Walmart.com is gaining traction as a digital marketplace, but how does it compare to selling on an established platform like Amazon?
Just ask LifeSeasons. LifeSeasons is a premium supplement brand who was successful on Amazon, but—like all supplement brands can attest to—was having ongoing issues with Amazon dramatically changing its dietary supplement approval requirements. One day a product is in the clear, driving revenue and helping consumers, the next it’s no longer approved to sell on Amazon, hurting both LifeSeasons’ sales and their mission to help consumers live life to its fullest.
Along with working to ensure the brand met Amazon’s ever-evolving specifications, LifeSeasons partnered with Pattern to explore alternative options to deliver supplements to their consumers. With the help of Pattern, LifeSeasons identified Walmart.com —an untapped marketplace, full of new consumers who had yet to discover LifeSeasons’ perfectly blended formulas.
Pattern analyzed the opportunity, as well as provided expert advice and an extra set of hands every step of the way–ensuring a seamless onboarding, optimized product listings, organized logistics, and consistent prices across all sales channels.
But did it pay off? With sales continuing on Amazon, LifeSeasons launched their nature-based products on the new platform, and went from $0 to five digit growth on Walmart.com within two months of release. Growth they could have lost to competitors.
Just because the opportunity worked for LifeSeasons, would it work for your brand? What are the 4 benefits of becoming a Walmart seller?
Similar to Amazon’s Prime program, Walmart+ members get free shipping and delivery on all orders. But outdoing Amazon, Walmart’s 4,740 US store locations act as distribution centers for orders. Since 90% of Americans live within 15 minutes of a Walmart, this means faster shipments and easier returns for your customers.
With an overwhelming 6.3 million sellers competing for attention on Amazon, and just over 100,000 third-party sellers on Walmart.com, you have all the more reason to launch on the platform now. With less competition, your product will stand out to Walmart Marketplace’s 308 million monthly visitors.
Still looking for benefits? On Walmart.com there are no setup or monthly fees to be a seller, only a referral fee on purchases, which range from 6 to 20% depending on the product. So if you’re not making money, Walmart’s not either.
Walmart also charges for storing products in their fulfillment centers, but this cost is stated up front and based purely on the timeline of product storage and size.
Are there downsides? There really aren’t any downsides to selling on Walmart Marketplace. It’s a great opportunity to expand your market exposure and diversify your ecommerce business.
Get on Walmart.com now to stay ahead of future competitors. All other factors equal, Walmart.com has a first-come-first-serve cataloging system, which means the sooner you list your products, the better the chances are to be discovered. Ready to get started? We have the 4 simple steps to start selling on Walmart Marketplace.
Now that you know why you should be on Walmart.com , it’s time to learn the 4 steps to start selling on the ecommerce platform.
To sell on Walmart Marketplace, you have three options. You can sell as a First-Party (1P), dropship vendor, or Third-Party (3P). Let’s go over how each is different:
We recommend partnering with a 3P Walmart seller like Pattern, which gives your brand the maximum potential to grow with the minimum stress of optimizing a new platform. Working with Pattern, you won’t need to worry about the process of applying to become a seller or setting up your online seller account—Pattern will handle all of the paperwork.
If you choose to go 3P, first, you need to apply online. Go to the Walmart Marketplace website and click “Request to sell” in the top right corner. There, you’ll be asked to gather required business information in order to complete the application process
Then, your seller application could take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks to be processed and approved.
After becoming a seller, you’ll create a Partner Profile by providing additional company information and adding your product catalog. You can integrate your products directly via API, bulk upload them with Walmart’s category-specific excel template, or add SKUs individually. Make sure to mark all relevant item attributes so your products are correctly categorized later in a shopper’s search results.
Setting up your profile and listings can feel complicated and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to. If you work with an experienced 3P seller like Pattern, we know the ins and outs of optimizing your brand and products to obtain the highest possible listing quality score and, in turn, the highest search rank.
A few other things to be aware of—prohibited items and strict pricing rules. On top of local, state, and federal laws and regulations, Walmart has several product categories they won’t allow you to sell. Noncompliant products will be removed.
As for pricing, Walmart will remove items that are significantly overpriced or any product where the product is priced lower on another website. For states that require it, Walmart Marketplace also collects sales tax on your behalf. It is your responsibility to collect sales tax from customers in other states unless you opt to have Walmart remit all sales tax for you.
With your Partner Profile set up, you’re ready to navigate Walmart’s Seller Center. This is where you can manage all your product listings, inventory, orders, and analytics. To learn your way around the Seller Center, we recommend checking out Walmart’s Seller Help knowledge base, which offers a number of guides and answers to FAQs. Walmart Marketplace was built for sellers, so it provides tons of resources to help you succeed.
Now for the final step in selling on Walmart, finalizing your logistics plan. Afterall, what good is selling on Walmart if you can’t get the products to your customers?
When it comes to logistics, we highly recommend using Walmart Fulfillment Service (WFS). Launched in 2020, WFS is similar to Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) and handles storing, picking, packing, and shipping your products for you. Simply send your inventory directly to a WFS location and Walmart will send it to customers as orders are placed.
The benefits of WFS: In addition, WFS offers sellers a variety of benefits: They handle nation-wide 2-day shipping on all your listings, giving them “TwoDay Delivery” tags for extra visibility. They manage all your returns and customer service and offer you enhanced seller support with their dedicated WFS call center. In short, WFS helps streamline your supply chain and takes all the guesswork out of fulfillment.
How does WFS compare to FBA?: If you’re familiar with FBA, it’s also worth comparing Walmart vs. Amazon fulfillment services. WFS has stricter seller requirements to keep customer satisfaction high. As a result, it’s harder to qualify for WFS. But if you do, you benefit from a better buyer-to-seller ratio. With WFS, you’re competing with 100K other sellers instead of Amazon’s 6 million. Though applying for FBA is easier and faster, WFS gives your brand a competitive edge.
When choosing to handle the logistics yourself, Walmart offers 6 different shipping methods, ranging from Free Value Shipping (3-7 business days) to Next Day shipping (0-1 business days). Sellers need to offer at least one method. Just remember, consumers expect fast delivery, so the more expedited shipping options you offer, the better. You can also optimize your products’ shipping settings with Walmart’s shipping templates.
Dealing with returns: With some exceptions, Walmart requires sellers to offer a 30-day return window starting 7 days after an item ships and to have at least 1 return center. That way, customers can return products in-store or online. You can also have Walmart handle your returns for you with their Enhanced Returns program and Returns Shipping Service (RSS). Also be aware that cancellations are final. Whether a customer or Walmart itself cancels your order due to a violation, you need to halt shipping immediately.
The benefits of handling logistics in-house: By opting to handle the shipping process, your brand takes on more responsibility, but also more freedom. In this scenario you have the ability to look into and compare every shipping option, carrier company, and associated cost. You then have the flexibility to choose what best fits both your business and customer needs.
But beware, this comes with the additional pressure of ensuring you hit all promised shipping timelines, that your shipments arrive in the same condition they left in, and finding your own creative solutions to unexpected obstacles, like weather delays.
One of the best parts of partnering with a Walmart 3P seller like Pattern? They handle all of this for you. As your authorized seller we will oversee the inventory management, ensuring your products are delivered to the correct warehouses at the appropriate times so you stay in stock. We also handle your customer support and returns, giving you extra room to breathe and focus on the areas you know best.
Whether you need help managing your marketplaces or you’re looking to maximize your potential on Walmart Marketplace, our experts at Pattern can help.
Pattern was one of Walmart’s first WFS sellers—we started as a beta tester and have only continued to grow our understanding and success—so we know the ins and outs of what it takes to support your brand on the platform. Overall, our brands are seeing an average growth on Walmart Marketplace of 250%. Take your Walmart strategy to the next level by getting in touch today.
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If you’re in the global ecommerce space, you are most likely aware of Amazon, and probably selling your products on the marketplace. With over $470 billion in sales in 2021 alone, Amazon stands as the third largest company in the world based on revenue. The ecommerce giant is a household name in the U.S. and working hard to grow its market share across five continents worldwide.
Having your products available on Amazon and being competitive there, though, are definitely two different things. If you want to really succeed on Amazon, you’ll need specialized insight into how Amazon works and how to make it work for you. So, for many brands, it’s a great idea to work with an Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency.
At Pattern, Amazon SEO optimization service is one of our key competencies. We understand that technology, data-driven insights and expertise are the most important tools brands can leverage to win top listing spots on digital marketplaces. With expert teams and years of experience, we help brands conquer the Profitability Death Spiral as they compete with other products and sellers online. We offer Amazon SEO agency services as a core solution to brands that need more resources to get ahead.
An Amazon SEO agency serves brands by improving their products’ rank and listing performance on Amazon. They make strategic decisions about ad spending and placement that lead to higher traffic, conversions, and revenue for ecommerce brands.
A great Amazon SEO Agency partner will:
Unfortunately, many Amazon SEO agencies profit in unfair ways from your brands’ perceived success based on the ROAS numbers they provide. This is done through including branded search terms in ROAS reports, which naturally skew listing performance.
Let’s say, for instance, your brand is called “Annie’s” and you sell lollipops. Your brand has a very high likelihood of winning the top listing spots on Amazon for lollipop search terms that are paired with “Annie’s,” your brand name. So, SEO agencies will spend your ad money on those terms and report a very high ROAS.
To avoid scenarios like these, it’s best to look for an agency that either calculates their profits on metrics other than your ROAS scores or weighs branded search terms differently in the performance metrics reports. Regardless of your Amazon SEO agency’s cost structure, you should align onbranded search terms before committing to a scope of work.
A great indicator of a high-quality Amazon SEO agency is the level of insight they can provide into your competitors’ listing positioning and how it compares to yours. Data fanaticism is so important at Pattern that we’ve developed proprietary technology to display this exact information with precise detail for every brand we work with. In fact, you can find our free version here to see how you compare to some of your top competitors based on ASIN.
It’s certainly possible to improve your Amazon search performance with blind spending strategies. But a truly great solution will help you to know where your dollars are at their most powerful and competitive.
Amazon’s A10 algorithm prioritizes customer satisfaction—it wants to show consumers the best products that align with their search intent to improve conversions and sales. So, the best way to gain momentum on Amazon is to work on incremental wins.
Improving your performance on more obscure search terms that align with your customers’ search intent is a great way to increase ROAS for the long term. A10 will reward your success with better rankings on higher-volume search terms and the virtuous cycle can help you conquer your most-coveted listing spots. And the best part? This process of gaining momentum, if done right, will naturally decrease your ad spend over time as Amazon recognizes your value and works with you to keep your products at the top of consumers’ search results.
As an Amazon SEO specialist, Pattern knows how to help your brand win better success for long-term profitability on Amazon. With our data-driven tools and brilliant teams of ecommerce experts, we help brands with listing management, content optimization, Amazon ad strategies, and more.
Contact us to learn more about our SEO optimization services.
Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces.
Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.
So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.
Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products.
An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.
An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.
Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.
At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services.
It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.
It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.
The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.
Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces.
With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.
Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.