

  1. GTIN
  2. ISBN
  3. UPC
  4. EAN

Next they ask you for the fulfillment option of your choice, with Seller Fulfilled or Walmart Fulfilled. And finally they ask for the product category.

5 walmart requires a unique identifier GTIN UPC ISBN EAN

Just like Amazon, Walmart does have a list of prohibited products. Check the list if any of your products are questionable.

Now, let’s get to the fun part …

How do we actually sell more on the Walmart Marketplace.

How do I sell more on the Walmart Marketplace?

Normally in an initial tutorial where we discuss setting up an account, it’s not typical to talk about how to sell more on a marketplace.

But in actuality, this is the best time to talk about maximizing sales.

That’s because the majority of the work is done before your listing, not after.

And this is called market research.

Market research is critical on a platform like Walmart.com for many reasons. Especially because Walmart is known for placing pressure on a seller’s price points in order to deliver the lowest price possible to their customers.

Amazon isn’t much different.

All the more reason to spot a gap in the marketplace.

And this is done through research and a little creative thinking.

But it doesn't have to be difficult.

Here's a very simple set of question to ask yourself that will help you sell more on Walmart.com:

  • Is your product substantially different from what is currently available? If yes, how? Tell the customer in the title and the description.
  • Can you deliver more value than the competitor’s listings (See 2 and 3 below).
  • Can you be the low price leader long enough to make a profit? This may work for a short period of time, but know that in almost all scenarios Chinese suppliers can make things cheaper than you.
  • Can you provide more to your product listing for the same or lesser price than your competition?
  • Can you make your product packaging superior to the competition?
  • Can you improve upon the quantity -- do customers want a 2 pack, 4 pack, 8 pack, etc
  • Ask your supplier -- how can I make this product better? They often have ideas for improvement.

Finally, improving your listing is the easiest and fastest way to improve sales.

While you should create the best quality listing for all listings, a better listing doesn’t create a long term barrier to entry for your competition.

That’s because all your competitors will, at some point if they haven’t yet, focus on their listing optimization. If you solely focus on creating separation from your competition by creating a better listing, it is only a matter of time before your competition does this to you.

Regardless, here’s the three things you can focus on to improve your listing quality and improve sales:

  1. Improve your images -- All items must have a main image, front view preferred. The best image resolution is 2,000 x 2,000 pixels at 300 dpi. The file should be an image file such as .jpg, .gif, etc. The image should be in focus and professional on a white background. Crop the image as close as possible, and do not show additional graphics or logos in the main image. Other images suggestions are back view, side view, detailed view, additional angles and/or images of the product in an expected environment. All images for a variant group should be of the same pattern.
  2. Optimize your title -- The title contains between 50-75 characters including the brand name contained in the title. Be sure to use the correct title capitalization and do not use special characters.
  3. Write a great description -- The description contains at least 500-1,000 or more characters and clearly describes the product features and benefits using compelling copy and format.
  4. If you have the sales, use pay per click. Walmart requires a minimum ad budget of $1,000 a month in order to use their PPC platform.

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