Getting started with a Walmart Select account
One of the most important things in trading on Walmart is your choice of merchant account type.
There are three ways to sell on Walmart.com:
1. Ship to a Walmart warehouse (Owned)
The supplier ships products to a Walmart Fulfillment Center, Walmart houses the products and ships to the customers. This means sellers ship their products directly to a Walmart warehouse before orders are placed.
2. Ship to a Customer as a DSV (Walmart Drop Ship Vendor)
Sellers warehouse their own products and list them on walmart.com. When an order is placed, the seller ships it to the buyer with a Walmart packing slip. Walmart can also request that a seller ship a particular order to a Walmart retail location when a buyer chooses the “pick up in store” option. In this program, you sell your products directly to Walmart at wholesale prices, and you ship either directly to the customer or to a physical Walmart store with Site to Store. There are many advantages to using this program.
- The marketplace covers shipping freight-out, making nationwide 2-day shipping easier for the Walmart seller. Although you are losing margin by selling wholesale, the reduced shipping expenses may offset any losses, especially if you deal primarily with large and bulky items.
- Higher volume than third party sellers
- Increased likelihood of winning the buy box over a third-party Walmart marketplace seller selling the same product.
- Your items will list as “Sold and Shipped by Walmart,” which tends to increase page conversion rates.
Despite the advantages, there are several drawbacks to using the DSV program.
- You must pass various verification steps and meet rigorous performance standards, such as a proven track record of great customer service and quality products. These standards are more demanding than those required for third party sellers.
- You also don’t have much control over product descriptions, retail pricing (Walmart generally looks for merchandise with a cost greater than $28 and a gross margin of 30% for general merchandise, and 40% for apparel), and returns (all returns are liquidated — you need to factor this into your pricing).
- You lose control over the carrier, with orders fulfilled exclusively by FedEx.
- Finally, you are selling wholesale, hoping the increase in sales along with free shipping will outweigh the loss in margin.
3. Ship to Customer as 3rd Party (Seller)
Walmart 3P sellers ship products directly to buyers. Sellers are responsible for their shipping costs, and when listings compete with Walmart, the seller’s listing always loses. Walmart’s offer will be displayed as the one winning the buy box.
Walmart handles the logistics, charging you a reasonable fulfillment fee (including shipping) based on item size and weight, as well as a monthly storage fee per cubic feet per item, and you gain access to 2-day shipping, nationwide. Taking this route forgoes the need to meet rigorous shipping standards and pass a multi-month approval and testing process, letting you concentrate on running your business.
Things to note when deciding whether to use Marketplace or a 3PL provider:
- You are responsible for things like writing product descriptions, posting product images, re-pricing products, exchanges, returns, and providing customer service, making third-party selling a more time and resource-intensive process.
- Beyond activating 2-day shipping, retail price (shipping included) is the second most important factor in winning the buy box. You will, therefore, need to offer free shipping and ensure your price meets or undercuts other suppliers
- Third party sellers will also have access to 3 kinds of CPC ads but not the full marketing suite of the DSV program.
The primary advantage of these options over the DSV program is retail pricing, which means better margins. Some of the drawbacks are as follows:
- Lower volume than DSV suppliers, which offsets higher margins
- Walmart charges a referral fee per item (usually 15%, based on category)
- Walmart does not pay for shipping, which makes Marketplace seller-fulfilled 2 day.Walmart dropshipping cost-effective only for small, expensive items like jewelry.
Many of Walmart’s Suppliers are both Warehouse Suppliers and DSVs. Also you can sell as both a DSV and a Marketplace Seller. However, any items you offer must be sold as either a DSV or a Seller. You cannot sell the same item as both a Seller and a DSV.
Supplier vs. DSV vs. Seller
|Warehouse Supplier (Owned)||Drop Shipping Vendor (DSV)||Seller|
|Seller ships products to Walmart Warehouse||Seller stores products in their own warehouse||Seller stores products in their own warehouse|
|Products are listed on Walmart.com as sold and shipped by Walmart||Products are listed on Walmart.com as sold and shipped by Walmart||Products are listed on Walmart.com as sold and shipped by Seller Name|
|When a purchase is made, Walmart ships the order to the customer. There is no additional shipping cost for the seller.||When a purchase is made, the seller ships the product to the buyer. Walmart covers the shipping expense.||When a purchase is made, the seller ships the product to the buyer. The seller is responsible for the shipping cost.|
As you can see, there are many considerations when deciding which platform to use. Estimating the costs of each platform is crucial to yielding the best outcome for your specific business configuration.
Connect, customize & optimize multi-channel ecommerce.
|Estimates only||Vendor Central||Seller Central||DSV||Marketplace|
|Standard (1P)||FBM (AMS)||FBA (AMS)||FBA (Google)||1P||3P|
|Retail Price (MAP)||$100||$100||$100||$100||$100||$100|
|Channel Selling Fee||$0||$15||$15||$15||$0||$15|
|Channel Fulfillment Fee||$0||$0||$10||$10||$0||$0|
|Vendor Freight In||$5||$0||$5||$5||$0||$0|
|Vendor Fulfillment / 3PL||$0||$10||$0||$0||$5||$10|
|Vendor Shipping Out||$0||$15||$0||$0||$0||$15|
|Vendor Customer Service||$0||$2||$0||$0||$0||$2|
|Marketing Services (Optional)||$10||$20||$10||$5||$10||$0|
|Net Contribution Margin||20%||13%||30%||40%||25%||33%|
|Volume||High||Low / High (R/SFP)||High||Medium||High||Low / High (R/2DS)|
|Payment Terms||30-90 days||15 days||15 days||15 days||30-90 days||14 days|
|Prime/2-day Delivery||Yes||No / Yes (SFP)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Partial|
|A+ Listing/Enhanced Content||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Notes||> $28 unt cost
30% GM; 40% apparel
Steps to Becoming Walmart Supplier
To get started as an eCommerce Supplier, click here to begin the qualification process.
When you complete the registration steps described in the Global Supplier Management Guide, you will receive an email from Walmart with the Subject “Walmart Supplier Center – Invitation to Start Onboarding.” Click the Registration Link button to get started.
You will be taken to a page to create your Supplier Center account. Your username is auto-filled based on the contact info you provided in your Supplier Agreement. Select three Security Questions and provide answers for each one. Then, click Save and Continue. After you create your account, you can log back in with your username and password to finish Registration at any time.
Complete onboarding in Supplier Center
Once you are in Supplier Center, you will see a detailed checklist of the steps you need to complete.
This checklist you see will depend on whether you signed an agreement to become:
|1||A Walmart.com Warehouse (Owned) Supplier|
|2||A Walmart.com Drop Ship Vendor (DSV)|
|3||A Walmart.com Warehouse (Owned) Supplier and a DSV|
If you signed an agreement to become a Walmart.com Warehouse (Owned) Supplier, follow the steps in the first checklist below. If you signed an agreement to become a DSV, follow the steps in the second checklist. If you signed both an Owned (i.e., Warehouse Supplier) Agreement and DSV Agreement, follow the steps in both the first and second checklist below.
1) Warehouse (Owned) Supplier Checklist
Add contact information
Provide contact information for your Primary Contact, Escalation Contact, and IT Contact.
Enter at least one warehouse facility
Click the button Add New Warehouse Facility. Fill out all of the required information. When you are finished, click Save and Continue. Here are a few tips that will help you fill out this section:
|Facility Name||The name Supplier Center will use to identify the Warehouse Facility.|
|Cutoff Time||The latest you can receive an order and still get it shipped that day. We recommend setting a Cutoff Time of at least 1 hour.|
|Location Name||Used to help our drivers identify the correct building to pick up shipments.|
Manual steps completed by Walmart
Once the two steps mentioned above have been completed, an internal Walmart Associate will need to manually enter additional information before you can go live. Once the Walmart Associate marks this step as complete, it will be crossed off, and the Launch Checklist will disappear. Then, you will receive a Go Live email confirming that you have completed Warehouse (Owned) Supplier Onboarding. (Please allow 2-3 business days for this step to be completed) New Warehouse (Owned) Suppliers are automatically set up with WebEDI. If you would like to establish an EDI connection, call 479.273.8888.
2) DSV Checklist
Add one Distribution Facility
Click the button Add New Distribution Center. Fill out all of the required information. When finished, click Save. Here are a few tips that will help you fill out this section:
|Facility Name||The name Supplier Center will use to identify the Distribution Facility.|
|Cutoff Time||The latest time you can receive an order and still get it shipped that day. We recommend setting your Cutoff Time to 12 p.m.|
Read important shipping documentation.
Please acknowledge that you have read the information.
Add your contact information.
Provide contact information for your Customer Service, Alarm Notification, Finance and Claims. When you’re finished, click Save and Continue.
Set up at least one item
You can set up items using Bulk Item Setup, Single Item Setup or via API. The Launch Checklist will not consider this step complete until you have at least one item that meets both of the following requirements:
|1||Has a DSV Configuration|
|2||Has a Published or Unpublished status|
Follow the instructions in Updating Inventory in Supplier Center for DSVs. Once you have completed this step, it should automatically cross off the Launch Checklist, and the Launch Checklist will disappear. The Launch Checklist will not consider this step complete until you have at least one item that meets all of the following requirements:
|1||Has a DSV Configuration|
|2||Has a Published or Unpublished status|
|3||Has Available Units of Inventory that are greater than zero|
When each of those requirements has been met, you will receive a Go Live email confirming that you have completed DSV onboarding.
Steps to Becoming a Walmart Seller
Step 1 – Complete Registration
Before you access Seller Center for the first time, you must create your User and Partner Profile. Registration walks you through this process. For more information, see Complete Registration.
Step 2 – Complete your Partner Profile
You will need to complete the remaining sections of your Partner Profile in Seller Center. For more information, see Complete Your Partner Profile Before Going Live.
Step 3 – Upload and test your items and orders
To upload your items, choose an integration method and then follow the item setup instructions in the article Item Setup Methods. Once you have completed Item Setup, confirm that your items appear the way you want them to on Walmart.com and test your order integration with Walmart Marketplace using a small number of orders. To learn more, read Preview Items and Place Test Orders on Walmart.com Before Going Live.
Step 4 – Confirm that you are ready to launch
Once you have marked Steps 1 through 5 as completed on the Launch Checklist in Seller Center, you will see a pop-up asking you to confirm that you are ready to launch. If you click yes, a message will be sent to the Walmart Marketplace Integration team so they can make your account live. For more information, see Confirm You Are Ready to Launch.
Choose your integration method
Before you begin Item Setup, you need to select an integration method.
- API integration method: This is a standard method of integration with web-based applications; it requires some programming. This method is very stable and scalable. We recommend choosing this method if you are publishing a large catalog of items on Walmart and have a technical team to support your operations. For more details see: Integration Methods: API.
- Bulk Upload method: This method involves entering your catalog details into Excel spreadsheets. This method is easy and does not require any technical capabilities, and is recommended for Sellers with a limited catalog or less need for technical support. For more details see: Add Items in Bulk in Seller Center
- Single Item method: This method involves entering your catalog details directly into the Seller Center UI. This method is easy and does not require any technical capabilities. This method is recommended for Sellers who are setting up their first items with us, as well as for Sellers with a limited catalog or less technical support.
- Solution Provider: You can integrate through a Solution Provider rather than integrating directly with Walmart.com. For more details see: Integration Methods: Using a Solution Provider.
Step 1: Identify the right category and subcategory for your items
Walmart has 24 categories that are further divided into subcategories. Read through the general guidelines, include/exclude details for each category, and identify the most suitable category for your items.
Step 2: Have your image URLs or files ready
During Bulk Item Setup, Walmart will need the URLs for your item images stored in a publicly accessible server. Ensure that your images meet the product image guidelines. You can also host images on our servers by following the instructions in Hosting Images with Walmart or by using the Single Item method.
Step 3: Prepare the Item Setup Feed with all of the item details
- API method: Send the Item Feed details in XML format. Download the XSD template based on the category of your items from the Walmart APIs Portal.
- Bulk Upload method: Send your Item Feed details in Excel files. Download the Spec based on the category of your items from Seller Center.
Fill the Item Feed Specs with all of the item details. For further details on Step 3 or to set up variant group items or refurbished items see: Item Setup: How to Create a Great Walmart Item Listing.
Step 4: Ingest/upload your Item Feed files
Once you have prepared your Item Setup Feed files you need to ingest/upload the files.
- Copy your Consumer ID and Private Key from Seller Center and save them.
- You can access these items by hovering over the gear icon in the top-right corner of Seller Center.
- Write and test your authentication code by following the instructions in our API documentation.
- Call Bulk create/update items with the completed item feed payload to ingest your items.
- Check the results of the feed by making a call to Get all feed statuses.
Bulk Upload method:
- Upload your item feed file in Seller Center. For details see: Setting Up Items in Seller Center.
- Check the feed status to see if any items failed.
In the above scenarios, if you encounter a data error, fix the data and re-upload the item. If you encounter a system error, contact Partner Support.
Step 5: Preview your items on Walmart.com and Complete Item & Order Testing
After you have successfully set up items, your items will be in Staged status because you are not yet launched as a Seller. You can preview what your prices and content will look like to Walmart customers before you officially go live with your entire catalog. You can publish select items for Order Testing before all of your items are officially published. For more details see: Preview Items and Place Test Orders on Walmart.com Before Going Live.
Once you have finished Item Setup and reviewed your items, proceed with Order Testing. After completing Order Testing successfully, click Mark as Done for the bullet Complete Item & Order Testing on the Launch Checklist in Seller Center.
Integration Methods: Solution Providers
Solution Providers help Sellers manage and synchronize eCommerce data across multiple marketplace platforms through data feeds. These providers offer a wide range of products and services (such as item setup, inventory, order fulfillment and pricing), and provide support for issues related to the feeds submitted through them. While some Solution Providers offer full-service integration, others only perform specific functions. Each integration is tailored to your specific needs, so you should reach out to the Solution Provider directly to gather information on costs, features, and capabilities.
We are currently working with multiple Solution Providers and continue to add to the list.
Full-Service Solution Providers
The following are full-service Solution Providers, who will take care of your item setup and management, inventory, orders, and pricing:
Specialty Solution Providers
We also work with a number of specialty Solution Providers who can assist you with managing particular aspects of your business with Walmart.com:
|Provider Name||Item Setup & Management||Inventory||Order||Price|
|EDA Cloud Technologies||✓||✓||✓|
|Provider Name||Item Setup & Management||Inventory||Order||Price|
Other Specialty Partners
These partners offer additional services, as described below:
|Provider Name||Services Offered|
|Avalara||Sales tax calculations and reporting|
|Deliverr||Order fulfillment and Free 2-day Shipping tag capability|
|Taxjar||Sales tax reporting and filing|
A Solution Provider is a third-party company that provides specialized services to help you run your eCommerce business. Working with a Solution Provider can make your business more efficient and optimize your online sales.
SEO optimization of Walmart listing
Search engine optimization (SEO) plays an important role in helping a potential customer find your product when they type a query into a search engine, as well as when customers search on Walmart.com.
- Review the Walmart Marketplace Product Content Policy for requirements.
- Make it 50-75 characters in length for best readability and SEO results.
- Create a unique, specific product name that is not used word-for-word on other websites.
- Follow the guideline: Brand + Clothing Size Group (if applicable) + Defining Quality + Item Name + Style (if applicable) + Pack Count
- If the color of your item is something that customers are likely to search for, include color in the product name as well.
- If your items are in a variant group, do not include the color in the Product Name. Instead, include available colors in the Key Features or Description next to the Item’s name.
Add more images taken from additional angles. Customers are more likely to purchase an item with more images.
Provide zoom-enabled, high-resolution images of the product, packaging and any accessories.
If available, provide rich content such as product reviews, interactive tours, how-to demos, products in use, TV spots, 360-degree imagery, spec sheets, size charts, manufacturer information, user manuals, product diagrams or any other relevant content.
Key Features (Highlights)
- Include 3 to 10 of the most important benefits and features of your item.
- Include keywords in the key features.
- Put the most important features first.
- Call out specific details about the item and provide complete information.
- Include the Product Name, Brand, keywords describing the item’s features and benefits and related words that customers are likely to search for. For example, if you’re selling a cardigan, use synonyms like “sweater” in the description. Avoid repeating these words in an overly obvious way.
- Write a paragraph of 150 words or more. The more descriptive, the better!
- Ensure your Description is unique (i.e., not copied from other sites) and is truly useful for customers. Avoid too much repetition.
- Write copy that is specific and informative, not just fluffy or generic. Show expertise, knowledge and authority with facts and tips.
- Be clear and conversational when writing. You’re helping customers make an informed decision; you’re not trying to sell them on anything. Some slang is acceptable – as long as it conveys an authentic, straightforward tone – since it captures more key terms.
How to increase sales at Walmart
There are a few different ways how to sell on Walmart successfully in this opportune moment.
1. Add enhanced content on Walmart
Videos, interactive product tours, inlaid features, comparison charts, and other rich media similar to Amazon’s EBC/A+ listings are all available on Walmart
You can publish rich content with the help of third-party Solution providers or with the help of API.
Additional content on the product page that contains more information, photos, and videos can quickly tell the buyer about the product and encourage them to purchase.
2. Walmart Buy Box
As Walmart has grown as an eCommerce marketplace, so has the sophistication of its Buy Box algorithm.
Requirements To Win The Walmart Buy Box:
- Make sure you offer a competitive pricing point. Keep track of your competitor sellers and their pricing.
- Ensure that your product never runs out of stock. Maintain a proper stock availability.
- Try to offer free shipping, or at least keep the shipping price very low.
- Deliver the product on time or early.
- Post positive reviews for your product from satisfied customers.
3. Add product reviews
Shoppers can leave two different types of reviews: A marketplace retailer review and a product review. Currently, there are not many reviews on Walmart, so adding them can be a big advantage.
How to get product reviews on Walmart
- Use Bazaarvoice to generate reviews
Bazaarvoice is a trusted user-generated content provider for Walmart. Historically, Walmart has used Bazaarvoice to collect reviews and display them across their product pages. Today, their services have evolved to include collecting and displaying customer photos and videos, powering the Q&A feature on their product pages, and running their Spark Sampling Reviewer Program.
- Make the request
Look for creative ways to encourage consumers to leave reviews, such as connecting on social media with your fans, or adding small gifts to the goods with a request to evaluate the goods
- Answer questions
Walmart’s product pages include a question-and-answer feature, powered by Bazaarvoice. In the Q&A feature, customers can ask a question about a product, which can be answered by the seller, a previous purchaser, or anyone with insight about the product. This function can be connected for free, providing convenient alerts when you receive questions or negative feedback.
Consumers value the shared knowledge of sellers and other consumers who have purchased a particular product.
- Respond to negative reviews
Negative reviews are never good for your business, but providing a professional response to negative reviews can help restore customer confidence. You can respond to them time and again with the help of Bazaarvoice.
- Send product samples
Walmart has a Spark Reviewer program run by Bazaarvoice that enables sellers to provide free product samples of new items to a select group of customers The invitation-only Spark Reviewer program is filled with shoppers who have earned trust on Walmart.com with their accurate and insightful history of reviews.
“Spark Reviewer is an invitation-only sampling program to get our newest and best products in the hands of our top customers in exchange for totally honest reviews.” – Walmart
- Use social media
You are most likely already using social networks to improve your brand image. Encourage buyers to add additional reviews via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest, and consider adding user reviews and images to your page (especially if you do not have any reviews yet).
- Include a review request in your packages
Requesting immediate feedback when the customer receives the product is a great way to increase your review coverage. Consider including a request in the packaging to leave a review on Walmart if the customer is satisfied with the product.
If a simple request does not work, consider strategies to stimulate feedback. For example, offer a discount off their next purchase in exchange for an honest review, or add a small gift to increase customer satisfaction.
- Provide a great customer experience
Last but not least, provide each customer with the best possible experience to encourage even more feedback. Deliver your goods intact, send the desired product as described, deliver on time, and make everything as simple and pleasant as possible for your customers.
Using these tips as part of your marketing strategy can help establish the necessary trust between seller and consumer, so you can effectively stimulate conversions and grow your online business.
- Product Feedback Removal Requests
Suppliers may request the removal of irrelevant reviews or feedback about their items. This is known as a product feedback removal request. These requests follow strict guidelines and require specific information from you before the feedback can be removed.
Walmart does not provide the reviewer’s order-specific information (i.e., name, contact information, order number) to sellers. It is against Walmart Policy to contact customers with requests to remove feedback. Customer feedback/reviews cannot be edited or changed in any way. If your request for removal meets the established guidelines below, then the feedback will be removed.
To remove the feedback/comments on a product review, check to see that one of the following issues exists:
- Incorrect star rating: The stars do not match the sentiment expressed in the review.
- Incorrect product: The product review does not match the item on the page.
- Inappropriate: The review contains a comment that is inappropriate or vulgar (e.g., swear words, profanity, slandering, etc.).
- Not a product review: The comment does not talk about the product, but instead refers to customer service, shipping, or other unrelated topic(s).
4. Use the right keywords
When creating your keywords in the Walmart listing tool, there are far fewer restrictions than Amazon, so we recommend filling these with as many search terms as possible. You can even use competing brands or indirect correlations as keywords for your product.
5. Optimize your Walmart listing
- Use a concise and specific product name
Your product name should be 50-75 characters long, and unique to Walmart (do not copy the same product name on Amazon or your own website).
- Model number
- Defining features
- Pack count
- Use rich media and high quality images
The images you use to showcase your item must be professional, in focus, well-lit, and cannot show accessories that are not included with your item. Ideally, you should provide zoom-enabled high-resolution images of your product, packaging, and added accessories.
If available, you can also provide rich content like product reviews, interactive tours, 360 degree imagery, and other features.
- Highlight your key features
Include three to 10 of the most important benefits and features of your item in bullet-list form. Add relevant keywords, list the most important features first, and use specific details.
- Use keywords in your product description
Your product description is a long-form (aim for 150 words or more) explanation of your product. You should include your product name, brand, and keywords that convey features and benefits. This is where you should incorporate your keywords and phrases to increase your product’s odds of appearing in relevant search results.
- Select relevant attributes
Fill out the attributes that are relevant to your item to help it appear when browsers filter for certain specifications.
The attributes on a Walmart listing appear as specifications, which helps shoppers filter out search results.
- Get more product reviews on your Walmart listings
Walmart has made it fairly easy for a customer to review an item, and even Walmart employees are welcome to leave honest feedback. Walmart shoppers can submit reviews in 3 ways;
- Walmart automatically emails your customer an invitation to leave a review, a few weeks after their purchase
- Your customer can click on the order number of their purchase, go to the order detail page, then “Review this product”
- They can click “Write a Review” beside the Review Snapshot on a listing, even if they did not purchase that item from Walmart
Since Walmart sends the follow-up email for you, your job is to focus on the customer experience and provide a great product.
6. Join Walmart Free 2-Day Shipping
Walmart.com has recently eliminated its minimum purchase amount for free 2-day shipping, putting even more emphasis on this sales-driving feature as a vital component of any seller’s repertoire. The site has been redesigned around this key feature, with placement at the top of the site search filter and the homepage. The site search algorithm has also been reformulated to favor items with this feature, and sorting by 2-day shipping reduces the playing field significantly, making it a must-have if you want your product to stand out. Sellers who qualify for 2-day shipping have experienced over a 200% uptick in sales and are more likely to win the Buy Box over their competition.
Walmart Performance Ads are CPC ads displayed across the Walmart.com platform that highlight your listings and drive traffic to your products. They appear in multiple places, run well on desktop, mobile, and apps with a Sponsored tag, or under a banner of Sponsored Products.
The self-serve Walmart Sponsored Products program is highly efficient and cost-per-click based. Native ad units help customers discover and purchase products sold on Walmart with ads that appear in search results, item pages, category pages and product pages. Participation in the self-serve Walmart advertisement program requires approval. The WPA self-serve program is designed for budgets less than $25,000, and the minimum commitment is a $1,000 monthly spend, with a $100 daily cap.
The minimum commitment for a Managed Media Campaign is $25,000.